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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

Graduating Fourth-Years – remember to check your UVA email to RSVP
for the 15th Annual Donning of the Kente program on Friday, May 17th!

In addition to the Donning, each year the program contains a TRIBUTE to the graduating class. The Black Leadership Institute
would like to open up the opportunity for a member of the class of 2019 to give a speech during their ceremony on Friday, May 17, 2019.
All 4th years that are participating in the ceremony are eligible to enter one speech for consideration.
The speech should be no longer than 5 minutes and if chosen the student must deliver it during the ceremony.

Email your speech to Ms. Comfort at by Tuesday, April 9th at 5 pm.



Information and applications are on line now for the 2019-2020

OAAA / GradSTAR Faculty-Student Mentoring Program!

Student Application Deadline: Monday, April 29 at 5:00 pm


The Office of African-American Affairs is on FACEBOOK! LIKE US to keep up-to-date with events and more info about OAAA!



Mark Your Calendar

Tuesday, April 30 – Courses end

Wednesday, May 1 – Reading Day  

Thursday, May 2 – Friday, May 10 – Examinations

Sunday, May 5; Wednesday, May 8 – Reading Days

Friday, May 17 – OAAA 15th Annual Donning of the Kente Program, Old Cabell Hall (tickets needed)

Friday, May 17 – Sunday, May 19 – Final Exercises Weekend

Quote of the Week

 “A lot of people are waiting for Martin Luther King or Mahatma Gandhi to come back - but they are gone. We are it. It is up to us. It is up to you.

—Marian Wright Edelman, Writer, Civil Rights Activist, Lawyer (1939– )

Spotlight on Student Achievements

Faculty Spotlight

 Njelle Hamilton is an assistant professor in the Department of English and an affiliated faculty member of the Carter G. Woodson Institute for African and African-American Studies at UVA. Her scholarship and teaching engage with narrative innovations in contemporary Caribbean literatures Her  forthcoming book, Phonographic Memories: Popular Music and the Contemporary Caribbean Novel (Rutgers 2019), investigates the relationship between popular music and memory. She has published articles on calypso, dub, trauma, relativity, and Indo-Trinidadian feminism. On Grounds, she has taught several related courses, including Musical Fictions, Currents in African Literature, Narrating the Caribbean and  Marcus, Marley, and McKay: From Jamaica to the World.

Quote's Corner

 Marian Wright Edelman is best known for her legal advocacy on behalf of African-Americans during and after the Civil Rights Movement. She is the founder and president of the Children’s Defense Fund. Edelman was born June 6, 1939, in Bennettsville, South Carolina. She graduated valedictorian of her class at Spelman College in Atlanta, then attended Yale Law School.   After graduation, she was a lawyer for the NAACP, and became the first African-American woman to pass the bar exam in Mississippi. In addition to her legal career, she has written many inspirational and academic works on behalf of children and racial inequality, including The Measure of our Success (1992), I Can Make a Difference (2005), and The Sea is So Wide, and My Boat is So Small (2008). She also helped establish the Head Start program. A member of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc. Edelman received an honorary doctorate from La Salle University in May 2018.

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



Opportunites with Deadlines

Summer Coaches/Mentors Needed for UVA Pilot STEM Program
Application Review starts: Monday, April 8

Professor Jim Rolf will direct this 6 week summer program to help undergrads with math instruction. You will work 6-10 hours a week in teams via video conferencing and participate in weekly coaches’ meetings. You do not need to be on grounds during the program period—all you need is internet connectivity and to dedicate the time. In addition to your work as a coach and mentor, you can help shape the program for future years. This is an exciting new project looking for student input! $12 per hour. To apply, visit: For questions, contact  


The Z Society Gilbert J. Sullivan Internship Application

Application Deadline: Saturday, April 27 at 11:37 pm (Second Round)

All returning undergraduates are eligible to apply for a $2,000 scholarship to support an internship that is otherwise unattainable due to financial constraints. The scholarship application is attached in this email. Students should submit any questions or applications to

Madison House Summer Volunteering

Will you be here in Charlottesville for at least 3 weeks this summer? Are you interested in getting more involved with the Charlottesville community? Consider volunteering this summer! Whether you are taking a class, doing research or you live here, take the opportunity to get more involved with our community. There are many different sites starting at just 1 hour a week! Applications are open now! View our website for more information about sites open and application information. Please contact Caroline Hallowellat with any questions.

