Move-in Weekend at UVA: Solidarity and Solace for Students of Color

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CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. — Siena Hart and her family spent the weekend unpacking five carloads of clothing, school supplies and dorm necessities at the University of Virginia, where she’s a proud incoming member of the Class of 2021.

First year students tour the University of Virginia, Friday, Aug. 18, 2017, in Charlottesville, Va., a week after a white nationalist rally took place on campus. (AP Photo/Jacquelyn Martin)

“I’ve wanted to go UVA since I was eight years old and attended a Black alumni weekend here with my Mom,” said Hart, 17. “In high school, I said to myself, `Now work hard and earn the grades so you can get in there.’”

Yet the Richmond native never imagined that her “dream school”—founded by Thomas Jefferson in 1819 and built in part using the labor of enslaved African Americans—would garner national and international headlines for an onslaught of hateful incidents.  More….