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UC Berkeley Black Staff and Faculty Organization

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Introduced by Takiyah Franklin, Chair, UC Berkeley Black Staff and Faculty Organization (BSFO), and Faculty Research Coordinator, Othering and Belonging Institute

Year founded

1979

Current goals

BSFO’s mission is to create a climate that is conducive to the well-being and professional development aspirations of black staff, faculty and students. Our goals are to strengthen the network among black staff, faculty and students, as well as with campus community and local community; to encourage the recruitment and retention of black staff, faculty and students and to enhance staff advancement and career development opportunities. We achieve these goals by:

  • Developing supportive systems and programs that enhance the educational, social and professional opportunities for black staff, faculty and students
  • Establishing an internal communication network among faculty, staff and students
  • Coordinating activities to facilitate black staff, faculty and student interaction
  • Publicizing relevant research and publications concerning the status of black employees
  • Generating financial resources to sustain the activities of the organization

Recent group and member highlights

  • 2019-2020: BSFO has been essential in planning events throughout campus to commemorate the 400th anniversary of the forced arrival of enslaved Africans in the English colonies. More information about this initiative, including several upcoming events, can be found at berkeley.edu.
  • 2019: Professor Walter Hood received a MacArthur Foundation “genius” grant.
  • 2019: Professor Linda Burton was named dean of the UC Berkeley School of Social Welfare.
  • 2016: Dean Prudence Carter became the first African-American woman dean of the Graduate School of Education. In 2019, she was named the E.H. and Mary E. Pardee Professor.

How has participating in UC Berkeley BSFO has impacted you?

I draw inspiration from the history of the organization. The faculty and staff who established BSFO in 1979 saw the critical need for a professional network for black people. This need continues today more than ever because the university is constantly changing in accordance with the demands of the digital world. BSFO reminds me to stay rooted in the community and challenges me to act on ways that we can promote coexistence. Participating in BSFO has established ongoing professional development opportunities at UC Berkeley. There is a tremendous amount of work to be done on campus climate if we wish to experience the university’s Principles of Community in our day-to-day experience. The wonderful truth is that we have brilliant staff across the campus, and thanks to the leadership of the Sid Reel, former director of Staff Diversity Initiatives; I think the Coalition for Ethnic Staff Organizations (CESO) at UC Berkeley is a great place to start making a sustainable impact. Read more about Takiyah from the UC Berkeley newsroom.

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