Berkeley Talks: What are Berkeley's Latinx Thriving Initiatives?
Leaders of UC Berkeley's Division of Equity and Inclusion discuss the campus’s Latinx Thriving Initiatives, and how these efforts are supporting Berkeley’s goal of not only becoming a Hispanic Serving Institution, but also of transforming Berkeley into a Latinx Thriving Institution.
In Berkeley Talks episode 180, Dania Matos and Fabrizio Mejia, vice chancellor and associate vice chancellor, respectively, for UC Berkeley's Division of Equity and Inclusion, join Berkeley student Angelica Garcia to discuss the campus's Latinx Thriving Initiatives (LTI) and how these efforts are supporting Berkeley's goal of not only becoming a Hispanic Serving Institution (HSI), but also of transforming Berkeley into a Latinx Thriving Institution.
"There's a practical standpoint of this that's about becoming a Hispanic Serving Institution," begins Matos. "Dr. Gina Garcia is a national expert who discusses this and, like she shares, for us it is beyond the designation. Because becoming an HSI is about 25% enrollment of undergraduate students, which, by the way, the federal government does not count graduate students, and we care about graduate students here, too.
"For us, we're thinking about (how to) build this ecosystem where we are honoring, bringing in more Latinx communities, but also honoring the different ways of knowing and being, which are so counter to the way U.S. higher educational system is done.
"Latinx Thriving Initiatives is a multifaceted campuswide effort, but not just campus. It's really thinking and honoring our mission as a public institution, and (asking), 'How do we center community in that?' We're not just a community center that people come to or get admitted to and leave from in four years, but a place where they're having an impact and creating that."
"It's collecting all the work that is happening," added Mejia, "honoring that historical effort, that ongoing effort, but also asking ourselves: What else? What does it look like to have a Latinx student body, Latinx staff, Latinx faculty that are all thriving from the moment they conceptualize 'Is Berkeley a place for me?' to the moment they land on the campus and say, 'Where do I see myself in this environment? How do I meet my aspirations? Am I getting the support all the way through?'"
Listen to the full conversation in Berkeley Talks episode 180, "What are Berkeleys Latinx Thriving Initiatives?"
This conversation was recorded in March 2023 as the first episode of Berkeley's Latinx Thriving Initiatives podcast, which explores what it means for Berkeley to become a Latinx Thriving Institution, and the direct impact it'll have on its Latinx-identifying campus community. It was created in partnership with Ethnic Studies Changemaker, a campus group of students plus a faculty adviser that aims to amplify the voices and diverse experiences of marginalized communities.Learn more about Berkeley's Latinx Thriving Initiatives and watch a video of what these efforts have accomplished over the past year on the Latinx Thriving Initiatives website.