Who Are We Now?

The current pandemic and worldwide demonstrations against systemic racism have had an unprecedented impact on the world. The question “Who are we now?” prompts a consideration of the forces that drive us.

This question, and the conversations that follow, were inspired by Cal alumna Maria Smith ’19. While sheltering in place, Maria began to evaluate our ideas of self and purpose during this time of uncertainty, and saw the importance of having open, honest conversations around these themes.

This moment in history will no doubt impact our identities as individuals and, ultimately, as a society. To address this historic moment, “Who Are We Now?” engages Cal alumni and students in virtual discussions around current events to find out how their experiences at Cal have shaped their identities. Join us in these important conversations as we address these complex topics head-on.

Who Are We Now?” with Elijah Hicks ’20, Jordan Veasy ’18, Isabella Marten ’18, and Joe Spano ’67

In our first “Who Are We Now?” conversation, current and former Cal student-athletes Elijah Hicks ’20, Isabella Marten ’18, and Jordan Veasy ’19 join host Joe Spano ’67 to discuss how COVID-19 and recent Black Lives Matter demonstrations have impacted their lives and identities. Watch this discussion now and stay tuned as we continue to engage alumni and students in these important conversations.

Special Guests

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Host Joe Spano ’67 is an Emmy Award-winning actor who plays Tobias Fornell on television’s NCIS. Previously, he played Lt. Henry Goldblume on the series Hill Street Blues and starred in Mercy Point, Amazing Grace, Murder One and NYPD Blue. Joe has starred in 20 films made for television and guest-starred on 38 television shows. He has appeared in 30 feature films, including Hart’s War, Primal Fear, Apollo 13, American Graffiti, Hollywoodland, Fracture and Frost/Nixon.
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Elijah Hicks ’20 is a current Berkeley student and Cal Football safety. Elijah is the founder of the Intercept Poverty Foundation, a nonprofit with a mission to intercept poverty on college campuses by helping low-income students overcome financial roadblocks, which is now focusing on raising funds to feed low-income families during COVID-19.
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Isabella Marten ’18 is a recent Berkeley graduate with a master’s in strategic public relations from USC. Isabella was born in Stuttgart, Germany and first moved to the US in 2014 to complete her undergraduate degree at Berkeley with a major in media studies. During her academic career, Isabella also lettered in track and field, scoring as a two-time first-team All American at the D1 NCAA Nationals and winning the Pac-12 Championship title for Cal in both 2016 and 2017.
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Jordan Veasy ’18 is a native of Gadsden, Alabama and a former Cal football player. Jordan is now a professional NFL wide receiver for the Washington Football Team.

Author and Creator of “Who Are We Now?”

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Maria Smith ’19 is a former star student-athlete, an essential player on the Cal Women’s Tennis team, and an exemplary scholar. Her collegiate achievements include—but are not limited to—academic accolades from Cal and the Pac-12, and a national team championship in tennis.