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On Feb. 3, 2020, we marked a critical milestone in the struggle for equality in our country: the 150th anniversary of the ratification of the 15th amendment, which guaranteed U.S. citizens the right to vote regardless of “race, color or previous condition of servitude.” Though this victory was incomplete (women’s suffrage took an additional 50 years), it was a remarkable achievement that continues to deeply impact us today.

The spirit of the 15th amendment — providing an equal opportunity for all people to participate in democracy and civil discourse — also drives UC. We, too, are working to serve Californians of every population and community, particularly those who are most vulnerable. We are building a more informed society that recognizes and celebrates the differences among us while uniting around common values.

As we celebrate this historic occasion along with African-American History Month this February, let us champion the efforts of those Americans, Californians and members of the UC community who have transformed our society for the better through their quest for equality, access and knowledge for all. And, let us continue to confront injustice, advocate for equality and facilitate dialogue that promotes unity.

Yours very truly,

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