To the Virginia Tech community,

As we celebrate another Black History Month, the elemental bedrock of our observance is the concept of diversity and inclusion. It’s what fueled the arduous, blood-and-sweat-drenched struggles and unyielding perseverance of our brave civil-rights forbears, whose selfless efforts paved the way for the advancements toward equality Black Americans — and all Americansexperience today.

And while as a nation we often assert our commitment to embracing diversity and inclusion in every facet of our society, recent disturbing historical events indicate there is still much work ahead as we strive, collectively, toward a more perfect union.

At Virginia Tech, our dedicated approach to diversity and inclusion is one that equally values inclusion as much as diversity. Because we understand that diversity — the full representation of disparate humanity across a vast spectrum of races — holds muted significance without the disenfranchised having a voice, and a powerful one at that.

This is accomplished through InclusiveVT, the institutional and individual commitment to Ut Prosim (That I May Serve) in the spirit of community, diversity, and excellence. It is the commitment by which we determinedly ensure that diversity and inclusion are firmly embedded in every aspect of the Virginia Tech experience.

In the world as we know it, it is no longer acceptable to merely pay empty lip service to the notion of diversity in a craven attempt to meet some arbitrary and ultimately meaningless quota — serving as nothing more than a façade to perpetuate the illusion of progress. Those who fight valiantly for a seat at the table of representation must actually be heard and be granted the opportunity to lend their informed perspectives and the richness of their lived experiences to the social, political, corporate, and educational discourse.

On our campus, we endeavor to fulfill the promise of diversity and inclusion for Virginia Tech students, faculty, and staff through the robust offerings of our Cultural Community Centers (CCC). These vibrant communities provide an essential platform for our community to experience a wide gamut of cultural differences within a safe, welcoming, and illuminating environment.

And during this Black History Month, we’re taking the opportunity to cast a special spotlight on the oldest member of the CCC, the Black Cultural Center (BCC).

The BCC offers students, faculty, and staff an immersive journey of discovery as they explore the vibrancy of the Black experience  — not only in America, but also across the African diaspora. Through a broad variety of informative programming and events held throughout the year, the BCC encourages members of the community with an inquisitive and open-hearted desire to learn more about Black culture to engage freely and frequently. For it is through prolonged exposure to different cultures that our worldview is challenged and broadened — for the better.

Visit the full listing of events for Black History Month.

So, this Black History Month, let us all resolve to embrace and honor the legacy forged by those who possessed the courage, fortitude, dignity, and vision to manifest our destiny as a people, and as a nation. Those civil-rights champions, through their transformative acts, laid the foundation for a future of diversity and inclusion.

Now, it’s our turn to take up the mantle of leadership in the continued fight for equality. For when we authentically invest in diversity and inclusion, America will flourish as it boldly realizes its full potential.

For this Black History Month and beyond, join others at Virginia Tech in the rich array of programming offered by the Black Cultural Center, in collaboration with many campus partners.

As we continue to elevate inclusivity, we advance — with purpose — toward unity.


Menah Pratt-Clarke,
Vice President for Strategic Affairs and Diversity

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