A photo of two people walking by a sign that says \"VCU\" in giant yellow letters.
Two upcoming webinars are designed to ensure that faculty, staff and students have the tools to recognize and stand up to hate and discrimination. (Enterprise Marketing and Communications)

VCU to host webinars on preventing antisemitism and Islamophobia

The goal is to ensure that VCU students, faculty and staff have the tools to recognize and stand up to hate and discrimination.

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The Division of Inclusive Excellence is hosting two webinars this month for Virginia Commonwealth University students, faculty and staff that will focus on combating antisemitism and Islamophobia.


  • April 17: Understanding Muslim Identity and Islamophobia
    Led by Amer F. Ahmed, Ed.D., an organizational strategist and co-founder of Equip Inclusive. This webinar will focus on exploring Muslim identity and offer strategies to combat Islamophobia and anti-Arab discrimination. Register here.
  • April 18: Addressing Antisemitism
    Presented by the Academic Engagement Network, an organization that mobilizes faculty and university administrators to counter antisemitism through education and civil discourse. This session aims to educate and promote awareness among participants about Jewish identity and antisemitism. Register here.

“We wanted to ensure that faculty, staff and students have the tools to recognize and stand up to hate and discrimination,” said Brooke Berry, interim associate vice president for strategic initiatives, inclusion and belonging in the Division of Inclusive Excellence. “We want these webinars to be spaces where people feel empowered to expand their worldview. We want the information to challenge people’s assumptions, stereotypes and prejudices (we all have them!) and inspire them to reflect on what they can do to foster an environment where everyone can feel belonging.”

Within the VCU community, Berry said, there have been concerns about feelings of isolation, unsafety and being targeted due to race, religious identity, ethnicity or personal beliefs.

“There are many complexities and intersections around identity, especially about religious, spiritual and secular identities. Hatred toward any one group is a threat to us all and undermines our collective values as an institution,” she said. “We wanted to create spaces for education, understanding and respectful communication, especially around antisemitism and islamophobia. We acknowledge the pain experienced by many within our community and are committed to recognizing and addressing this hurt.”

These webinars represent the first step in a comprehensive strategy to develop educational spaces at VCU that foster healthy and constructive dialogue and broaden appreciation for diversity of experience, perspective and thought, Berry said.

“Our goal is to actively involve students in this long-term vision, recognizing their potential as leaders who can significantly impact our campus climate and society as a whole,” she said. “We are dedicated to promoting cross-community solidarity and collective action to combat hate.”