In a former life, I taught middle school for eight years. Four in a public school in a small industrial town south of Trenton, and four in a private school in Princeton. (I joke that eight years is three times as long as we make students stay in middle school.)
But the reality was that I loved working with this age group. They ask hard questions and expect honest answers. And they taught me so much about structural inequalities in our country.
At the start of every fall semester, our Big and Little Brothers head to the Poplar Ridge Challenge Course to kick off their year together. In the Men's Leadership Project, UVA undergraduate men serve as big brothers to local middle school boys, building strong, respectful relationships that help them both grow as leaders in their schools, communities, and families.
The Maxine Platzer Lynn Women’s Center takes a trauma-informed approach to our work to support survivors of sexual assault and everyone in the community impacted by it. As our colleagues in EOCR/Title IX review the interim guidance issued today, we encourage students with questions or concerns to reach out for assistance. We also stand with all of our students working to create a respect culture on Grounds and across the world.
Having just arrived a mere month ago on Grounds, you start to hear it everywhere: "you need to start signing leases for the next year, or you will be left out." In the rush to find that perfect spot, or perhaps out of fear of being left without choices, many students –especially first and second years—sign leases with people they do not know well, for apartments that may not be nearly as great as they sounded when their friends first told them about them.
It is fitting that we feature Annie Forrest as one of our October Spotlight profiles, since Annie's work for the One Love Foundation--a relationship violence programming provider, founded to honor UVA student Yeardley Love--aligns with the mission of Domestic Violence Awareness Month. Annie interned with the Women's Center Gender Violence and Social Change program, and says, "My professors and peers at UVA were pivotal in helping me find my strength to do this work."
August 21 saw ‘Hoos gathering all over Grounds – reconnecting with friends, welcoming the Class of 2021, viewing the solar eclipse, and stepping into new roles for the 2017-2018 year. Among those who have committed to playing a leadership role in the University community this year are 74 undergraduate men and women working with us to mentor local middle school boys and girls and 27 interning with members of our staff at the Women’s Center. We are committed to developing strong women leaders and those who will work beside them to bring about social justice.
As Director of the Gender Violence and Social Change Program at UVA’s Maxine Platzer Lynn Women’s Center, Claire has long been a leader in gender justice advocacy. As determined as she is caring, Claire inspires us all in the Women's Center with her ability to see what's needed and to make it happen. If only Walt Disney had taken her advice when she wrote him a letter at age ten...for that story and more, read on.
Tell us about your greatest triumph or challenge at UVA.