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Principles of Community Week 2020

March 16 – 20

Due to the University's response to COVID-19, all POC Week Events have been cancelled. For additional details regarding the University's response, please refer to President Sand's message.

Virginia Tech thrives on being a welcoming, accessible, and inclusive campus for all. We take pride in valuing our freedom to speak and our ability to talk to each other across differences through civil and respectful dialogue. Our commitment to these values are embodied in our Principles of Community. This is an important opportunity to mark our progress and acknowledge that there is much work to do as we continue to embrace an inclusive environment. 

University-Wide Events

CANCELLED - Accessibility Network Spring Meeting *Zoom option will be available for the meeting

9:00 a.m. - 11:00 a.m.
Togersen Hall - Room 1120
The Accessibility Network at Virginia Tech brings together Hokies who share a common vision for enhancing digital accessibility across campus. The network provides information, community, and training to support a wide variety of activities including advancing web accessibility, incorporating universal design practices, utilizing assistive technologies, and choosing accessible learning materials. The network is open to all interested faculty, staff, and students.  

CANCELLED - Handling Difficult Conversations
3:00 p.m. - 5:00 p.m., Torgersen 1120
Register here
We want our students to grapple with challenging and controversial topics, but are we prepared to facilitate discussions when these topics evoke strong opinion and emotional response? By the end of this session participants will learn proactive strategies for creating classroom environments that foster dialogue.

CANCELLED - Disability Power Lunch with Dr. Feranmi Okanlami
1:00 p.m. - 2:00 p.m., Graduate Life Center Room A
Dr. Okanlami is a practicing physician with a spinal cord injury who works around the notion of “disabusing disability.” He promotes adaptive sports and more inclusive higher education. Bring your lunch. ASL interpreter booked.

CANCELLED - Linguistics, Life & Death, Dr. John Baugh
3:30 p.m. - 5:00 p.m., Lyric Theater
Dr. Baugh, esteemed linguist and expert on linguistic profiling and discrimination, will discuss four court cases wherein African American defendants faced linguistic challenges in the courtroom due to stigma and bias towards African American English.

CANCELLED - Principles of Community Workshop
3:30 p.m. - 5:00 p.m., 2410 North End Center
Learn the history behind the creation of the Principles of Community and ways that you can support them in your workplace.

CANCELLED - Accessibility Luncheon and Engagement Fair


Graduate Life Center - Multipurpose Room

Join TLOS: Accessible Technologies as we celebrate the impact of Universal Design and Accessibility across the university.  We will recognize university partners and advocates whose proactive efforts greatly contribute to the design of accessible and inclusive learning environments.  The engagement fair will feature stations and resources on accessible technologies, document and web accessibility, universal design, and more. This event is free to VT faculty, staff, graduate students and postdocs. Please RSVP (using your VT Google account) by March 13, 2020 to help us manage our catering order.  

CANCELLED - The Role of Universities and University Leadership in Racial Healing
10:00 a.m. - 11:30 a.m., 2420/2430 North End Center
A discussion among senior administrators, diversity directors, and other diversity stakeholders with the authors of The Little Book of Racial Healing.

CANCELLED - Courageous Friendships
3:00 p.m. - 4:00 p.m., Leadership and Social Change Residential College
Building friendships across difference using the Coming to the Table model of dialogue.

CANCELLED - What does Community Mean to You?
5:30 p.m. - 7:30 p.m., American Indian Indigenous Community Center-122 Squires
Join us for an open house and conversation about what community means for our Native students, faculty, and staff. Refreshments provided.

CANCELLED - Coming to the Table for Racial Healing
7:00 p.m. - 8:30 p.m., Graduate Life Center Auditorium
The authors of The Little Book of Racial Healing, Thomas DeWolfe and Jodie Geddes, discuss their personal journeys toward building transformative relationships.

CANCELLED - Student Panel: Accessibility Victories and Challenges
1:00 p.m. - 3:00 p.m.
Squires Student Center, Brush Mountain; Side A
Virginia Tech students will share personal experiences and perspectives around what faculty and administrators need to know about embracing universal design and accessibility best practices, working with students with disabilities, and strategies for remediating both digital and physical barriers.  This event will be moderated by TLOS: Accessible Technologies and open to all members of the university community.

POC Week Events - The Elephant In the Room Event

CANCELLED - The Elephant in the Room

6:30 p.m., Squires Brush Mountain A

Come join a guided discussion centered on justice, reconciliation, and healing, especially pertaining to minority groups. We will discuss whether forgiveness is necessary for either of these to be realized. All are welcome to our discussion. Light refreshments will be provided and there will be plenty of time for small group dialogue throughout the event. 


We affirm the inherent dignity and value of every person and strive to maintain a climate for work and learning based on mutual respect and understanding.

We affirm the right of each person to express thoughts and opinions freely. We encourage open expression within a climate of civility, sensitivity, and mutual respect.

We affirm the value of human diversity because it enriches our lives and the University. We acknowledge and respect our differences while affirming our common humanity.

We reject all forms of prejudice and discrimination, including those based on age, color, disability, gender, gender identity, gender expression, national origin, political affiliation, race, religion, sexual orientation, and veteran status. We take individual and collective responsibility for helping to eliminate bias and discrimination and for increasing our own understanding of these issues through education, training, and interaction with others.

We pledge our collective commitment to these principles in the spirit of the Virginia Tech motto of Ut Prosim (That I May Serve).