In an email to UVA School of Architecture students, faculty and staff, Dean Ila Berman strongly condemned the violence, bigotry and hatred that was both experienced firsthand by those on Grounds and witnessed through the media by our extended UVA community. Berman wrote, “After the horrific events of the past weekend in Charlottesville resulting from the “Unite the Right” rally, I wanted to touch base with all of you and ensure that you are all safe…Having the KKK and other hate-mongering groups from across the country invade, threaten and violate our community, our university, and our city in an act of domestic terrorism cloaked as ‘protest’ is nothing less than abhorrent. Hate parachuted into our community in the form of white supremacist groups specifically targeting African Americans, Jews, Lesbians/Gays, and others that do not fit their blatantly racist, misogynist, homophobic and xenophobic ideology. Hate speech was camouflaged as free speech, and organized violence was hidden behind the rhetoric of protest and public assembly. We, and those intended to uphold the law, need to not be so easily duped.”

In describing UVA’s legacy as the inaugural public university founded on the ideals of shaping an ‘enlightened citizenry’ that for many years was still exclusionary, Dean Berman stated, “We’ve come a long way in the last 200 years, and have no intention of supporting the university’s or society's active devolution—seemingly on the agenda of this weekend’s visiting agitators. If anything, the events of this past weekend (and the politics of the last year) have galvanized our convictions and been a blatant reminder of why an educated and enlightened public is so critical to the proper functioning of a democratic society. This is part of our mission.”

Reiterating her commitment to the safety and well-being of the School of Architecture, its students, faculty and staff, Dean Berman wrote, “We live in a contentious political climate and it is important that we remain intolerant of violence, bigotry and hatred in all its forms. This intolerance needs to also be embedded in our spaces so that they are safe, peaceful, inclusive and protected. And I will do everything in my power, on behalf of the School, to ensure this.” Dean Berman also remarked in support of President Sullivan’s address by restating that “what happened this past weekend in no way defines UVA or Charlottesville. It is the antithesis of what we stand for as a community.”

For more on President Sullivan’s reflections, please visit: 

For a full list of the University’s statements on this past weekend, please visit: