African American Thriving Initiatives
The African American Thriving Initiatives
Inspired by an urgent set of demands posed by Black students in February of 2015, and supported by concerned individuals including students, staff, faculty, alumni, and community members, the African American Thriving Initiatives (AATI) is a comprehensive effort to address the underrepresentation of African American students, faculty, and staff at UC Berkeley, and to improve the climate for those who are here now and all who will join our community in the future.
Today, AATI is sponsored by Vice Chancellor for Equity & Inclusion Dania Matos. The steering committee is co-chaired by Takiyah Jackson, Director, African American Student Development; Olufemi Ogendle, Assistant Vice Chancellor of Enrollment; and supported by Brooke Bodipo-Memba, Executive Director |Student Experience & Diversity Philanthropy, UDAR.
In the fall of September 2015, then Vice Chancellor of Equity and Inclusion, Gibor Basri, and Vice Chancellor of Student Affairs, Harry Le Grande partnered to create a task force to specifically address the crisis created by the low number of African American students. The African American Recruitment and Yield Task Force would be a part of a larger effort of the newly-implemented AATI designed to address creating a welcoming, thriving, and sustainable environment for Black students.
The AATI outlines a set of goals and strategies to address the climate for Black students at UC Berkeley. It draws upon three focal points that divisions campus wide will address which include:
- critical mass;
- campus climate; and,
- creating a welcoming environment for all.
Through some leadership transitions, the task force was on hiatus until then Assistant Vice Chancellor of Equity and Inclusion Mia Settles-Tidwell and current Director of African American Student Development Takiyah Jackson took on the revitalization of the Initiative in the Fall of 2017. From there, monthly meetings with the community were convened to discuss strategies to make meaningful progress.