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LETTER: An open letter to students of color at U.Va.

During this time of need, we have crafted a statement of love and solidarity for communities of color at U.Va.

<p>We are The 43 Society, a secret society on Grounds dedicated to supporting and uplifting students and staff of color who work tirelessly for equity and fellowship at the University.&nbsp;</p>

We are The 43 Society, a secret society on Grounds dedicated to supporting and uplifting students and staff of color who work tirelessly for equity and fellowship at the University. 

Dear University community, 

"We are each other's harvest, we are each other's business, we are each other's

magnitude and bond," Gwendolyn Brooks said. 

We are The 43 Society, a secret society on Grounds dedicated to supporting and uplifting

students and staff of color who work tirelessly for equity and fellowship at the University. The 43 Society was established in 2020 in response to discrimination, oppression and isolation faced on Grounds during the rise of COVID-19. As recent events have made clear, community members of color at the University —  now just as much as ever — need and deserve to be uplifted and empowered while existing in this space.

Unfortunately, the University continues to lack adequate resources and support for

students of color and does not have our best interests in mind. Despite this, individuals of color at the University constantly work to improve life on Grounds for all students and staff of color. The 43 Society acknowledges that this fight for change can often be grueling and tiresome work. Our organization strives to recognize and uplift these impactful voices and to provide safe and supportive spaces for those feeling the effects of the shadow of white supremacy that clouds the University.

Our primary message to people of color here on Grounds is that — more than anything else — you deserve to feel loved and that you have a place at the University. We hope our presence can be a catalyst for unifying underrepresented communities on Grounds to create a lasting legacy of solidarity in an institution rooted in white patriarchal ideologies.

Although the University was not made for people of color, we belong here and continue

to occupy space important to our roots, community, family and background. We encourage you to continue engagement within communities at the University that make you feel safe, welcomed and respected. Always remember to lean on each other for support. The 43 Society will always be here supporting you, whether you see us or not.

Semper in solidaritate.

43

The 43 Society is a secret society run by and for students of color at the University in an effort to recognize and uplift individuals of color on Grounds and build solidarity amongst marginalized students to transform the University into a more equitable community that is accepting and inclusive of all.

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