Celebrating and Exploring During Principles of Community Week

UC Davis is celebrating its Principles of Community this week — the ideals that “keep us grounded in a spirit of mutual respect,” as Chancellor Gary S. May said during the opening ceremony Monday (Feb. 22). (Watch a recording of the opening ceremony below.)

“It means we find strength in our diversity and recognize the value we all bring to UC Davis, no matter what our background or point of view may be,” May said of the document, first signed in 1990.

He said the Principles of Community mean UC Davis must continue to support its undocumented students, stop “hate speech that’s designed to terrorize or intimidate,” and more.


More than 1,000 Aggies took a one-question survey to choose the four words that they think best describe the Principles of Community. The winning words, which will become themes for events and programming in future years, are:

  • Respect
  • Equity
  • Learning
  • Community

Renetta Garrison Tull, vice chancellor of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion, said the document had an impact on her from the minute she first interviewed for her position.

“I was impressed by UC Davis’ resolve to have an official statement to affirm dignity and call out discriminatory behaviors,” she said. “This is not common among universities, so UC Davis is special and forward-thinking. I learned that some people share my thoughts about the principles, and even memorize them when they start their positions on campus. Some people also carry a copy of the principles with them.”

Garrison Tull said while she and many others on campus have embraced the principles, others may still be learning about the document and the meaning behind it.

To that end, in the lead-up to Principles of Community Week, the organizers put forth a one-question survey, asking people to identify the parts of the Principles of Community that resonate most strongly with them. Out of the more than 1,000 respondents to the survey, which closed Friday (Feb. 19), respect, equity, learning and community topped the list. Those words will be used to guide events in future years.

Opening ceremony

Award nominations

Soaring to New Heights Diversity and Principles of Community Achievement Recognition Awards — All employees are eligible for these individual and department/unit/team awards. New deadline: March 14.

Events calendar

This year’s events — which are all virtual because of the pandemic — offer another opportunity to highlight and learn about the meaning behind the principles. Here are the remaining events:

Tuesday, Feb. 23

Wednesday, Feb. 24

  • The Intersection of Disability and Other Identities, presented by the Disability Issues Administrative Advisory Committee Dialogues Panelists include Carla Lee Scroggins, undergraduate; Em Doolittle, basic needs advocate in Student Housing and Dining Services; Beth Foraker, a supervisor and lecturer in the School of Education, and co-director of the Redwood Supported Education to Elevate Diversity Scholars Program. Noon.
  • Constituent Group Open House, presented by the Staff Diversity Administrative Advisory Committee — Learn about the seven constituent groups whose members provide opportunities for faculty, staff and students to explore and share the many contributions they bring to the university. 1 p.m.
  • Making the Invisible Visible: Using Cognitive Apprenticeship to Engage Students in Disciplinary Discourse Faculty workshop on techniques faculty members can use to effectively support students who are not already experts in the faculty member’s field of study. 1 p.m.
  • Undergraduate Student Event Meet the student advisors to the chancellor and representatives from the Chancellor's Undergraduate Advisory Board and learn about their programs. 6 p.m.
  • Mental Health in the Black Community: Experiences, Perspectives and Healing Facilitated by Tiffany R. Mimms, president and clinical psychologist at the Rosetta Center for Counseling and Wellness; and Chase Moore, founder and educational psychologist at the Pan African Wellness Center. Co-sponsored by the UC Davis Health African American Faculty and Staff Association and the Office for Health Equity, Diversity and Inclusion. 6 p.m.

Thursday, Feb. 25

Friday, Feb. 26

A full list of events, prerecorded workshops and events for the Sacramento campus is available online.

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