Diversity, Equity & Inclusion

Brie Gertler

Headshot of Brie Gertler
Vice Provost for Academic Affairs
Brie Gertler is Vice Provost for Academic Affairs and Commonwealth Professor of Philosophy.  The vice provost for academic affairs serves as a second-in-command for the provost and provides leadership and oversight of the core academic functions of the University.

Course enrichment grants

In an effort to encourage long-term reciprocal partnerships between UVA faculty, students, and community partners, the RPE program is offering $2,000 grants to support courses that include a strong element of community engagement. Faculty members are encouraged to apply for funding to support courses that deploy place-based and community-based learning.

Call for Proposals

Faculty and staff from any school, department, or unit of UVA are invited to apply for a grant from the Office of the Provost to support a project aimed at improving institutional climate, equity, and diversity for faculty at UVA.

First Year Advising Seminars

The initial round of first-year advising seminars funded by the Mellon Race, Place, and Equity program took place in Fall 2021. Eight professors in various disciplines in Arts and Sciences, and three in the School of Architecture, worked alongside approximately 35 community members to teach 200 first year students.

Community Partners and Resources

Community Advisers

A foundational premise of the grant is that university faculty, staff, and students work with community partners in a reciprocal manner to further the equity-based missions of community groups, and provide UVA students with a variety of perspectives, expertise, and lived experiences.

We are grateful to our community partners for generously and actively helping us develop the programming of the Mellon Race, Place, and Equity grant. Read more about them and their work here:

Curriculum in race, place, and equity

The Mellon RPE program supports curriculum development that fosters nuanced understanding of the intersections of race, place, and equity. A series of Advising Seminars in the College of Arts and Sciences and the School of Architecture introduce first-year students at UVA to local, place-based histories and legacies that have shaped the University and Central Virginia. Three-credit courses featuring community partnerships and place-based, community-engaged teaching help build an outward looking, public-service university.

RPE Faculty

The Mellon RPE program is providing start-up funding for three tenured or tenure track positions to contribute to the broader race, justice, and equity hiring initiatives at UVA. Two positions have been filled (see below); the third will address North American Indigenous Studies.

RPE Postdoctoral Fellows

Over the five-year grant period, UVA will hire 30 Race, Place, and Equity Postdoctoral Fellows/Research Associates across a variety of schools and disciplines  to advance research, creative practice, and teaching related to race, justice, and equity. Fellows will carry out transformative, cross-disciplinary research; contribute to the understanding of the legacy of racial inequity using place-based methodologies for research or artistic expression; and strengthen existing initiatives that address issues of race, justice, and equity, particularly in North America.

Research and Teaching

The Race, Place, and Equity program will hire a total of 30 Postdoctoral Fellows and provide seed funding for three faculty hires over the course of five years. These commitments will foster groundbreaking research, publishing, and teaching from a new generation of equity-minded scholars, and will enrich the fabric of UVA’s faculty, research, and course offerings.

Photo credit: Dan Addison