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OAAA E-Weekly Newsletter

The Office of African-American Affairs  Newsletter Highlighting Events and Opportunities for OAAA Students

"Young, Gifted & Black:

40 Years of Preparing Students for the Quest"

Special Announcement

Welcome to the University of Virginia and the Office of African-American Affairs. We are glad you are here and are excited about the opportunity for all of us to be together on-Grounds this year. In an effort to keep us all safe, everyone is required to wear a mask while inside any of the buildings on Dawson’s Row until otherwise notified. We would also like to remind you of the university’s policy below for students who are not vaccinated.

As a student who is not fully vaccinated for COVID-19, you are required to submit proof of a negative COVID test prior to your presence on Grounds. Information about this requirement was included in the exemption form, and you acknowledged this requirement when you submitted the form to the Department of Student Health and Wellness (SHW).

Once your UVA courses or program begins, you also are required to participate in prevalence testing at least once every seven (7) days. Failure to do so will result in consequences ranging from a warning up to interim suspension. More information is below.

Please follow these instructions:

Pre-Arrival Testing

  • All tests must be a COVID-19 PCR test collected within seven (7) days prior to the start of your academic program.
  • If you also plan to live or work on Grounds, this test must be collected within seven (7) days prior to move-in or beginning your work duties.
  • Please take extra precautions to minimize your exposure prior to submitting your test and returning to Charlottesville.
  • If you are already living, learning or working on Grounds due to a continuing or early start program, you should already be testing weekly through UVA’s BeSafe locations. You are subject to the consequences noted below if more than seven (7) days lapse between testing dates.
  • Tests may be obtained at any COVID-19 testing site offering PCR testing (e.g., CVS, Walgreens, Med Express). If you are in or near the Charlottesville area, you may visit any of UVA’s BeSafe testing locations. BeSafe is free to UVA students, faculty, and staff. More information on locations and hours is available on the website.
  • If you use a provider other than BeSafe, you must upload your test result to the HealthyHoos patient portal. When you use BeSafe, test results are automatically uploaded for you.
    • If your result is negative, you are cleared to begin living, learning, and working on Grounds.
    • If your result is positive, please self-isolate and contact SHW for further advice.

Ongoing Prevalence Testing

  • You must participate in prevalence testing at least once every seven (7) days.
  • You must test via UVA’s BeSafe program, which offers convenient locations and hours for testing at no cost to students, faculty, and staff. Results will be uploaded automatically to your HealthyHoos patient portal. 
  • If your test is positive, you will be notified by an SHW provider; you should self-isolate until you are contacted with further instructions.
  • Please schedule your future BeSafe testing appointments now for the fall semester by going to the website.
  • If you are not in the Charlottesville area when you are due to test, you will be responsible for obtaining a PCR test from another provider and uploading the result to HealthyHoos.
  • Consequences for not complying with this requirement are cumulative and increase in severity. For every seven-day interval missed, consequences are:
    • First: Warning
    • Second: Notification to your school
    • Third: Loss of access to University-protected networks and University resources until testing is completed
    • Fourth: University discipline, including interim suspension
  • PLEASE NOTE that COVID-19 testing at SHW is reserved for symptomatic students.

We send you best wishes for a safe and rewarding semester.



2021-2022 OAAA / GradSTAR Faculty-Student Mentoring Program!
Application Deadline: Tuesday, September 7 at 5:00 pm

Information and applications are on line now.


Fall 2021 Academic Calendar

August 20 - August 23:  
Fall Arrival & Orientation

August 24: 
Courses begin (Add/Drop/Withdrawal Deadlines)

October 9 - October 12: 
Reading Days

October 22 - October 24:   
Family Weekend
(Go to Family Weekend)


Quote of the Week

“I’m hungry for knowledge. The whole thing is to learn every day, to get brighter and brighter. That’s what this world is about. You look at someone like Gandhi, and he glowed. Martin Luther King glowed. Muhammad Ali glows. I think that’s from being bright all the time, and trying to be brighter.” — Jay-Z

Spotlight on Student Achievements

You can nominate someone (not yourself) to be in the Spotlight. Send your nominations to Dean Antoinette Thomas ( every Thursday by 12 noon.

