October 27, 2020

Virtual Town Hall Addresses Campus ‘Hurt’

UMW President Troy Paino addressed an audience of concerned students yesterday afternoon during a virtual town hall meeting.

The event – planned for an hour but extended by 15 minutes to allow more students to speak – was called in light of protests taking place throughout the country and in the Fredericksburg area since the May 25 murder of George Floyd at the hands of Minneapolis police officers.

“I just wanted to let you all know that my mind and my heart have been with you over the past week and a half, and really since we left each other back in March,” Paino said at the start of the session, hosted live via Zoom.

While a number of faculty and staff members expressed interest in participating, President Paino wanted to have an exclusive conversation with students. Their concerns centered on the presence of UMW Police Sunday night during a protest when city police used tear gas to displace protesters. Other topics included the university’s stance on systemic racism and on the Black Lives Matter movement.

“Black lives do matter,” said Vice President for Equity and Access Sabrina Johnson, who joined Paino yesterday as a panelist, along with UMW Police Chief Mike Hall. “I want to mention the names our leaders mention: Breonna Taylor, Ahmaud Arbery, George Floyd. I want their names to be in this space during this very important discussion.”

Just hours before Floyd’s first memorial service was set to be begin in Minneapolis, students took their turns onscreen to pose questions to Paino, who told them that he has lined up discussions with Fredericksburg officials, including the police chief, city manager and mayor. The university is committed to working through what happened, he said, and to maintaining transparency in communicating those findings.

Paino pledged that UMW will continue its efforts to recruit a more diverse faculty and to live by its code of community values, also known as ASPIRE. He acknowledged his intent to join in solidarity with students who planned a peaceful walk from Mary Washington to Fredericksburg’s Market Square this afternoon. The march, officially announced in a UMW email today from Student Government Association President Kyree Ford,was meant to support students of color and “to show the campus community that black lives matter and hate has no home at Mary Washington.”

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.

Honor James Farmer and Follow the Freedom Rides with UMW

UMW faculty, staff, alumni, friends, and neighbors are invited to join our students as they celebrate the legacy of Dr. James L. Farmer, Jr., on the Freedom Rides Tour, a social justice trip commemorating Farmer’s signature movement to enforce the desegregation of interstate travel.

The alumni/community bus will caravan with the student bus and follow the exact route of the Freedom Riders. Stops will include some of the same places the Freedom Riders stopped–whether to speak with other activists at Bennett College in North Carolina, to strategize for next steps in Georgia, or just to have a safe place to sleep for the night. Along the way, we will visit the International Civil Rights Museum in North Carolina, the Birmingham Civil Rights Museum in Alabama, and the King Center for Nonviolent Social Change and the Atlanta University Center, both in Georgia.

Learn more about the sites, history, and experiences of the Freedom Rides and other significant landmarks and trailblazers of the Civil Rights movement. See the spot where the Freedom Riders were attacked by the KKK. Visit Martin Luther King, Jr’s birth home. It promises to be a meaningful and impactful journey. We will be joined on the trip by Dr. Erin Devlin, assistant professor of history and American studies, and Dr. Marion Sanford, director of multicultural affairs at the James Farmer Multicultural Center, who will add commentary and context to the trip.

We hope you’ll get on the bus!

Saturday, Oct. 12-Tuesday, Oct. 15
Departing from and returning to UMW’s Fredericksburg Campus

This event is being coordinated by UMW’s James Farmer Multicultural Center and the office of the Vice-President for Equity and Access in conjunction with UMW’s 2020 celebration of the 100th anniversary of Dr. Farmer’s birth.

Dr. Farmer was a dedicated civil rights activist, educator and UMW professor, and recipient of the Presidential Medal of Freedom. He co-founded one of the most important civil rights organizations of the 20th century, CORE (Congress of Racial Equality). Dr. Farmer personified UMW’s founding and continuing commitment to be a force for positive change, educating citizens who are ready and eager to address our society’s greatest challenges.

SEE ITINERARY, COSTS, AND REGISTRATION

Early Group Registration for Women’s Leadership Colloquium Ends Saturday

Groups of five or more have until Saturday, Oct. 20 to get a discounted registration fee for the Women’s Leadership Colloquium @UMW, set to take place Nov. 1 at the University of Mary Washington’s Stafford campus from 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.

The fee for groups of five or more is $179 through Saturday. After that, individual registration is $199 through Oct. 31. Student tickets cost $30 each through Nov. 1. For more information, visit umw.edu/lcpw/colloquium.

Leadership expert Nicole Price will be the keynote speaker. Nicole is the owner of the leadership development company, Lively Paradox, specializing in combining accountability with empathy and compassion as a fundamental leadership strategy. Nicole received her B.S. in chemical engineering from North Carolina A&T State University, her master’s degree in adult education from Park University and is currently pursuing her doctorate in leadership and management.

Through leadership development, coaching, consulting, keynotes, and other resources, Nicole encourages and enables others to live their lives in excellence. Her energetic and engaging sessions leave participants with strategies and specific tools that they can apply right away. Her lively presentation style garners rave reviews and, very often, an invitation to return.

The daylong event, themed “The Empowered Woman,” fosters connections between professional women. It features a variety of enriching seminars to include: The Empowered Life, The Empowered Citizen, Financial Empowerment, Empowered Presence, Empowered through Purpose, and Empowered through Difference. Speakers include executive director of the Community Foundation for the Rappahannock River Region Teri McNally, Director of Finance and Human Resources of The George Washington Foundation Carter Fitch, strategic planning and organizational development expert Cara Parker, vice president of equity and access at UMW Sabrina Johnson, life coach and professional development consultant Jenna Cooley and vice president of administration and finance at UMW Lynne Richardson.