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Creating the world you want, by seeing a world that's possible

When Derrika Hunt was in third grade, she didn't stand for the Pledge of Allegiance. She remembers telling her mom, "This doesn't feel right to me. Why am I saying this pledge and then going home every day to my community, seeing people suffering, seeing people marginalized?" Now, a Ph.D. candidate in education at UC Berkeley, Derrika takes teenage girls of color around the world through her nonprofit, Dreamers4Change Foundation. It's a way for them, all of whom are from economically...


Black History Month interview with Ula Taylor

"People know about Rosa Parks. People know about Martin Luther King Jr. And they know that it's the Montgomery bus boycott that ignited a certain kind of Southern civil rights movement," says Ula Taylor, the chair of the Department of African American Studies at UC Berkeley. What people often don't know, she says, is that the boycott was started by the Women's Political Council, a group made up of more than 200 black women led by Joanne Robinson in Montgomery, Alabama. In the last of a...


Staff diversity leader: Our differences make us stronger

Like a lot of leaders, Sidalia Reel started young. In fifth grade, she ran her household, making sure her four younger siblings didn't get into too much trouble. Now, she's the director of staff diversity initiatives in the Office of Equity and Inclusion at UC Berkeley, making sure more than 9,000 staff feel like a valued part of campus. To some, it might seem daunting. But for Reel, it's a natural fit. This is part of a series for Black History Month highlighting the work of African...


For Berkeley HEROES co-founder, Black Panther was 'life changing'

As a kid, Alfred Day would spend hours holed up indoors reading comics. He loved Batman and Superman, but the character who really spoke to him — who taught him that he could be smart and powerful — was Black Panther. Day, the director of student affairs case management at UC Berkeley, is a co-founder of Berkeley HEROES, a staff club that meets once a month to talk about comics and graphic novels on their list. In February for Black History Month, they're reading the first volume of...


For graduate student Kenly Brown, leading means mentorship

As an undergraduate in Colorado, Kenly Brown was one of only a few African Americans on her campus. She felt isolated in the classroom, often expected to speak on behalf of all black people. Now, as a Ph.D. candidate in African American studies at UC Berkeley, she’s made it her priority to be a mentor to students of color. Read the transcript and see photos on Berkeley News: This is part of a series for Black History Month, featuring interviews with African American leaders at UC Berkeley....


Clothilde Hewlett interview Black History Month

Clothilde Hewlett interview Black History Month by UC Berkeley podcast by the Office of Communications and Public Affairs


Preview: Alumni leader Clothilde Hewlett interview

February is Black History Month, and to honor the month, each week, we're going to hear from a African American woman leader at UC Berkeley. On Monday, we'll hear from Clothilde Hewlett, the executive director of the California Alumni Association. Read on Berkeley News:


Here’s what our recent quake sounded like

Underground at UC Berkeley, seismic sensors captured the deep rumble from the 4.4-magnitude earthquake that shook the Bay Area on Jan. 4. Geophysicist Peggy Hellweg from the UC Berkeley Seismological Lab explains what we're hearing when an earthquake happens. Story on Berkeley News: Subscribe to the Fiat Vox podcast on Apple Podcasts, Stitcher, Google Play Music or Pocket Casts


Lecture series helps move cannabis out of the shadows

Most of us know by now that recreational cannabis became legal in California on January 1. But there's still a lot we don't know about the plant, despite its long history of human use, says Eric Siegel, the director of the UC Botanical Garden. So the garden is hosting a lecture series called the "Science of Cannabis," where experts will discuss everything from the environmental impacts of large-scale cannabis cultivation to the neurological effect of cannabis in our brains.


Growing up in Iran without free speech

Parham Pourdavood, an incoming computer science student at UC Berkeley, grew up in Iran. He says that he, like most people, didn't challenge authorities. He wasn't an activist. He studied hard in high school and didn't draw attention to himself. He'd heard about government oppression, but hadn't seen it with his own eyes. He just knew he couldn’t speak his mind. It's why he's such a strong supporter of free speech today. Read the story on Berkeley News:


Student musicians on learning from the best

"I was amazed at how he walked on, and he just got the attention of everyone right there,” says Kyle Ko, a fourth-year music major. “You could see everyone’s intense focus. You could feel it on the stage.” Ko, along with student Hallie Jo Gist, attended a master class taught by world-class conductor Riccardo Muti. Master classes, put on by Cal Performances and the Department of Music, give members of the UC Berkeley Symphony Orchestra a chance to learn from top musicians. Read the story on...


How generosity in disaster flows in both directions

When Hurricane Harvey struck the Texas coast in late August, Americans had a choice: they could share their resources or look the other way. Although as a society, we tend to value individualism, it doesn’t always make us happy, says Emiliana Simon-Thomas, the science director of the Greater Good Science Center at UC Berkeley. Instead, sharing what we have often brings us more joy. Read the story on Berkeley News: Texas National Guard photo by Zachary West via Flickr:...


Students & alumni reflect on free speech, Ben Shapiro

Conservative commentator Ben Shapiro spoke on UC Berkeley's campus in September 2017. Berkeley News spoke to students and alumni as they waited in line to attend the event, protested peacefully outside — and got some reactions as they left the venue. Read the story on Berkeley News:


Roaya and Nissma on their surprise connection

When Roaya and Nissma met as freshman at UC Berkeley last year, they were amazed at how much they had in common. They were both Canadian and Moroccan, and were on the pre-med track. They became fast friends. But the next year, when they were moving into their new apartment, they realized their friendship wasn't a new one. Read the story on Berkeley News:


Students discuss social impact of Hamilton (with a cappella performance)

Incoming students Mona Dibas and Jonah Gercke discuss how the hit musical Hamilton has changed Broadway and inspired students to learn more about the nation's history, as students from campus groups including the UC Women’s Chorale and BareStage, perform a medley of songs from the musical. Read the story on Berkeley News:


Same system with a different name for African Americans

UC Berkeley assistant professor of history and expert in African American history Stephanie Jones-Rogers discusses the historical basis and the modern implications of the recent exonerations of police officers who killed African Americans in the line of duty. UC Berkeley photo by Anne Brice Read the piece on the Berkeley Blog: or on Medium:


One young Republican's pursuit of the 'Freedom to Marry'

Tyler Deaton's story is one of 23 interviews conducted by Bancroft Library’s Oral History Center at UC Berkeley that explore the national campaign that won federal marriage rights for same-sex couples. More on Berkeley News:


For Sayah Bogor, an arduous road from refugee to health researcher

Sayah Bogor, a UC Berkeley graduate student in public health, will make the short walk across the stage to receive her master’s degree. For Bogor, a native of war-torn Somalia, the event will mark a joyous leap in a long and difficult journey. UC Berkeley photo by Anne Brice Read the story on Berkeley News:


‘Brooms up!’ Oski, meet Harry Potter

Cal Quidditch got its start on Berkeley's campus about eight years ago. For two consecutive years, the team has played in a national competition. "It wasn't expected from a young, scrappy team out of UC Berkeley," says co-captain Owen Egger. Scrappy or not, the 60-some players on the Cal team have a lot of fun. UC Berkeley illustration by Hulda Nelson Story and 360-degree video on Berkeley News:


From a border wall to a cultural bridge

Imagine a border wall between the U.S. and Mexico not as a barrier, but as a piece of architecture that brings people together. That’s what UC Berkeley architect Ronald Rael does in his new book, 'Borderwall as Architecture: A Manifesto for the U.S.-Mexico Boundary.' UC Berkeley photo by Brittany Hosea-Small Read on Berkeley News:


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