Chicanx and Latinx alumni news from UCSC
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JUNE 2020

Alumni Voices

Leisette Rodriguez

“If you have come here to help me you are wasting your time, but if you have come because your liberation is bound up with mine, then let us work together.”               —Lilla Watson

I come to you from Long Beach, the land of Acjachemen/Juaneno and Tongva/Gabrieleno people, and give thanks to my relatives on whose unceded lands, taken by violence, I make my home. My name is Leisette Rodriguez (Cowell ’96), and I am a staff attorney at Bet Tzedek Legal Services and a UCSC Alumni Council member. As an activist-

scholar at UCSC, I was a Co-Chair of MEChA and a member of SANAI, TWANAS, and CHP.

What I want to share with you today is a call to action in solidarity with Black lives and against systemic and institutional racism everywhere. This call to action is borne from love. Love for our community, love for ourselves, and love for humanity. Building coalitions and unifying our struggles is something that I learned while at UCSC. Our struggles are bound with the struggles and liberation of others. What can happen when we all get together? What does solidarity look like in this present moment?

Solidarity means seeing that something is wrong and taking action to right that wrong. To know that we are not alone, and that other people care, is the turning point in all movements. This spirit is waking up in response to the murder of George Floyd. By defending Black lives, we create conditions for a more just and equitable society, and we are already starting to see how mass protests can and will change systems that oppress us all. This moment means that we will no longer turn away from the realities of brown children in cages separated from their families, the hundreds of missing and murdered Indigenous women, and the violence and murder committed against our Black and brown family by law enforcement.

As Chicanx and Latinx alumni of UC Santa Cruz we need to be in solidarity with Black students, staff, and faculty. Their fight is our fight. We must also support the work of Black-led organizations and fully participate in the undoing of tyranny and injustice. Solidarity with Black lives means that we show up, we do the work, and we show people the possibility of love.

Let us step into this moment.

Learn more about this moment

Special Announcement

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UC Celebrates Supreme Court Win


On behalf of the 650,000 Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) recipients currently living in the United States, the University of California applauds the U.S. Supreme Court’s decision to strike down the Trump administration’s arbitrary attempt to end a program that allowed immigrants brought to the U.S. as children to live and work in the country they know as home.

Profiles in Excellence—Class of 2020 Edition

Monica Estrada Arias

Monica Estrada Arias
Cowell '20, Legal Studies


A first-generation college student from Orange County, Monica Estrada Arias spent three months interning at New America, a Washington, D.C. think tank devoted to addressing social, economic, and political problems.

Jocelyn Lopez-Anleu

Jocelyn Lopez-Anleu
Stevenson '20, History of Arts and Visual Culture


During her second year, Jocelyn Lopez-Anleu studied contemporary curatorial practices at the University of Cape Town in South Africa and engaged with different methods of studying art history at UCLA.

Ben Ochoa

Ben Ochoa
Porter '20, Film and Digital Media


Ben Ochoa decided he wanted to pursue film in college after researching and writing a screenplay for his high school senior project. He chose UCSC because “Santa Cruz is one of the upper-quality film programs in public schools, big on indie projects,” he said.

Career and Network Support

Women + Work: Finding a support network to maximize your impact event banner

Women + Work: Finding a support network to maximize your impact


July 7, 12 p.m. PDT
Looking to deepen professional connections in the workplace? Join our panel of UC alumnae sharing insights on building professional alliances at work, leveraging employee resource groups (ERGs) and strategies for supporting inclusion in the workplace.

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Hire UC Alumni Career Fair

July, 15 10 a.m–4 p.m. PDT

This virtual expo-style hiring event provides a unique opportunity for UC alumni of all career levels to connect with employers from a wide variety of fields and industries. Participation is free for University of California alumni job seekers.

We want to hear from you! poster

We want to hear from you!


As Chicanx and Latinx alumni you are automatically a member of the Latinx Alumni Network (LAN), and we want to hear from you. How can LAN better support you? We would love to hear how we can support you by hosting events that interest and involve you! Fill out the survey here.

Work at UC Santa Cruz!

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

Student Legal Services Adviser | Dean of Students
Application review begins 7/9/2020

Financial Services Analyst | University of California Observatories
Application review begins on 7/12/2020

DRC Accessible Media Coordinator | Disability Resource Center
Application review begins on 7/22/2020
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



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