Guest Column: A Playpen For Social-Justice Activists

The Jefferson Council champions free speech and intellectual diversity at the University of Virginia. We welcome columns, op-eds, and letters addressing issues affecting the UVA community for publication on our guest forum, like the one submitted by Jim Bacon, founder of Bacon’s Rebellion and contributing editor for The Jefferson Council.



Jim Ryan’s vision for the University of Virginia is to build an institution that is both “great and good,” an institution that strives for excellence while also advancing the common welfare. There are many paths to achieving the common good — entrepreneurship, economic development, effective government, strong families, vibrant civic life, for instance — but UVA’s president has settled on something else. He defines a good community as one that strives for social justice.

In 2020 the UVA Board of Visitors adopted most of the recommendations of the Ryan-appointed Racial Equity Task Force, which called for spending $700 million to $950 million to rectify the University’s historical racial injustices. The University has since ramped up its Diversity, Equity & Inclusion bureaucracy and poured millions of dollars into the hiring of far-left faculty who embrace Critical Theory and the intersection-oppression paradigm.

But Ryan has greater aspirations for UVA than merely to be an incubator of social-justice theory. He wants to export that thought into the world at large, starting with UVA’s home communities of Charlottesville and Albemarle County. To advance that aim, he created the Equity Center.

What does the Equity Center do?

Read the full article in Bacon’s Rebellion.


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walter smith
walter smith
5 days ago

Here is the site for all self-promotion official publications of the DEI department.
I particularly like the Spring 2023 issue where UVA has exported social justice to at least 26 local governments in the Commonwealth.
Read them all and make your own conclusions…

4 days ago

The most fundamental question to ask is why are parents’ tuition dollars funding community social justice programs that have absolutely nothing to do with academic courses educating their children?

What if the Charlottesville American Legion asked for money to pay for reunions for veterans who’ve defended our freedoms? Would the Equity Center deem that appropriate? Or help build shelters for homeless veterans? Or conduct civics classes for K-12 students, teaching them about our Founding Fathers’ courage and political philosophy since our schools no longer teach this?

I think we know the answer. The American Legion would get a resounding no.

None of the above including American Legion projects should be funded, since those projects divert funds from academics.

Cut the Equity Center and other superfluous programs. Apply all cost savings to tuition reduction. This is long overdue for middle class parents who aren’t eligible for financial aid.

Last edited 4 days ago by Wahoo74
2 days ago

How many times must it be pointed out that what Ryan is in fact promoting through his so called equity center is a leftist woke religion for the Commonwealth? Equity is simply code word for communism, marxism, etc. which never has worked out well for anyone but those on top.

As it is taught in the form of social justice it is antithetical to truth as well as to what both our University and our nation were intended to promote as to the well being of not only our society but also the world. Its proponents like Ryan, as it has been repeatedly noted, do not even have a modicum of common sense. But it does appeal with a religious zeal to those who are gullible as well as prone to view their identity as victims. In short, it is a manifestly sick ideology which utilizes yes, useful idiots, to promulgate.

And currently at UVA, the chief useful idiot is in fact Ryan. Other ascendant public “ivies” such as UNC and UF have acted swiftly to remove their heads of the woke snake, and it is incumbent on the new UVA BOV to follow suit for the good of the future of our University and Commonwealth. You cannot reason with one who possesses no common sense, and for God’s sake do not fall into the trap of being “nice.” Act swiftly and decisively for the good of all concerned and let us put this disgusting dark period behind us. The future is bright but never with woke useful idiots present in any shape or form running around in some temple of equity such as Ryan is seeking to foist on our society. How much clearer can the path forward be? Get rid of Ryan!!!

2 days ago

Hey UVA BOV if you have any thought as to properly doing your jobs then start first with enforcing student safety including that of Jewish students!

And here is how it is done at UF!

And at UF their first step was to hire a president who has common sense, unlike Ryan at UVA. So do your job and get rid of Ryan!!! Enough of this Ryan foolishness!

Dennis Hughes
Dennis Hughes
2 days ago
Reply to  Clarity77