Social Justice Awards Presented

Seven people, posed in a line, with Chancellor Gary S. May and a woman holding trophy
Members of the HSI Community Council, pictured with Chancellor Gary S. May, center, include, from left, Ramon Urbano ’66; Robert Aguallo ’73; Caroline Cabias ’72; Neptaly “Taty” Aguilera ’73; José Michel, Ed.D. ’86; and Lina Mendez, Ph.D. ’10. See link in story for the complete roster. (Karin Higgins/UC Davis)

UC Davis’ Hispanic-Serving Institution Community Council, an undergraduate student and a Ph.D. candidate are among the recipients of Social Justice Awards from the university’s 12th annual Equity Summit, held May 30.

The Equity Summit is organized by the UC Davis-sponsored Sacramento Area Youth Speaks, or SAYS, and sponsored by Undergraduate Admissions; the Office of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion; and the School of Education.

Equity Summit overview, with "Lif As We Climb" projected on screen, and "Equity" spelled out in latters on the stage
“Lift As We Climb” was the theme of the 12th annual Equity Summit. (TJ Ushing/UC Davis)

SAYS works with middle school and high school students in several school districts and counties around the state, engaging with the students in critical literacy practices and spoken word performance poetry as a means of empowering them within and beyond their school walls.

Lifetime Achievement Award

The HSI Community Council received the Lifetime Achievement Award for Embodying Equity and Diversity. With a membership roster that includes alumni from as far back as 1966, the council has a vested interest in seeing UC Davis maintain its focus on intentionally serving Chicano/Latino students; boost recruitment, retention and graduation numbers among this underserved population; and achieve federal designation as a Hispanic-Serving Institution.

“Some of the HSI Community Council members have been involved with UC Davis for up to 50, almost 60 years, and we very much appreciate their efforts toward the significant progress we are making,” said Lina Mendez, director of the university’s Hispanic-Serving Institution Initiatives.

Individual awards

The Equity Summit also presented four individual Social Justice Awards, including two for UC Davis affiliates:

Shahzad Atiqur headshot, UC Davis student
Shahzad Atiqur
Hodari Bayano Davis headshot, UC Davis Ph.D. student
Hodari Bayano Davis
  • Brandon Harrison Youth Leader and Youth Organizing Award — Shahzad Atiqur, a third-year mathematics major at UC Davis. He participates in Improve Your Tomorrow, or IYT, an organization that helps young men of color get to and through college, and served as an intern with the Brotherhood Action Committee that grew out of IYT. The award is named after a youth activist from Stockton whose life was taken by gun violence in 2017. During his time working with Fathers and Families of San Joaquin, Brandon attended the SAYS Summit College Day and the Equity Summit at UC Davis.
  • Engaged Scholarship and Scholar Activism Award — Hodari Bayano Davis, Ph.D. student, UC Davis School of Education. He is a partner and chief innovation officer, Edutainment for Equity, a consulting and production company that specializes in equity and inclusion, strategic planning and futures thinking, and youth development and education.
  • Seeding Improvements in Educational Policy + Practice Award — bel Reyes, executive director, Innovation Bridge, which works to deliver high quality technical assistance aimed at bridging innovative practices and collaborative partnership for more just and equitable communities and schools.
  • Ubuntu Award for Inspiring Social Change — Aimée Zenzele Barnes, diversity and equity manager, city of Sacramento.
More Laurels, including the Chancellor’s Awards for Excellence in Mentoring Undergraduate Research

Dateline UC Davis welcomes news of faculty and staff awards, for publication in Laurels. Send information to

Media Resources

Dateline Staff: Dave Jones, editor, 530-752-6556,; Cody Kitaura, News and Media Relations specialist, 530-752-1932,

Primary Category

Secondary Categories

Student Life University