Blue background with red and yellow paint splash and the words "News & Updates"

DEI Newsletter: June 2, 2022

Volume 3, Issue 19

Quick Summary

  • Tribute to Dr. Lorena Oropeza and Dr. Rachel Jean-Baptiste
  • P.L.A.C.E with CAMPSSAH Award Winners
  • Cesar Chavez Youth Leadership Conference and Celebration

June 2, 2022 | Volume 3, Issue 19

Download a printable version of this week's newsletter

March with UC Davis Health to show your PRIDE
uc Davis Health pride email signature logo

UC Davis Health and university employees, their families, friends and allies are invited to attend the annual Sacramento Pride parade sponsored by UC Davis Health and the Office of Health Equity, Diversity and Inclusion. The parade will begin at 11 a.m. on Sunday, June 12. UC Davis Health participants—organized and hosted by the UC Davis Health PRIDE Employee Resource Group (ERG)—will meet in advance at Southside Park at 2115 6th Street on the corner of T Street. Learn more and RSVP.

Anti-Racism Resources
DEI logo swirl

A culmination of many stressors, including ongoing racism leading to the disproportionate loss of lives of people of color across America, has left our community traumatized and seeking answers. At UC Davis, we affirm our support for Black lives, acknowledge racism and connect with a shared commitment to address it. The office of Diversity, Equity & Inclusion has assembled a number of resources for Action and Learning. Please find them on our website.

Volunteer for Commencement
bus illustration

Commencement is the perfect time for the UC Davis community to come together to celebrate the students. We’re inviting UC Davis employees, students, alumni and the greater community to volunteer to help us put on some fantastic ceremonies. There will be three ceremonies, one a day (gates open at 6 a.m.) Friday, Saturday and Sunday, June 10, 11 and 12. Volunteers can sign up for any or all of the ceremonies. With duties ranging from handing out programs to lining up students to directing graduates to and from the stage, each volunteer will play an important role on the commencement days. Volunteers will be assigned roles at orientation and also be trained to perform their roles. There will be flexibility in roles in order to accommodate different abilities.


Dear Friends,  

Renetta Tull

Last week on social media, I briefly mentioned remembering the anniversary of George Floyd’s murder, and the horrific killings that we’ve seen in other places … Buffalo, Laguna Woods, Uvalde, Tulsa … grocery stores, church, school, hospital. It can all be too much. Even our fatigue, it pales against the pain that people feel as they’ve lost family members and friends, and we continue to mourn for lives that have been needlessly taken. I ask that you remember to vote … at all levels.


On a note that allows us to remember our past, and celebrate our present, I am happy to share that UC Davis is hosting and co-sponsoring the local Juneteenth celebration this coming Sunday, June 5 on the Davis campus! The “early”  Yolo Juneteenth Celebration will be held between the conference center and the Manetti Shrem museum at UC Davis! We invite you to come out and celebrate! This event is open to students, staff, faculty, alumni, friends, family, neighbors, and the entire community! Please see more information on the Yolo Junteenth website:

Rachel Jean-Baptiste

As we prepare to celebrate more commencements, DEI pays tribute to two inspiring leaders who will be leaving our office at the end of June. Phenomenal historians and DEI warriors, Dr. Lorena Oropeza and Dr. Rachel Jean-Baptiste will be taking new positions on July 1! Professor Rachel Jean-Baptiste, Inaugural Faculty Director for the Institute for Diversity, Equity, and Advancement (IDEA), one of DEI’s newer centers, will take a new position as Associate Dean for Univeristy of California Study Abroad!

