Equity and Social Disparity in the Human Condition

Equity and Social Disparity for the Human Condition (SGA)

Our team focuses on equity in the human condition, maximizing, wherever possible, the equitable distribution and availability of physical safety and well-being, psychological well-being, and access to crucial material, social, and moral resources.

Advancing the Human Condition Symposium 2018

Date: November 27-28
Location: Inn at Virginia Tech and Skelton Conference Center

Our Vision

Defining key aspects of Virginia Tech scholarship and education in the resolution of real-world problems should begin with a recognition that topics become problems because they have implications for people and their lives. The diversity of those lives and experiences is an incontrovertible fact of the human condition.

The Equity and Social Disparity in the Human Condition (ESDHC) strategic growth area (SGA) treat equity in the human condition as the ultimate goal of service in the spirit of Ut Prosim. Insuring that all of our work and our students’ competencies are oriented to addressing key aspects of the human condition with the goal of maximizing wherever possible the equitable distribution and availability of physical safety and well-being, psychological well-being, and access to crucial material, social, and moral resources must be paramount to the project of making Virginia Tech a model research institution and a destination for talented students, faculty, and staff. More clearly understanding the factors of diversity and identity impacting equity in the human condition provides a critical foundation for student experiences. Such an approach also connects teaching, scholarship, and outreach to address significant issues and problems confronting the Commonwealth, the nation, and the increasingly interconnected global stage.

The vision for the SGA emphasizes identifying, analyzing, and addressing crucial issues of social disparity related to diversity, especially those highlighted by the unique interactions among identities, culture, and factors such as place and social institutions. Given the substantial implications of diversity for experience and life chances, Virginia Tech needs to build its capacity to address issues of social disparity in order to produce relevant scholarship, to enhance student development and learning, and to create transformational change in society.


ESDHC Core Areas

The activities of the SGA will focus on four key areas:

  • Curriculum Development and integration for minors, majors, and general education core areas to equip Virginia tech students to serve and succeed in diverse settings

  • Development of collaborations with colleges, Destination Areas (DAs), and other SGAs to make engagement with difference an integral part of scholarship and teaching throughout the university, including key investments in expertise related to the human condition

  • Scholarship on social disparities and difference in the human condition, aiming to build on university strengths in the areas of Health and the Environment, Identities and Culture, and Institutions, Organizations, and Policy (e.g., education, political and policy systems, businesses, and markets)

  • Outreach connecting Virginia Tech expertise to issues of equity and diversity regionally, nationally, and globally.


ESDHC SGA Personnel

  • Ellington Graves (CLAHS)
  • Patrick Miller (CAUS)
  • Kim Niewolny (CALS)
  • Robert Oliver (CNRE)
  • Menah Pratt-Clarke (CLAHS)
  • Susan Sumner (CALS)
  • Bev Watford (COE)
  • Kenneth Wong (NCR)
  • Julie Dunsmore (PYSC)

Title: Director, Africana Studies, Sociology Dept, and InclusiveVT Faculty Fellow
Email: egraves@vt.edu
Faculty Bio

Title: Assistant Provost of Diversity Education and Programs, Office for Inclusion and Diversity
Email: deramo@vt.edu
Faculty Bio

Title: Associate Dean Academic Programs Director CALS Resident Instruction
Email: sumners@vt.edu
Faculty Bio

Title: Associate Professor, Psychology
Email: jdunsmor@vt.edu
Faculty Bio

Title:  Associate Director for Programs, Office for Inclusion and Diversity
Email: lcthorpe@vt.edu