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From President Drake: The importance of seeing one another

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At the University of California, we spend a lot of time and energy working to expand access and opportunity. These are the nuts and bolts of the American dream – and in all that we do, through teaching, research, and public service, we are striving toward making that dream a reality for more people.

Access starts with visibility – simply put, the ability to see one another, exactly as we are. Whether in classrooms across our 10 campuses, in our laboratories, or out in the broader world, we are better when all of us can bring our full selves to our education, to our work, to our pursuit of knowledge and sharing of ideas. I saw this firsthand as a young doctor: When doing rounds in the hospital, the ability to treat a patient was enhanced by the different perspectives and backgrounds of each individual on our medical team.

That is one reason we at the University of California are proud to join in recognizing International Transgender Day of Visibility on March 31. We celebrate our transgender and non-binary students, faculty, and staff. We appreciate you and the unique gifts you bring precisely because of who you are.

I am proud of our collective efforts to make sure our campus communities are safe and welcoming learning, working, and living environments. Last week, we announced the inaugural leader for the newly created Systemwide Office of Civil Rights at the UC Office of the President. This new umbrella office will provide guidance and support on issues related to protecting civil rights at our 10 campuses, medical centers, national labs, and the Office of the President. In this and other ways, we seek to really see one another – and in doing so, bring to life the UC ideal of greater access and opportunity for all.

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