Anti-Racism Plan & Progress

Overview

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 will continue to meet every two weeks to hold the school accountable for implementing this plan.

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 Tracy Pascua Dea, Senior Director of Student Services or Annette Garcia, Senior Assistant Dean.

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 over the summer and the feedback we received from our community, including the NABJ, other students, and alumni. Our steering committee, comprised of the working group facilitators as well as alumni and student volunteers, held its first meeting on September 11, 2020, and will continue to meet every two weeks to hold the school accountable for implementing this plan.

Our plan has seven priority areas:

  1. DIVERSIFICATION OF FACULTY, LECTURERS, STAFF AND STUDENTS

  2. INCREASE STUDENT FUNDING AND STUDENT SUPPORT

  3. DIVERSIFY CURRICULUM AND LEARNING OPPORTUNITIES

  4. EMPHASIZE DIVERSITY, EQUITY AND INCLUSION IN EXTRACURRICULAR AND PUBLIC-FACING ACTIVITIES

  5. CULTURE AND CLIMATE

  6. COMMUNICATION AND TRANSPARENCY

  7. ADVISORY BOARD

The full plan can be read here - How Berkeley Journalism Intends to Address Systemic Racism in Our School and in Our Profession.

As the Steering Committee reviews each of the seven priority areas, progress and updates will be documented here. The seven areas include 45+ action items that range from short-term (fall 2020), medium-term (2020-2021), and long-term (1 year+) implementation. 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: not yet started (1%), started (25%), significant progress made (75%), and completed (100%).

The Steering Committee initially consisted of the focus area facilitators. In July, 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 will continue to meet every two weeks to hold the school accountable for implementing our plan.  Timely updates will be provided to the community on the progress.

Here are the individuals involved in the Steering Committee:

  • 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

School-Wide Training

Below are a list of upcoming events and webinars, recorded videos, readings, and other resources to continue your personal and professional learning and development. Like all learning, it must be continuous in order to build and strengthen your knowledge, skills, awareness, and behaviors that contribute to being an anti-racist, equity-focused, and inclusive individual.

Sean Darling Hammond and Perfecta Oxholm will conduct a two-stage, immersive anti-bias training.

The first two parts of the series of trainings  will be held for our community as a whole on these two dates Friday, October 23, 12–2 pm and Friday, October 30, 12–2 pm.

    This training will help us develop a shared understanding of cognitive and systemic bias which will help us strengthen our community. It will also provide insights into how bias manifests in the field of journalism and introduce us to strategies for overcoming the influence of bias in our profession. Finally, and most importantly, it will provide deep, structured practice with anti-bias tools which, we hope, will strengthen relationships throughout the School, and deepen our commitment to becoming a truly anti-racist and anti-bias organization.

    About The Facilitators

    Sean Darling-Hammond (he/him) is a Ph.D. candidate at UC Berkeley's Goldman School of Public Policy. There, he combines his backgrounds in psychology, sociology, law, policy, and statistics to identify education policies that can help students of all backgrounds thrive; and help people of all backgrounds connect across stale social divides. Before matriculating at Goldman, he earned his BA in Sociology at Harvard ('06), spent five years as the director of research at Hattaway Communications (a mission driven firm in Washington DC), earned his JD from UC Berkeley ('14), clerked for the District Court for the District of Maryland, and worked in education law and policy for Hogan Lovells and Education Counsel. He also served as the director of Berkeley High School’s restorative justice program, and provided legal representation to special education students. Sean is the founder and principal of BITJustice LLC, where he assists institutions of higher education (most recently Harvard, Stanford, and Berkeley) take steps to reduce intergroup bias and deepen inter-group community bonds. He and his wife, Valentina, adore their baby boy, Kofi, who they welcomed into the world in April, 2019. In his free time, he competes on NBC’s American Ninja Warrior as "The Giving Ninja," devoted to donating to nonprofits that expand opportunity.

    Perfecta Oxholm (she/her) is a Ph.D. candidate at UC Berkeley's Goldman  School of Public Policy with particular interests in improving relationships through intergroup contact. Her work has spanned a range of institutional settings, including police departments and higher education institutions. Currently, she is working on identifying the impact of cooperative, culturally relevant learning strategies in interactions across group differences. Prior to enrolling at GSPP, Perfecta was the executive director of Esperanza Housing and Economic Development, a community development organization serving North Philadelphia. At Esperanza, Perfecta helped develop grassroots community-led education, safety, and economic development practices. Perfecta holds an MSW and an MPA from the University of Pennsylvania, and served as a Peace Corps Volunteer in Niger, West Africa. She is also married with two young kids--Scott who is seven and Raymond who is four.

    Eve Pearlman, co-founder and chief executive of  Spaceship Media, and Adriana Garcia, director of innovation for Spaceship Media will lead a third training on how to dialogue across differences that will be held in smaller groups on these dates.  You are invited to attend one of these sessions.

    • Monday, November 16, 12–1:30 pm, available to all students
    • Tuesday, November 17, 9–10:30 am, available to all students
    • Tuesday, November 17, 12:30–2 pm, staff and faculty

    Recording

    Presentation and resources

    About Spaceship Media

    They mapped out a process, called dialogue journalism, for going to the heart of social and political fractures and building journalism-supported conversations between regular people about the issues of deep consequence to all us.

    Spaceship Media has hosted dialogues in partnership with media organizations across the country about some of the most divisive issues in our nation: guns, immigration, policing, electoral politics, race, education. Spaceship’s work is guided by the principle that dialogue across difference is essential to a functioning democracy and that journalism and journalists have a multi-faceted role to play in supporting these kind of engagements.

    Eve and Adriana will speak about what Spaceship does and how the principles that guide their work lead to the rethinking of the role of journalists in mediating polarization inviting empathy, respect, consideration, and meaningful conversation. They will challenge our work as journalists, and how we can contribute to a positive, evolving community at Berkeley Journalism and beyond.


    Events & Webinars

    400 Years of Resistance to Slavery and Injustice

    Created as part of a UC Berkeley initiative to mark the 400th anniversary of the forced arrival of enslaved Africans in the English colonies, this is an important national initiative that aligns with UC Berkeley’s values and goals of improving the climate for racial and ethnic diversity on our campus and with implementing campus strategic initiatives on Inequality and Opportunity; and, Democracy, Values, Governance and Freedom of Speech. The anniversary provides an opportunity for UC Berkeley to provide learning opportunities to delve into this history, understand the continuing impact of slavery and oppression, and to explore the extraordinary struggles for freedom and justice continuously fought by African Americans.

     

    The Robertson Center for Intercultural Leadership has a variety of upcoming workshops, programs, and series.


    Global DEI Practitioner Institute

    March - May, 2021 (12 weeks)

    Drive inclusion from within.

    Amplify your ability to create workplaces that are truly globally inclusive through this comprehensive, multi-certification Train-the-Trainer program. Build skills to design, facilitate and lead strategic global DEI initiatives and become qualified to administer five industry-leading, global DEI assessment tools.

    To learn more about this Institute and to register, email cil@berkeley.edu or click here.

    UC Resources

    Berkeley Office for Faculty Equity and Welfare

    Communications and messages from the Dean to the Berkeley Journalism Community related to our anti-racism work.

    About

    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:

    1. Diversification of the student body, staff, and faculty
    2. Student funding and support
    3. Curriculum and learning
    4. Extracurricular and public-facing activities
    5. 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

    Recommendations

    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.

     

    Timeline

    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.