Diversity, Equity, Inclusion & Belonging

For neuroscientists, a checklist for eliminating gender bias

July 7, 2021

In 2019, Anaïs Llorens and Athina Tzovara — one a current, the other a former University of California, Berkeley, postdoctoral scholar at the Helen Wills Neuroscience Institute (HWNI) — were attending a scientific meeting and pleased that one session, on gender bias in academia, attracted nearly a full house. The problem: The audience of some 300 was almost all women.

Where were the men, they wondered? More than 75% of all tenured faculty in Ph.D. programs around the world are men, making their participation key to solving the problem of gender bias, which negatively impacts the...

Elaine Kim on a reckoning with race many years in the making

June 23, 2021

Elaine Kim, founder of Berkeley Ethnic Studies departmentBefore Elaine Kim came to Berkeley as a Ph.D. student in 1968, she was used to being the only Asian person in the room. Kim, who is Korean American, was born in New York and raised in a predominantly working class white suburb of Washington, D.C., the daughter of a migrant farmworker mother and waiter-turned-diplomat father.

She would go on to be the...

L&S Alumna, ‘Autumn’s Child,’ Gives Back To Sports World & Cal

May 19, 2021

Alumna Akiko Thomson-GueveraAkiko Thomson-Guevera continues to give back to the sports world, years after hanging up her goggles.

An iconic figure in the Philippines and beyond, the Cal women's swimming alumna and three-time Olympian enjoys helping the next generation of athletes achieve its dreams. She is currently the president of the Philippine Olympians Association and...

L&S celebrates the commemoration of Juneteenth as a national holiday

June 18, 2021

JuneteenthUC Berkeley embraces the declaration of Juneteenth as a national holiday. In the College of Letters & Science, we celebrate this momentous occasion, affirming our pursuit of diversity, equity, inclusion, belonging, and justice across all aspects of...

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.