“Since I’ve gotten old, I have wondered how I did all the things that I did then,” Ida Louise Jackson reflected in 1984 at the age of 82. Jackson participated in some of the major movements of the 20th century: the Great Migration, school desegregation, the battles for equitable education and health, and the Civil Rights Movement. Some of her earliest activism began at Berkeley when she organized the first Black sorority on the campus.
IN DECEMBER, KAWIKA SMITH, a 17-year-old high school student from Los Angeles, along with fellow students and advocates, sued the UC system. The goal? Completely reinvent the admissions process by jettisoning standardized testing forever. After a whirlwind year of protests, a pandemic, court battles, and UC policy changes, it seems like they just might pull it off.
For the five women running the food stalls in UC Berkeley’s Student Union, to cook is to connect, and a quick bite of lunch can hold as much history as it does flavor. As graduates of La Cocina, an SF-based incubator for restaurant entrepreneurs, they’re promised a spot at the Student Union for one academic year. The pop-ups offer a sampling of the Bay Area’s diverse food scene: a Vietnamese joint, a soul food spot, an empanada lady, a Syrian mom-and-pop, and a boutique cake shop.
Posted on April 29, 2019 - 9:34am
Today, UC Berkeley’s first “universal” locker room, for people of any gender-ID and body type, opened to the public. At 4,500 square feet, it’s believed to be the largest universal locker room in California. Yesterday some lucky humans and I went on an exclusive tour of the inclusive space before its grand opening, and let me tell ya, I felt so A-list. Nothing says high-class like a bunch of people rubbing their chins and pursing their lips while looking at a toilet. I know because I watch people do it in the SFMOMA all the time!
Posted on September 26, 2018 - 5:32pm
You might not expect the mayor of Berkeley to show up for a meeting in dad jeans and running shoes. Or to be just 33 years old and living in a rented apartment with two roommates. Or to engage a reporter in a freewheeling discussion on some of the most controversial topics of the day without an aide or PR flack in attendance. But then again, Berkeley wasn’t expecting Jesse Arreguín ’07, who swept into office in 2016 in an upset victory over Councilman Laurie Capitelli, who had been endorsed by former Mayor Tom Bates.
It was a Friday morning and I was feeling distressed, unsettled. Maybe because I sensed the stress of Cal students as finals week approached… or maybe it was the bad lamb I had the night before. Regardless of cause, there was one thing for certain: I needed a reason to smile (and to get a paycheck). So I grabbed my notebook and headed to Llamapalooza, UC Berkeley’s first llama festival, in the hopes of lightening my emotional load.
Posted on May 1, 2018 - 2:54pm
Five questions for Dan Siegel, famous as an articulate firebrand on the UC Berkeley campus during the heady 1960s. He is now 71 and is a civil rights attorney in Oakland. This interview has been edited for length and clarity.
Posted on May 24, 2017 - 1:11pm
Stephen Shames arrived at our interview with a faded California Golden Bears cap in hand and a black power pin on his lapel. Apt accessories for the 1969 UC Berkeley grad who spent the years between 1967 and 1969 as the Black Panther Party’s most trusted photographer.
Posted on November 2, 2016 - 10:26am
Science tells us that race is in our heads, not in our genes; it’s all a social construct.
It’s an observation that seems to illuminate everything and nothing at once. It makes it sound so arbitrary and trivial—a trick of the mind. And yet history tells us that race has mattered enormously. And the news emphasizes how much it still matters today in terms of what researchers call “life outcomes”: Your chances of securing a loan, for example; or of getting a good education; or of being shot by the police.
UC Berkeley has been a burr under the Right’s saddle ever since Mario Savio declaimed freely on free speech in Sproul Plaza back in 1964. Cal, in fact, remains the default example for conservatives fulminating about the deficiencies of American higher education. Most recently, they’ve railed against Cal policies on microaggression and trigger warnings.
Posted on September 9, 2015 - 4:46pm
Remember in 2012 when the City of Berkeley decided to redraw its electoral map so that students would be better represented at City Hall?
Posted on August 9, 2014 - 8:09am
Janet Napolitano may have earned the support of the UC Board of Regents, but at Berkeley, the Associated Students of the University of California are not so easily swayed.
Convening for their weekly meeting, the student senators of ASUC have offered their collective assessment of the UC system’s controversial new president. And, lo, the former Homeland Security chief has been found wanting.
Posted on September 12, 2013 - 12:42pm