Summer Paid Internships: UVA President’s Commission on the University in the Age of Segregation (1865-1965)

Four internships available. Advanced undergraduate or graduate students, with a background in American history, will work with the President’s Commission doing archival research, document photographing, and professional transcription/editing of historical documents (training provided). Interns should demonstrate strong organizational and analytic skills, ability to work independently, and write clearly. These internships pay $10/r. for undergrads, $15/hr. for graduate students (up to 300 hours). To apply visit:

Summer Interns Needed: Jefferson’s University – The Early Life Project 1819-1870 (JUEL)

Apply for three internship positions doing digital history, website development and archival research. Advanced undergraduate or graduate students with background in American history are encouraged to apply. Interns will work with the Jefferson's University: The Early Life project team. They will create and expand a UVA Institute for Advanced Technology in the Humanities (IATH)-sponsored digital humanities archive and website on the early history of the UVA. These internships pay $10/hour (up to 300 hours).  At the end of the summer, the intern will understand the technical processes involved in the digital humanities and the early history of UVA .Visit: for details.

Post-Grad Fellowships for Environmental Work: RAY Fellowship and Meridian Institute Fellowship

The Meridian Institute Ruckelshaus Fellowship provides the next generation of public policy leaders with the skills to support collaboration on complex and controversial problems. The Fellowship is a two-year, full-time position. Selected Fellows will begin work in summer 2019 at either Meridian’s Dillon, CO, or Washington, DC locations. The Roger Arliner Young (RAY) Conservation Diversity Fellowship focuses on increasing opportunities for people of color to learn about, engage with, and enter the environmental conservation NGO sector. Visit  or contact Kiera Givens for more information.

This Week in Black History

Did you know…?  Phillis Wheatley was only 12 when she became the first female African American author to be published. Despite Phillis Wheatley’s fame, we know surprisingly little about her early life. She was taken from her home in Africa when she was seven or eight, and sold to the Wheatley family in Boston. The family taught her to read and write, and encouraged her to write poetry as soon as they witnessed her talent. In 1773, Phillis published her first poem and her work was praised by high-ranking members of society, including, George Washington. Shortly after her poems were first published, the family that owned Wheatley emancipated her. Unfortunately, her life took a turn from there, especially after the deaths of many of the Wheatleys, who had supported her. Poverty stricken, she fell ill and died at the age of 31.



Did you know…? Octavia E. Butler (1947-2006) was dyslexic, yet she became the first science-fiction writer to receive a MacArthur Fellowship. This was one of many awards she received for her work over her 40 + year long career. Butler was raised primarily by her mother and grandmother, after the early death of her father. A shy child whose dyslexia made her feel stupid, Butler took to hiding out in the library in her hometown of Pasadena, California. There, she discovered iconic science fiction magazines that sparked her desire to write. By the age of 12, she was at work on a story that would become the basis of one of her major science-fiction series. Seventeen years later, she published her first book, Patternmaster.

Black History collage

OAAA Announcements & Services

“Raising-the-Bar 4.0” Study / Tutoring Sessions & OAAA Student Activities –


“Raising-the-Bar 4.0” Study Sessions with OAAA Peer Advisors - Spring 2019
Every Sunday through Thursday – 4:00-8:00 pm – LPJ Cultural Center

Calculus Tutoring
Every Tuesday & Thursday – 4:00 pm-6:30 pm – W.E.B DuBois Center Conference Room. #2 Dawson’s Row.  

OAAA Biology & Chemistry Tutoring
Every Thursday – 2:00-4:00 pm - W.E.B. DuBois Center Conference Room (Chemistry)
Every Thursday – 4:00-6:00 pm - LPJ Black Cultural Center (Biology)

Spanish Peer Tutoring
Every Monday – 7:00 pm-8:00 pm – LPJ Black Cultural Center and by appointment
For questions, contact Melvin Walker (
RTB 4.0 – It’s Not Just for First Years’ Anymore!

