Good News from Berkeley: November 18, 2020

The University of California has adopted systemwide gender identity and lived name options for UC-issued documents and information systems. UC’s new Presidential Policy on Gender Recognition and Lived Names, which acknowledges gender identities other than man and woman, is another milepost in the University’s commitment to equity and inclusion for all. Billy Curtis, executive director of the Gender Equity Resource Center at UC Berkeley, called the change “a milestone to many who identify across the gender spectrum.” | UC Berkeley

Happy birthday week to Pauli Murray ’45 (1910–1985), a writer, lawyer, Episcopalian minster, and activist who was both the first Black person to become California’s attorney general and first to graduate from Yale law school. Murray’s book States’ Laws on Race and Color is regarded as the ‘bible’ of civil rights work. | National Museum of African American History and Culture 

Longtime Sacramento community organizer Nkauj Iab Yang ’10 was sworn in Monday as the first executive director of the California Commission on Asian Pacific Islander American Affairs. The child of Hmong refugee parents, Yang wrote in 2019 that UC Berkeley’s Ethnic Studies department was “where I learned about systems of oppression, critical race theory, the Black Power Movement, community organizing, and people power.” | Southeast Asia Resource Action Center (SEARAC).

The names of UC Berkeley’s LeConte Hall and Barrows Hall will be removed, campus officials announced today. The decision—capping a formal review process of two propsals submitted by campus community groups including student, faculty, and alumni members—was made in response to growing awareness of the controversial legacies of the halls’ namesakes that clash with UC Berkeley’s mission and values. | UC Berkeley

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