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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

“Swipe or No Swipe: Trivia Tuesdays"

At this point in the semester many of you are either low on or completely out of meal swipes. With this in mind, OAAA is providing our students a new and fun way to win a gift card. We introduce to you “Swipe or No Swipe: Trivia Tuesdays.” Make sure to pay attention to your emails because on Tuesdays we will be sending out trivia questions. In order to win the prize you must answer the question correctly and fast. There will be a link provided in the email for you to submit your answers. You will be able to find the answers mostly from information in the E-Weekly. However, at points throughout the semester there may be a few questions that are about OAAA staff or random trivia questions. You will need to be on top of your game! Once answers are submitted, the two people who submitted the correct answer with the fastest timestamp will be deemed the winners. We will contact the winners via email. Winners will receive a gift card to help towards a food purchase. Remember to pay close attention to the OAAA E-Weekly each week because there might be a hint about the Trivia Question of the Week. Good luck and have fun! 


The Office of African-American Affairs (OAAA) is on FACEBOOK!

LIKE US to keep up-to-date with events and more info about OAAA!




Fall 2021 Academic Calendar

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

November 24  November 28: Thanksgiving recess

December 7:   Courses end

December 8:   Reading Day



Quote of the Week

“The colour of the skin is in no way connected with strength of the mind or intellectual powers.” – Benjamin Banneker

Spotlight on Student Achievements

Faculty & Staff Spotlight:   Jeffery Smith, Assistant Dean

Jeffery Clayton Smith, II joined the Office of African American Affairs in January 2017. He is a newly appointed Assistant Dean in OAAA. During his time in OAAA, he has worked with the OAAA Student at Risk Intervention Program by assisting in connecting the students to the Deans to receive additional resources and advisement to help them successfully matriculate through their studies at UVA. He believes that not even one student should be left without the support they need to meet their goals. Dean Smith is assigned to the fourth year class and is available to advise, shepherd, and assist each student as they finish their academic studies and prepare for life beyond UVA. He is excited to build relationships with students and help them as they navigate establishing purpose and identity.  In 2010, he graduated from Liberty University with a Bachelor’s of Science in Information Systems, in 2016 received a Master’s in Christian Ministry and in 2020 received a Doctorate of Ministry in Biblical Counseling from Andersonville Theological Seminary. He is also a licensed Minster and ordained Pastor.  After graduating from Liberty University in 2010, Dean Smith began his career in Students Affairs at Liberty University in the Dean of Students office where he worked for six years. While working as the Assistant Director of Administrative support, Dean Smith oversaw all administrative and fiscal duties for five various departments under the Dean of Students.  He is currently pursuing a Doctor of Education in Community Care & Counseling. Dean Smith is eager to get to work in this new capacity and looks forward to the opportunities that lie ahead as he serves students through OAAA and the wider University community.


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

  Benjamin Banneker (November 9, 1731 – October 19, 1806) was a free African-American almanac author, surveyor, landowner and farmer who had knowledge of mathematics and natural history. Born in Baltimore County, Maryland, to a free African-American woman and a former slave, Banneker had little or no formal education and was largely self-taught. He became known for assisting Major Andrew Ellicott in a survey that established the original borders of the District of Columbia, the federal capital district of the United States. In 1752, Banneker attracted attention by building a clock entirely out of wood. The first ever built in America, it kept precise time for decades. Banneker's knowledge of astronomy helped him author a commercially successful series of almanacs, which he published annually from 1791 to 1802. He corresponded with Thomas Jefferson then secretary of state on the topics of slavery and racial equality, Abolitionists and advocates of racial equality promoted and praised Banneker's works. Although a fire on the day of Banneker's funeral destroyed many of his papers and belongings, one of his journals and several of his remaining artifacts are presently available for public viewing. The names of parks, schools and streets commemorate him and his works.

