October 27, 2020

25th Anniversary for Day of Silence, Friday, April 24

The following message is from the Office of Equity and Access.

Friday, April 24th, will mark the 25th Anniversary for Day of Silence*. We are asking the UMW Community to virtually participate in this vital event. We may not be able to create a rainbow of shirts on the grass of Ball Circle, but the UMW community continues to affirm an inclusive and supportive community for lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer (LGBTQ) citizens and allies. We can demonstrate this by letting our voice be heard via #UMWisHOME and we must #breakthesilence.

Here is a toolkit to help make your voice heard on Friday, April 24th, during the Annual Day of Silence:

  • At 12pm, create a virtual “Moment of Silence” by posting our unified image to your individual or UMW affiliated accounts on social media. Please see attached images for Instagram, Twitter, and Facebook. You can add any of the following information from GLSEN to your post:

o   Our silence is LOUD!

o   I’m staying silent on GLSEN’s Day of Silence, a national youth movement highlighting the silencing and erasure of LGBTQ people at school.

o   Nearly 4 in 5 LGBTQ students don’t see positive representation in their curriculum, nearly 9 in 10 experience verbal harassment, and almost a third miss school because they feel unsafe or uncomfortable.

  • At 4pm, “Break the Silence!”

o   By answering the prompt, I AM BREAKING THE SILENCE BY…?

  • Submit to PRISM for a re-post:
  • DM PRISM (@umwprism) with your story
  • Email PRISM (umwprism@gmail.com) with your story
  • Your name will not be shared through the repost nor will you be tagged. However, pictures and/or videos are not private if we repost them.
  • Post your response to your social media account, if it is a safe space for you to do so.

o   Follow PRISM (@umwprism) on Instagram to view submitted prompt responses.

In keeping with our values outlined in ASPIRE, join us in celebrating the 25th Annual Day of Silence.

People for the Rights of Individuals of Sexual and Gender Minorities (PRISM)
Center for Prevention and Education
James Farmer Multicultural Center
Office of Title IX
Safe Zone
Talley Center for Counseling Services
Vice President for Equity and Access & Chief Diversity Officer

Information on resources and support can be found on SAFE ZONE’s webpage.

* Day of Silence was first organized by a student at the University of Virginia in 1996 as part of a class project. The following year almost 100 colleges and universities participated, making it a national event. College and university students have driven and participated in many movements throughout history, and the UMW Community is no exception. This includes Day of Silence powered by PRISM, a student-led organization that promotes the values of diversity and acceptance of students of sexual and gender minorities.

In 2000, Day of Silence became an official initiative with GLSEN (Gay, Lesbian & Straight Education Network).

Farmer Legacy 2020 Co-Chairs Johnson & Landphair Speak with WVTF Radio IQ

A wreath on the James Farmer bust on UMW’s Campus Walk recognizes Farmer’s 100th birthday and UMW’s Farmer Legacy 2020 celebration. Photo by Tom Rothenberg.

A wreath on the James Farmer bust on UMW’s Campus Walk recognizes Farmer’s 100th birthday and UMW’s Farmer Legacy 2020 celebration. Photo by Tom Rothenberg.

Farmer Legacy 2020 co-chairs Sabrina Johnson, Vice President for Equity and Access and Chief Diversity Officer, and Juliette Landphair, Vice President for Student Affairs, were recently interviewed on WVTF Radio IQ, an NPR affiliate, about civil rights icon and late Mary Washington professor Dr. James L. Farmer Jr. and UMW’s yearlong celebration of his life and legacy that launched in January, on the day after the 100th anniversary of his birth.

Johnson spoke of the impact Farmer had as a professor. “He touched the lives of so many students,” she says.  “It was the most popular class on campus.  It brought in historic numbers.”

Landphair spoke of Farmer’s concern that those who led the civil rights movement would someday be forgotten. “There’s a danger sometimes or a risk when you just reflect and celebrate as if the story is over. We have to hold on and protect and not backslide when it comes to the progress that’s been made.” Read more.

Launch Party Ignites Farmer Legacy 2020 Celebration

A wreath on the James Farmer bust on UMW’s Campus Walk recognizes Farmer’s 100th birthday and UMW’s Farmer Legacy 2020 celebration. Photo by Tom Rothenberg.

A wreath on the James Farmer bust on UMW’s Campus Walk recognizes Farmer’s 100th birthday and UMW’s Farmer Legacy 2020 celebration. Photo by Tom Rothenberg.

