Skip to main content

Enhancing the Black Student Experience

EBSE Symposium Goal

Held annually each April, the week-long EBSE symposium is designed to increase awareness of the Black student experience at UC San Diego, with the goal of fostering intentional and sustained action to enhance this experience and promote pro-Blackness at the university.

The Black Student Union (BSU), Black Graduate and Professional Student Association (BGPSA), and the offices of the Vice Chancellor for Student Affairs and the Vice Chancellor for Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion are partners in producing this event.

The 2022 symposium covered the following areas:

  • Undergraduate, Graduate, and Professional Education
  • Inclusive Frontline Services
  • Professional Development and Alumni Engagement: a Sense of Belonging

past sessions and speakers

"Student Success: A Black Lens"

Dr. Tia McNair
VP, Diversity, Equity and Student Success and Executive Director for the Truth, Racial Healing, and Transformation (TRHT) Campus Centers, American Association of Colleges and Universities

"Black Campus Life"

Dr. Antar Tichavakunda
Assistant Professor of Education, University of Cincinnati

Nurturing Holistic Black Excellence through Education"

Dr. Julian Vasquez Heilig
Dean | College of Education, University of Kentucky

"Post-Traumatic Growth and Flourishing in the Face of Racial Trauma"

Dr. Tabitha Grier-Reed
Associate Dean | Graduate Education and Faculty Development, University of Minnesota

"Nurturing Holistic Black Excellence through Frontline Services"

Dr. A. Dexter Samuels
Senior VP Student Affairs & Executive Director | Meharry Medical College

"Nurturing Holistic Black Excellence through Professional Development and Alumni Engagement"

Triton Alumni Panels

  1. Arts & Humanity and Social Sciences
  2. Engineering and Biological, Physical, and Marine Sciences
  3. Law, Medicine and Business

Collaborative Opportunity: "Sharing Best Practices at UC San Diego"

To continue to grow our capacity for enhancing our Black student experience, this year we are adding a new component to allow us to collaborate and build on existing positive efforts.

We have created an opportunity for campus community members (staff, faculty, and administrators) to share a practice, policy, or procedure that has been implemented since the inaugural symposium in 2021 to enhance the Black student experience at UC San Diego.

“Black Academic Excellence Initiative Update”

Dr. Becky Petitt
Vice Chancellor, Equity Diversity and Inclusion, UC San Diego

“Application of Critical Race Theory to Nurturing Holistic Black Excellence”

Taifha Natalee Alexander
Project Director, CRT Forward, UCLA School of Law

EBSE Committee


Ebonee Williams
Director, Virtual Experience & Peer Engagement Initiatives - VC Student Affairs

Glynda Davis
Senior Diversity Officer - Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion

Solange Jackson
BSU representative

Nyagoah Puoch
BSU representative

James Crawford
BGPSA Representative


Adam Burgasser

Amber Vlasnik

Angeline Yang

Charity Anderson

David Ruiter

Deborah Kammerer

Destany Charles

Elizabeth Jimenez Perez

Emily Trask

Fnann R Keflezighi

Franklin Garrett 

Helen Griffith

Karla Barron Galvan

Kelly O'Sullivan Sommer

Kieara Auzenne

Kyler Nathan

Leslie Carver

Maruth Figueroa

Natalee Ellars

Nichola Retzius

Patricia Mahaffey

Porsia Curry 

Roberta Camarena

Sarah Spear-Barrett

Tara Javidi

Tori Bussey-Neal


Books & Articles

Data Sources

UC San Diego Undergraduate Diversity Dashboard

University of California 2020 Accountability Report: Chapter 7: Diversity


Donations to the following funds help continue the success of Black students.

  • Give to UC San Diego 
  • The Black Alumni Scholarship fund donors can give to the Arts, Humanities & Social Sciences or Engineering, Math & Science fund. The Black Alumni scholarship is at San Diego Foundation and is the only scholarship associated with UC San Diego that can be exclusively offered to Black students due to UC San Diego’s restrictions in alignment with Prop 209.
  • Black Studies Project -Fund 7051 To provide general discretionary support for the Black Studies Project in the department of Ethnic Studies at UC San Diego.
  • James Avery Memorial Scholarship - Fund 2275 (To provide undergraduate scholarships to African-American students who major in the performing arts.
  • Black Resource Center (BRC) - E3077 To provide general support for the Black Resource Center, including administrative support for the center and funding for its programmatic activities.
  • Ujima Black History Month (BHM) Scholarship – E4538 Funds scholarship awards annually to enrolled UC San Diego undergraduate students demonstrating academic and creative achievement in the study of African Americans, their history and culture in honor of Dr. Joe W. and Mary S. Watson.
  • Black Academic Excellence Initiative (BAEI) – E3300 UC San Diego’s Black Academic Excellence Initiative is a university-wide effort designed to create a more inclusive teaching and learning environment that reflects the diversity of the state, as well as our nation.

 PATHWays programs

  • PATHways to STEM Scholarships – E3432 Funds will be used for PATHS Program salary, programming, recruitment,
  • PATHways to STEM Program – E3431 This fund will provide scholarship support to students participating in the PATHways to STEM through Enhanced Access and Mentorship (PATHS) Program.
  • PATHways to STEM: Graduate Fellowships – E4795 Graduate fellowship support to students participating in the PATHways to STEM through Enhanced Access and Mentorship (PATHS) Program





Dr. Ibram X. Kendi in conversation with Diane Forbes Berthoud, AVC of Equity, Diversity and Inclusion and Greyson Sims, Labor Affairs Director of Associated Students Office of External Affairs, UC San Diego.

Opening & closing remarks and Q&A moderated by Rachel Asiedu, Campus Organizing Director of Associated Students Office of External Affairs, UC San Diego.

March 3, 2021

Related Documents

Historical Context

Since early 2021, UC San Diego leadership has been in an ongoing dialog with representatives of our Black Student Union (BSU) and Black Graduate and Professional Student Association (BGPSA) on how to better meet their needs and how to drive action that would make this campus a more inclusive and welcoming environment for Black students.

These robust conversations brought into focus the progress that has been made over the years as well as the gaps yet to be addressed. It became clear the entire campus needs to be involved in addressing these gaps and in developing solutions to improve the experience of Black students on our campus.

The 12-day Anti-Racism Challenge during the summer of 2020 to learn to identify racist language and address anti-Blackness as it manifests on our campus. This challenge generated an interest in proactive steps and additional training to help develop solution-oriented action plans. Simultaneously, Student Affairs created shared strategic Commitments to Address Anti-Blackness and prioritized hosting a symposium on the Black student experience at UC San Diego in response to students' requests for a series of sessions. Representatives from the BSU, BGPSA, Student Affairs, and Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion collaborated to chair the creation of a shared learning experience that better equips the campus to respond to the concerns voiced by our Black students. In 2021, more than 40 faculty and staff across campus came together to co-create this symposium to empower their colleagues to engage in this work.

The goal of the Enhancing the Black Student Experience symposium is to increase awareness of the Black student experience at UC San Diego by fostering intentional and sustained action to enhance their experience and promote pro-blackness at UC San Diego.

The symposium aligns with the goals established for the Black Academic Excellence Initiative, the Strategic Plan for Inclusive Excellence, Student Affairs Strategic Plan, and the UC San Diego Strategic Plan. The symposium aims to provide participants with knowledge, tools, and strategies to create better experiences for Black undergraduate, graduate, and professional students.