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Celebrating a year of success for UCOP’s employee resource groups

UCOP’s employee resource groups (ERGs) present unique opportunities for staff to connect with like-minded employees, build connections throughout UCOP and UC, build leadership skills and enhance workplace culture for all staff.

Equity, Diversity, Inclusion and Belonging Program Manager Dennis McIver expressed enthusiasm for the ERGs’ success this past year, saying. “Our staff leaders did tremendous work in person and remotely. Their dedication, energy, and willingness to give back has enriched the UCOP experience and continues to.”

Fiscal year 2022-2023 accomplishments

This year, UCOP’s ERGs have achieved many notable accomplishments in support of all UCOP employees. Select each ERG’s name to access their website and learn more — including how you can join!

Asian Pacific Islander Staff Association (APISA)

Over the past year, APISA members have embodied their mission to promote and enhance the well-being of Asian, Asian American and Pacific Islander (AAPI) staff, faculty and students. A highlight of the year was convening the first-ever UC systemwide AAPI symposium. They also advocated with UCOP leadership to make Lunar New Year a recognized holiday for all UCOP staff, and shared ideas for professional development and other opportunities to help increase the retention of AAPI staff. They celebrated Filipino American History Month, the Lunar New Year and Asian American Pacific Islander Heritage Month. They held numerous educational and cultural events including several movie screenings; guest speakers, including Catherine Choy, Ph.D. and Alfred Flores, Ph.D.; and multiple healing and discussion circles to help colleagues cope with instances of AAPI hate. They also partnered with other staff leaders to produce EPIC Week, conducted outreach events and furthered engagement with other UC campus-based AAPI staff associations.

Black Staff and Faculty Organization (BSFO)

BSFO members

BSFO hosted an impressive roster of events in alignment with their mission to maintain a network of communication amongst Black employees at UCOP by promoting an environment that supports the well-being, enrichment and professional development of the Office of the President’s Black staff and faculty. In the fall, they held a Health Wellness Week focusing on breast and prostate cancer that featured several esteemed UC scientists and doctors as well as cancer survivors. In January, they hosted a healing moment in the wake of the Tyre Nichols shooting. Their Martin Luther King Jr. event welcomed UCOP senior leaders and staff for a virtual community recitation of “I Have a Dream.” Diverse Black History Month events featured Shirley Weber, Ph.D., the first African-American person to serve as California secretary of state, along with hip-hop music scholars. A weeklong Juneteenth celebration featured scholars, guided meditation and a film screening. BSFO’s annual scholarship campaign raised $7,000 for five UC scholars. Members also partnered with other ERGs to offer necessities to unhoused East Bay residents.

Latinx Staff Association (LaSA)

Juliann and Alina

LaSA’s mission is to promote the general welfare and interests of Latinx employees at UCOP and support the educational mission of the university, particularly as it relates to the Latinx community. This year, members achieved these aims through several informative and community-building events. In October, LaSA members brought back their first in-person Día de Muertos celebration since the COVID-19 pandemic, hosting ofrendas in Oakland and at the UCPath Center, along with a virtual ofrenda for colleagues in other locations. They also partnered with the UCOP Craft Club to host a sugar skull (calaveras) decorating party. In January, they hosted a mixer and bake sale for their scholarship fund. LaSA raised over $550, which was added to their current scholarship fund. LaSA is planning more fundraisers this fall and will award scholarships in the spring of 2024. In April, the LaSA speaker series featured UC Merced Chancellor Juan Sánchez Muñoz. Guest speakers for their charlas, aka chats, throughout the year, included Apri Medina, Ph.D., Jamal Collins; Lisa García Bedolla, Ph.D., and Lupe Gallegos-Diaz. LaSA also partnered with other ERGs to host well-attended EPIC Week events.

