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Oakland Fire Chief Teresa Deloach Reed kicks off Black History Month

Black History Month is commemorated every February in the U.S. and Canada, and UCOP’s Black Staff and Faculty Organization (BSFO) has packed the month full of events to celebrate the culture and achievements of African Americans.

Highlights of the month’s activities include appearances by Oakland Fire Chief Teresa Deloach Reed and civil rights attorney John Burris, as well as presentation of scholarships to three deserving UC freshmen. All events take place from 12 to 1 p.m. in Franklin Lobby 1 Conference Room.

Teresa Deloach Reed, Monday, Feb. 4

Activities kick off with a keynote address by Fire Chief Teresa Deloach Reed, Oakland’s first female African American fire chief. A 22-year resident of Oakland, Reed began her firefighting career with the San Jose Fire Department, then rose through the ranks to become fire engineer, inspector, captain, battalion chief, deputy chief and assistant chief.

Also at the Feb. 4 event, BSFO will present $1,000 scholarships each to three UC freshmen, funded by generous donations from UCOP staff and community members to the UCOP–BSFO Scholarship Fund. (See more below.)

Three-part film festival begins Wednesday, Feb. 6

A three-part film festival (films to be announced) begins Wednesday, Feb. 6, and continues on Monday, Feb. 11, and Thursday, Feb. 14. Popcorn and drinks will be available for purchase.

John Burris and Davey D, Wednesday, Feb. 27

Renowned defense attorney John Burris will be interviewed by Davey D, syndicated talk show host and journalist. Burris and Davey will discuss some of the landmark cases Burris’s practice has handled in recent years involving police misconduct, employment discrimination and criminal defense. Burris earned his law degree from UC Berkeley School of Law and his MBA from UC Berkeley Haas School of Business. Davey D earned his undergraduate degree from UC Berkeley. Burris has also served for 25 years as a legal analyst on Fox, MSNBC, Court TV, CNN and other broadcast media.

UCOP–BSFO scholarship recipients

The recipients of the UCOP–BSFO scholarships have demonstrated their commitment to completing their post-secondary education at a UC campus. In order to qualify, they were also required to demonstrate financial need to pay for college-related expenses. The students are:

  • Dominique Brown of UCLA, who graduated from Sacramento’s Florin High School with a 4.17 GPA. She is majoring in sociology and plans to pursue a dual J.D./M.B.A. degree.
  • Hurui Kifle of UC Berkeley, a first-generation college student who maintained a 3.75 GPA at Hayward’s Mount Eden High School while volunteering at hospitals in his community. He is planning a medical career.
  • Morrise Richardson of UC Riverside is one of three African-American males to graduate from Jesse Bethel High in Vallejo (3.07 GPA) and attend a university. He plans to major in public policy and psychology/law.

BSFO is also creating an exhibit for the Franklin Lobby entrance area featuring notable black women from the UC community.

Black History Month originated in 1926 as Negro History Week, the brainchild of Carter G. Woodson, a historian, Harvard scholar and son of freed slaves whose goal was to raise awareness about African American culture and achievements. Since 1976 Black History Month has also commemorated the events around the African Diaspora.


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