Dear Graduate Students,

Lisa García BedollaThis month, we are reminded of the triumphs and struggles of African Americans whose contributions have shaped our country and our world. As we look at where we are today, still fighting for voting rights, the rights of K-12 teachers to discuss race in their classrooms, and witnessing continuing incidents of racism across the nation, sometimes it’s hard not to feel disheartened.

And yet, we must feel proud that, as members of the UC Berkeley community, we are part of a decades-long legacy of social justice advocacy and activism that defines our values and inspires us to push forward and make the change we want to see.

We in the Graduate Division continue to work hard to strengthen diversity within our graduate community and ensure that students from all backgrounds are seen and heard — that you have the support you need to achieve your dreams.

This month we launched two Leadership in Graduate Diversity Awards to recognize those graduate students whose work and accomplishments have positively impacted our URM student community and, by extension, campus.

I’m also excited to announce that we’re finalizing an agreement to convert an existing 2-story building on Channing into the first campus-wide community hub exclusively dedicated to increasing excellence through diversity and belonging at Berkeley. Stay tuned for more details about the UC Berkeley Inclusive Excellence Hub.

To grow diversity in future graduate student cohorts, this summer we will be launching the Inclusive Excellence Summer Research Experience — a fully funded 8-week summer program providing interdisciplinary and self-enrichment training to develop the next generation of graduate students from historically underrepresented backgrounds.

And in early March we will be hosting Experience Diversity 2022 — a series of webinars to help newly admitted graduate students, especially those from historically underrepresented backgrounds, make the best and most informed decision about why the program at Berkeley they were accepted into is the right one for them.

Lastly, Graduate Division is co-sponsoring — along with the UC Berkeley Anti-Racist Campus Initiative, People & Culture, the Division of Equity & Inclusion and the Office for Faculty Equity & Welfare — a series of workshops for campus staff on Liberatory Design. With this effort, we hope to help staff and administrators better understand where racial bias hides in our educational system and turn our equity values into action across campus. This is an extension of almost two years of equity work that the Graduate Division staff has been engaged in.

It’s exciting to finally see campus humming with life and to know that we can again be together to support each other and grow the vibrant and inclusive community we love.

Be well!

Fiat lux!

Lisa García Bedolla
Vice Provost for Graduate Studies and Dean of the Graduate Division