Nearly 500 people turned out yesterday to help UMW kick off Farmer Legacy 2020, a yearlong celebration of Dr. James L. Farmer Jr., the day after what would have been his 100th birthday.

The hourlong launch party packed plenty of emotion, from student accounts of life-changing experiences they’ve gained through UMW – and learning about Farmer’s legacy – to a moving rendition of Happy Birthday by Mary Washington gospel ensemble Voices of Praise.

Held in the UMW University Center’s Chandler Ballroom, the celebration commenced a year of events paying tribute to Farmer, the late Mary Washington history professor who founded the Congress of Racial Equality (CORE) and made an immeasurable impact on the civil rights movement as a member of the Big Six. Fredericksburg residents, Board of Visitor members and colleagues in higher education joined UMW students, faculty and staff in recognizing Farmer and his contributions, and vowing to follow in his footsteps by dedicating themselves to civic action and inclusion.

Honorary celebration chair, Congressman John Lewis of Georgia, the last surviving member of the Big Six, had to cancel plans to attend yesterday’s launch due to a recent cancer diagnosis. Attendees signed a card for him. Read more.

James Farmer Multicultural Center Turns 30

In 2020, UMW will celebrate the centennial birthday of the late civil rights pioneer and Mary Washington history professor Dr. James L. Farmer Jr. – who died in 1999 – as well as the 30th anniversary of the James Farmer Multicultural Center. Photo by Lou Cordero.

In 2020, UMW will celebrate the centennial birthday of the late civil rights pioneer and Mary Washington history professor Dr. James L. Farmer Jr. – who died in 1999 – as well as the 30th anniversary of the James Farmer Multicultural Center. Photo by Lou Cordero.

Junior Courtney Flowers was writing a high school paper when she stumbled upon a name she didn’t recognize.

“It was James Farmer,” said the Los Angeles native, who spent that day on a UMW website, researching the late civil rights pioneer and Mary Washington history professor. “What ultimately drew me here was the James Farmer Multicultural Center.”

In 2020, the University will celebrate the centennial birthday of Dr. James L. Farmer Jr. – who died in 1999 – as well as the 30th anniversary of the James Farmer Multicultural Center (JFMC). Created in response to an uptick in enrollment of students of color and a rash of racially biased incidents that ensued, the Center aimed to promote harmony between all groups. It fulfills Farmer’s legacy, educating the UMW community through engaging – and often life-changing – programs, from the spring Multicultural Fair to the fall Social Justice Trip. JFMC also supports 22 campus organizations and offers a welcoming haven for underrepresented students. Read more.

Freedom Rides Tour a ‘Life-Changing’ Experience

Last weekend, a group of 21 area residents joined 46 Mary Washington students, as well as UMW faculty and administrators, to trace the route of the 1961 Freedom Rides, the historic protest to desegregate interstate travel, organized by the late civil rights icon and Mary Washington history professor Dr. James L. Farmer Jr. and the organization he co-founded, Congress for Racial Equality. Photo by Lynda Allen.

Last weekend, a group of 21 area residents joined 46 Mary Washington students, as well as UMW faculty and administrators, to trace the route of the 1961 Freedom Rides, the historic protest to desegregate interstate travel, organized by the late civil rights icon and Mary Washington history professor Dr. James L. Farmer Jr. and the organization he co-founded, Congress for Racial Equality. Photo by Lynda Allen.

Stafford resident Frank White joined the Air Force in 1957, three days after finishing high school. Stationed in Texas, he traveled by Greyhound bus to visit his family in Virginia. For days and nights, he remained dressed in his uniform, sitting quietly in the back as the bus barreled through the deep South.

“Don’t make waves, don’t draw attention to yourself,” the young airman was warned by his African American superiors.

Mr. White remembered those travels as he sat at the front of the bus last weekend, one of 21 area residents who joined 46 UMW students, as well as faculty and administrators, to trace the route of the 1961 Freedom Rides during fall break. This social justice experience celebrates Dr. James L. Farmer Jr., the late civil rights pioneer and Mary Washington history professor who orchestrated the historic protest to desegregate interstate travel.

After the success of last year’s civil rights trip, James Farmer Multicultural Center (JFMC) Director Marion Sanford and Assistant Director Chris Williams wondered what they could do to make this one even more meaningful. With the 100th anniversary of Dr. Farmer’s birth approaching and the University announcing a centennial celebration in his honor, they decided to dedicate this year’s experience to his signature movement and lifelong commitment to social justice. Read more. 

