In the wake of George Floyd’s death and Black Lives Matter demonstrations in the summer of 2020, many businesses pledged to focus more on diversity, equity and inclusion. Today (April 27), the University of California, Davis, released a document that shows how the university is investing in programs, people and processes to make the university a more diverse, equitable and inclusive environment.
“At UC Davis, we strive to create and maintain a vibrant community where everyone can bring their full selves and talents to our university and thrive,” said Renetta Garrison Tull, vice chancellor for Diversity, Equity and Inclusion. “Now, as we set our sights on the future, we are reminded that the only progress worth making is progress that allows everyone to prosper.”
Some of the investments made reflect goals set forth in two university plans, a Diversity and Inclusion Strategic Vision developed in 2017 and UC Davis’ overall strategic plan, To Boldly Go, developed in 2018. As part of those goals, UC Davis created the Office of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion in 2019 to lead efforts across all campuses. The first part of the document reflects progress in investing in student support; faculty and staff; opportunity gaps and campus climate; research, teaching, public service and training; and community and accountability.
A few of the investments highlighted include:
- Creating a new campus advisory position to the provost to develop and coordinate comprehensive strategies for building equitable opportunities for learning and success across our colleges and schools and furthering the impact of UC Davis as an engine for social mobility.
- Hiring positions to address the recommendations made in the School of Medicine’s Racial Justice Report Card 2020 Report, which was produced by student leadership within the UC Davis chapter of White Coats for Black Lives.
- Hiring additional diversity subject-matter experts in Davis and Sacramento and expanding offerings of multitopic seminars related to DEI, including racial consciousness workshops and video series as well as unit and department trainings focused on increasing awareness and sensitivity about diversity.
- Partnering with the Transformative Justice in Education Center to assist practitioners and researchers committed to disrupting racial inequities in education by creating restorative, humanizing, justice-seeking teaching and learning communities.
- Establishing the Next Generation Reforms to Advance Campus Safety Task Force that discusses and assesses how the university’s Police Department should evolve to look, operate and engage on both the Davis and Sacramento campuses.
- Creating a partnership with Student Affairs and Graduate Studies to fund graduate student researcher positions to specifically support graduate students in the LGBTQIA Resource Center, Cross Cultural Center, and Women’s Resources and Research Center.
- Sponsoring the “BLACK POETS MATTER” six-week curated poetry reading series with the goal of amplifying and centering Black and multiracial voices.
The second part of the document outlines dozens more strategic investments made in partnership with the colleges, schools and units. These investments run the gamut from providing grant money to undergraduate and graduate students from communities that have been historically marginalized to supporting programs and projects designed to support antiracist training for faculty, staff and students.
“The UC Davis Strategic Investments document shares just some of the many investments that have been made to support our communities, particularly in light of the need to address implicit and explicit bias, racism and structural inequalities,” Chancellor Gary S. May said. “These are just a few of the ways we Aggies are speaking with our actions.”