To the university community,

Monday begins Virginia Tech’s Principles of Community Week, our annual celebration of the fundamental concepts that support InclusiveVT, our institutional and individual commitment to Ut Prosim (That I May Serve) in the spirit of community, diversity, and excellence. These principles reinforce our aspirations for a diverse and inclusive campus, where we can freely express and explore ideas in an atmosphere of empathy, civility, and mutual respect.

Over the past two years the pandemic, political tension and polarization, and distressing national and world events have left many feeling isolated, anxious, and unheard. Principles of Community Week, conveniently combined with the relaxation of COVID-19 restrictions across our campuses, provides a unique opportunity to reaffirm the strength and spirit of our community across our differences.  

You can learn more about the schedule of upcoming events on the Principles of Community Week webpage.

I am especially looking forward to next week’s presentation of "I See You: Navigating Free Speech and Civil Discourse," by Professors Cornel West and Robert George. There is much we can learn from their ability to engage in vigorous discussions across real differences while maintaining civility, respect, and genuine friendship.  I strongly encourage you to take advantage of this unique opportunity, scheduled for March 17 in person at the Haymarket Theatre and virtually on InclusiveVT YouTube. You can RSVP for the event

I think you will also enjoy hearing from Betty Kilby Baldwin and Phoebe Baldwin, the authors of the book "Cousins," as they tell the story of a Black woman and a white woman who discover that they are connected through slavery. The Baldwins will be speaking Wednesday morning at The Inn at Virginia Tech and Wednesday evening at the Black Cultural Center at Squires Student Center. Both presentations will also be available online. Registration links are on the website.

Opportunities to engage and strengthen our diverse community will continue throughout the year. You can learn more about upcoming events by visiting our Cultural and Community CentersWomen’s Center, and Cranwell International Center.

Thank you for supporting each other and InclusiveVT.

Tim Sands,

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