Opportunites with Deadlines

Associate Community Organizer
Positions begins: Monday, January 10, Monday, May 9, and Monday, August 8, 2022

Starting salary $40,500/year + benefits. Positions open in: Florida: Fort Lauderdale, Fort Myers, Jacksonville, Manatee County, Miami, Sarasota, St. Petersburg, Tampa; Kansas: Lawrence, Wyandotte County, Johnson County; Kentucky: Lexington; South Carolina: Charleston, Columbia; Virginia: Charlottesville, Richmond; Lead Community Organizer / Executive Director positions begin Fall 2021 in: Florida: Brevard County, Sarasota; Kansas: Wyandotte County. DART organizations are diverse coalitions that include communities of color, low-to-moderate-income communities and immigrant communities. We strongly encourage people from these backgrounds, as well as fluent Spanish speakers and DACA recipients, to apply. To apply or learn more about DART, visit or find us on Instagram and Facebook @theDARTcenter. Still have questions? Contact Moe or (602) 510-4658.

Ridley Scholarship Fund Awards Available to Non-Ridley Students Available
Ridley scholarships that extend beyond current scholars:

Ravenell “Ricky” Keller III Memorial Fund
Deadline for Spring 2022: Monday, November 15, 2021

The Ravenell (Ricky) Keller III Scholarship Award was established to perpetuate the memory of Ravenell “Ricky” Keller. Ricky was a 1985 Honors graduate of the College, where he was a member of Kappa Alpha Psi Fraternity, Inc., the IMP Society of Leaders, the University Guide Service and the Board of Trustees for the Class of 1985. Upon his passing, it became known that he was also a member of the Seven Society. Ricky participated in the First Years Seminars program and received the First Year Academic Achievement Award, the Afro-American Scholars Award, the Fraternity Leadership Achievement Award, and the John Kenneth Crispell Memorial Award. He participated in the Study Abroad Program, which afforded him the opportunity to study at the London School of Economics. The Keller Scholarship is available to all African-American UVA students who qualify. Students are eligible to receive a one-time grant to supplement a study abroad experience during a semester, summer or J-term.

National Outdoor Leadership School (NOLS)
Students have the opportunity to embark on a fully funded wilderness expedition, and leadership training through the NOLS Gateway partnership. Since its founding in 1965, the National Outdoor Leadership School has aimed to provide the environment and training necessary to help participants discover their full leadership potential. Through the NOLS Gateway partnership, the organization has had the opportunity to collaborate with organizations across the country to award full-tuition scholarships to exceptional youth who would otherwise not have access to NOLS expeditions. Each summer, up to 150 youth from up to 50 official partner organizations expand their leadership and wilderness skills at one of NOLS' seven domestic operating locations. Thousands of Gateway Partner Program graduates are now leading others in industries from conservation to software development.

Ridley-Sabato Capitol Hill Internship Stipend (Not Yet Awarded)
At least one student will be provided with a $5000 stipend as they pursue experiential learning in the fields of politics, government, and public service. The intent of this stipends is to relieve some of the financial burden associated with the acceptance of a political or governmental internship, and as such, recipients may use it to cover housing, transportation, food and business clothing expenses associated with said internships.

Richmond Ridley Clarence Cain Endowed Fund
The Ridley Club of Richmond, Virginia sponsors a full tuition-and-fees award for an exceptional African-American student from the Richmond, Virginia area. This scholarship has been the result of the collective efforts of Richmond area alumni and businesses, and will provide four years of financial support for one of the Richmond area’s best scholars. Richmond area alumni continue to raise funds toward this geographic scholarship – the first of its kind for the Ridley Fund – and encourage others to support this effort.

Michael Russell Engineering Scholarship
In 2007, School of Engineering and Applied Science alum Michael Russell of Atlanta, GA established a scholarship fund for African-Americans pursuing a degree in the School of Engineering and Applied Science at UVA. They are expected to possess the leadership and scholarship qualities that typify all Ridley Scholars.


The Gregory Ledford Endowed Fund
In 2007, McIntire School of Commerce graduate Gregory Ledford established the Gregory Ledford Endowed Scholarship to benefit a rising third year African-American Commerce School student. This scholarship provides full tuition-and-fees for two years for an African-American student who has been admitted to the School of Commerce. Preference is given for students concentrating in Finance. The chosen scholar must have a high grade point average and must demonstrate involvement in University, community or other individual extracurricular pursuits.

