Congratulations to our winners!
The VCU Student Social Justice Fund currently funds proposals that conceptualize solutions to social justice challenges facing the university, local, national or international communities. Winning proposals for the award demonstrated how innovative solutions will address and tackle structural, political, economic or social injustice through the lens of diversity, including race, age, ethnicity, gender, sexual orientation, gender identity, gender expression, religion, national origin, disability status, political affiliation, veteran status and/or socio-economic background.
The Division for Inclusive Excellence has sponsored four student projects with an award of $2,500 each to execute their creative ideas:
- Don’t Touch My Hair RVA, a project involving the creation of a music video and documentary inspired by artist Solange Knowles to promote awareness, empathy, inclusion, and equity for people of color, and in particular members of the LGBTQIA+ community throughout Richmond.
Participants: Chaz Barracks (team leader); Christina Hairston, Nick Vega, Christine Wyatt, Deaudrea “Sha” Rich (team members); Pamela Harris Lawton, School of the Arts (mentor)
- Reach Out Richmond, a project aiming to empower disenfranchised individuals, groups, and neighborhoods in Richmond to share their stories about mental health and mass incarceration and support one another through mutual aid.
Participants: Megan Osborn (team leader); Breanna Hawkins, Zarea Hawkins, Alexander Curran (team members); Liz Canfield, College of Humanities and Sciences (mentor)
- Building Legacies Around Cultural Knowledge (B.L.A.C.K.) unites a group of graduate psychology students who will facilitate community dialogue centered on experiences that impact the well-being of Richmond’s black communities. Through weekly presentations and dialogue with individuals at a community center in the southside of the city, B.L.A.C.K. hopes to provide a vehicle to healing and positive development.
Participants: Keyona Allen (team leader); Christina Barnett, Randl Dent, Ebony Lambert, Krystal Thomas, Mona Quarless, Melissa Avila, Jasmine Coleman, Stephanie Wilson, Amanda Parks, Eryn Delaney (team members); Shawn O. Utsey, College of Humanities and Sciences (mentor)
- Refugee Service Experience Project seeks to improve cultural competency of human service workers and service delivery by designing and facilitating a series of four workshops that focus on social justice issues that refugees and asylum seekers face.
Participants: Laura Fanizza (team leader); Taylor Davis, Yvonne Fox, Maureen Muriungi, Nuzigum Setiwaldi (team members); Hiyojin Im, School of Social Work (mentor)