The Creation of Silent No More
In May 2020, about six weeks following the University of Virginia’s mandate for all non-essential employees to not return to Grounds, the need to express pent-up anxiety and frustrations was shared—in the form of inward and outward reflections—during a UVA Black Faculty and Staff-Employee Resource Group (BFS-ERG) executive team meeting. The ongoing political, social, and economic unrest of 2020 was nothing short of a perfect storm. Black people working at the University of Virginia had seen, heard, and felt much anxiety and stress; but had chosen to say little or to be silent. The toxic energy of 2020 stirred up the unresolved feelings from the Summer of Hate (2017) when White Supremacists chose Charlottesville and the University of Virginia as their venues of choice.
In the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic, on May 25, 2020, George Floyd, a 46-year-old Black citizen of the United States of America, begged for his life for eight minutes and forty-six seconds. Police officers sworn to protect and serve ignored his pleas. The televised death of Mr. Floyd alone was unbearable, but the fact that it had been preceded by the murders of Breonna Taylor, Ahmaud Aubery, and many others made us realize that the UVA Black Faculty and Staff Employee Resource Group (“BFS-ERG”) needed to do something. Consequently, we asked for submissions for writings and various art forms on topics related to COVID, police brutality, civil unrest, Black Lives Matter, and other issues impacting our 2020 reality. Silent No More at Mr. Jefferson’s University provides a platform to express our contemplations and individual and collective pain.
This project remains open for now and you can still submit your writing or other genres of creative works.
Members of the Writing Project Subcommittee (UVA BFS-ERG)
Beverly Colwell Adams, PhD Vivian Feggans
Toluwalogo Odumosu, PhD Connie Chic Smith, PhD
Jaronda Miller-Bryant, PhD NyShae’ Carter
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