The Sylvia V. Terry Scholarship
Named for legendary OAAA Dean Sylvia Terry, the Terry Scholarship recognizes the scholastic and community achievements of Black or African-American students at UVA. The scholarship provides two years of full tuition-and-fees support for the recipient. Ideal applicants are rising Third Year students with strong grades, leadership activities, and community service. Because of Dean Terry’s pivotal role in creating the Peer Advisor Program, preference is given to academically strong candidates with significant experience as mentors. 

The Dr. Derek E. Brown Scholarship 
The Dr. Derek E. Brown Scholarship was created to remember Dr. Brown’s dream of helping African-American male students seeking admission to medical or dental school.  This award is designed to help qualified male students defray the high cost of applying to medical or dental school. Ridley is currently in the process of restructuring this award to benefit recent UVA graduates.

The Paige Pre-Medical Fund
This scholarship is designed to help pre-med students defray the high cost of applying to medical school. The applicant must be a fourth-year African American student at the University of Virginia who has taken all pre-medical requirements and the MCAT. Applicants must be planning to enter medical school immediately after graduating. One winner will receive a $1,500 scholarship (non-renewable), which they may use to pay for medical school application fees and interview expenses.

Annetta Thompson Fund
Family and friends honored the life of the first full-time administrator for the Walter N. Ridley Scholarship Fund by establishing this fund in 1999. The Annetta Thompson Scholarship is awarded to a deserving 4th-year Ridley scholar who exemplifies Annetta Thompson’s commitment to education. Annetta Thompson received her bachelor’s degree in education from UVA in 1973. She valued the role of education and the importance of creating opportunities for young people pursuing an education. Annetta’s hard work and diligence during her tenure as the fund administrator contributed to the tremendous growth and success of the Ridley Fund.

This Week in Black History

 Did you know? Colin Luther Powell (April 5, 1937 – October 18, 2021), former four-star general, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, secretary of state and national security adviser died today, Monday, October 18, 2021, due to complications of Covid-19. Mr. Powell had undergone treatment for multiple myeloma, which compromised his immune system. He was vaccinated and being treated at Walter Reed National Military Medical Center, in Bethesda, Md., where he died. Born on April 5, 1937, parents, Luther and Maud Powell, immigrated to the United States from Jamaica. He was a professional soldier for 35 years, during which time he held many command and staff positions and rose to the rank of four-star general. He was Commander of the U.S. Army Forces Command in 1989. Powell's last assignment, from October 1989 to September 1993, was as the 12th chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, the highest military position in the Department of Defense. During this time, he oversaw 28 crises, including the invasion of Panama in 1989 and Operation Desert Storm in the Persian Gulf War against Iraq in 1990–1991. He was the 65th United States Secretary of State, serving under Republican President George W. Bush. In 1995, Powell wrote his autobiography, My American Journey, and then in retirement another book, It Worked for Me, Lessons in Life and Leadership (2012). He pursued a career as a public speaker, addressing audiences across the country and abroad. Prior to his appointment as Secretary of State, Powell was the chairman of America's Promise – The Alliance for Youth, a national nonprofit organization dedicated to mobilizing people from every sector of American life to build the character and competence of young people. He won numerous U.S. and foreign military awards and decorations. His civilian awards included the Presidential Medal of Freedom (twice), the Congressional Gold Medal, the Presidential Citizens Medal, the Secretary of State Distinguished Service Medal, and the Secretary of Energy Distinguished Service Medal. Several schools and other institutions were named in his honor and he held honorary degrees from universities and colleges across the country. In 2016, while not a candidate for that year's election, he received three electoral votes from Washington for the office of President of the United States. 



