In June of 2020, faculty and staff at Berkeley Journalism formed an Anti-Racism Working Group (ARWG) focusing on five focus areas based on the NABJ’s Action Items and communication from students and alumni. The working group's goal was to respond with urgency to meet and develop serious and meaningful plans in response to action items and communication , and build on the momentum of this national uprising to make meaningful changes in addressing systemic anti-Black and other forms of racism within Berkeley Journalism. On July 15, 2020, the ARWG submitted recommendations to the Interim Dean Geeta Anand and opportunities for the Berkeley Journalism community to provide feedback and input to the recommendations were created .
In September 2020, Interim Dean Geeta Anand shared with the community How Berkeley Journalism Intends to Address Systemic Racism in Our School and in Our Profession, a plan based on the recommendations and feedback. The Steering Committee, comprised of the Working Group facilitators as well as alumni and student volunteers, held its first meeting on September 11, 2020, and met regularly throughout the 2020-2021 academic year. The responsibility of holding the school accountable for implementing this plan has transitioned to the Equity & Inclusion Committee, which includes faculty, lecturers, staff, students and alumni.
As we undertake this work together, we call upon the Berkeley Journalism community to reaffirm the principles of community and dialogue, pledging, among other things, that “we won’t demean, devalue or ‘put down’ people for their experiences, lack of experiences, or differences in interpretation of those experiences."
This site provides information on our plan and progress. If you have any questions about the information contained in this site, please contact: Amy Utstein - Sr. Assistant Dean of Administration & CAO or Blaine Jones - Sr. Director of Academic & Student Services.
How Berkeley Journalism Intends to Address Systemic Racism in Our School and in Our Profession
We have put together a proposed Anti-Racism Plan, How Berkeley Journalism Intends to Address Systemic Racism in Our School and in Our Profession, based on the recommendations of the five working groups that met during in June of 2020 and the feedback we received from our community, including the NABJ, other students, and alumni. The plan and associated action items will be reviewed regularly by the Equity & Inclusion Committee gathering input from the community and updated as needed.
Our plan has seven priority areas:
DIVERSIFICATION OF FACULTY, LECTURERS, STAFF AND STUDENTS
INCREASE STUDENT FUNDING AND STUDENT SUPPORT
DIVERSIFY CURRICULUM AND LEARNING OPPORTUNITIES
EMPHASIZE DIVERSITY, EQUITY AND INCLUSION IN EXTRACURRICULAR AND PUBLIC-FACING ACTIVITIES
CULTURE AND CLIMATE
COMMUNICATION AND TRANSPARENCY
The full plan can be read here - How Berkeley Journalism Intends to Address Systemic Racism in Our School and in Our Profession.
As we continue to revisit, revisit and advance our efforts, progress and updates will be documented here. While many action items can be completed fully others may be continuous and ongoing. In addition, our work towards being an anti-racist organization should be ongoing. Progress on any of the action items is designated as: completed, items completed and in progress, significant progress, and in progress.
Continuing in the efforts of the Steering Committee, the charge of the Equity & Inclusion Committee is to hold the school accountable for implementing our plan and to provide timely updates to the community on the progress.
Here are the members of the 2022-2023 Equity & Inclusion Committee:
- Amy Utstein, Co-Chair
- Blaine Jones, Co-Chair
- Andres Cediel
- Lisa Armstrong
- Mallory Newman
- Pamela Estrada
- Simmerdeep Kaur
Fall Semester Meeting Dates:
Thursday, October 12, 2022, 2-3 PM
Thursday, November 15, 2022, 1-2 PM
Thursday, December 7, 2022, 2-3 PM
Anti-Racism Working Group
In June of 2020, faculty and staff of Berkeley Journalism formed an Anti-Racism Working Group (ARWG) focusing on five areas based on the NABJ’s Action Items and communication from students and alumni. The working group's goal was to respond with urgency to meet and develop serious and meaningful plans in response to action items and communication , and build on the momentum of this national uprising to make meaningful changes in addressing systemic anti-Black and other forms of racism within Berkeley Journalism. On July 15, 2020, the ARWG submitted recommendations to the Interim Dean Geeta Anand. In order to create sustainable and lasting change, it is important to gather feedback and input from Berkeley Journalism community members. Anonymous feedback and input was gathered from the community in July 2020. Also in July, we sought to include alumni and current students on the Steering Committee.
