On Tuesday, November 27, the VT-VUU Beloved Community Initiative (BCI) held its 2018 Essay Contest Awards Ceremony and Humanities Summit. During the event, three of the six winning students read their essays to the event participants and engaged in a conversation about their essays with Dr. Virgil Wood (Church Leader, Educator, and Civil Rights Activist) and Prof. Corey Walker (VUU Vice President, Dean and Professor of Religion and Society) .
Following the award ceremony, Afira Devries (President & CEO, United Way of Roanoke Valley), Dr. Owen Cardwell (Distinguished Chair of Education, University of Lynchburg), Prof. Corey Walker, and Dr. Virgil Wood each spoke about how they are working to address inequality and advance social and economic justice.
The photos below (taken by Prof. Peter Magolda) capture several moments from the event.
Dr. Virgil Wood
To close the event, Rachel Weaver (Assistant Professor, Creative Technologies, School of Visual Arts, Virginia Tech) announced the launch of the BCI video project to document the narratives, histories, efforts, and visions of those working to advance Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.’s conception of the Beloved Community in the 21st Century. The project’s teaser video below can also be found on the new BCI YouTube channel.
The 2018 Beloved Community Initiative Humanities Summit (from 1:30-5:00pm on Tuesday, Nov 27) can now be watched live via Facebook and Zoom.
The event will feature the following sessions:
1:30 – 2:45 PM: The History of the Civil Rights Movement through the Lens of the Winning Essays and the Ancestors
3:00 – 4:45 PM: Strategies to Overcome Structural Forms of Inequality to Create Systems of Economic and Social Justice
- Panel host: Dr. Ralph Hall (Associate Professor, SPIA)
- Panel members: Afira Devries (President & CEO, United Way of Roanoke Valley), Dr. Owen Cardwell (Distinguished Chair of Education, University of Lynchburg), Prof. Corey Walker, and Dr. Virgil Wood
4:45 – 5:00 PM: Special Announcement (by Rachel Weaver, Assistant Professor, Creative Technologies, School of Visual Arts, Virginia Tech)
The School of Public and International Affairs, in partnership with the Center for Humanities, and Virginia Union University, present The Beloved Community Initiative Event that will be coinciding with the Advancing the Human Condition Symposium on November 27.
The Beloved Community Initiative is a partnership between VT and Virginia Union University to explore and advance Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.’s conception of the Beloved Community in the 21st century. In 2017, the VT-VUU partnership launched the inaugural Beloved Community Initiative Essay Contest. The essay contest invited junior and senior high school students to choose one set of historical figures and prepare an exploration of those two (or three) persons, focusing on how the legacy of their life’s journey came together to advance the Beloved Community.
On November 27, 2018, The VT-VUU Beloved Community Initiative will celebrate the essay contest winners. The event will feature two panels on:
- the history of the Civil Rights movement through the lens of the winning essays; and
- understanding contemporary forms of structural inequality implications for creating systems of economic and social justice, paradigmatically captured in Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.’s vision for a “Beloved Community.”
The event will take place in Assembly Hall in Holtzman Alumni Center on November 27, from 1:30- 5pm. No registration is required and the event is open to the public.