African American Initiative

The History

Under the leadership of the first Vice Chancellor for Equity & Inclusion, Gibor Basiri, the Division was working to address data from the University of California Undergraduate Experience Survey (UCUES) that was released by UCOP March 14, 2014.  According to the survey, African American students at Berkeley said the campus climate was very poor. 

Independent of this work, the Black Student Union (BSU) developed ten demands in response to the survey. These two pieces became the basis for the African American Initiative that was endorsed by then Chancellor Nicholas Dirks in 2015. 


  • Establish and sustain a critical mass of African American undergraduate and graduate students, staff, and faculty

  • Increase yield, retention, and graduation rates of African American undergraduate and graduate students

  • Establish a $20-million endowed scholarship fund for undergraduates in partnership with private and non-profit organizations

  • Increase faculty diversity

  • Increase the diversity of staff in senior management positions 

Key Stakeholders

  • African American Student Development and the Fannie Lou Hamer Black Resource Center
  • African American Studies
  • Black Student Union (BSU)
  • Black Graduate Student Association (BGSA)
  • Black Recruitment & Retention Center (BRRC)
  • Black Staff & Faculty Organization (BSFO)
  • California Alumni Association (CAA)
  • Office of the Chancellor
  • Division of Equity & Inclusion
  • Division of Student Affairs
  • The San Francisco Foundation
  • University Development & Alumni Affairs (UDAR)


  • Fall Semester 2018 the first scholarships will be awarded to African American students

  • Work with the University Development and Alumni Relations Office (UDAR) continues to establish an African American Student Scholarship Endowment

  • The Fannie Lou Hamer Black Resource Center opened in February 2017

  • Two Black psychologists who understand the hostile campus climate have been hired.

  • Five work groups have been established: Endowment & Fundraising, Black Health & Wellness, Annual Traditions, Historical Framing, Communications, and Comprehensive Evaluation.

  • Recruitment & Yield: Admissions Equity & Inclusion training