The Collegian
Saturday, June 25, 2022

Student activists to attend off-campus retreat

Twenty University of Richmond students will attend EnVision2 this weekend, an off-campus retreat for students interested in gaining a broader understanding of social-justice issues.

The purpose of the retreat is to help students think about whether they've seen inequity in the world, said Lisa Miles, associate director of Common Ground. Students who want to be activists or change agents will learn the skills they need to know, she said.

There are few things in the world a person can change alone, and it is important to know how to build teams and groups whose members share the same goals, Miles said.

The activities that students will be partaking in will remain undisclosed until after the retreat, she said. Her hope is that students will leave the retreat feeling energized about the possibilities of what they could achieve in the world.

"I want them to feel capable of taking on some challenges that they see in the world," Miles said.

EnVision2 is for students who are somewhat advanced in thinking about social-justice issues, said Glyn Hughes, director of Common Ground.

Because the university staff prioritizes engagement and diversity, there needs to be an infrastructure that nurtures and trains students who want the tools and skills needed to make a more just world, he said.

Common Ground staff will keep the students connected after the retreat through dinners, documentary movie viewings and a Facebook group, Miles said.

The six faculty members who will act as facilitators at the retreat include Hughes; Miles; Ted Lewis, associate director LGBTQ campus life; Kim Dean, director of the Richmond Families Initiative and UR Downtown program; Jess Hofbauer, administrative coordinator of the Center for Civic Engagement; and Tamisha Grayson, assistant director of admission.

EnVision1, the first part of the retreat, was held in November. About half of the people who attended EnVision1 will attend EnVision2.

EnVision1 focused on social justice and diversity, with more emphasis on interpersonal relationships, Hughes said. EnVision2 will focus on institutional, broader social issues, he said.

The event will be held at the Roslyn Conference and Retreatment Center on River Road.

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