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Black History Month opens, putting UC students in the spotlight

Black History Month at UCOP kicked off Feb. 4 by giving three UC freshmen a boost with $1,000 scholarships, made possible by UCOP’s Black Staff and Faculty Organization (BSFO) and its fundraising efforts. BSFO is also sponsoring Black History Month activities.

BSFO representatives introduced two of the students’ mothers — one of whom read a letter from her daughter — and played videotapes from the students thanking BSFO and the UCOP community for their support. The scholarship recipients 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.

The scholarship announcements were followed by a talk from Oakland Fire Chief Teresa Deloach Reed, the city’s first female African American fire chief. Events continue with a three-part film festival (films to be announced) beginning Wednesday, Feb. 6, and continuing on Monday, Feb. 11, and Thursday, Feb. 14. Popcorn and drinks will be available for purchase.

John Burris and Davey D, Wednesday, Feb. 27

Also coming up is an appearance by renowned defense attorney John Burris, who will be interviewed by Davey D, syndicated talk show host and journalist. Burris and Davey, both UC Berkeley alumni, will discuss some of the landmark cases Burris’s practice has handled in recent years involving police misconduct, employment discrimination and criminal defense.

Coming soon to the Franklin lobby is an exhibit 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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