UC Davis’ Center for the Advancement of Multicultural Perspectives on Science, or CAMPOS, dedicated to expanding the numbers of women and underrepresented minorities among science faculty, now has a counterpart for the social sciences, arts and humanities.
In announcing the Center for the Advancement of Multicultural Perspectives in the Social Sciences, Arts and Humanities, or CAMPSSAH, the Office of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion also named Kimberly Nettles-Barcelón as the center’s inaugural faculty director. She has a 50 percent appointment at CAMPSSAH, starting in July, and will continue as an associate professor in the Department of Gender, Sexuality and Women’s Studies.
She will work in close coordination with Academic Affairs to strengthen the recruitment, hiring and retention practices under the Impact Recruitment Initiative and to support underrepresented minority faculty, especially, but also other faculty of color and faculty whose work brings multicultural perspectives to the social sciences, humanities and the arts. She will also seek interdisciplinary collaboration with CAMPOS and the possibility of joint programming.
Nettles-Barcelón joined the UC Davis faculty as an assistant professor in 2001. Since publishing her first book, Guyana Diaries: Women’s Lives Across Difference, she has switched her focus to critical food studies, with a particular focus on race and gendered representations of black women and food. She has embarked on a book-length project with the working title, All the Men Are Chefs, All the Women Are Cooks — But Some of Us Are Brave: Black Women Chefs as Cultural Workers.
She has developed a deep passion around issues connected with work-life balance and retention of faculty of color who are often first-generation Ph.D. holders, called upon to play critical roles in their families and communities outside the university. She believes that mentorship and sustained effort to support faculty of color through to full professor is necessary to create equity and to guard against burnout. It also allows for faculty of color to have the resources and the energies to pay it forward; to do that work of diversity that requires hands-on connections with others at all levels of the institution — from undergraduate students to career staff and administrators — while not sacrificing their research trajectory, familial connections and responsibilities, nor their mental health.
Commenting on her participation in the National Center for Faculty Diversity’s Faculty Success Program in 2016, Nettles-Barcelón said: “It was a moment of great reflection in community with other women-of-color associate professors in different sorts of university environments.
“While the focus was primarily on how to prioritize our intellectual outputs, its most impactful result was deepening my critical consciousness around our common experiences.
“I bring that consciousness into this new position … seeing my role as one where we strengthen and improve the lived experiences of existing faculty of color as well as recruiting for more diversity.”