 Did you know?  October 21, 1989 On this day, Bertram M. Lee and Peter C.B. Bynoe became the first African-American owners of a professional basketball team. Lee and Bynoe purchased the Denver Nuggets for $65 million. Both gentleman residing from Chicago with the help of investors were able to put up $8 million dollars giving them 37.5% ownership of team. Bynoe is currently the CEO of Rewards Network and Lee unfortunately has passed away due to a brain aneurysm. A powerful message Lee left behind is “As African Americans, in these kind[s] of transactions, one of the things we fight is the tendency for people to think we need all sorts or crutches; There are no subsidies here. But then I’ve always said that if we’re given a level playing field, and access to capital, we can do as much as anyone.”



Did you know? October 23, 1947, On this day in history, the NAACP led by W.E.B DuBois, sent a petition to the United Nations, “An appeal to the World,” to bring attention to the ongoing acts of racial discrimination against people of color. Unfortunately, the U.N. rejected the appeal made by DuBois which further exhibits the struggles faced by African Americans for voices to be heard. Though his petition was rejected his message within it lives on, stating, “We appeal to the world to witness that this attitude of America is far more dangerous to mankind than the Atom bomb; and far, far more clamorous for attention than disarmament or treaty


OAAA Announcements & Services

OAAA Black Male Initiative Meeting
Monday, October 25 – 12:00 pm-1:00 pm – WEB DuBois Conference Room Dawson’s Row #2
RSVP is required for this event. Lunch provided.

OAAA/GradSTAR Lunch Series: Tuesdays @ DuBois
Every 2nd & 4th Tuesday – 12:00 pm-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.


Black Fridays
Every Friday - 1:30 pm - W.E.B. DuBois Conference Rm #2 Dawson’s Row
Come & join us for food & fellowship!


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

OAAA tutors meeting dates & times via In-Person & Zoom

OAAA Calculus & Statistics Tutoring with Travis Elliott
Tuesdays – 1:00 pm-3:30 pm – (in person) W.E.B. DuBois Conference Room #2 Dawson’s Row
Thursdays – 2:00 pm-4:30 pm – Zoom Room Passcode: 082999

OAAA Chemistry Tutoring with Yvette Gamor
Thursdays - 5:00 pm-7:00 pm – (in person) W.E.B. DuBois Conference Room #2 Dawson’s Row
Email for Zoom appointments if needed.

OAAA Biology & Chemistry Tutoring with Kamryn Crowder
Tuesdays – 11:00 am-1:00 pm – (in person) W.E.B. DuBois Conference Room #2 Dawson’s Row
Email for Zoom appointments if needed

OAAA Organic Chemistry Tutoring with Heran Tadesse
Mondays – 12:00 pm-2:00 pm – (in person) W.E.B. DuBois Conference Room #2 Dawson’s Row
Email for Zoom appointments if needed 



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

The Body Positive Team at the Women’s Center Presents: Gloria Lucas, founder of Nalgona Positivity Pride
Tuesday, October 19 – 5:30 pm-7:00 pm – REGISTER

The Body Positive Team at the Women’s Center is excited to announce that we will be bringing Gloria Lucas, founder of Nalgona Positivity Pride to UVA, virtually to give a talk on Historical Trauma and Eating Disorders. For the past 30 years, eating disorders have been represented as a white, middle-class phenomenon. Due to the lack of representation of people of color and indigenous populations with troubled eating have suffered from high rates of undiagnosed conditions, inaccessible treatment, and culturally insensitive practices. In this presentation, participants will have the ability to evaluate eating disorders through a social justice lens that centers the experiences of people of color and indigenous descent people. Participants will learn about historical trauma, and the legacies of colonialism on self-esteem, body-image, and food

Fall 2021 UVA URNTalks Presenters
Wednesday, October 20 – 11:59 pm (EST)

URNTalks are biweekly student-run research discussion forums organized by the Undergraduate Research Network. These forums are an opportunity for students to talk about their research while also gaining valuable experiences preparing and presenting their work. Research talks from all disciplines are encouraged! Want to be a presenter at one of the upcoming URNTalks meetings, use this link to Sign Up. For More Information. Contact:Jules Tsanang

UVA URNTalks Presenters
Sign up by: Wednesday, October 27 by 11:59 pm – Use this link to Sign Up

