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White Allyship, Action & Accountability 

In the summer of 2020, UC San Diego launched the Chancellor's 21-Day Anti-Racism Challenge to connect as a campus community on how we as an institution, and individuals, advance racial justice and support the wellbeing of our Black campus community members. The Challenge was specifically motivated by the impact of COVID-19 on Black communities and conspicuous acts of anti-Black racism and violence. 

The novel coronavirus has disproportionately wreaked devastation on Black communities, and other communities of color, a consequence of our nation’s centuries-long history of disadvantaging racialized ethnic minorities. It remains unclear what the long-term implications will be once we are on the other side of the pandemic, but compared to white Americans, researchers assert that Black, Indigenous, and People of Color (BIPOC) will face a host of health, economic, and educational setbacks that will significantly impair time to recover. [1, 2, 3]

As COVID-19 continued to rage, our nation spiraled into a period of civil unrest following the killings of George Floyd, Jr. and Breonna Taylor by police and Ahmaud Arbery by neighborhood vigilantes, as well as incessant viral accounts of racially biased 9-1-1 calls to report BIPOC for basic civil liberties such as sitting in a coffee shop, barbecuing at a community park, and bird watching. Many of our Black campus community members reported feelings of grief, trauma, and frustration over the barrage of news and images of violence against Black people and mental exhaustion tuning into work each day; teaching and engaging despite internal anguish or navigating re-traumatizing questions and commentary of well-intentioned colleagues on all that was transpiring.

At the close of the 21-Day Anti-Racism Challenge, over 2,000 participants were surveyed on their engagement and program effectiveness. Among the strengths of having gone through the initiative, the campus community cited feeling more informed about racism and that they were more likely to consider how their actions may impact Black people around them.

Participants also shared that they would like the campus to establish additional programming to advance our anti-racism work specifically for white allies, and move our campus community from awareness to action, to better support BIPOC community members.

Initiative Overview

In response to our campus community’s desire to strengthen white allyship, the Office for Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion established the White Allyship, Action & Accountability initiative.  The Initiative's aims are to holistically and comprehensively promote anti-racism by strengthening white ally engagement in efforts to mitigate bias and to deepen white ally involvement in educating on anti-racism and driving racial equity at UC San Diego.

The White Allyship, Action & Accountability initiative serves as a self-directed learning plan to develop and deepen white ally capacity to identify, engage, and actively promote anti-racism and a diverse, equitable, and inclusive campus. The resources provided are designed to be self-paced and are intended for white faculty and staff to complete individually, or as a group, to encourage accountability and enhance the overall learning experience. The desired outcome of the initiative is to contribute to a stronger campus culture and climate of care by activating personal accountability, organizational responsibility, and systemic change, particularly regarding race and ethnicity, through leveraging the collective leadership of our institution and working in collaboration with a diverse group of campus partners.  

The program of study and development supports UC San Diego’s goals to achieve inclusive excellence and fulfill our campus vision to exemplars in being a student-centered, service-oriented, public university.

Learning Outcomes

Through this initiative, white campus community members and other ally participants will develop a deeper capacity to:

  • Understand and examine the historical, structural, and systemic foundations and constructs of race and ethnicity and their relationship to present-day events, processes, practices, and experiences;
  • Positively interrupt racism and bias and to take effective action within their professional spheres of influence;
  • Apply a racial lens to analyze and revise current policies, practices, and programs to create more inclusive services, outcomes, and campus culture;
  • Understand and examine the role of white allies at UC San Diego in addressing systemic racism and anti-Blackness; and
  • Integrate anti-racist principles, practices, and behaviors in their respective roles on campus.

White Allyship, Action & Accountability is open to people of all races and ethnicities, with an intentional focus on the work white people need to do, both individually and structurally to create and sustain change at UC San Diego. All campus community members are encouraged to participate in this intentional effort to address systemic racism at UC San Diego.  You may consider organizing into smaller groups by division, college, and department/unit. 

 

Section 1: What is White Supremacy?

Primary Resources:

Me and White Supremacy: Combat Racism, Change the World, and Become a Good Ancestor, by Layla F. Saad 

Me and White Supremacy: A Guided Journal (optional)

Me and White Supremacy, takes readers through a 28-day process that serves as a "personal anti-racism tool" designed to teach those with white privilege how systemic racism works and how to stop contributing to white supremacy.

By engaging with the content in this book, participants will have the opportunity to:

  • Examine white supremacy in their own lives
  • Explore what it means to engage in anti-racism work
  • Learn about anti-blackness, racial stereotypes, and cultural appropriation
  • Develop a plan to continue to work towards social change

Section 2: Effective Allyship, Action, and Accountability

Why does effective allyship, action and accountability matter for UC San Diego?

