The UC Office of the President is providing one-time resources to UC campuses to address and combat antisemitism, Islamophobia, and other forms of bias, bigotry and discrimination at the university.

Seventy-two proposals were received from 57 different units on campus that addressed these timely and critical issues facing our campus; 17 are being funded, in addition to a mini-grant program that will fund over 13 additional projects.

Background

In December 2023, the UC Office of the President (UCOP) announced its intention to provide one-time resources to UC campuses to address and combat antisemitism, Islamophobia, and other forms of bias, bigotry, and discrimination at the university.

Phase 1

UC Berkeley received $124,000 for Phase 1 to address critical issues on campus.  Three projects received support from UCOP at the recommendation of Chancellor Carol Christ:

  • A contract position adviser for registered student organizations to advise students on issues related to the intersection of faith, ethnicity, and cultural values within a student development framework, as requested by student communities.
  • Free speech education and building dialogue programming conducted by the divisions of Student Affairs and Equity and Inclusion to provide education, skills, and healing strategies for students, campus leaders and front-line staff.
  • A “Teaching and Working in Troubled Times” series presented by the Division of Equity and Inclusion, the American Cultures Center, the Center for Teaching and Learning, the Multicultural Community Center, the Centers for Educational Justice and Community Engagement, and the Academic Innovation Studio.

Phase 2

For Phase 2, the chancellor launched an open call for proposals of up to $50,000 from the campus community, with the overarching goal of creating and maintaining a safe, inclusive, and respectful campus environment. Her objectives were to:

  • Address immediate mental health and trauma support needs of students, faculty and staff.
  • Increase the capacity for learning about history and sources of conflict and bias, including but not limited to Israel and Palestine.
  • Increase the capacity for learning about free speech, hate speech, harassment and Berkeley’s Principles of Community.
  • Expand the capacity for dialogue across differences.

The chancellor’s office received 72 proposals from 57 units/groups on campus. The requests totaled $2.25 million, far more than the $576,000 available to distribute.  

We are grateful for UCOP’s support of our campus community’s efforts to address bias and bigotry. 

The following projects were selected for funding:

  • Effective Communication Across Differences — Berkeley Judicial Institute
  • Combating Bias and Discrimination: Towards a More Inclusive, Supportive and Safe Environment for International Students and the Campus Community — Berkeley International Office
  • Addressing Bias and Bigotry through Restorative Justice — Restorative Justice Center
  • Democracy and Dialogues — Public Affairs
  • Video Learning Modules on Navigating Difficult Conversations — Haas School of Business
  • Together We Heal: Addressing Grief and Loss in Community — Goldman School of Public Policy
  • Antisemitism and Islamophobia on Campus: The Role of Scholars — Antisemitism Education Initiative
  • Healing Justice: A Space for Holistic Practices, Community, Dignity, and Respect — University Health Services
  • Berkeley Journalism Bridge Builders — Berkeley Journalism
  • Against Anti-Palestinian Racism and Islamophobia: An Educational Video Series — Chancellor’s Advisory Committee on Muslim and Palestinian Student Life
  • Understanding Israel-Palestine: A Learning Group for Faculty and Staff — Center for Middle Eastern Studies
  • Expanding GSI Skills in Responding to Bias: Experiential Learning Through Interactive Theater — GSI Teaching and Resource Center
  • MENASA Women in Leadership — Organization Advising and Student Involvement Services 
  • Program Series on Jewish Art in Islamic Lands — The Magnes Collection of Jewish Art and Life
  • Bridging Communities: Shared Cultural Education Initiative — Student Affairs
  • Writing as Healing: Coming Together Across Difference — Student Learning Center
  • Dialogue Fellows — Center for Jewish Studies and Center for Middle Eastern Studies
  • Addressing Bias and Bigotry Mini-Grants Program — Student Affairs

The selected projects serve a variety of campus constituencies (faculty, staff, and students); represent a range of extracurricular, educational, and/or cultural programming; and will be implemented by a breadth of units across campus. They emphasize collaboration and bridge-building.

We realize that the work proposed by the addressing bias and bigotry grant recipients is complex, and recommend that recipients: 

  • Consult with the Office for the Prevention of Harassment and Discrimination for projects related to protected class discrimination and harassment.
  • Seek input from scholars with expertise and lived experience related to the topical areas of your project.
  • Ensure that all activities associated with your project are in compliance with campus policies as well as state and federal laws.

While UC Berkeley supports these important efforts to address bias and build community, the chosen projects’ specific content is not controlled by, and so does not necessarily reflect, the views of the University of California.

Mini-grants

An additional aspect of Phase 2 is addressing bias and bigotry mini-grants program managed by the Division of Student Affairs. Faculty, staff, and students were invited to submit mini-grant proposals

The following programs were selected as part of the mini-grants project:

  • Digital Media and Palestinian World-Building — Berkeley Center for New Media 
  • Let’s Talk About Palestine — Department of Middle Eastern Languages and Cultures
  • Conscientious Hack-a-thon to Stop the Doxxing Trucks — History of Art
  • Stitching Keffiyehs: Moving Images From Palestine — Art Practice Department
  • Poetry for Palestine — Public Reading — Department of Ethnic Studies
  • Liberation Aesthetics — Department of African American Studies
  • Bridging Cultural Experiences Through Community and Healing Practices — University Health Services
  • Standing Together — Institute of Urban and Regional Development
  • Hand by Hand — Art Practice Department
  • Passover for Peace — Jewish Voice for Peace
  • People of Salaam Shalom — Jewish Muslim Interfaith Committee
  • Compassionate Communication and Restorative Justice Workshopping Retreat — Energy and Resources Group 
  • Neuroscience DEIB/Advocacy Symposium — Neuroscience
  • Navigating Anti-Palestinian Racism and Mental Health — Graduate Students for Justice in Palestine