The world is changing. In recent years and months, we have seen increasing displays of hate, violence and unrest entrenched in extremism. While it is easy to simply ignore the discord around us, it is vital that we confront extremism head-on with our collective values of tolerance, equity, diversity, inclusion and free speech.
In September, civil rights leader the Rev. Jesse Jackson Sr. visited the campus and reminded us that sometimes our silence on these issues is a reflection of society’s complicity. In his words, “We must express ourselves. We must show there is another side.”
With these powerful words in mind, we are pleased to announce UCI Confronting Extremism, a yearlong, campuswide initiative that seeks to harness our university’s mission of teaching, research and public service to address issues in society and fortify the Anteater community.
Under the leadership of Douglas M. Haynes, vice provost for academic equity, diversity and inclusion and director of the Office of Inclusive Excellence, UCI Confronting Extremism is dedicated to understanding ideas and behaviors far outside our values and identifying pathways for building positive campus and democratic communities.
UCI Confronting Extremism consists of three pillars: the Provost Initiative on Understanding and Engaging with Extremism, the UCI Academy for Inclusion, and OC Confronting Extremism. Together, UCI will equip our faculty, staff, students and community with the tools to address life’s issues in thoughtful, productive ways.
Later this week, faculty members will receive a call for proposals for the Provost Initiative on Understanding and Engaging with Extremism, where they will learn about funding opportunities for curricula, special events and research that focus on one of three initiative priorities:
Confronting the denial of our common humanity
Confronting the denial of science
Broadening experiential learning and critical inquiry in general education courses
The UCI Academy for Inclusion will build on existing campus offerings such as academic courses, research opportunities, co-curricular programming and public affairs events with the goal of fostering informed discussion, knowledge sharing and reflective learning.
OC Confronting Extremism will expand UCI’s reach into the community through public-facing events in partnership with interfaith, nonprofit and local organizations.
For more information about this campuswide initiative, please visit the UCI Confronting Extremism website.
Chancellor Howard Gillman
Provost and Executive Vice Chancellor Enrique Lavernia