Quote's Corner

Shawn Corey Carter (born December 4, 1969), known professionally as Jay-Z, is an American rapper, songwriter, record executive, businessman, and media proprietor. He is widely regarded as one of the most influential hip-hop artists in history and is also well known for being the former CEO of Def Jam Recordings, cultivating major industry artists such as Rihanna and Rick Ross. Born and raised in New York City, Jay-Z first began his musical career after founding the record label Roc-A-Fella Records in 1995, and subsequently released his debut studio album Reasonable Doubt in 1996. The album was released to widespread critical success, and solidified his standing in the music industry. He went on to release twelve additional albums, including the acclaimed albums The Blueprint (2001), The Black Album (2003), American Gangster (2007), and 4:44 (2017). He also released the full-length collaborative albums Watch the Throne (2011) with Kanye West and Everything Is Love (2018) with his wife Beyoncé, respectively. Outside of his musical career, Jay-Z has also attained significant success and media attention for his career as a businessman. In 1999, he founded the clothing retailer Rocawear, and in 2003, he founded the luxury sports bar chain 40/40 Club. Both businesses have grown to become multi-million-dollar corporations, and allowed Jay-Z to fund the start-up for the entertainment company Roc Nation, which was founded in 2008. In 2015, he acquired the tech company Aspiro and took charge of their media streaming service Tidal. Jay-Z is one of the world's best-selling music artists, with over 50 million albums and 75 million singles sold worldwide. He has won a total of 23 Grammy Awards, the most by a rapper, and holds the record for the most number-one albums by a solo artist on the Billboard 200, with 14. He has been ranked by Billboard and fellow music publication Rolling Stone as one of the 100 Greatest Artists of All Time. In 2017, he became the first rapper to be honored into the Songwriters Hall of Fame, and in 2018, received the commemorative "Salute to Industry Icons" award at the 60th Grammy Awards. In June 2019, Jay-Z officially became the first hip hop billionaire, making him among the wealthiest black Americans and the wealthiest American musician at the time. In December 2020, Jay-Z launched a line of cannabis products called "Monogram". In 2021, he was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, becoming the first living solo rapper to be inducted.

Opportunites with Deadlines

Competitive Advantage: The Consortium Undergraduate Program
Application Deadline: Friday, August 27

Don’t miss this amazing professional development opportunity for historically underrepresented minority students on your campus. The program is funded by corporate sponsors interested in filling internship slots with diverse talent. Additionally, students interested in graduate school will learn what it takes to get in. African American, Hispanic American and Native American sophomores, juniors, and seniors enrolled in any degree program with a 3.0 G.P.A. or higher. Program Dates: Friday, September 10 - Saturday, September 11, 2021. This is a virtual event. There is absolutely no cost to students. To apply: Application Link For more information:  Visit Our Website


Hiring Students for a Project Examining Equitable Interactions and Positive Attention in Racially/Ethnically Diverse Preschool Classrooms
Deadline to Apply: Friday, August 27

We are currently conducting a National Science Foundation funded, cross-site research collaboration with Worcester Polytechnic Institute and Boston University to examine early childhood classroom practices that support equity. We are currently looking to hire 3 students for 10 hours a week or 2 students for 15 hours a week for the 2021-2022 school year. Students will digitize videos of preschool classrooms and then learn and apply an equity observation tool to the videos. No prior experience necessary but a commitment to high quality work is a must. Pay is $15/hour. We are strongly committed to supporting diversity, equity, and inclusion in our student workforce and encourage applicants from diverse backgrounds to apply. Please send a letter of interest, your resume and two references to Brianna Lumpkin (   

