Podcast: Staff director sees great strength in diversity

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Sidalia Reel talks to staff member

Sidalia Reel, the director of staff diversity initiatives with the Office of Equity and Inclusion, leads a workshop for the Multicultural Education Program. (UC Berkeley photo by Brittany Hosea-Small)

Like a lot of leaders, Sidalia Reel started young. In fifth grade, she ran her household, making sure her four younger siblings didn’t get into too much trouble. Now, she’s the director of Staff Diversity Initiatives in the Office of Equity and Inclusion at UC Berkeley, making sure more than 9,000 staff feel like a valued part of campus. To some, it might seem daunting. But for Reel, it’s a natural fit. Listen to her interview above.

For Black History Month, each week, we’re highlighting a different African American leader on campus in a four-part series for the podcast Fiat Vox. Next week, we’ll hear from Ula Taylor, the chair of the Department of African American Studies, who encourages her students to find the leader within themselves to create the world they want to live in.

Sid Reel presenting to classroom of staff

Reel discusses communication methods during a Multicultural Education Program workshop. (UC Berkeley photo by Brittany Hosea-Small)

Sidalia and her family as kids

Since she was in fifth grade, Sid (far left) looked after her four younger siblings. (Photo courtesy of Sidalia Reel)

Sid and her family in 1972

Reel (back center) and her family in 1972. Reel grew up in a big, tight-knit family in Berkeley. She also has an older brother, who was away fighting in the Vietnam War. (Photo courtesy of Sidalia Reel)

Sid Reel's parents

Reel’s parents came to the Bay Area in the 1940s to escape the lynchings happening in their small Texas town. (Photo courtesy of Sidalia Reel)