(2000 – ongoing)
The Virginia Natural Resources Leadership institute (VNRLI) provides Virginia’s leaders with skills to address complex environmental issues in a collaborative manner. Each class of leaders from Virginia’s industry, businesses, local and state government, and the environmental community works together in a year-long program that provides challenges in conflict resolution, personal leadership, and collaborative dialogue. VNRLI is a partnership between the University of Virginia’s Institute for Environmental Negotiation, Virginia Cooperative Extension and the Virginia Department of Forestry. Founded in 1998, with its first full-year program in 2000, VNRLI is funded by a combination of tuition fees and grants. The year-long program consists of a series of six 3-day workshops in various locations across Virginia. The class curriculum involves three components: personal leadership, collaborative problem-solving, and key natural resources challenges in the state. Each session focuses on a different natural resource issue, including the Chesapeake Bay, water quality, land use, coal mining, forestry, sustainable agriculture, TMDLs, and more.
Link to VNRLI homepage
In 2007, Virginia’s General Assembly issued a statement of “profound regret” for the Commonwealth’s treatment of African Americans and Native Americans. That statement called for citizens to “embrace, celebrate, and retell” their history and called upon the people of the Commonwealth to “express acknowledgment and thanksgiving” for their contributions. A number of individuals at the University of Virginia have determined to follow that formal statement with a collective response to the legacy of slavery, segregation and discrimination in the history of the University of Virginia.
The UCARE project (http://ucareva.org) began in Fall of 2007 with the Institute and the Office of African American Affairs and the Carter G. Woodson Institute compiling a database of individuals and organizations that would be involved in this effort. This database will also identify relevant activities, events, curriculum and research ongoing at the University of Virginia.
We expect that this will lead to a systematic, coordinated effort involving University students, administration and faculty and staff, alumni, and community members in defining how this University community can complete the transition from any continuing legacy of slavery and segregation to a community of shared purpose. This examination would not duplicate, but instead build upon the initiatives and resources already in place. Its goal is to transition to a community in which recognition and understanding of all of our past, the bad and the good, allows us develop authentic relationships based upon integrity, trust, accomplishment and shared purpose. We will understand our history but our future will no longer be defined by that history. The project is funded with a generous grant from the Andrus Family Fund. For further information, go to http://ucareva.org