UC Davis Affinity Network Diversity Digest
From the Nominator
"My role began two years ago and includes overseeing affinity alumni networks at UC Davis and serving as the alumni diversity representative for the University of California Office of the President. Having served as a past volunteer leader, I was aware of programming and systems to support leaders and those that needed to create greater understanding across groups.
One of the first measures I took was finding ways to celebrate diversity across identities and raise awareness through intersectional collaboration. Thus, the Affinity Network Diversity Digest was formed. This began Fall 2020 and proceeded with quarterly issues. Each digest includes stories across identities, events, and initiatives and ways people can support student scholarships. It also serves as a humble tool for graduate education around diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI).
Our campus strives for greater belonging through affirmations of our UC Davis Principles of Community. In each digest, readers gain a small insight into awareness across our affinity networks, and in a way that is palatable and celebratory, it is the way we strive for Blackjoy, Queerjoy, joy with Latinx people, those with dis/abilities, and beyond. It is a way to go beyond land acknowledgements and how disease bias is causing community disparities. It's a way to step beyond the deficit and align DEI around celebratory practices that move people toward inclusion."
From the Judges
This program can serve as a model for other institutions. It appeared to be replicable and scalable with low cost. The interdepartmental collaboration and high impact of this program was particularly impressive. It showcased voices from traditionally less engaged or marginalized backgrounds and provides an avenue for intersectional identities to be highlighted and celebrated.