Social Justice Initiatives

Social Justice Teach-In Series

Social Justice Teach-In: Debunking Mental Health Myths

Monday, March 13  |  5 pm  |  Digital Auditorium, Hurley Convergence Center

Join us in this trivia-style discussion of pop psychology terms, mental health myths, and intersectionality. Dr. Ashley Elliott, known as Dr. Vivid, will be discussing intersections of queerness, blackness, and neurodivergence.

Social Justice Teach-In:  Race & Language

Thursday, January 26  |  6 pm  |  Chandler Ballroom AB, Cedric Rucker University Center

At this event, we will engage in a critical dialogue on the intersections of race and linguistic ideologies, exploring the relationship between standardized English and institutionalized racism, with a particular focus on how this relationship functions in both K-12 and higher education. The session will be led by UMW student Layla Barnes in conjunction with her research in linguistics and education and her work at the Speaking and Writing Center. Free pizza and refreshments will be provided.


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, September 17, 2022 | 10:00 am – 5 pm  | Chandler Ballroom C

The James Farmer Multicultural Center will be hosting its sixth annual Social Justice & Leadership Summit. The purpose of the summit is to create a valuable and meaningful opportunity for high school and University of Mary Washington students to enhance their awareness of social justice issues and learn about strategies and resources to effectively address and respond to them. This annual summit provides 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 and in American society.

Freedom & Equality Grant

The Freedom and Equality Grant has been established by the James Farmer Multicultural Center to continue the legacy and work of Dr. James Farmer, Jr. Dr. Farmer earned national prominence as one of the foremost leaders of the Civil Rights Movement. His major accomplishments and contributions to the movement and the advancement of our society established him as one of the “Big Six” of the Civil Rights Movement. He spent his life fighting to obtain access, justice, equality, and freedom for marginalized and underrepresented communities.  Find out more information on the Freedom & Equality Grant page.

UMW continues to monitor campus, local, and statewide COVID-19 data and has instituted protocols to protect our campus community.  These protocols include requiring proper mask wearing while indoors, obtaining contact information from event attendees for contact tracing, and requesting that the University be notified of any positive COVID test within 14 days of attending an event at UMW.  The University may also implement additional restrictions if cases increase on campus or in the region including, but not limited to, requiring proof of vaccination or a recent negative test, reducing occupancy limits at events, or restricting attendance to UMW community members only.  We encourage you to check our website for updates prior to arriving to campus for a scheduled event.


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.