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Addressing Anti-Blackness and Advancing Anti-Racism: Annual Accountability Report-Out

August 31, 2022


Dear Student Affairs Colleagues and Friends,

It has been wonderful to bump into some of you in-person during the summer months, and to experience the energy and welcoming environment that so many of you have created to engage the numerous Tritons on campus during Summer Sessions I and II.

It has also been a joy to take some time away for fun with my family, before coming together in-person yesterday for a retreat with the Student Affairs Leadership Team to revisit the most important work we can do to advance Student-Centeredness and improve our culture, climate and community: to continue to learn to be anti-racist individuals, supervisors, managers, and leaders.

Background: Student Affairs Commitments to Address Anti-Blackness

As some of you will recall, in the summer of 2020 – after the murder of George Floyd and the global protests that emerged in response – the Division of Student Affairs began to evaluate the degree to which our work could more immediately address our own anti-Black, racist practices and policies from a place of humility and action. As a result, each unit outlined a series of initial Commitments to Address anti-Blackness in our work at UC San Diego.

As part of that process, we pledged to report back annually to the Division on our collective progress each August. Per this commitment, I am writing today to share our progress, barriers, and opportunities.

Read the 2022 Commitments Progress Report

The August 2022 Progress Report on our Commitments to Address Anti-Blackness was compiled by members of the Assessment and Evaluation Leadership Workgroup, chaired by Elizabeth Jimenez Perez from the Student Affairs Assessment, Evaluation, and Organizational Development team. I invite you to review the report via the link above or attached PDF, and encourage you to share your feedback at

In order to produce this report, the Commitments Assessment subgroup did an incredible job collaborating for the past year with direct-report units in the Division to create an assessment and accountability plan – meeting with departments to evaluate progress, and developing processes to measure and report on our efforts.


While I want to elevate the work that we have done thus far – and that others have done before us – addressing all forms of systemic racism is an interminable, inexact, and on-going process that we are committed to advancing collectively in partnership with EDI, student leaders, and within ourselves. There have been many challenges to overcome – both pandemic- and non-pandemic related – since we began more-focused work to uplift pro-Blackness and anti-racism. Even so, many teams have worked diligently to advance their commitments, and in doing so have captured the hope and positive impact this work has on our campus and in our broader community.

VCSA Leadership Team Retreat Takeaways

As mentioned at the beginning of this message, the VCSA Leadership Team met yesterday to discuss our progress on the Commitments to Address Anti-Blackness, as well as share tools and resources that will allow us to more effectively explore and reflect on our anti-racism efforts as a division, as colleagues, and as leaders – including the utilization of a Restorative Practice model to address interpersonal and institutional inequities.

We were also “called in” by our skilled facilitators – Fnann Keflezighi, Director of the Cross-Cultural Center; and Dr. Amber Vlasnik, Dean of Student Affairs at Thurgood Marshall College – to build the habit of regularly asking ourselves a series of questions as we do our daily work:

  • How can I amplify anti-racism in my work?
  • Is there an anti-racist opportunity here?
  • Who is missing from the conversation?
  • Whose experience is being centered?
  • What does accountability look like?
  • How can we facilitate more brave spaces for these conversations?
I want to celebrate and acknowledge that throughout the Division of Student Affairs, the scope of our various roles presents similarly varied opportunities to ask these questions each day. For some, this may be inextricably central to your job function; while for others, this may be a wholly new endeavor. To the extent that you are able, I invite all of you to incorporate these questions – and more importantly, their answers – into your daily work.

Save-the-Dates: Commitments and Upcoming Triton Time Discussions

As was the case last year, some of our upcoming Fall Quarter 2022 Triton Time sessions will be dedicated to units’ “reporting out” on anti-racist progress. I hope that you will join us on the dates listed below, where various members of the VCSA leadership will review their commitments and hold space for discussion:

  • September 22: Student Conduct, Case Management, SA Resource Management, Recreation, and AEOD
  • September 29: Student Retention & Success (SRS)
  • October 13: Student Life
All sessions will be held by Zoom on Thursdays from 10-11 a.m.

We are also scheduling an additional Fall Quarter Triton Time discussion on the Commitments with our community partners in Athletics, the Division of Undergraduate Education, Student Health & Well-Being, and the Division of Graduate Education and Postdoctoral Affairs. Once this is scheduled, you will receive date/time details for the session.

As we begin the new academic year together and reflect on last year’s progress to meet our Commitments to Address Anti-Blackness, I remain steadfast in using my positionality to elevate and advance anti-racism at UC San Diego. With hope and cultural humility, let’s continue to challenge ourselves to create more brave spaces, ask better questions centered in anti-racism, and continue to work toward a more just learning, living and working community.


Best Regards,