Fellow Bruins,

From Day 1 of my tenure as Vice Chancellor, I have said that we must “reboot” how we think about and do equity, diversity, and inclusion at UCLA. One piece of this reboot involves more emotionally honest and deeper intellectual engagements across diversity and difference. I have attempted to promote such thinking through CrossCheck, a blog-like feature on my website.

But thinking is not enough; there must also be doing. It turns out that there are already countless Bruins who engage in equity-building projects, self-organizing from the bottom-up, who struggle with the lack of institutional support. With this in mind, I am proud to announce that my Office is funding an innovative, grassroots initiative led by a team of outstanding UCLA graduate students. This initiative, known as the Bruin Excellence & Student Transformation Grant Program (“BEST”), will target resources in ways that will change the way we think about and actually do diversity work – while building toward an increasingly inclusive campus environment.

It is an endeavor for the community, by the community, but backed by Equity, Diversity and Inclusion. To learn more about this venture, I invite you to read the attached letter from the BEST Program Team and related Request for Proposals, and to visit the program website at bestucla.com. I would also like to thank Vice Provost M. Belinda Tucker and the Institute of American Cultures for their assistance and support.

In all my efforts as Vice Chancellor, I have tried to build an Office that models the entrepreneurial spirit of startups and “Silicon Beach.” That’s why I am especially excited about being a Social Entrepreneur backing this project. This is how we reboot.

Enthusiastically,BEST Logo
Jerry Kang
Vice Chancellor for Equity, Diversity and Inclusion