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Virginia Commonwealth University

Undergraduate School

Mailing Address
907 Floyd Ave
Richmond, Virginia 23284
(804) 828-0100
Email address
School Information
"Virginia Commonwealth University and its academic health sciences center serve as one national urban public research institution dedicated to the success and well-being of our students, patients, faculty, staff and community through: Real-world learning that furthers civic engagement, inquiry, discovery and innovation; Research that expands the boundaries of new knowledge and creative expression and promotes translational applications to improve the quality of human life; Interdisciplinary collaborations and community partnerships that advance innovation, enhance cultural and economic vitality, and solve society’s most complex challenges; Health sciences that preserve and restore health for all people, seek the cause and cure of diseases through groundbreaking research and educate those who serve humanity; Deeply engrained core values of diversity, inclusion and equity that provide a safe, trusting and supportive environment to explore, create, learn and serve..." The university enrolls over 30,100 students, employs over 2,500 faculty, and offers more than 200 programs. (Source: (Source:
General Information
VCU has explored its options on how to implement the study of race into its curriculum. The university is considering making a course on racism part of its required curriculum. However, the exact details of the course or whether it will be made a requirement are not clear. It is unclear whether this course will contain elements of C.R.T. See developments below:

Actions Taken

Admissions Policies
  • VCU's 2019-2025 Strategic Plan states that it would "Increase and retain the number of historically marginalized and international students (HMS) in the School of Education."
Anti-Racism, Bias, and Diversity Training
  • The School of Education is beginning its "Becoming an Antiracist Educator" virtual series, which addresses "racial inequality and consists of nine sessions, covering topics such as deconstructing implicit bias and determining the impact of power and privilege."
  • VCU's 2019-2025 Strategic Plan states that it would "Provide high quality learning opportunities for SOE faculty, staff, students, and community partners to create actionable change in climate, diversity, equity, and inclusion, and belonging."
  • VCU offers several diversity training sessions (aimed at supporting people with disabilities), including: "Unpacking Implicit Bias," "Examining Disparities through Intersectionality," and "Moving from Allyship to Co-Conspiratorship."
  • VCU's Department of Faculty Affairs and Office of the Provost offers a series of diversity trainings for university leadership that "...will make you a better, stronger leader," and includes five course on such topics as implicit bias, microaggressions, and leading diverse teams.
Curriculum Changes and Requirements
  • VCU's 2019-2025 Strategic Plan states that it would "Cultivate an inclusive and equitable learning environment for all students through classroom interactions, advising, and curriculum."
  • VCU's Honors College "embraces diversity and inclusion throughout its curriculum" and its students are "encouraged to ask tough questions and have difficult conversations that deepen and broaden their understanding about all dimensions of diversity."
Program and Research Funding
  • VCU's Minority Educator Recruitment, Retention, and Equity Center provides "ongoing culturally-centered mentoring and induction support to improve the success of minoritized educators" and offers "culturally-centered co-curricular experiences tailored to the academic and social interest and needs of minoritized educators."
  • VCU's 2019-2025 Strategic Plan states that it would "Seek out and pursue strategic collaborations and opportunities with initiatives that focus on elevating interdisciplinary, transformative research in schools and communities, especially those serving individuals who are historically marginalized."
Re-Imagining Policing
  • VCU's Summer 2021 edition of Alumni Magazine reported that "training for officers and staff has included Implicit Bias, Gender Beyond the Binary, an introduction by VCU Inclusive Excellence to VCU’s Call Me By My Name initiative and the training of two additional Fair and Impartial Policing instructors within the department."
  • VCU's Summer 2021 edition of Alumni Magazine reported that. as part of VCU police training reforms, "VCU Police hired three VCU students in the fall as safety ambassadors" and that students "completed 40 hours of training and can help community members who might need assistance but don’t need — or in some cases, want — to contact police." The students, "who wear bright-yellow vests, also report safety concerns they come across during their nighttime shifts" and "patrol high-traffic areas on the Monroe Park Campus, such as outside the University Student Commons and in the Compass."
  • VCU is considering making a course on racism part of its required curriculum.
  • Possible topics of a university course titled "Theories and Foundations of Africana Studies" (AFAM 201) include "black nationalism, neo-colonialism, Kawaida theory, black women's studies, Afrocentrism, Egyptology, black queer studies, critical race theory, diaspora theory and community engagement."
  • VCU's School of Education has a "Diversity, Equity, Inclusion and Minority Educator Resources" webpage which links to related diversity departments throughout the university.
Symbolic Actions
  • Starting February 2022 VCU will join 19 colleges “to serve as thought partners to develop a Truth, Racial Healing and Transformation Campus Climate Assessment Toolkit through June of 2023.”
  • On April 20, 2021, following the Chauvin verdict, the VCU President released a statement saying, “though the trial is over, healing must continue, as pain continues for people of color in the VCU community, throughout the commonwealth and across the nation. Students, faculty, staff, team members and friends of VCU and VCU Health have shared with me their fear, disgust and absolute frustration at a system that allows continued violence and injustice against people of color, especially Black women and men.”
  • On May 31, 2020, following protests in Richmond, the VCU President released a statement saying, “what I see again and again is a very public manifestation of American history and, indeed, America’s present. It is impossible to comprehend centuries of horrifying injustice against minorities in this nation, particularly African Americans. Yet, even in 2020, your skin color still influences your social mobility and vitality even more so than where you were educated, live, or work. In America, it is still far too easy for those with privilege and prejudice to undo the hard-earned successes of others, particularly racial minorities. Individual, institutional, and structural racism is still our tragic reality.”
Last updated November 16th, 2023
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