Diversity, Equity, Inclusion & Belonging

Truly changing sex is possible, says Berkeley trans scholar Grace Lavery

June 14, 2021

Grace Lavery, Trans ScholarWhen Grace Lavery joined UC Berkeley’s English department in 2013, she didn’t know that she would become one of the most followed trans scholars in the world on social media and an outspoken advocate for the trans community.

An associate professor of Victorian literature, Lavery first became interested in trans studies after reading the work of...

‘Berkeley Model’ for Combating Antisemitism on College Campuses Poised to Go Viral

June 7, 2021

Antisemitism video's initiative is to demystify and educateAn education program developed at UC Berkeley aimed at stamping out antisemitism on campus is finding a national audience, with help from a $25,000 grant and a video that strives to put a complex history into simpler terms.

The ...

What Pedro De Anda Plascencia '21 Wants His Fifth-Grade Self to Know

June 3, 2021

Pedro De Anda Plascencia '21 holds English and political science degreesPedro De Anda Plascencia recently graduated with two degrees in English and political science from the College of Letters & Science. He is an Achievement Award Program (TAAP) Scholar in UC Berkeley's Class of 2021. Following is an excerpt from his speech delivered at this spring's TAAP...

How the Asian American movement began at Berkeley, sparked creativity and unity

May 14, 2021

In the second part of a three-part series, Philip Kan Gotanda, playwright and UC Berkeley professor in the division of Arts & Humanities, discusses how he began to write music during the emerging Asian American movement, which began at Berkeley in the late 1960s. And how, after his music career didn’t take off as he’d hoped, he went to law school, where he wrote his first play. Now, he’s one of the most prolific playwrights of Asian American-themed work in the United States.

Julie Thao is finding ways to heal trauma in her Hmong community

May 14, 2021

Julie Thao '21Julie Thao graduates this year with a bachelor’s in Asian American and Asian diaspora studies from the Department of Ethnic Studies, and a minor in global public health. Here, Thao reflects on the impact of violence and war on her family, and why Hmong American history is ignored.

Jose Magana, L&S senior, on having faith in your journey

May 12, 2021

Jose Magana '21Graduating CalNerds scholar Jose Magana, a senior studying geophysics and seismology in the Earth and Planetary Sciences department, was uprooted from his life in El Salvador and forced to flee his country as an undocumented refugee. He overcame arduous life experiences to graduate from Berkeley this spring.

Kim Nalley, Ph.D. graduate, on the renaissance of Black protest music

May 18, 2021

Kim Nalley '21Kim Nalley graduated in May 2021 with a Ph.D. in history from the College of Letters & Science. In her dissertation, “G.I. Jazz,” she looks at African Americans as jazz artists, as well as occupiers, in post-World War II Germany.

Dr. Jovan Lewis, L&S faculty, appointed to Newsom's Reparations Task Force

May 7, 2021

As the country continues to confront a history of racial injustice, deeply rooted in the legacy of slavery and systemic racism, today, Governor Gavin Newsom appointed five individuals to serve on the newly formed Task Force to Study and Develop Reparation Proposals for African Americans. The formation of this task force was made possible by the Governor’s signing of AB 3121, authored by then-Assemblymember Shirley Weber (D-San Diego), which established a nine-member task force to inform Californians about slavery and explore ways the state might provide reparations.

A Conversation with Gene Yang '95, L&S Alumnus & Award-Winning Cartoonist

May 5, 2021

On the evening of March 16, 2021, a man opened fire in three Atlanta-area businesses and killed eight people, six of whom were of Asian descent. In response to those tragic shootings, “#StopAsianHate” and “#AsiansAreHumansToo” became all too familiar refrains as thousands across the country protested the rising tide of anti-Asian bias and violence. Gene Luen Yang, a renowned cartoonist, turned to his pen and paper and used the medium of comics to channel his own thoughts and emotions.


Fiat Vox: First Artist-in-Residence in the Department of Art Practice, Fred DeWitt

April 22, 2021

In a recent Fiat Vox podcast, Anne Brice interviewed Berkeley MFA student Fred DeWitt. DeWitt, 61, shares in his own words what the Black Panthers meant to him as a young boy growing up in the Bay Area, how Barack Obama’s election as president inspired him to go back to school to study art, and the complicated nature of honoring the lives of people who never wanted to be remembered for their deaths. His MFA show will be at the Berkeley Art Museum and Pacific Film Archive (BAMPFA) in June.