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For Your Information | December 10, 2020

Volume 2, Issue 5

Quick Summary

  • YEAR-END REPORT HIGHLIGHT: “Community Building, Squared”
  • YEAR-END REPORT HIGHLIGHT: “Police Reform and Safety”

Download a printable version of this week's newsletter

Dear Friends, 

This issue of our newsletter marks the last one for 2020. What a year it has been … and we are still here. In a phone conversation with one of our team members this morning, I asked her how she was doing, and she said, “It is a beautiful day outside, and I am alive and breathing.” That truly made my day. I am thankful that we’ve made it to this point, and wish you strength as you continue forward.

For this issue, I would like to ask you to take a look at our newly published Impact Report, which chronicles activities from July 2019 when I started, to June 2020. It also includes a few more recent highlights from late Summer and Fall 2020 to highlight our path forward. I would like to share parts of the opening letter here: 

I arrived at UC Davis in July 2019, and within a few months of  2020, we’ve experienced  challenges that have grasped the world, the nation, and UC Davis, e.g.,  the COVID-19 pandemic, greater attention to loss of Black lives to violence,  and greater recognition of the incidence and impacts of ongoing racism . These challenges continue, and  our community has been traumatized -seeking answers and ways to cope. However, despite these difficulties, there is strength, resilience, and a continued – indeed a collaborative commitment to equity and justice. Ensuring that justice is served is not limited to the work of a few, it is up to all of us to join in and work together.  

I have never asked so much of our DEI staff in Davis and Sacramento as I have this year … and they are working on behalf of the campus and community to respond to these challenges. We consider the effects of every decision—and there are many complex decisions we must make every day—in service to all members of our campus community. Some of our most important pivots have been around tailoring our racial healing and health work toward the urgent needs of both the COVID-19 pandemic and the racial justice movement that has become front and center nationally and locally. Our office has established partnerships across the campus, which have been essential as the campus responds to issues at local, national, and global levels. We thank you for working with us.

So many have pitched in and given so much to help with working toward an equitable environment. DEI would like to thank Dr. Danica Tisdale Fisher, Director of Summer Sessions, and Chair of the African American Faculty and Staff Association (AAFSA) on the Davis campus for her tremendous service and dedication to DEI efforts. Dr. Fisher will be starting a new position at Yale University as Assistant Dean of Diversity in the Graduate School, starting January 2021. UC Davis will miss her leadership! We applaud her, and congratulate her on her new role!

As we end the year, we thank you for your resilience, and for your resounding commitment to social justice. During this season, we send our best wishes to you for joy, hope, peace, and some much needed rest. 

Warmest regards,

Download the Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Year-End Report
New! “Engineering an Inclusive Future” Webpage

The College of Engineering strives to implement the vision set forth by Chancellor May to make UC Davis one of the most diverse and inclusive universities in the country and to integrate concepts of diversity, inclusion, and equity into everything we do. They are proud to present “Engineering an Inclusive Future,” a new communications platform showcasing our efforts through the viewpoints of our remarkable faculty, staff, researchers and students. Explore here!

New Director of Chicanx and Latinx Academic Student Success: Dr. Lily Ploski

Kayton C. Carter, Executive Director, Student Affairs Retention Initiatives announced the selection of Dr. Ploski to lead CCLASS effective December 7, 2020. Ploski is an education advocate and has been a leader in the field of higher education for more than 20 years. She has been working to expand the education and workforce development pipeline for communities of color and first-generation college students. Ploski has also served as a professional expert for federal, state, county, and regional planning committees and has experience working with non-profit agencies and K-12, community colleges, and four-year universities. Her work breaks down barriers for low-income students as well as advances institutional learning around diversity, inclusion, and equity practices. “Welcome Dr. Ploski!”

Winter-Spring 2021 Anti-Racism Syllabus

Earlier this fall, we published a webpage of events that addresses racism and elevates awareness of racism and bias that took place over the summer, along with numerous others that have occurred during the fall quarter. We are now putting together our anti-racism syllabus for the winter and spring quarters. Please let us know if you are a part of or hosting an event we can include. Please e-mail the details to Tom O’Donnell.


Office of Campus Community Relations | AEVC Rahim Reed

YEAR-END REPORT HIGHLIGHT: “Police Reform and Safety”

The Police Accountability Board (PAB) provides important insight to campus policing moving forward and in light of current events and the call to reimagine policing at UCD (and across the system). DEI held quarterly PAB public meetings during the academic year to give opportunities to Davis and Sacramento campus community members and surrounding community members, to learn more about the board’s work and how to file complaints, and to raise concerns.

