Diversity at Berkeley

I’m working to improve equity, diversity, and inclusion (especially in Computer Science) at all levels, both through service appointments and in my teaching and research.

  • With Dan Garcia and others, the LEARNER Center is promoting mastery learning in EECS and CoE courses by creating and evaluating the effectiveness of automated question generators for student practice. Mastery learning has been shown effective in narrowing equity gaps.

  • With Masters student Fuzail Shakir, creating and evaluating tools and policies for streamlining the process of using Flextensions (flexible extensions), a set of practices around flexible extension policies that we believe will enhance student learning with minimal staff time cost.

  • I regularly teach our CS Pedagogy course (which all first-time CS TAs must take) and we recently presented a paper on how we’ve been using DEIBJ as a lens through which to teach CS pedagogy.

  • Department level: I’m a CS Graduate Diversity Officer, member of EECS Anti-Racism Working Group, faculty sponsor of CS Scholars program

  • NEW: Check out the one-stop Broadening Participation in EECS resources page!

  • College of Engineering level: member of CoE E&I Council
  • UC Berkeley campus level:  Equity Advisor
  • CS academia level: UC Berkeley representative to CMD-IT LEAP Alliance to dramatically improve diversity in the CS professoriate

“I’m a student wishing to be more directly involved in diversity-enhancing activities…”

That’s great! This campaign will be waged one battle at a time and we eagerly want your help—just make sure you balance it with your student obligations. (The best thing you can do for diversity is secure your academic standing and eventual career, so you will be in the strongest position to help others.)

Here are some suggestions of what you can do on campus right now (thanks to Audrey Sillers, Director of Student Diversity for EECS, with whom I work very closely):

  • Get involved with BiasBusters! They’re always looking to recruit younger members for continuity. BiasBusters was conceived by our students attending the Tapia Conference and learning about the organization and then emulating here it at Berkeley.
  • Reach out to student groups such as LAGSES or BGESS (graduate), or HES or BESSA (undergraduate)—they often do direct outreach and mentoring to pre-college as well as college students.
  • Get involved in CS Scholars.
  • BAIR is starting a mentoring program (inspired by CS Scholars) for PhD students and URM undergrads.  Graduate student Rudy Corona Rodriguez has more info.
  • Mentoring a SUPERB student directly impacts the likelihood of that student later being admitted to a PhD program. 
  • If you attend Tapia, SHPE, SACNAS, NSBE, Grace Hopper, … sign up to work at the Berkeley booth and directly advise prospective applicants! Audrey Sillers can help with this.

Diversity in the US: Get Out the Vote!

If you want to support nonprofit, nonpartisan, nonlobbying organizations focused on getting out the vote:

501(c)(3) organizations focused on “getting out the vote” generally (donations are tax deductible):

  • HeadCount facilitates social/political activism by registering voters, voter education, and get-out-the-vote activities
  • The Brennan Center for Justice is a nonpartisan think tank focused on legal and policy issues around social justice, and is currently quite active in combating the “vote by mail is fraudulent” campaign being waged by the incumbent candidate.
  • VoteAmerica is a largely-philanthropy-supported effort to help US voters navigate the processes of registering and voting in their state, whether in person or by mail.

501(c)(3) organizations focusing specifically on communities of color (donations are tax deductible):

  • AccelerateChange.org supports several nonprofit digital media ventures including ProjectPulso, which reaches out via cellphones specifically to mobilize and deliver news relevant to Latinx voters.
  • Voto Latino Foundation is dedicated to registering Latinx voters and encouraging their civic participation. See below for VotoLatino.org.
  • PoderLatinX foundation focuses on educating Latinx voters in key states. See below for PoderLatinX.org voter registration.

501(c)(4) or other organizations (donations are not tax deductible), some of which have an affiliated 501(c)(3) in the list above:

  • PoderLatinX.org focuses on Latinx voter reg in key states. (Affiliated 501(c)(3): PoderLatinX foundation above)
  • VotoLatino.org has a similar mission but is national.  (Affiliated 501(c)(3): Voto Latino Foundation above)
  • VoteForward enlists volunteers to send 1-on-1 “get out the vote” letters to individual voters in key states with strategic timing to encourage them to vote.
  • Fair Fight was started by Stacey Abrams to support “voter protection” programs to combat voter suppression in Georgia and elsewhere.