Initiative Will Support K-16 Teachers Nationwide with Research-based Approaches to Increase Racial, Religious and Ethnic Tolerance

The University of Virginia Curry School of Education and Human Development has received $1 million from the Bank of America Charitable Foundation to launch a program designed to help teachers increase racial, religious and ethnic tolerance in students from kindergarten to college.

“With these funds, a team of faculty at the Curry School will develop practical and effective research-based materials that teachers can use to increase tolerance and respect across multiple grade levels,” said Catherine Bradshaw, associate dean at the Curry School of Education and Human Development. “The broader initiative will enable us to expand the range of resources and tools that our faculty have already created to improve equity in schools.”

The funding will enable faculty members in the Curry School to create lessons and tools for educators from elementary through college, integrating topics such as racial justice, ethnic diversity and religious tolerance into their teaching.

 “Fostering an inclusive society is a key to advancing economic and social progress in communities across the country,” said Linda Stanley, Charlottesville Market President at Bank of America. “We recognize the Curry School’s expertise in developing educational programs for our future teachers, and believe this initiative will make a tremendous impact with young people.”

The Curry School is home to a number of initiatives and centers aimed at increasing tolerance and racial and social justice. In addition to dozens of current research, training, and outreach efforts across the school, the newly formed Center on Race, Public Education, and the South and the Youth-Nex Center on Positive Youth Development both engage in scholarship that address matters of racial and economic justice.

“This new initiative funded by Bank of America will be a critical and timely addition to our growing portfolio of efforts addressing fundamental issues of equity, access and justice,” said Bob Pianta, dean of the Curry School of Education and Human Development. “We are hopeful for the ways an investment like this can make an exponential impact for good on classrooms and students across the nation.”

The project will launch on September 25 at an event co-hosted by James Ryan, president of the University of Virginia and Andrew Plepler, Environmental Social and Governance Executive at Bank of America. The event will feature a panel discussion, which will be moderated by Pianta and include key figures that are addressing issues of racial and social justice nationwide:

The event, scheduled to begin at 4:30 p.m., will be livestreamed and can be viewed at