The Next Generation Reforms to Advance Campus Safety Task Force is co-chaired by Renetta Garrison Tull, Vice Chancellor for Diversity, Equity and Inclusion, and Kevin Johnson, Dean of the School of Law. The group is tasked with discussing and assessing how the university’s police department should evolve to look, operate, and engage on both the Davis and Sacramento campuses. Plans for the taskforce include a close examination of histories, both at UC Davis and within the U.S. (DEI, “Taking Action, Year-End Report, 2019-2020,” page 5.)

Police Accountability Board 2019-2020 Annual Report

The UC Davis Police Accountability Board (PAB) 2019-2020 Annual Report is now available online. The PAB issues an annual, public report detailing summary information and statistical data regarding the number of complaints filed, the type of complaints filed, analysis of trends or patterns, the ultimate disposition of the complaints, and the percentage of complaints in which the recommendations of the PAB were either accepted, rejected, or modified by the Chief of Police. In an effort to increase the transparency of the PAB’s work and to provide timely follow-up on issues important to the UC Davis and broader communities, the 2019-2020 Annual Report continues to include detailed summaries of the PAB’s recommendations along with its questions and comments to the Chief, as well as a summary of the PAB pilot program review, recommendations, and proposed implementation plan. Additional information on the Police Accountability Board can be found on the PAB website.

Office of Health Equity, Diversity and Inclusion | AVC Hendry Ton

YEAR-END REPORT HIGHLIGHT: “Community Building, Squared”

As one of the leading institutions in both higher education and health care in the region, UC Davis is committed to leveraging its economic power and human and intellectual resources to increase the economic vitality of our surrounding communities thereby improving the health and well-being of their residents. Following the launch of the Anchor Institution Mission (AIM) for Community Health in 2019-20, UC Davis Health has continued to outline its goals and milestones for this important initiative. UC Davis seeks to partner with community in a number of strategic areas:

  • Volunteer Locally: engage employees to volunteer in local neighborhoods,
  • Invest Locally: invest portions of endowments into projects in vulnerable communities,
  • Purchase Locally: purchase more goods and services from local vendors, and
  • Hire Locally: hire and develop local talent. Success in these areas hinges on strong internal/external partnerships.

DEI, “Taking Action, Year-End Report, 2019-2020,” pages 38, 23.

Office of Academic Diversity | Interim AVC Lorena Oropeza


The new Center for the Advancement of Multicultural Perspectives on Social Science, Arts, and Humanities (CAMPSSAH) was established in 2019 to build on the success of the Center for the Advancement of Multicultural Perspectives on Science (CAMPOS) and the mission to encompass the multicultural perspectives of academic faculty in social science, arts, and humanities. In July, Kimberly Nettles-Barcelón, Associate Professor and Faculty Advisory of Gender, Sexuality, and Women’s Studies, was appointed as the inaugural Faculty Director. She has worked closely with the DEI office and Academic Affairs to strengthen the recruitment, hiring, and retention practices initially begun under Provost Ralph Hexter as part of the Impact Recruitment Initiative (IRI) to support faculty with a focus on African American or African diaspora students and communities. 

In November, CAMPSSAH inducted its inaugural cohort of eight Faculty Scholars representing seven different disciplines: Orly Clergé, Sociology; Darnel Degand, Education; Juan Diego Diaz, Music; StacyAnn Elvy, Law; Stephen Garcia, Graduate School of Management; Jamal Jones, Religious Studies; Faheemah Mustafaa, Education; and Branwen Kiemute Okpako, Cinema and Digital Media. (DEI, “Taking Action, Year-End Report, 2019-2020,” page 29.)

NSF CAREER Grant for Materials Chemist and CAMPOS Faculty Scholar Jesús Velázquez

Jesús Velázquez, assistant professor of chemistry, and 2016 CAMPOS Faculty Scholar, has received a prestigious CAREER grant from the National Science Foundation (NSF). The NSF Faculty Early Career Development (CAREER) program funds junior faculty who perform outstanding research, are excellent educators and include outreach in their work. Velázquez’s lab creates new materials for use in nanoelectronics, green energy and environmental remediation. The grant will support research on compounds called chalcogenides, which contain the elements sulfur, selenium or tellurium. Read the article here.