This Week in Black History

 Did you know? August 28, 1955: 14-year-old Emmett Till was brutally murdered by three white men, becoming a “flashpoint in the civil rights movement.” Emmett Louis Till (July 25, 1941 – August 28, 1955) was a 14-year-old African American who was lynched in Mississippi in 1955, after being accused of offending a white woman in her family's grocery store. The brutality of his murder and the fact that his killers were acquitted drew attention to the long history of violent persecution of African Americans in the United States. Till posthumously became an icon of the civil rights movement. During summer vacation in August 1955, he was visiting relatives near Money, Mississippi, in the Mississippi Delta region. He spoke to 21-year-old Carolyn Bryant, the white married proprietor of a small grocery store there. Although what happened at the store is a matter of dispute, Till was accused of flirting with or whistling at Bryant. Till's interaction with Bryant, perhaps unwittingly, violated the unwritten code of behavior for a black male interacting with a white female in the Jim Crow-era South. Several nights after the incident in the store, Bryant's husband Roy and his half-brother J.W. Milam were armed when they went to Till's great-uncle's house and abducted Emmett. They took him away and beat and mutilated him, before shooting him in the head and sinking his body in the Tallahatchie River. Three days later, Till's body was discovered and retrieved from the river. Till's body was returned to Chicago where his mother insisted on a public funeral service with an open casket which was held at Roberts Temple Church of God in Christ. In September 1955, an all-white jury found Bryant and Milam not guilty of Till's murder. Protected against double jeopardy, the two men publicly admitted in a 1956 interview with Look magazine that they had killed Till. Till's murder was seen as a catalyst for the next phase of the civil rights movement. In December 1955, the Montgomery bus boycott began in Alabama and lasted more than a year, resulting eventually in a U.S. Supreme Court ruling that segregated buses were unconstitutional. Emmett Till Memorial Commission was established in the early 21st century.

Did you know? August 28, 2005: Hurricane Katrina made landfall in Louisiana. The storm, which devastated New Orleans, inordinately impacted many of the city’s black residents. Hurricane Katrina was a large Category 5 Atlantic hurricane that caused over 1,800 deaths and $125 billion in damage in late August 2005, particularly in the city of New Orleans and the surrounding areas. Katrina originated on August 23, 2005, as a tropical depression from the merger of a tropical wave and the remnants of Tropical Depression Ten. Early the following day, the depression intensified into a tropical storm as it headed generally westward toward Florida, strengthening into a hurricane two hours before making landfall at Hallandale Beach on August 25. Flooding, caused largely as a result of fatal engineering flaws in the flood protection system (levees) around the city of New Orleans, precipitated most of the loss of lives. The flooding also destroyed most of New Orleans's transportation and communication facilities, leaving tens of thousands of people who had not evacuated the city prior to landfall stranded with little access to food, shelter, or other basic necessities. The emergency response from federal, state, and local governments was widely criticized, resulting in the resignations of Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) director Michael D. Brown and New Orleans Police Department (NOPD) Superintendent Eddie Compass. Many other government officials were criticized for their responses, especially New Orleans Mayor Ray Nagin, Louisiana Governor Kathleen Blanco, and President George W. Bush, while several agencies, including the United States Coast Guard (USCG), National Hurricane Center (NHC), and National Weather Service (NWS), were commended for their actions. The NHC was especially applauded for providing accurate forecasts well in advance. Katrina was the earliest 11th named storm on record before being surpassed by Tropical Storm Kyle on August 14, 2020.

OAAA Announcements & Services

Black Friday
(Start Date: TBA) - 1:00 pm - LPJ Cultural Center #2 Dawson’s Row
Come & join us for food & fellowship!

OAAA Harambee I
Sunday, August 29 - 2:00 pm-4:00 pm - Ern Commons
Join first year students and Peer Advisors for this annual program. Meet OAAA Deans and make new friends! Refreshments.

Meet the OAAA Deans and Staff
Monday, August 30 – 12:00 pm; Thursday, September 2 – 12:30 pm; & Wednesday, September 8 - 1:00 - OAAA Main Conference Room -- #4 Dawson's Row
Come to an informal open-house at OAAA to meet the deans, staff, and find out what services are available this year. Lunch provided!

