October 22, 2019 News & Features » Cover Story


Erin White, 34 

Virginia Commonwealth University Libraries Head of Digital Engagement

click to enlarge erin_white2.jpg

Ash Daniel

As a department head, Erin White enhances access and exploration of VCU’s scholarly record and library services. Or, as they — White prefers the they/them pronoun — put it, “Making our digital spaces the best they can be.”

White takes that initiative beyond the libraries to the university’s general population, focusing on social justice initiatives and using collaborative leadership skills and savvy application of technology to make the community a better place by increasing diversity, equity and inclusion. Since coming out as nonbinary professionally and personally, White has become an advocate for others as part of a group researching how to holistically better serve transgender and nonbinary students and another group looking at the university’s hiring practices to make them more reflective of an array of diverse, lived experiences.

“I’m proud to be given leeway to contribute in that way,” White says.

Also as a host home for Side by Side, a nonprofit that helps LGBTQ youth escape homelessness, White and their wife host young people in transition.

Reared in Alabama, White sees much of this work as a response or opposition to the prevailing narrative of Confederate apologists and “cis-straight white folks.”

“Being from the Deep South, I carry that with me,” White says. “I push back against those ideas and put my energy in that direction to help make a change. And I sit down and shut up when I need to.”

Back to the 2019 Top 40 Under 40


Latest in Cover Story


Subscribe to this thread:

Add a comment

Connect with Style Weekly

Most Popular Stories

  • Find Your Scent

    Find Your Scent

    New custom candle-making company in Midlothian allows customers to craft their own scented products.
    • Apr 27, 2021
  • Elephants on a Wire

    Elephants on a Wire

    A crowded field of Republican gubernatorial candidates embraces ranked voting in a battle for the soul of their party.
    • May 4, 2021
  • Vote Now

    Vote Now

    Vote for your favorites in the 2021 Best Of Richmond
    • May 1, 2021
  • Keep Walking

    Keep Walking

    As a panacea to the pandemic, a German hiker tackles all of Virginia’s state parks.
    • Apr 20, 2021
  • More »

Copyright © 2021 Style Weekly
Richmond's alternative for news, arts, culture and opinion
All rights reserved
Powered by Foundation