Sent: February 7, 2019

Update on our efforts to enhance the African American Experience at UCI

In honor of Black History Month, we are pleased to share UCI’s achievements and highlight resources that demonstrate our commitment and dedication to fostering an equitable, enriching and vibrant African American experience and supporting diversity and inclusion for all members of the UCI community.

CAMPUS UPDATES

  • This year, UCI welcomed the largest incoming class of African American students in campus history.
  • Building on the campus goal to diversify the faculty, in 2018, UCI added African American faculty in biological sciences, engineering, humanities, and information & computer sciences.
  • Four $2,500 Boukai Family Foundation UCI Center for Black Cultures, Resources and Research Opportunity Scholarships are available to students who display financial need and are engaged in community service projects in conjunction with the CBCRR. The deadline to apply is March 15. Click here for more information.
  • Since 2016, the Academic Excellence Black Scholars House has provided a first-year living and learning community for students. Residents learn how to navigate the university environment while embracing scholastic achievement and individual identity.
  • Since 2013-14, New Narratives: Conversations on Identities & Cultures has provided a thought-provoking venue for exploring connections that coexist to shape, intersect and influence identities and group membership in the UCI community. Recent sessions included one with students on the campus climate and one with Cornel West and Robert George on civil discourse.

FEATURED EVENTS

Illuminations: The Chancellor’s Arts & Culture Initiative

Kevin Young – Poet, Editor and Essayist
5-6:30 p.m. Tuesday, Feb. 26, in the Crystal Cove Auditorium at the UCI Student Center

During this special event, which is free and open to the public, Kevin Young will read from his latest book, Brown: Poems, and address the role of fact and fiction in his own work and in the contemporary public sphere, from scholarship to the news. Young directs the New York Public Library’s Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture and is poetry editor for The New Yorker. He has written 12 books of poetry and prose. RSVP here.

Natasha Trethewey – Former U.S. Poet Laureate
6-7:30 p.m. Thursday, Feb. 28, at Humanities Gateway 1030

Phi Beta Kappa Visiting Scholar Natasha Trethewey, Board of Trustees Professor of English at Northwestern University, will give a lecture that’s free and open to the public. She served two terms as the 19th poet laureate of the U.S. and is the author of four collections of poetry: Domestic Work, Bellocq’s Ophelia, Native Guard – for which she won the 2007 Pulitzer Prize – and Thrall. RSVP here.

SPOTLIGHT

Chemistry Professor Fillmore Freeman Named AAAS Fellow
UCI chemistry professor Fillmore Freeman was recently named a fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science, the world’s largest general scientific society, for his impressive contributions to the fields of computational quantum chemistry, heteroatom chemistry, oxidation chemistry and reaction mechanisms. One of seven UCI faculty members selected as AAAS fellows this year, he will be honored at the AAAS’s annual meeting Feb. 16 in Washington, D.C.

Freeman has worked with Nobel laureate Manfred Eigen at Germany’s Max Planck Institute for Biophysical Chemistry, where he was named an Alexander von Humboldt Fellow and a Fulbright-Hays Senior Research Scholar. Freeman was also a visiting professor with Nobel laureate Sir Derek H.R. Barton at France’s Institut de Chimie des Substances Naturelles.

Click here for more stories featuring African American Anteaters.

DEPARTMENTS & RESOURCES

African American Studies Department
Faculty in UCI’s Department of African American Studies examine the history, culture and politics of African-derived peoples worldwide and feature a range of disciplinary backgrounds, methodological approaches and topical focuses. The department offers undergraduate major and minor courses of study and regular graduate seminars through the Ph.D. program in culture & theory.

Black Faculty and Staff Association
The Black Faculty and Staff Association provides a sense of purpose for African American faculty and staff at UCI and acts as a central point of information exchange. It creates a presence that is visible, supportive, nurturing and productive in serving the needs of the African American community. For more information, visit the calendar of events or sign up for the listserv. Send announcements to members at bfsa-list@uci.edu.

Center for Black Cultures, Resources and Research
With a focus on health, wellness, vitality and academic success, the Center for Black Cultures, Resources and Research offers a range of services and resources to help improve the recruitment, development, enrichment, inclusion, retention and experience of black students in all fields.

Cross-Cultural Center
Since 1974, the Cross-Cultural Center has been a space for students to imagine and inspire an equitable, socially just campus; to affirm and develop intersectional cultural identities; and to foster a more inclusive environment.

Office of Inclusive Excellence
The Office of Inclusive Excellence drives UCI’s commitment to equity, diversity and inclusion, which is fundamental to advancing the campus’s mission as a public research university. The office provides campus accountability, training and education, and responsive research; and helps build and sustain partnerships with other universities and colleges that share this commitment.

Each of us can help shape our campus aspiration to be a national leader and global model of inclusive excellence. While we forge the path to a campus community where all expect equity, support diversity and practice inclusion, we are pleased to share updates on the progress and opportunities along the way.

Sincerely,

Douglas M. Haynes
Vice Provost for Academic Equity, Diversity & Inclusion

Edgar J. Dormitorio
Interim Vice Chancellor, Student Affairs