The University of Virginia’s third annual community storytelling program, Double Take, airs Sunday evening, featuring tales of bridge-building from a diverse group of people, including Cavalier football star Charles Snowden.
In all, seven people will share their stories at Double Take, billed as “stories that make you think twice.”
Other speakers will include UVA Executive Vice President and Chief Operating Officer J.J. Davis; Eryne Zerihun, a sous chef at the UVA Medical Center; “double Hoo” Joel Gardner, who earned a degree from the College of Arts & Sciences in 1970 and a law degree in 1974; and first-year student Taylor Curro. A father-son duo will also speak: Paul C. Harris Sr. in 1997 was the first African American Republican elected to Virginia’s House of Delegates since Reconstruction, while his son, Paul C. Harris Jr., earned a degree in English from the College of Arts & Sciences in 2013 and another from the School of Law in 2016.
Without giving away too much, viewers can expect to hear inspiring stories of people making deep connections with others for the good of all. Double Take will be posted Sunday at 7 p.m. on UVA’s main Facebook account.
UVA President Jim Ryan embraced the theme of bridge-building in 2018, the first year of his presidency.
In his inaugural address, he said, “I see a community that is as vibrant as it is diverse, a community bound by shared values of student self-governance and responsibility, honor and integrity, openness and civility, intellectual rigor and human compassion, and a community willing to build bridges across apparent lines of difference. A community that is not simply inclusive and equitable, but also genuinely integrated.”
The University invited submissions for Sunday’s event in January.
The first Double Take event took place as part of Ryan’s 2018 inauguration. There, Ryan shared the story of his adoption and meeting his Irish birth mother.
The event featured not only Ryan, but nine other speakers, from students to medical trailblazer Dr. Vivian Pinn, a 1967 graduate of UVA’s School of Medicine. Pinn, the only woman and only African American in her class, went on to become the first director of the Office of Research on Women’s Health at the National Institutes of Health.
The 2019 storytelling program featured Provost Liz Magill and many other members of the faculty and student body.
In announcing the third iteration of Double Take, Ryan said stories have the power to teach, connect and inspire people.
“I’m honored to continue Double Take this year and believe that our continued theme of building bridges is especially apt in these times of distancing and uncertainty,” he said. “Our community is only as strong as our connections, and I’m grateful to all who will share their stories with us.”