OAAA/GradSTAR Lunch Series: Tuesdays @ DuBois (2nd & 4th)
Every Tuesdays (Starting September 7) – 12:00-2:00 pm - W.E.B. DuBois Conference Rm #2 Dawson’s Row
Join Dean Antoinette Thomas for lunch and conversation. Space is limited. You must RSVP to reserve your spot.


OAAA Tutoring for Fall 2021 Contact: Dean Thomas for more information

OAAA tutors meeting dates & times via Zoom:

Calculus & Statistics Tutoring

Organic Chemistry Tutoring

Chemistry Tutoring

Biology Tutoring



Contact: Dean Mason for more information on:

  • Black College Women (BCW) Book Club
  • Black Male Initiative (BMI)
  • Black President’s Council (BPC)
  • Black College Women (BCW) - In the Company of my Sister

Upcoming Events

Fellowships Series
There are awards for students at all stages (undergraduate, graduate, professional) – and even alumni. It is never too early to start learning about these opportunities. Special events and sessions with unique times or locations are marked with asterisks (*) below.

*ONLINE* Fulbright for the Daring (or Last-Minute)
Monday, August 23 – 4:00 pm-5:00 pm – Rotunda Multipurpose Room (121)

A year abroad to research, pursue graduate study, or teach English. This is specifically geared toward the fourth year, graduate student, or alumni, who may have only recently found out about the Fulbright US Student Award and wants to consider submitting an application for the fall. The session itself will only go over UVA’s internal process and then open up to Q&A. Attendees are expected to watch a recording of the Fulbright Program Overview, Introduction to Study/Research OR Introduction to English Teaching Assistant webinar in advance of the session.  Register here

Foreign Service Awards (Payne, Pickering, & Rangel)
Monday, August 30 – 4:00 pm-5:00 pm – Rotunda Multipurpose Room (121)

Interested in a career with the State Department or USAID? This session will highlight opportunities to get involved with each agency’s Foreign Service with an emphasis on the Payne, Pickering, and Rangel, which provide a professional pathway, fund a master’s degree, and provide relevant internship opportunities.

Gilman Scholarship Information Session
Monday, September 6 – 4:00 pm-5:00 pm – Rotunda Multipurpose Room (121)

The Gilman Scholarship Program awards up to $5,000 for students to intern or study abroad, and there is up to $3,000 in supplemental funding for students studying a critical need language. Must be eligible for a Pell Grant or the dependent child of an active-duty military member to apply.

Introductory Workshop
Monday, September 13 – 4:00 pm-5:00 pm – Rotunda Multipurpose Room (121)

Don’t know what fellowships are? Wondering what the point of pursuing any of them might be? Come enjoy a chance to envision yourself as an applicant for these incredible opportunities. This workshop is most appropriate for first and second years or older students who have yet to be exposed to the Office of Citizen Scholar Development.

Truman Scholarship Information Session
Monday, September 20 – 4:00 pm-5:00 pm – Rotunda Multipurpose Room (121)

Are you a dynamic leader? An activist dedicated to positive change? Committed to public service? If you answered 'yes' to any of those questions, you should consider the Truman Scholarship, which provides $30,000 toward graduate school and access to a network of incredible leaders. Come even if you aren’t sure about the graduate school part. Apply as a third year.

Goldwater Scholarship Information Session
Monday, September 27 – 4:00 pm-5:00 pm – Rotunda Multipurpose Room (121)

Do you love research? Are you considering pursuing research science, mathematics, or engineering as a career? Are you simply a STEM student and want to at least explore an exciting opportunity? Come learn about the award and the process for nomination by the University of Virginia. Apply as a second or third year – so first years should definitely come!

Undergraduate Research and Creative Inquiry Series
Every 1st and 3rd Wednesday – 4:00 pm – Clemons Library Room 204

We will have a workshop to support undergraduate research and creative inquiry. Every first Wednesday is a session entitled, ‘Getting Started in research and creative inquiry.’ Schedule: (full schedule to be posted by September)