Dr. Jean-Baptiste has been adding structure to IDEA and its portfolio of programs, and she launched our Aggie Black Excellence Project. Dr. Jean-Baptiste became a Co-PI for the PROMISE Engineering Institute, and an NSF grant proposal for racial equity. She also led a grant proposal submission for an international collaboration related to COVID Mis- and Disinformation, and developed the COVID Diaries project for Healthy Davis/Healthy Yolo together with “Parenting During the Pandemic.” In addition, she helped to seed IDEA’s “ENGAGE” initiative to make stronger connections within global contexts as a partner with Global Affairs on UC Davis’ Voluntary University Review (VUR) project which examines connections to the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

Dr. Jean-Baptiste and the team at IDEA have worked tirelessly to get IDEA established, and we sincerely thank her for her leadership! We are pleased to share that while her Associate Dean’s role is part of UCOP, she will continue to be a professor in the Department of History here at UC Davis, and she is continuing to work to submit grants on mentoring and leadership as Co-PI. Rachel, thank you for giving us so much of your time, energy, organization, and expertise!   

Lorena Oropeza

After nearly 30 years, Professor and Historian, Dr. Lorena Oropeza, who also serves as our Associate Vice Chancellor for the Office of Academic Diversity, will be leaving UC Davis for a distinguished scholar position at UC Berkeley! AVC Oropeza will be Professor of Ethnic Studies at Berkeley, but will maintain various collaborations throughout the UC. During AVC Oropeza’s time as a leader for academic diversity in DEI over the past two years, she has overseen the growth of the Hispanic-Serving Institution (HSI) initiative; the hiring of UC Davis’ Inaugural HSI Director (Dr. Lina Mendez); two centers – the Center for the Advancement of Multicultural Perspectives in Science (CAMPOS) and the the Center for the Advancement of Multicultural Perspectives in Social Sciences, Arts, and the Humanities (CAMPSSAH); and University of California Office of the President – Advancing Faculty Diversity retention grants (UCOP-AFD).

As Chair of the HSI Task Force (Implementation Phase), she oversaw the publication of the HSI Implementation Task Force Report, and authored “Embracing UC Davis’ Hispanic-Serving Identity as an Emerging Hispanic-Serving Institution.” Both can be found in the HSI section of DEI’s eScholarship page. UC-wide, Dr. Oropeza was a contributor to, “La Lucha Sigue: The University of California’s Role as a Hispanic-Serving Research Institution System.” AVC Oropeza is also a Fellow of the Hispanic Association of Colleges and Universities’ (HACU) La Academia de Liderazgo. Dr. Oropeza joined DEI in 2020, and during that time, we have had the benefit of her thoughtful and compassionate leadership.

Lisa Materson (left) listens to Lorena Oropeza (right) speak at DEI open house

In her role as a professor of History, Dr. Oropeza has authored, The King of Adobe: Reies López Tijerina, Lost Prophet of the Chicano Movement and Raza Si! ¡Guerra No! Chicano Protest and Patriotism during the Viet Nam War Era. In a talk for the UC Davis Humanities Institute, Dr. Oropeza discussed her book and offered “a fresh and unvarnished look at one of the most controversial, criticized, and misunderstood activists of the civil rights era.” Professor Oropeza studies U.S. race and empire; Mexican American/Chicanx History; 1960s social protest; oral history; U.S. gender and empire, and she has received awards and accolades for work to make the field of History more diverse.

Lorena brought a wonderful combination of passion and a kind spirit to her work in DEI. She started during the pandemic in the summer of 2020, and has been dedicated and committed to enhacing equity, especially for current faculty (in collaboration with Academic Affairs) and future faculty (in collaboration with Graduate Studies). She has also been a champion for moving our HSI mission forward, helping UC Davis to be on the radar for strong efforts and initiatives within the UC, and within the US. We will miss her, and look forward to celebrating her on Friday, June 10, after the Chicanx/Latinx Graduation Celebration. Thank you for bringing so much to DEI and to the campus Lorena! We will miss you here, but we will be cheering for you as you share your scholarship with Berkeley. Our colleagues there are excited to have you, and as “sister institutions,” we know that you are going to be with family “down the road.” We wish you the best and we pack our love and support in your bag so that you will have it with you!