URNTalks are biweekly student-run research discussion forums organized by the Undergraduate Research Network. These forums are an opportunity for students to talk about their research while also gaining valuable experiences preparing and presenting their work. Research talks from all disciplines are encouraged! Want to be a presenter at one of the upcoming URNTalks meetings? For information more. Contact Name: Jules Tsanang 


VCU BSDP Virtual Open House
Tuesday, November 9 – 4:00 pm-6:00 pm (EST) -- Register Here

The Biomedical Sciences Doctoral Portal (BSDP) at Virginia Commonwealth University is hosting a virtual open house and we would like to invite you to join us. The BSDP oversees admissions for and recruits students into six Ph.D. programs within the School of Medicine. During the open house, Dr. Roxann Roberson-Nay, Assistant Dean for Graduate Recruitment and Admissions, will introduce the BSDP; the six Program Directors will provide information about their programs; you will have the opportunity to engage with students from each of the six programs in separate breakout rooms; and there will be plenty of time for questions.

Mindfulness Meetups
Mondays (Now - Dec 6) – 7:00-8:00 pm & Fridays (Now – Dec 3) -- 10:00 am-11:00 am

We welcome all UVA undergraduate and graduate students to join one of our Mindfulness Meetup groups co-hosted by CSC and CAPS. Groups meet for one hour each week to learn about and practice mindfulness in a safe and supportive space. Currently, groups meet on Mondays and Fridays. New dates and times available based on student input. Learn more and register


Breath and Body Work for Brothers
Mondays – 7:00 pm-8:00 pm (EST) -- Register

On Zoom or in-person in McLeod Room 2010 Instructor: Carringon Kernodle Learn more Contact: Kimberly Vo


One-On-One Office Hours Sign-Up
Tuesdays – 9:00 am-11:30 am EST & Wednesdays – 1:00 pm-3:30 pm EST with Ryan Sherman, Academic Coordinator / Tuesdays & Wednesdays 9 AM - 12 PM EST with Jessica Livingston, Direction of Student Affairs
Meet with us to discuss our majors and get specific questions answered about transfer credits, academic requirements, recommended courses and more

Peer Financial Counseling Available!
Tuesday-Thursday – 1:00 pm-5:00 pm – Georges Student Center Room 245

Peer Financial Counseling offers all UVA students one-on-one help from trained peer counselors on a variety of topics including budgeting, student loans, personal credit, basic investing, and more. Our counselors understand the stresses that come with being a college student and want to help you better manage those factors while in school. Write to us at to schedule an appointment! For More Information! Contact Name: Dustin Ciraco


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)

Santosha for Sisters
Wednesdays – 7:00 pm-8:00pm (ET) -- Register
On Zoom or in-person in McLeod Room 2010 Instructor: Carringon Kernodle  Learn more  Contact Name: Kimberly Vo

Yoga Book Club: Bhagavad Gita
Most Fridays through the fall -- 9:00 am-10:00 am (ET)

Join the Contemplative Sciences Center’s (CSC) all-level discussion of the Bhagavad Gita, an ancient Indian text covering the underlying philosophy of classical yoga practices. No prior experience with the text is required. You may drop in on any session. Discussions, led by CSC’s John Bultman. Free and open to the public. Learn more and register Contact Name: Kimberly Vo


Connect with the School of Education and Human Development (EHD) – Zoom and In Person Opportunities!
EHD offers majors that lead to careers in teaching, public health, speech pathology and audiology, research, education policy and more. Connect with us by signing up for our mailing list or attend one of the upcoming events.

Walking Tour Sign Up
Open to current students, prospective students and families – get a tour of our buildings and meet with one of our EHD Student Ambassadors! Sign Up Here!


UVA Mutual Aid Free Store
Donate Today!

UVA Mutual Aid has created a radical community of care at UVA since it’s inception in March of 2020. As we implement our broader goals for Mutual Aid at UVA, the next step in our journey is to create a free store with resources. The free store will include clothes, healthcare products and more for all university students and workers. Follow us for updates and to join us in galvanizing change towards an equitable UVA. Please donate and share today! For more information. Contact Name: Sarandon Elliott