Roughly a year ago I launched CrossCheck, an online platform I’ve used to change the way we think and talk about equity, diversity and inclusion in the University. My number one goal has been to encourage all of us to “up our game” with respect to our discourse about equity, diversity and inclusion and to insist that we go beyond soundbites, caricatures and slogans. This year I am excited to launch CrossCheck Live. Same CrossCheck commitments—but “live.” This new format will allow us to tap into and dialogue with UCLA’s extraordinary pool of talent, including you.
An investigation report completed by UCLA’s Discrimination Prevention Office has leaked to the Daily Bruin and was today produced under a public records request. It’s about a hot button issue: divestment from Israel. For multiple reasons, I’m wary about commenting on a report that we did not publicly release. But misunderstandings are spreading. And if this past year as Vice Chancellor has taught me anything, it is to embrace transparency and to meet challenges head-on.
You may have already seen it: a photo of smiling college students holding up posters saying, “Get your agenda out of my bathroom!” “There are only two genders!” “Transgenderism is a mental disorder!” I’m hoping that like me, the students in the photograph remain open to change. Perhaps decades later, when this photo resurfaces on some Internet search, they will recall this moment with regret, for having been needlessly cruel.
Back in November 2015, someone put up hostile posters that targeted two student organizations — the Muslim Student Association and Students for Justice in Palestine. Although posted anonymously, an outside provocateur named David Horowitz eventually took credit.
The Regents Working Group on Principles Against Intolerance recently released its Final Report. Responses are coming in fast and furious, across multiple media. It’s a good time for another CrossCheck. Most important, here’s the actual Report.