These were the five focus areas:
- Diversification of the student body, staff, and faculty
- Student funding and support
- Curriculum and learning
- Extracurricular and public-facing activities
- Culture, climate, communication, and transparency
Five Focus Areas
Each of the 30 faculty and staff who volunteered to be part of the working group were distributed across the five focus areas. Co-facilitators guided participants to:
- Develop immediate recommendations and actions that can be initiated prior to the start of the 2020-2021 academic year
- Develop medium-term recommendations and actions that can be initiated within the time frame of 2020-2021 academic year
- Develop long-term recommendations and actions for the future that may take longer to accomplish, i.e. within five years
Then, co-facilitators of each area submitted a final report to the interim dean that included the above recommendations as well as any resources, experts, or information to address the recommendations. Below is a list of the co-facilitators and participants according to focus areas.
1. Diversification of the student body, staff, and faculty
Facilitators: Betsy Rate, Topher Routh
- Andrés Cediel
- Annette Garcia
- Camille Koué
- Ethan Lindsey
2. Student funding and support
Facilitators: Tracy Pascua Dea, Jeff Rhode
- Charlotte Hryse
- Michele Kerr
- Danica Nungaray
- Jeremy Rue
- Marlena Telvick
3. Curriculum and learning
Facilitators: Richard Koci Hernandez, David Thigpen
- Drew Costley
- James Fahn
- Vicki Hammarstedt
- Carrie Lozano
- Chris O’Dea
- Thomas Peele
- Jim Wheaton
4. Extracurricular and public-facing activities
Facilitators: Deirdre English, Ken Light
- David Barstow
- Sam Goldman
- Samantha Grant
- Mark Schapiro
- Malia Wollan
5. Culture, climate, communication, and transparency
Facilitators: Annette Garcia, Garrett Therolf
- Geeta Anand
- Cassandra Herrman
- Tracy Pascua Dea
- Abbie VanSickle
Participants of each area submitted a final report that included immediate-, medium-, and long-term recommendations as well as any resources, experts, or information to address the recommendations. The documents below include the recommendations for each focus area.
- Immediate term : before school year starts on August 26, 2020
- Medium term: 2020-2021 academic year
- Long term: Beyond this academic year (2020-21), five-year range
- Focus Area 1: Diversification of Student Body, Staff, and Faculty
- Focus Area 2: Student Funding and Support
- Focus Area 3: Curriculum and Learning
- Focus Area 4: Extracurricular and Public-Facing Activities
- Focus Area 5: Climate, Culture, Communication, Transparency, Processes, and Policies
- NABJ Action Items, June 2020
Informed by NABJ’s Action Items and communication as well as feedback and input from Berkeley Journalism community members, our goal is to create immediate and positive change that will impact the future of Berkeley Journalism and its community members. Below is an outline of the timeline of the Anti-Racism Working Group.
- Phase 1: Acting Now with Urgency and Plan for the Near Future, June – July 2020
In response to communication from students, alumni, and NABJ, an Anti-racism Working Group consisting of 30 staff and faculty volunteering their time will be created.
The culmination of their work will conclude with recommendations presented to the interim dean.
- Phase 2: Engaging the Community, July – August 2020
A website will be created to share more information about the working group, recommendations, timeline, and any progress to date; the website will provide an opportunity for the Berkeley
Journalism community to provide feedback and input.
Other opportunities beyond the website will be created for community members, e.g. open forums, one-to-one, small group sessions, etc.
The interim dean will invite two alumni and two students to join the Steering Committee, teaming up with the 10 working group facilitators.
- Phase 3: Design and Finalize, August 2020
The Steering Committee will review community feedback and input, identify additional emerging themes and strategies, and create an action plan.
The Steering Committee will share this action plan with the interim dean and faculty for their consensus and commitment.
Then, the action plan will be initiated.
- Phase 4: Continued Conversations, August - September 2020
The Steering Committee will meet regularly to guide the implementation process and provide timely updates to the community on its progress.
The Steering Committee will create a sustainable strategy addressing diversity, equity and inclusion at Berkeley Journalism.
The Steering Committee
The Steering Committee initially consisted of the focus area facilitators. In July 2020, we sought to include alumni and current students to join the Steering Committee. The Steering Committee had its first meeting on September 11, 2020, and met regularly throughout the 2020-2021 academic year. The responsibility of holding the school accountable for implementing our plan has transitioned to the Equity & Inclusion Committee, which includes faculty, lecturers, staff, students and alumni. Timely updates will be provided to the community on the progress.
Here were the individuals involved in the Steering Committee in 2020-2021:
- Geeta Anand
- Deirdre English
- Annette Garcia
- Skyler Glover ‘21
- Koci Hernandez
- Daniel Lempres ‘21
- Ken Light
- Mark Luckie ‘07
- Ashley Omoma ‘20
- Tracy Pascua Dea
- Betsy Rate
- Ande Richards ‘22
- Jeff Rhode
- Topher Routh
- Jeremy Rue
- Garrett Therolf
- David Thigpen