Social Justice Initiatives

Social Justice Teach-In Series

Social Justice and COVID-19
September 8 |  4:00 p.m.  |  Zoom

Alex Ohene-Okae, a JFMC student intern, will share information about how COViD-19 has impacted our nation, and especially the Black, Indigenous, and People of Color, as well as the LGBTQ+ communities.  He will reveal how the racial and economic disparities deeply rooted in American society contributed to the disparities of transmission of the COVID cases, as well as the health and economic fallout from the shutdown of the businesses and schools in marginalized communities.  We will discuss how UMW can help prevent the spread of the virus on campus and in the local community.


A Call to Civic Action:  Making a Difference
Thursday, September 17  |  6 p.m.  |  Register here for this event.

On Thursday, September 17, 2020 at 6 pm, The University of Mary Washington is hosting an event titled: A Call to Civic Action: Making a Difference. At this event, Senator Mark Warner, Qasim Rashid, Congressional Candidate for the First District, and Marc Hoffman, Director of Elections, City of Fredericksburg, will address UMW and VCU students about why it is important for them to become politically and civically engaged, how it can impact their everyday lives through public policy, the numerous changes in voting procedures and policies, the power of being an informed citizen casting their vote each election cycle, and why they got involved with a career in public service. This event will be held on Zoom.


Know Your Rights Workshop
Tuesday, November 10  |  6 p.m.  |  Zoom

At this event, Eden Heilman, Legal Director, ACLU of Virginia, will deliver a Know Your Rights workshop for UMW students, staff and faculty. Within this workshop, she will cover criminal justice reform, police practices reform, free speech and censorship, voting rights, and immigrants’ rights. This event will be held on Zoom. It will last from 6 pm until 8 pm.



Human Rights Film Series

As part of our ongoing commitment to social justice and honoring the legacy of Dr. James Farmer, the James Farmer Multicultural Center proudly presents the Human Rights Film Series.   The Human Rights Film Series features films and documentaries dealing with issues and topics such as the rights of undocumented immigrants, the struggles of indigenous peoples to reclaim their cultures, and the crucial and significant role women played during the Civil Rights Movement.

All film screenings will be free and open to the public. For more information, please contact the James Farmer Multicultural Center at 540/654-1044 or via email at

Social Justice Fall Break Trip

In 2019, the James Farmer Multicultural Center cosponsored a social justice trip with the office of the Vice-President for Equity and Access to travel the same route of the 1961 Freedom Riders from Fredericksburg (which was the first stop after they left Washington D.C.) to Birmingham, AL.  Dr. Farmer coordinated this trip in 1961 to protest the non-enforcement of the desegregated interstate bus travel. This journey will include stops at several of the same places the Freedom Riders stopped, whether it was to speak with other civil rights activists or student leaders at Bennett College in NC, meet and strategize for next steps in the trip in GA, or just to have a safe place to sleep for the night.  Along the way, we will be visiting the International Civil Rights Center in Greensboro, NC and the Birmingham Civil Rights Institute in Birmingham, AL.  Other visits will include The King Center for Nonviolent Social Change and the Atlanta University Center in Atlanta, GA.


Previous Social Justice Fall Break Trip

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In October 2018, the James Farmer Multicultural Center is co-sponsored a social justice trip to Montgomery and Selma, Alabama with the African Student Union, Black Student Association, and Latino Student Association, for UMW’s Fall Break. We will be traveling to the Legacy Museum and the National Memorial for Peace and Justice in Montgomery and the Edmund Pettus Bridge in Selma.

The 2018 Social Justice Fall Break Trip gave UMW students an opportunity to witness history through the National Memorial for Peace and Justice and the Legacy Museum, by telling the complete story of not only lynching but the continual struggle for social justice and equal rights in the United States. Also, it fulfilled two of the goals outlined in the strategic vision of the University, as it pertains to promoting the values of service and social justice and immersing our students in applied, impactful learning experiences.

Social Justice and Leadership Summit

Saturday, October 10, 2020  |  12:00 noon – 5 p.m.  |  Zoom
Registration is free. 

On Saturday, October 10, 2020, the James Farmer Multicultural Center will be hosting its third annual Social Justice & Leadership Summit. The purpose of the Summit is to create an opportunity for UMW students to develop a theoretical framework and applicable understanding of leadership, social justice, and allyship.  Additionally, this summit will provide attendees with an opportunity to build coalitions across cultural barriers, strengthen advocacy, and support the promotion of an equal, equitable campus culture and climate at UMW. We will have the participation of faculty members from the American Studies, History, English, Historic Preservation, and Psychological Science departments and student leaders representing the various organizations on our campus. During the lunch the portion of the Summit, a speaker will be delivering a keynote address about the importance of social justice, inclusion, and direct action.

For more information, contact the James Farmer Multicultural Center at 540/654-1044 or  Visit 

Please email us at if you have any questions regarding disability-related accommodations.