Dear Campus Community,
Thirty years ago, the United States officially began honoring and showcasing the contributions, culture, and histories of our Latinx peoples. The celebration started as Hispanic Heritage Week under President Lyndon Johnson. In 1988, President Ronald Reagan extended it to a full month. Now each year from September 15th to October 15th, we highlight the richness that Chicanx and Latinx people have brought to this nation.
This past year has been particularly difficult for many Latinx people in the United States. The undocumented community has been used as a target in a systematic campaign to dehumanize and minimize the contributions of Latinx people. Families have been not only separated but torn apart. At UC Berkeley, it has been an important time for us to come together as allies and partners. While these challenges continue, there is good news. Last spring, the Chicanx/Latinx Task Force issued its first report looking at the marginality and dislocation of UC Berkeley’s undergraduate and graduate students, staff, and faculty. A set of recommendations for enriching the Chicanx/Latinx experience on campus was offered. The full report is available online. And at the beginning of this school year, Chancellor Christ announced that one of the goals in the university’s draft strategic plan is for Berkeley to become a Hispanic Serving Institution (HSI) in the next ten years. To reach this goal, the number of Chicanx/Latinx students must reach at least 25 percent of the undergraduate population. Currently, Chicanx/Latinx students make up about 15 percent of our undergraduate and 8 percent of graduate populations. The numbers for staff and faculty are 13 and less than 6 percent, respectively. The Division of Equity & Inclusion is working closely with the Office of the Chancellor to implement the recommendations of the task force and to achieve our diversity goals.
This timeline tracks events that have influenced the Chicanx/Latinx experience since the university opened. While we are encouraged by the progress that is being made, we still have so much more to accomplish.
We encourage you to take part in some of the planned events and resources across campus including, but not limited to, those hosted by Chicanx Latinx Policy Research Center, Chicanx Latinx Student Development, The Alianza Staff Association, and Casa Magdelena Theme Program.
Allianza Staff Organization
September 18, 2018