U.Va. Black Alumni: An open letter to the Class of 2021

Our thoughts and prayers are with you as you make your place at U.Va.

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It is important to remember that despite the events of the last weekend, you can always find a home at the University.

Courtesy UVA Black Alumni

To the Class of 2021,

Congratulations on being accepted to the University of Virginia, the number two public university in the nation. This place will become your home away from home as you form bonds with fellow classmates and build your academic knowledge to be the change you wish to see in the future. You are not here by happenstance, you deserve to be here!

As former students, we know the angst you must be experiencing as you make last minute preparations for your move on grounds. We are sure that recent events have not only increased your anxiety but perhaps caused you to question attending the University. It's important to note that while these events are egregious in nature they are not completely unprecedented. While attending a public university in the south, each of us as Black Alumni has experienced or witnessed racism and prejudice. We were able to triumph over each situation through the help of the University, alumni and most importantly, through our relationships with one another in a community filled with love and support. However, the magnitude of this particular event is quite uncommon and requires immediate attention. Racism, prejudice and discrimination are not values honored by the University, nor are they accepted by its students, faculty, staff or alumni. Even though you are just beginning your time at the University, you are in fact entering that same community of love and support we once inhabited.

We want you to know that the faculty, staff, alumni and the Charlottesville community are part of your support network throughout your journey at the University and beyond. As students of the Class of 2021, you will have experiences which are unique to your time at the University and will shape the fabric of how this school moves into the future. Our thoughts and prayers are with you as you make your place in the University and lastly, our thoughts and prayers are with those that may have been injured or lost loved ones through the acts violence in Charlottesville.

With Respect and Love,

UVA Black Alumni Family #HoosAgainstHate #OurUniversity #WeAreCharlottesville

“It is our duty to fight for our freedom. It is our duty to win. We must love each other and support each other. We have nothing to lose but our chains.” Assata Shakur

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