December 10, Thursday
Report on the State of Undocumented Students in California’s Public Universities | 12:00PM
The UC Collaborative to Promote Immigrant and Student Equity and the Undocumented Student Equity Project will be releasing a new report, Persisting Inequalities and Paths Forward: A Report on the State of Undocumented Students in California’s Public Universities. Drawing on a survey of nearly 1,300 undocumented CSU and UC students, the report takes stock of the educational experiences and wellbeing of undocumented college students in California. We will host a special briefing to offer in-depth coverage of the findings and a discussion of what stakeholders need to know to advance equity and inclusion for undocumented students. Register for the virtual briefing here

2020 Improving OUTcomes Conference: Improving LGBTQ Health Today for a Better Tomorrow | 3:30PM
Improving LGBTQ+ Health Today for a Better Tomorrow: A Virtual Series. Join us as we explore how health professionals and community partners can improve quality of and access to care for lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer and questioning (LGBTQ+) patients and their families. The discussion will focus on Transgender Learner Experiences. Register here.

January 23 - 25
“Picture a Scientist” Film Viewing and Panel Discussion
Please join the Office for Diversity, Equity and Inclusion in partnership with the Women in Medicine and Health Sciences (WIMHS) and Isabel P. Montañez and Dawn Sumner, Professors in the Department of Earth and Planetary Sciences for an opportunity to view the 2020 Tribeca film selection “Picture a Scientist” about the groundswell of researchers who are writing a new chapter for women scientists. We will publish a link to view the film online for 72 hours starting on Saturday, January 23 and then host a round table featuring UC Davis faculty to discuss the film on Monday, January 25 from 4:30 - 6:00pm. Registration information will be available soon.


David E. Hayes-Bautista, Giselle D. Hernandez, Paul Hsu, Center for the Study of Latino Health and Culture, “The First Year of Latino COVID-19 Deaths: Why Should Anyone Care?” December 2020.
During its first year, the coronavirus has ravaged Latino families and communities in California and other states far more seriously than it has non-Latino populations. Anyone who is interested in restoring the United States Gross Domestic Product’s (GDP) growth rate to healthy levels should care deeply about the threat that COVID-19 poses to the fastest-growing segment of the nation’s economy: the U.S. Latino Gross Domestic Product. Read the press releaseread the full report.

Hannah Wiley and Kim Bojórquez, “California’s vaccine plan will prioritize Blacks and Latinos, among others. Here’s why.” Sacramento Bee, November 19, 2020.
Sergio Aguilar-Gaxiola of the Center for Reducing Health Disparities is quoted in a Sacramento Bee story that explores whether Blacks and Latinos should be on the priority list for a COVID-19 vaccine. Read the article.

Vanessa Romo, “Judge Orders Trump Administration To Restore DACA As It Existed Under Obama,”, December 4, 2020. 
A federal judge has reversed the Trump administration's latest round of rules placing further limits on the Obama-era program that shields undocumented immigrants who came to the country as children from deportation. Read the article.


Counseling Services Mental Health Resources Webinar [requires Kerberos log-in] One of the things we hear frequently from instructors about teaching in Spring 2020 is the extent to which they encountered students in their courses experiencing significant stress or crisis, yet they felt unequipped to help or direct students to resources. To help, Student Health and Counseling Services provided a Mental Health Resources Webinar. If supporting students in crisis is a concern for you, please watch this previously-recorded webinar. Webinar topics include an overview of mental health services on campus, how to make referrals, signs of distress and how to respond, and how faculty can support students in the classroom (remote or on-campus). Student Affairs has also provided this folder of faculty resources.

Aggie Compass Basic Needs Center We are a student community space where you can find fresh fruits and vegetables during Fruit & Veggie Up!, get CalFresh enrollment assistance and find resources to help you find stable housing and financial assistance. 

Keep Teaching Instructional Resilience at UC Davis supports UC Davis faculty during a time of COVID-19-related illness, quarantine, or campus closure. This site provides concise, practical resources and strategies for moving part or all of a course online to help you keep teaching.  

Food Resources for UC Davis Students and Community Members Food is one of the most basic and important human needs, yet an increasing number of college students are going hungry as food insecurity gets worse. Food insecurity can not only lead to poor health, but it can also have detrimental effects on a student's academic, professional, and social life. Food insecurity can be brought on by various factors, including limited food access and financial difficulties. Here in Davis, there is a variety of fresh and health foods in grocery stores, restaurants, and farmer’s markets.

Campus Ready With the anticipation that our on-campus community will increase gradually over the next several months, we are introducing a robust COVID-19 plan to ensure that UC Davis is “campus ready” for you. What does campus ready mean? It means phases of return to campus. New policies, guidelines and protocols to minimize exposure. And a campus wide approach that follows prevention best practices including wearing face coverings, physical distancing, frequent sanitization and symptom monitoring.

UC Davis Office for Health Equity, Diversity and Inclusion COVID resources page In English and Spanish to reach our communities and we are actively updating with new resources.

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Thank you for your dedication to diversity, equity and inclusion!