Text of the resolution passed at our 8/22 Full Committee meeting:
The Charlottesville Democratic Committee deplores Governor Youngkin’s appointment of Bert Ellis to the Board of Visitors of the University of Virginia. Ellis has repeatedly and loudly denounced the University’s efforts at Diversity, Equity and Inclusion (DEI). Two years ago, he traveled to the University Grounds and attempted to deface with a razor blade a poster with which he disagreed, which a University student had hung on her door. Most alarmingly, when he was co-chair of the University Union in the 1970’s, he refused to invite a speaker on gay rights because of his opposition to homosexuality, and he invited a notorious eugenicist to a public forum at the University to present his belief that Black people are lower in intelligence than White people.
The University, which was founded for White men only in a culture of white supremacy, has in recent decades struggled to become more inclusive and more diverse. It has a long way to go to be fully welcoming to all minorities. This appointment will harm the University by sending a message that minorities do not truly belong there and that DEI efforts are to be ridiculed and scorned. We stand with the Executive Board of the Student Council in calling for Mr. Ellis to resign.