Native American, Indigenous and Pacific Islander Staff Association (NAIPISA)

In line with their mission to form a welcoming environment at UCOP for staff who identify as Native American, Indigenous and Pacific Islander and to provide meaningful opportunities for them to engage with UC’s mission, NAIPISA held two events during Native American Heritage Month in November. The first featured Phenocia Bauerle, Yvette Gullatt and Kristin Theis-Alvarez on recruiting and retaining Native American and Indigenous students to UC, while the other featured UCOP experts on the implications of the Native American Graves Protection and Repatriation Act. NAIPISA members also conducted recruiting outreach at the National Congress of American Indians Annual Conference.

OP Staff Assembly (OPSA)

OPSA provides forums where staff at all levels can discuss issues of mutual concern, and offer opinions and recommendations on policies, processes and programs. This year, members hosted monthly staff engagement events, featuring guest speakers such as members of the Council of UC Staff Assemblies. Two members of the Steering Committee also served on the 2022-23 CUCSA delegation, developing leadership, presentation and networking skills through the opportunity. OPSA would host an August follow-up session after the UCOP Employee Engagement Survey Town Hall, offering a candid forum for colleagues to reflect. In April, more than 100 colleagues attended Managing Teams Today, an event that featured UCOP managers sharing their professional journeys. OPSA members continued their tradition of boosting employee engagement through partnerships with groups such as the UC Riverside Staff Assembly, hosting fun virtual events like monthly bingo.

President’s Advisory Committee on the Status of Women (PACSW)

This year, PACSW held true to its mission to advance an agenda that improves the climate and professional opportunities for women identified individuals at UCOP. It was a year of growth and planning for the committee. Members selected a new executive sponsor and engaged in a strategic planning process to better understand members’ expectations and to align committee priorities going forward. PACSW continued to serve UCOP staff through community events, including the Women We Admire speaker series — which featured Professor Michele Bratcher Goodwin and Provost Katherine Newman — and an equity chat focused on the impact of UCLA leaving the PAC-12 conference. PACSW again sponsored the popular Making Power Moves course, developed specifically for UCOP women, and succeeded in its advocacy for the course’s addition to UCOP’s permanent Learning and Development catalog. PACSW initiated a collective effort with its sibling ERGs to advocate for a meaningful consultation process when policies that impact UCOP staff are under consideration. PACSW also promoted the well-being of the UCOP community by cultivating the 5th floor garden where staff can go to enjoy fruits, vegetables, honeybees and hummingbirds, and celebrated International Women’s Day symbolically by distributing flowers to Oakland office employees. To close out an exciting and busy year, PACSW welcomed 24 new members.

Sustainability Employee Resource Group (SERG)

SERG strives to create and promote a culture of sustainability at UCOP. This year, they fulfilled this aim through on-site and virtual activities. They kicked off the December 2022 holiday season by leading a successful hybrid workshop on sustainable gifting practices. In April, they celebrated Earth Month by giving colleagues eco-conscious magnets and flowers, as well as sharing a flyer on sustainable workplace practices. An Oakland display featured a gratitude wall for employees to share their Earth Day plans. They also moderated a virtual event featuring Erik Porse and Brandi McKuin, which focused on our state’s complicated relationship with water and the creative solutions underway to protect water access for future generations.

UCOP Pride

UCOP Pride is dedicated to providing advocacy, education, and community building for the lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer, intersex, genderqueer and non-binary community, and its allies, within UCOP and beyond. This year, they reflected their mission by producing several events for the UCOP community. In October 2022, they hosted a National Coming Out Day event focused on encouraging employees to update their gender identity and sexual orientation in UCPath to help UCOP better understand and support the diversity of the workforce. In January they partnered with the Ethics, Compliance and Audit Services Diversity Speaker Series to produce an event focused on gender discrimination that transgender people experience at work. In June, they hosted the first Oakland ice cream social since the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic. Throughout the year, UCOP Pride has been engaging in ongoing advocacy to expand the implementation of gender-inclusive restroom facilities at UCOP; in July they hosted workshops focused on the importance of inclusive restrooms. UCOP Pride members plan to participate in the Oakland Pride March in September 2023.

To learn more about UCOP ERGs, visit the Office of Workplace Inclusion and Belonging website or visit this link to express your interest in participating.

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