The core of our mission at CAA is to connect, and though the past two years have brought challenges, they have also brought new opportunities. It is critical that our programs and services reflect and respond to the needs of our diverse Cal alumni community, as we hold the power to create great change in our world. The impact of our community cannot be underestimated. Throughout our history, alumni have created meaningful, positive change—and the following alumni are a few shining examples.
Artist Midori Kono Thiel ’55, M.A. ’60, was eight years old on February 19, 1942, when Executive Order 9066 set in motion the removal and incarceration of Japanese Americans on the West Coast. In a Daily Cal interview, Thiel recalled being one of the only Japanese American art majors in her class, though she found a community of Japanese American women at the Hearst Women’s Dormitory. For her achievements, Thiel is honored by the Japanese American Women Alumnae of UC Berkeley as its 2022 Outstanding Alumna.
Our celebration of Black history honors the legacy of Black students, faculty, and staff at UC Berkeley. The event “Rise Up, Bears” connected alumni in a conversation between Dallas Mavericks CEO Cynt Marshall ’81 and Cal Basketball alums Jason Gant ’06, Renee Wright-Davis ’06, and Alexis Gray-Lawson ’10 with Dr. Ty-Ron Douglas, Cal’s Associate Athletics Director for Diversity, Equity, Inclusion, Belonging and Justice. The Black Alumni Association continued its speaker series with Brandon Nicholson, M.A. ’08, Ph.D. ’10, executive director of The Hidden Genius Project, an organization creating change by connecting Black male youth with skills to excel in the technology sector.
We continue to seek change… Cal Bears in the Desert and the Chicanx Latinx Alumni Association hosted a screening of To Live for the Harvest, a film examining the plight of farmworkers under COVID-19. Professor David Card received the 2021 Nobel Prize in Economic Sciences for his research on the economics of minimum wage, immigration, and education. In his prize lecture, Card urged young economists to embrace innovation in research design. This issue of California features a Q&A with the new Nobel Laureate.
Following two years of unpredictability and often darkness, the light is beginning to shine through. As we move forward together, living and breathing the values of our unparalleled university, I am full of hope.
Fiat Lux and Go Bears!
Susie Cohen Crumpler