Warmest Regards,
Renetta Tull

Summer Research and Teaching Jobs: Ujima GIRL STEM Program 

The Ujima GIRL Project is recruiting undergraduate students to fill two different positions. Ujima GIRL aims to support and expand STEM and leadership access and capacity among African American/Black middle and high school girls throughout California. We are hiring immediately for Summer 2022 with the potential for ongoing employment through next academic year and beyond. The two positions below are posted in Handshake, and are further described on the website link above:

  • C-STEM Ujima GIRL Camp Coach STDT4 (Handshake Job# 6466192)
  • Undergraduate Research Assistants STDT 4 (Handshake Job#6033882)

Please note they are not only looking for STEM majors as the position descriptions imply; undergraduates with interest in supporting African American/Black youth well-being–regardless of major–are strongly encouraged to apply. We are also especially interested in students who desire greater teaching, mentoring, and/or education and social science research experience. Feel free to contact me with any questions or email the team at

Cesar Chavez Youth Leadership Conference and Celebration

“I’m going to give you the license to dream and to dream big.” That’s the message José Hernandez, a former astronaut and a member of the UC Board of Regents since last August, shared with about 1,200 students and others who gathered at UC Davis for the Cesar Chavez Youth Leadership Conference and Celebration Saturday, May 14. Held annually, the free college and career event highlights the life-changing power of education and is designed to be especially beneficial for students from communities historically underrepresented in higher education. It is organized by Student Affairs and the Institute for Diversity Equity and Advancement at the university. Read more about the event.



Office of Academic Diversity | AVC Lorena Oropeza

P.LA.C.E. with CAMPSSAH Announces Award Winners

P.L.A.C.E with CAMPSSAH is delighted to announce the latest recipients of the following awards and grants:

Susy Zepeda

Post-Tenure Start-Up Award: Susy Zepeda, associate professor, Chicana/o Studies! Zepeda will use the grant ($4,000) to enroll in the National Center for Faculty Development & Diversity’s Post-Tenure Pathfinders Program, which provides a space for tenured faculty to “engage in a discovery process about what’s possible” in this phase of their career and “build the support network necessary to move powerfully in that new direction.” Read the complete announcement.

Corrie Decker

Spring Scholar of the Quarter: Corrie Decker, associate professor, History! Decker creates research and networking opportunities for first generation and underrepresented students through the McNair Scholar Program and the departments’ Women’s and Gender History initiative. The courses she leads advance antiracism and antisexism by weaving together historical scholarship with expert guest speakers. Read the complete announcement.

Bettina Ng’weno

Manuscript Workshop: Bettina Ng’weno, associate professor, African American and African Studies! Modeled on similar, successful initiatives such as the UC Humanities Research Institute (UNHRI), the grant provides financial resources for the award recipient to convene a one- to two-day workshop that brings together chosen experts in the scholar’s field to help prepare a manuscript for submission to a publisher. Read the complete announcement.

Summer Writing Symposium: The Summer Writing Symposium is for faculty working to complete a big task, such as writing an introduction, a book proposal, or a chapter and would benefit from uninterrupted, concentrated writing time and structured feedback. Read the complete announcement. This year’s awardees include:

Corrie Decker: associate professor, History
Lisa Materson: associate professor, History
Susette S. Min: associate professor, Asian American Studies
Michael V. Singh: assistant professor, Chicana/o Studies
Grace Wang: associate professor, American Studies

CAMPOS Faculty Scholar Tiffani Johnson Co-authors “Eliminating Race-Based Medicine” Policy Statement
Tiffani Johnson

Race-based medicine has been pervasively interwoven into the fabric of health care delivery in the United States for more than 400 years. Race is a historically derived social construct that has no place as a biologic proxy. In addition to valid measures of social determinants of health, the effects of racism require consideration in clinical decision-making tools in ways that are evidence informed and not inappropriately conflated with the limiting phenotype of race categorization. This policy statement addresses the elimination of race-based medicine as part of a broader commitment to dismantle the structural and systemic inequities that lead to racial health disparities. Read the article here.

Office of Campus Community Relations | Interim AVC Mikael Villalobos

Yolo County Early Juneteenth Holiday Celebration

The Yolo County Early Juneteenth Holiday Celebration, a free, family-friendly event, will be held from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. this Sunday, June 5 at the UC Davis Conference Center and Jan Shrem and Maria Manetti Shrem Museum of Art, at the campus’s southern entry. Visit the event website for the artist and entertainer lineup.