UMW’s ASPIRE Values Promoted at AAC&U Conference

Vice President for Equity and Access Sabrina Johnson, Vice President for Student Affairs Juliette Landphair, and Dean of Student Life Cedric Rucker at AAC&U Diversity, Equity, and Student Success Conference in Pittsburgh.

Vice President for Equity and Access Sabrina Johnson, Vice President for Student Affairs Juliette Landphair, and Dean of Student Life Cedric Rucker at AAC&U Diversity, Equity, and Student Success Conference in Pittsburgh.

Vice President for Equity and Access Sabrina Johnson, Vice President for Student Affairs Juliette Landphair, and Dean of Student Life Cedric Rucker presented a poster session on UMW’s ASPIRE community values, The Value of Community Values, at the American Association of Colleges and Universities (AAC&U) Diversity, Equity, and Student Success Conference in Pittsburgh on Friday, March 29.

 

UMW to Hold 24th Annual Multicultural Fair, April 12

The University of Mary Washington will hold its 24th annual Multicultural Fair on Saturday, April 12 from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. The outdoor fair, organized by the James Farmer Multicultural Center, is one of the largest annual events at UMW, attracting more than 4,000 attendees each year. The Multicultural Fair demonstrates UMW’s commitment to multicultural awareness through a variety of ethnic performances, food and craft vendors. The fair also features kid-friendly crafts, activities and performances.

The annual Multicultural Fair is one of the most attended events at UMW.

The annual Multicultural Fair is one of the most attended events at UMW.

Throughout the day, more than 30 music and dance groups will perform across campus, including Save the Arcadian, a local folk-pop band, Calico Cloggers, Sons of Solomon and the Muggivan School of Irish Dance. A dozen UMW student groups will also perform, including BellACapella, UMW’s all-female a capella group, Eagle Bhangra and the UMW Salsa Club.

This year’s fair will feature more than 50 vendors selling an array of jewelry, pottery, instruments and traditional clothing representing various cultures and food trucks from different cuisines.

The Multicultural Fair will be held rain or shine and is free and open to the public. For more information, including a full list of performers, visit http://umw.edu/multicultural/fair or contact the James Fair Multicultural Center at (540) 654-1044.

A Second Chance

Nicole Dobson never saw the truck that changed her life. She was asleep in the backseat when the 18-wheeler slammed into her parents’ minivan, sending it toppling head over tail and tossing Dobson 30 feet from the car. When she woke up three weeks later, the vibrant eighth-grade field hockey player was gone.

A Second Chance

Tragedy inspired Nicole Dobson '15 to champion students with disabilities.

UMW Dedicates Lecture Hall for Civil Rights Leader, Nov. 15

The University of Mary Washington will dedicate a lecture hall in honor of civil rights leader James L. Farmer, Jr. during a ceremony on Friday, Nov. 15. The ceremony, which will begin at 4 p.m. in Monroe Hall, Room 116, is open to the public.

The bust of civil rights leader James Farmer overlooks Campus Walk. Farmer taught at Mary Washington for about a dozen years until his death in 1998.

The bust of civil rights leader James Farmer overlooks Campus Walk. Farmer taught at Mary Washington for about a dozen years until his retirement in 1998.

Farmer, founder of the Congress of Racial Equality and one of the “Big Four,” worked closely with Martin Luther King, Jr. on nonviolent protests to eliminate racial inequality. Farmer taught the history of the civil rights movement to Mary Washington students for about a dozen years before his retirement in 1998. That year, President Bill Clinton awarded Farmer the Presidential Medal of Freedom. Several UMW entities bear Farmer’s name, including the James Farmer Multicultural Center and the James Farmer Scholars Program.

“Our dedication of the lecture hall is to honor a man who changed our nation, our way of life, and in his later years our understanding of the civil rights movement,” said Leah Cox, special assistant for diversity and inclusion.

Georgia State Sen. Nan Orrock ’65 will deliver a keynote address for the occasion. Orrock has served in the Georgia state legislature since 1987, including as House Majority Whip and committee chair. Her engagement with public policy dates back to her participation in the 1963 March on Washington, an experience that has led to a lifetime of activism.

President Richard V. Hurley and the Board of Visitors also will be on-hand for the commemoration.