Racial Equity and Justice

Last updated: 8/12/22

The Center for Teaching Excellence is committed to centering equity and justice in all areas of our work. We believe that teaching and educational development should be anti-racist and anti-oppressive. It should actively work to dismantle systems and practices that marginalize Black, Indigenous, and other students and faculty of color, as well as members of other minoritized groups, in higher education spaces. 

We acknowledge that we have not lived up to these commitments. Too often we have treated attention to equitable and inclusive pedagogies as a piece of our work rather than as its core, and we have not consistently promoted practices that explicitly support the work, learning, and well-being of BIPOC faculty and students. 

Throughout 2021-2022, we spent considerable time revising all aspects of our work to advance equitable and antiracist organizational and educational practices. We have developed our own knowledge related to racial equity and justice, made substantial revisions to better center equity and justice in our programming, and revised policies and processes around our internal culture. Specific steps included:

  • Forming a steering committee to guide the planning and accountability of our DEI work. 
  • Working with Dr. Whitney Peoples, the Director of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion at the University of Michigan’s School of Public Health (and formerly of Michigan’s Center for Research on Learning and Teaching), to help us advance our racial equity and justice work.
  • Undertaking major revisions to key CTE programming, including our signature program, the Course Design Institute. 
  • Dedicating our biweekly faculty meetings to advancing our equity and justice work.
  • Working on infrastructure to support departments in data-informed and equity-minded reviews of degrees and curricula, in collaboration with our colleagues across Grounds. 
  • Developing or revising CTE onboarding materials to ensure a more equitable and transparent welcome for new colleagues.
  • Collaborating with our colleagues to create a permanent exhibit in Hotel D to share the history of the space and the stories of its inhabitants, particularly the enslaved individuals. 

In 2022-2023, we plan to continue revising our programming and practices to center racial equity and justice and develop a CTE-wide plan to assess this work. We publish this page in the interest of transparency and accountability. We commit to keeping it up to date as our revision progresses. The parallel threads of this work are as follows.


We commit to updating this page regularly; we want it to be a living account of our efforts and an honest accounting not only of what we have accomplished, but also of the lengths we know we still have to go.

We invite feedback around our equity and justice efforts and have established an internal process for responding to and learning from this feedback. Through this form, you can choose to leave feedback anonymously or request a follow-up. Alternatively, you can also email our team directly at cte-dei@virginia.edu.

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