Black Fridays
Every Friday – 1:30 pm - LPJ Black Cultural Center #3 Dawson’s Row

Come & join us for food & fellowship! 

Black College Women (BCW) Book Club Meetings
Every Second & Fourth Sunday -6:30 pm – Maury 113

Black President’s Council (BPC) Meetings
Every Second & Fourth Monday - 6:30 pm – Newcomb Hall Board Rm 376

Black College Women (BCW) - In the Company of my Sister
Every Wednesday - 12:00 pm - W.E.B Dubois Center Conference Room. Contact: Dean Mason ( for more Information

Black Male Initiative (BMI) Meetings
Every Second & Fourth Wednesday – 6:30 pm – Newcomb Hall – Commonwealth Room




Upcoming Events

Upcoming Events at UVA (All events are free and open to the public unless otherwise noted.)

Black Monologues 2019 –Don’t Miss It!
Thursday, April 12 – Saturday, April 14th – 7:00 pm – The Helms Theatre
The theme for the 2019 production is An Exploration of Power. The event is FREE. Contact: Anna Taylor

Who Am I Without the Ball? Black Male Student Athletes Pursuing Purpose
Tuesday, April 9 - 12:30 pm-2:00 pm - Bavaro 116, Holloway Hall

The role of sports in the lives of Black males has deep historical roots. The goal of this talk is to share insights about the experiences of Black males in sports and ways to promote their college and career readiness. Sponsored by the Center for Race and Public Education in the South.

Walter N. Ridley Annual Lecture: My Story & Research about Disability Identity, Perceptions of Disability and Empowerment with Anjali Forber-Pratt, Ph.D., Vanderbilt University
Tuesday, April 16 – 3:30 pm-5:00 pm – Bavaro 116, Holloway Hall

Dr. Anjali Forber-Pratt will share elements of her unique story as a wheelchair user, two-time Paralympian and an adopted woman of color. In her work, she centers disability as an aspect of diversity and will share insights from her research related to disability identity development. Moderated by Associate Professor Stanley Trent, Curry School of Education and Human Development. RSVP

Fellowships Series – Office of Citizen Scholarship Development
Every Monday – 4:00 pm - Rotunda Multipurpose Room 121

Attend introductory workshops every month, which are great for first and second year students, and are the best first touchpoint with the Office of Citizen Scholarship Development. There are a number of sessions dedicated to fellowships that have deadlines in the fall. It is important that students consider opportunities early so that they can take prepare and take advantage of summer advising programs. Third and fourth years, graduate and professional students, and area alumni can attend sessions on the UK Awards, Asia Awards, and the Fulbright US Student Award this spring. For more information

BHM 2019: “Everyday People: Images of Blackness, 1700s-2000s” Exhibition
Now through Saturday, April 20 - Albert and Shirley Small Special Collections Library 1st Floor Gallery

A Black History Month 2019 exhibition, “Everyday People: Images of Blackness, 1700s-2000s,” features select anonymous and familiar African-American images at the University of Virginia’s Albert and Shirley Small Special Collections Library’s first floor gallery. The exhibit has four themes: “Faces,” “Family & Community,” “Recreation & Travel” and “Working Lives.” Emblematic individuals of change and transition in this cultural curation include athletes, children, couples, families, slaves, soldiers, students, and wage earners. Free and open to the public.

Learning In Action Public Service at UVA
Learning in Action is the front door to public service at the University of Virginia! It connects students, faculty, and community partners to social entrepreneurship, community engagement, and co–curricular service opportunities. There are also resources that direct users to specific programs and offices based on individual interest. Currently, the Community Service Committee of Student Council and Student Affairs Community Engagement group are responsible for all content.

In the Community

Hard Conversations: Introduction to Racism
Now until Friday, April 26
Live Seminars on April 2, 9, 16, and 23 (8:00 pm-9:15 pm)

This is a month-long online seminar program hosted by authors, speakers, and social justice activists Patti Digh and Victor Lee Lewis, who want to help people understand the reality of racism by telling their stories and sharing their resources. There are two learning spaces for this course: An online classroom and weekly live seminars. Content and course details will be delivered to your email daily. For details, contact