What does it mean to be a good neighbor?
That’s the question at the heart of a new initiative that University of Virginia students hope will deepen the connection between the UVA community and some of the Charlottesville neighborhoods closest to Grounds.
This year, five third-year students – Ameenah Elam, Dominique DeBose, Isabella Hall , Sade Akinbayo and Sarah Bland – are the first to live in The Perkins House, a house in Charlottesville’s 10th and Page neighborhood named in honor of civil rights activist John M. Perkins. Throughout the year, they will work to build relationships with their neighbors in big and small ways, whether by opening up their home for dinners or simply helping carry groceries. Some will also partner with different nonprofit organizations working in the community.
“This house will be a group of young people trying to live out an authentic faith, following the great commandment of loving God and loving each other,” Perkins said. “In this world today, there is so much division and violence, and it has been my life’s effort – and that of my wife and many others – to live a life of love.”