While our university has made notable strides to becoming a more diverse and inclusive campus, there is still opportunity to advance our efforts in support of our campus community members of color.

A look back at section 4 of the Chancellor’s 21-Day Anti-Racism Challenge reminds us that one must be willing to engage in effective allyship, action and accountability to help advance racial justice.

We start with examining the attitudes, beliefs, and behaviors we hold that make us complicit in perpetuating structural inequity and racism. We must then take steps to ground ourselves in the terminology to expand our thinking and enable us to have constructive conversations that support anti-racism and ally work.  

Above all, this work must be done in coordination, cooperation and community with people of all racial and ethnic identities. We are allies, not saviors.

Section 3: Activate Anti-Racist Leadership to Facilitate Structural and Organizational Change

Leadership is present in all areas of our institution, from students to staff, faculty and alumni. If we are to reach inclusive excellence, anti-racist leadership must also be present among these groups.

Each of us has an opportunity to lead in our own spheres of influence. Our work on implicit bias helps us to understand our individual roles, but as an institution we must focus on the policies and practices within our organization that perpetuate inequities to root out structures that perpetuate inequality. Because bias is so deeply embedded in many of our organizational systems it may first be hard to ascertain. We recommend extended study here to reflect on the most pressing issues related to equity, diversity and inclusion at UC San Diego (for example, representation) and the long-term implications should things remain unchanged.   

Section 4: Create and Foster Inclusive and Equitable Environments

You have joined us in deep exploration of the existing opportunities at UC San Diego. Now, how do we tie all of this together to implement equitable practices, policies and action? It takes strategy.

Here we offer a number of effective resources for change strategies that have been tested by our campus colleagues. These guides provide additional tools as we realize our full potential at UC San Diego.

Remember, this is life-long work for us as individuals, as community members at UC San Diego, and for our institution as whole. The journey toward liberation will be long, but as long as we remain committed to leading with anti-racism we are well on our way.  

Additional Tools and Resources to Support Your Journey

Download additional tools and resources to support your journey. 

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White Allyship, Action & Accountability Initiative Collaborators and Area Representatives

Bryce Clark Besser
Sr. Litigation Analyst
UC San Diego, Risk Management
Chair, UC San Diego Staff Association

Tana M. Troke Campana
Senior Assistant Dean and Chief of Staff
Jacobs School of Engineering

Anne Curtis
Director, Staff Learning & Development
UC San Diego Human Resources

Meredith D'Angelo
Assistant Dean, Academic Affairs
School of Global Policy and Strategy

Lisa T. Eyler
Professor of Psychiatry, UC San Diego Healthcare System
Director, Center for Empathy and Compassion Training in Medical Education
Sanford Institute for Empathy and Compassion

Anthony P. King
Director of Communications
UC San Diego Division of Arts and Humanities

Mica Pollock 
Director, CREATE (Center for Research on Educational Equity, Assessment, and Teaching Excellence)
Professor, Department of Education Studies

Ayelet Ruppin-Pham 
Patient Education Coordinator
Nursing Education, Development & Research

Robert Rome
Assistant Dean
Division of Physical Sciences

Wendy Taylor-May
Deputy Director of Athletics

 

Recordings of Webinars

Part 1: EDI Webinar Dr. Kathy Obear

ASL Version:

Frequently Asked Questions

Why was the White Allyship, Action & Accountability Initiative created?

In response to our campus community’s desire to strengthen white allyship, the Office for Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion created the White Allyship, Action & Accountability initiative.  The Initiative's aims are to holistically and comprehensively promote anti-racism by strengthening white ally engagement in efforts to mitigate bias and to deepen white ally involvement in educating on anti-racism and driving racial equity at UC San Diego.

Why is this called the "White" Allyship, Action & Accountability Initiative? 

With the understanding that BIPOCs are most impacted by the pernicious effects of racism, participants of the 21-Day anti-racism challenge shared that they would like the campus to establish additional programming specifically for white campus community members to better understand how to actively dismantle racism as white allies. 

I do not identify as White. Can I participate in the White Allyship, Action & Accountability Initiative? 

The White Allyship, Action & Accountability Initiative is open to people of all races and ethnicities, with an intentional focus on actions white people can take, both individually and structurally to create and sustain equity and inclusion at UC San Diego. All campus community members are encouraged to participate in this intentional effort to address systemic racism at UC San Diego.  

I would like to start a White Allyship, Action & Accountability Initiative within my workplace/in my unit. What are the guidelines for sharing UC San Diego's content and materials? 

The content is open to all and serves as a self-directed learning plan to develop and deepen white ally capacity to identify, engage, and actively promote anti-racism and a diverse, equitable, and inclusive campus. The resources provided are self-paced and designed for participants to complete individually, or as a group, to encourage accountability and enhance the overall learning experience.