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

Call for Letters of Interest in Diversity Education Facilitation - SEED program

Who should apply? UCD Faculty at the Assistant Professor level or above (MD, PhD, or MD/PhD) with experience in teaching and/or efforts addressing equity and diversity at an academic institution. Time commitment: 0.10 FTE for 1 year term with possibility of renewal/extension starting July 2022-2023. Apply by June 17, 2022, Link to submit your letter.


June 7, Tuesday

Women & Philanthropy Speaker Series: Untangling DEI | 12:00pm
LeShelle May will facilitate a conversation with Vice Chancellor for Diversity, Equity and Inclusion, Renetta Garrison Tull, Ph.D. We will explore what the concepts of "diversity," "equity" and "inclusion" mean, how they interact and depend on one another and why it matters. Our conversation will dive into the 4 A's to untangling DEI: assumptions, awareness, acknowledgement and action. Tull will address what higher education is doing really well and where there is need for improvement. Join as we listen, learn and imagine how we can broaden our participation. Register for the Zoom link.


Nell Gluckman, “2 Universities Tried to Stop ‘Passing the Harasser.’ Here’s What They’ve Learned,” Chronicle of Higher Education, April 22, 2022.

A few years ago, a campus lawyer at the University of California at Davis came to Binnie Singh with a question. A college at UC-Davis, where Singh is assistant vice provost, had selected a new hire. But some at the college had heard rumors about the candidate’s past conduct. What could they do? Read the article.


Resources for Trans and Non-Binary Employees
UC Davis is committed to supporting trans and non-binary employees in the workplace. Resources for employees; resources for supervisors; policies and laws; health benefits; reporting options; community and individual support. Find the resources here.

11 Suggested Actions toward Anti-Racism in the Office and on Your Own
Written by the UC Davis Office of the Vice Chancellor for Diversity, Equity and Inclusion and based on the Office of Health Equity, Diversity and Inclusion’s Anti-Racism and DEI Action Plan, the “Being an Ally Requires being Anti-Racist: 11 Suggested Actions toward Anti-Racism in the Office and on Your Own” provides practical suggestions for everyone.

Reporting Concerns of Harassment and Discrimination
The Harassment & Discrimination Assistance and Prevention Program (HDAPP) supports the University's commitment to a harassment and discrimination-free work and learning environment for all members of the UC Davis, UC Davis Health, and University of California Agriculture and Natural Resources (ANR). 

If you are interested in reporting concerns of Harassment and Discrimination, please contact HDAPP to file a report and/or speak with a representative to better understand your options. Learn more about HDAPP here or go to HDAPP's website for more information.

11 Suggested Actions toward Anti-Racism in the Office and on Your Own
Written by the UC Davis Office of the Vice Chancellor for Diversity, Equity and Inclusion and based on the Office of Health Equity, Diversity and Inclusion’s Anti-Racism and DEI Action Plan, the “Being an Ally Requires being Anti-Racist: 11 Suggested Actions toward Anti-Racism in the Office and on Your Own” provides practical suggestions for everyone. 

Aggie Compass Basic Needs Center
The mission of Aggie Compass is to help mitigate the effects of food and housing insecurity on students, while working to change policy, systems and environment that will affect long term change. The Aggie Compass is a comfortable space for students to build community and learn about basic needs resources, pick up fresh fruits and vegetables, receive CalFresh enrollment assistance and help finding stable housing.

If you need help with food or housing insecurity concerns, financial or mental wellness, please visit their website for more information.

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.

Content Submission Form
Do you have a DEI-oriented event, announcement, or article that you would like us to help promote through our DEI communication channels? Did your unit/department or a member of your unit/department receive recognition that demonstrates your commitment to DEI? If so, please send us your information through this online form.

We invite you to share and submit your thoughts and items for our newsletter (either current or future news and events) at

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