Black alumni news from UCSC
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The CZU Lightning Complex wildfires that burned in the nearby mountains impacted many members of the UC Santa Cruz community. Our thoughts are with students, faculty, and staff who have been displaced, and the many who have experienced devastating loss. Learn about ways to help.

Alumni Voices

Mangwi Atia


I am Mangwi Atia (Merrill ’02, global economics) and a proud Black alumna of UC Santa Cruz. I work as the Director of Strategy, Planing, and Partnerships at the US Department of Veterans Affairs. As a student scholar and leader at UCSC, I had the opportunity to hone leadership, analytical, and organizational skills through the Chancellor Undergraduate Internship Program,

African American Resource & Cultural Center, Education Abroad Program, and various student organizations. It is where I learned the importance of gaining trust and respect from my peers, team members, and University leaders, while recognizing individuals for their contributions.

I am truly indebted to UCSC for my professional development. But, I cannot ignore that there is room for UCSC to improve its response to the needs of diverse stakeholders. As the elections approach, one California ballot measure in particular reminds me that UCSC has less than stellar diversity and inclusion outcomes pertaining to Black students, faculty, and staff.

In November, Californian voters will decide whether to rescind 1996’s Proposition 209, a ban on affirmative action programs in government and public institutions. While this may be a polarizing decision for some constituents, I wonder how much of an impact this ballot measure will have on Black student and employee diversity at UCSC.

UCSC has not achieved a two-digit rise in the percentage of Black students, faculty, and staff… ever. Outreach, recruitment, diversity and inclusion programs, and campus environment are contributing factors. Success requires the ongoing commitment and involvement of Black alumni and allies; together, we have the power to meet these obstacles with sustainable solutions and support for the Black students, faculty, and staff who are already on campus.

As Black alumni of UCSC, we must remain connected and engaged with the University so that we have a presence and impact on University recruitment, development, and advancement. By being connected, we not only communicate our position on critical University decisions, but also offer support to University priorities (admissions, academics, research). Increasing our engagement puts us in a better position to discuss our concerns and potential solutions with the University officials who need to hear our voices to make informed decisions.

Connect and engage with UC Santa Cruz

Special Announcements

Michael V. Drake

A message to the UC community from President Michael V. Drake, MD


As Michael V. Drake, MD assumes his new role as UC’s 21st president, he sends his greetings and gratitude to the entire university community.


Prop. 209's affirmative action ban drove down Black and Latino UC enrollment and wages, study finds


In June, the UC Board of Regents unanimously supported a repeal of Proposition 209, amplifying the sweeping support within the university system to restore affirmative action.

Profiles in Excellence

Ashley Nicole Black

A Black Lady Sketch Show Is Headed to the Emmys, and Ashley Nicole Black Couldn’t Be More Ready

Vogue caught up with Ashley Nicole Black (Porter '07, theater arts) about the nomination, working in the first TV writers’ room composed entirely of Black women, and what it’s like to be a comedy writer during a global pandemic.

John Sanders

How a Black educator is helping SLO County kids of all backgrounds connect to nature


As a child, John Sanders (Rachel Carson College '90, biology) often visited his grandparents in Mississippi, where he learned how to live off the land.
“I always felt my family, and Black people in general, had a strong connection with the land, even though we didn’t own much of it,” he said. “That’s where it all started for me.”

Cross-Cultural Community Building

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Rainbow Theater Podcast: Remote alumni reunion (part 1)

Join Rainbow Theater students as they interview alumni Antonio Glass (Rachel Carson College '10, theater arts), Nicole Meñez (Porter '15, theater arts), and Tiffany D. Loftin (Oakes '11, American studies) about life during and after UC Santa Cruz.


Black Lives Matter: Perspectives from the AA/PI community

Solidari-Tea, a podcast from the Resource Centers at UC Santa Cruz, aims to build community by providing a space to hold important conversations.

Fundraising Events

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Get ready to give on September 30th!

The UC Santa Cruz community is coming together on Giving Day, September 30, to ensure the programs that make the student experience so unique remain resilient during these challenging times. This 24-hour crowdfunding campaign with 140+ areas of campus participating, starts at midnight on September 30.

Career and Network Support

Leveraging your experience in today's job market event banner

Leveraging your experience in today's job market

September 23, 4:30 p.m. PDT

This event will include a presentation from LinkedIn about how to strengthen your professional network from home, and an alumni panel discussion for recent graduates preparing to enter the job market with a focus on alumni of color.

Career Pivots event image

Career Pivots: Changing industries + realigning your brand


October 23, 12 p.m. PDT

Considering a career change? You’re not alone! Join our experienced panel of UC alumni for tangible tips for changing careers, identifying opportunities, and leveraging your strengths to successfully pivot to a new industry.

Work at UC Santa Cruz!

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UC Santa Cruz wants to see an increase in Black representation at all levels of the university. Please consider applying, and pass along these job announcements to other Black folks in your networks. You'll find a comprehensive list of all open positions here.

SOAR/Student Media/Cultural Arts & Diversity Program Manager | SOMeCA
Application review begins 9/21/2020

PBSci Divisional Liaison | ITS Division
Application review begins on 9/22/2020

Admissions Freshman Reviewer | Admissions
Application review begins on 9/23/2020

This newsletter was produced by the Alumni Engagement office at UC Santa Cruz. If you have suggestions for content you'd like to see featured, please contact Rhonda Kinard at



UC Santa Cruz
1156 High St.
Santa Cruz, CA 95064


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