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The Equity Center will tangibly redress racial and economic inequity in university communities by advancing a transformative approach to the fundamental research mission, which will, in turn, reform institutional values, pedagogy, and operations


The Equity Center envisions universities that serve local communities by bringing rich research resources to bear on the work of redressing poverty and racial inequality, and also equip students to lead in building a just society.


Authentic Partnership: Our approach to community-engaged theory and practice means we are committed to authentic, honest, and transparent community collaboration.

Shared Power: We will intentionally and equitably share our power as researchers by studying issues that address community priorities, openly sharing data and results with our community partners, and helping to translate our research into tangible actions that reduce economic and racial inequity.

Equity: We are committed to the production of knowledge that advances social justice, by joining community research partners, and ensuring fair and equitable treatment of community experts.

Justice: Our work will contribute to the fair distribution of equal, basic rights to all members of society.

Beneficial: We will conduct research that tangibly benefits communities, both methodologically and in implementation.

Action: Our research will go beyond the creation and discovery of new knowledge, but we will also work to directly employ our learning to implement interventions that reduce inequity.

Mutuality: We will form meaningful partnerships with low-income, Black, Latinx, indigenous, and immigrant community residents of all ages to create opportunities for two-way knowledge transfer and co-learning that will lead to more effective, equitable, and enduring solutions to problems impacting these communities.

Youth: We will make training and equipping young people a major focus of the Equity Center’s work, because young people are at the center of many of the inequities present in our communities, from educational opportunity gaps to interactions with the justice system, to health, poverty, housing, and hunger.

We seek to:

  • Tangibly redress racial and economic inequity in university communities through authentic community collaboration, fair treatment of community experts, and intentionally leave data and benefits of our research with the community. 
  • Model and teach students a unified theory of community-based scholarship for social change. 
  • Disseminate theoretical knowledge and practical experience to reduce inequity in Charlottesville, and globally.