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Upcoming Opportunities for Connection

It’s springtime! A special thank you to the Alumni Association and the Division for Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion for their warm embrace of our new interest group that serves the UVA Black alumni community (~17,000 alumni!). We have lots to celebrate amid our ongoing advocacy for a holistic and healthy University experience for students, staff, faculty, and alumni. There is no doubt there are forces working strategically against our very presence in all institutions and systems in this nation. It is critical that we unify to reduce, if not eliminate, those harmful stressors – people and policies – that do not promote respect and inclusion for all of humanity. To that end, our Ubunye website is the platform to better connect us and has the potential to be the most comprehensive space to learn, share, and recognize the achievements and history of our diverse community.

Debby Stroman (Educ '82)For example, check out our feature committee, Wellness and Mental Health Advising, who has gone above and beyond since our launch to identify resources and share tools in a very creative way. Ubunye supports existing University units and alumni activities, so post your good news and activities. Thanks again for being a part of Ubunye. Please continue to explore the website and engage in the many opportunities to serve and fellowship with Hoos. Onward!

Debby Stroman (Educ ’82)


Upcoming Opportunities for Engagement

Image of BAW attendees

We hope to see many of you back on Grounds April 19-21 for BAW 2024. If you haven’t purchased your ticket yet – there’s still time! Tickets are on sale through Sunday, April 14 at 11:59 p.m. ET.

BAW tickets can only be purchased on the BAW website in advance. Tickets cannot be purchased or altered on-site at Alumni Hall during the weekend.

Saturday Night Soiree

Saturday Night Soiree Flyer

The Division for Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion, led by Dr. Kevin McDonald, will host a Soiree on Saturday, April 20 at 8 p.m. at the Jefferson Theater. This free event, in collaboration with Ubunye and Divine 9 organizations, is purposed to bring the UVA and Charlottesville community together. The gathering features musical guests and special recognition to local Black business owners in a light and festive atmosphere.

Doors open at 7 p.m., and a reception with light fare from local caterers like Pearl Island and Vegan Comforts Soul Food will be available from 7- 8 pm. Tickets are sold out by you can join the waitlist online!

Sharing About the Black Experience

History matters! The Division for Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion is sponsoring an effort to share the good news about the Black experience. During BAW’s Saturday cookout, volunteers will be videotaped by Kindred Media about their time on Grounds and essential advice for the next generation. Thanks to all who will participate in this important commemoration that will be used in University marketing and promotions.

Hoos Doing What

  • We care about what you do and desire to learn how best to connect with you! It is a work in progress, but currently we request that all interested entrepreneurs and lawyers register in our online listings. We believe this registry will be of value to our curious career-mined students and faculty seeking guest lecturers. In the future, we hope to offer an official Ubunye database whereby people who are looking for leads, opportunities, and partnerships can find us. We would also like to highlight some of these professionals by sharing their stories in future newsletters and on the website. If you’re interested in being featured, let us know! Thank you.
  • The Celebration and Recognition committee has done amazing work in identifying our trailblazer students from 1950-1972. Rick Copeland and Charlene Miott-Jones have had their heads down over the past month researching the alumni who sacrificed, stayed, and so courageously soared as high-achieving professionals. Stay tuned for more details on the visual display of these unsung pioneers! If you have any connections or memories of these distinguished alums, please let us know at
  • In coordination with the undergraduate Black Student-Athletes Offering Service and Support (BOSS) organization, the Ubunye Athletics committee has begun efforts to identify and list all of the varsity athletes and “firsts” related to performance and coaching in the athletic department.
  • Donna Johnson, JD (Col ’84), co-chair of Social and Networking, facilitated Ubunye’s first educational seminar on March 5, 2024. “Deliberation: An Analysis of 45’s Trials” was an insightful conversation with “legal eagles” Marva Jo Camp, JD (Col ’83, Law ’86) and Alex Taylor, Jr., JD (Col ’84) who shared their perspective on the ongoing legal matters related to the Black community and a former president. Watch the recording!
  • A special congratulations to alumna, Dawn Staley (Col ’92) for winning her third NCAA DI women’s basketball national championship. We salute her leadership, positivity, and uplifting of girls and women in sports. We wish her the very best as she continues to guide and inspire millions of people across the world!

Flyer congratulating UVA alumna, Dawn Staley (Col '92), on winning her third national championship.

Ubunye Committee Spotlight – Wellness and Mental Health Advising

Dear UVA Black Alumni,

We are thrilled to introduce an important new resource for our community: a webpage specific to the Wellness and Mental Health Advising committee! This page is intended to offer support, encouragement, and inspiration for the Black alumni, students, faculty, and staff to empower them on their health and well-being journeys.

In an era where the challenges faced by Black Americans are magnified by systemic racism, discrimination, and socio-economic disparities, the need for a robust support system is undeniable. The Ubunye Wellness and Mental Health Advising Committee is dedicated to understanding these challenges and providing resources that help our community more easily navigate the complexities of life with resilience and hope.

Our purpose is clear: to offer steadfast support to our Black UVA community, ensuring we have the tools and resources to thrive, not just survive. Our vision is ambitious yet attainable—to build, restore, and uplift our community, ensuring that every member feels supported and valued.

Our vision draws inspiration from the profound Zulu philosophies of Ubuntu (“I am because we are”) and Ubunye (“unity”). These principles remind us that wellness and wellbeing are not just individual pursuits but a collective endeavor. Our strength lies in our unity, providing a network of support that fosters resilience and a better quality of life for all.

As we embark on this journey, the Ubunye Wellness and Mental Health Advising Committee invites you to join us in this pivotal movement. Let us know which topics, activities, or issues you would find helpful for us to address. Our goal is to offer information and support tailored to our community’s interests and needs, ensuring that every initiative we undertake is deeply relevant and beneficial to you. Together, we can create a nurturing environment that celebrates our collective identity, supports our mental health and wellbeing, and uplifts every member of our community.

Let’s embrace the spirit of Ubunye, fostering unity and wellbeing among us all.

Be well,
Ubunye Wellness and Mental Health Advising Committee

Celebrating National Nutrition Month and National Coloring Month

As we continue to embrace the enriching journey of wellness and community support, we take note of unique opportunities to celebrate not just one, but two aspects of wellbeing that are close to our hearts: National Nutrition Month and National Coloring Month. These March observances still offer us a chance to explore and integrate healthier lifestyle choices and therapeutic activities into our daily routines.

In the spirit of these themes, we’ve included AI-generated adult coloring sheets featuring a bowl of fruits and vegetables. This engaging activity serves as a fun reminder to incorporate a healthy variety of colors into your diet. Moreover, it’s not just a nod to the importance of a nutritious diet, but also an invitation to explore the therapeutic benefits of coloring. It’s an excellent stress-reliever that helps calm the mind, reduce anxiety, and foster mindfulness. Through this simple yet meaningful activity, we unite the concepts of nutritional health and mental wellness, celebrating the synergy between eating well and creative expression.

We encourage you to take a moment to reflect on your nutritional habits and to indulge in the joyful simplicity of coloring. Let this activity be a metaphor for life—filled with vibrant colors and endless possibilities for wellbeing. Please be strategic with your health as you enjoy a spring season filled with joy, health, and colorful moments!