Jan 12, 2021

Dear colleagues,

Monday, January 18, is the 35th anniversary of the federal holiday to honor the birthday of Reverend Martin Luther King, Jr. Signed into law in 1983 and first observed in 1986, the holiday is a deserving tribute to King for advancing civil rights and social justice through non-violent protest.

Although the current public health restrictions limit our in-person activities, there are many ways to honor King’s vision. The opportunities below are open to students, faculty, staff and alumni.

UCI Black Thriving Initiative: Accountability begins with Understanding

  • Learn More About Anti-Blackness in the United States

Students, staff, faculty and alumni are welcome to enroll in the suite of courses about Anti-Blackness in the United States. These five-week modules meet once a week for an hour of moderated discussion. The discussion is supplemented by assigned and recommended readings, with digital recordings for viewing. The three courses offered in the winter quarter focus on: The Black Protest Tradition, Structures and Mechanisms of De-Valuing Black People, and Change the Culture through Personal, Professional and Institutional Accountability. Please visit https://inclusion.uci.edu/inclusive-excellence-certificate-program/modules/ for course schedules and registration.

  • Take the Pledge to Build A University Culture Where Black People Thrive

The purpose of a Black Thriving Initiative pledge is to grow allies and their active engagement at UCI for social justice. Open to students, staff, faculty and alumni, the pledge is voluntary and consists of four expectations. They are:

– Acknowledging the existence of anti-Blackness

– Understanding one’s relationship to anti-Black micro-and macro-aggression

– Recognizing the uncredited labor that Black people expend to manage bias, prejudice and bigotry

– Confronting anti-Blackness to build a culture where Black people thrive

Take the pledge at: https://uciadvance.wufoo.com/forms/moc3mqp1mfpl7c/

Visit Black Index Exhibition, January 14-March 20

This national show is curated by Professor Bridget R. Cooks and presented by the University Art Gallery. The artists featured in The Black Index – Dennis Delgado, Alicia Henry, Kenyatta A.C. Hinkle, Titus Kaphar, Whitfield Lovell and Lava Thomas – build upon the tradition of Black self-representation as an antidote to colonialist images. These artists question our reliance on photography as a privileged source for documentary objectivity and understanding. Their works offer an alternative practice – a Black index – that still serves as a finding aid for information about Black subjects, but also challenges viewers’ desire for classification. The exhibit is complemented by a month-long series of artist performances and conversations. Visit the project website for additional details – https://uag.arts.uci.edu/exhibit/black-index

Attend Virtual 2021 MLK Symposium Events, January 18-22

Featured guests will include Bree Newsome Bass, American filmmaker and musician who will keynote as part of this year’s Dr. Joseph L. White Lecture. To learn more, visit – http://ccc.uci.edu/programs/fall-programs.php or https://ccc.uci.edu/mlk/

Collaborate to End Racism on Campus and Beyond

The Center for Neurobiology and Memory is coordinating a broad grass roots movement, the UCI End Racism Initiative. This movement brings together undergraduate and graduate students, faculty and staff. Among the activities of this campus collaborative include raising awareness about racism, engaging in education to advance anti-racism, and building institutional capacity to advance inclusive excellence. To learn more, visit – https://cnlm.uci.edu/endracism/

View Virtual Celebrations on January 18


Take the Pledge


Douglas M. Haynes, Ph.D. (Pronouns: he/him/his)
Vice Chancellor for Equity, Diversity and Inclusion
Chief Diversity Officer
Director, ADVANCE Program
Professor of History