Published June 1, 2018

The three-day #UnmaskingCville event took place June 21-23, 2018. It offered a safe space for candid and solution-centered dialogue about racism, led entirely by Charlottesville youth and young adults.

Part I – Connect + Film: 6/21/18, 6:30-8:30 p.m.
PVCC Main Building

Participants meet, talk, and connect over dinner. They also attended a film screening hosted by Enjoli Moon, founder of the Afrikana Independent Film Festival and assistant film curator at VCU’s Institute for Contemporary Art. Small group conversation and a talk-back session followed the film.

Part II – Backstory Breakdown: 6/22/18, 6:30 – 8:30 p.m.
PVCC Dickinson Theater

A diverse panel of young, changemaking, Charlottesville natives will explored how race and racism have shaped the City’s past, impact its present reality, and influence its future. Panelists include:

  • Niya Bates, Public Historian of Slavery & African American Life at Monticello
  • Zyahna Bryant, student activist, co-founder & chair of the Charlottesville High School Black Student Union
  • Nikuyah Walker, Mayor of Charlottesville
  • Jordy Yager, independent journalist

Part III – Learning in Action: 6/23/18, 10 a.m. – 12:30 p.m.
PVCC Main Building

The final part of the series featured a workshop facilitated by social justice and inclusion educator Yolanda Avent.

Youth and adult participants explored impactful ways to confront racism, how to self-identify biases, and get resources from organizations committed to growing Charlottesville into a more inclusive community.

Education Resources

#UnmaskingCville community partner Virginia Education Association provided the following resources for teachers and parents including tips on recognizing and correcting bias in the classroom, and steps to help educators connect with all students, no matter their background.

About #UnmaskingCville

Based on the 2017 series, “The Unmasking: Race & Reality in Richmond,” the series title is inspired by the poem “We Wear the Mask” by Paul Lawrence Dunbar. #UnmaskingCville is about stripping away the pretense and taking individual action to benefit the whole community.

This program is made possible through the generous support of Melanie Biermann and Marty Younker.


City of Promise
Hold The Line
Afrikana Independent Film Festival
Initiatives of Change
Vinegar Hill Magazine
Studio IX
Virginia Education Association
Creciendo Juntos
Piedmont Community College

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