CALIFORNIA Live! Past Events


A Dream Denied? The Immigrant Experience in the Campus Community

Tuesday, April 11, 2017 | Alumni House - UC Berkeley


The Cal Alumni Association presents our first CALIFORNIA Live! event of 2017 — an exciting panel discussion, “A Dream Denied? The Immigrant Experience in the Campus Community”.

The United States government is promising massive immigration reform. What shape it will take is still unclear, but if the Trump administration makes good on its campaign promises, comprehensive immigration reform could include everything from a wall along the Mexican border to the deportation of thousands of immigrants, particularly those who are undocumented—even those who have been born and raised in the United States and who attend public universities such as UC Berkeley.

Our panel of experts discussed what our students can do to protect themselves during these particularly turbulent times, and what the University and we as alumni can do to support the most vulnerable members of our community. Our panel featured:


imageDiane Dwyer ’87
Veteran Bay Area journalist

Diane Dwyer is a two-time Emmy award-winning journalist, a faculty member at UC Berkeley’s Haas School of Business, and the owner of Dwyer Media Consulting. She has worked in television journalism in the Bay Area for 25 years, and has received awards from the New York Film Festival, the Associated Press, and the Society of Professional Journalists. Diane started her own business providing marketing and media consulting to clients in a variety of fields ranging from pet retailers to nanotechnology. In addition, she serves as emcee, auctioneer, and advisor for more than two dozen nonprofits.


imageRobert D. Haas ’64
Chairman-Emeritus, Levi Strauss & Co.

Bob Haas is the Chairman Emeritus of Levi Strauss & Co. He joined LS&Co. in 1973 and has held a variety of positions, including CEO and Chairman of the Board of Directors. Bob is an active supporter of Cal, and has endowed the Haas Scholars Program to fund research and creative projects for 20 undergraduate seniors at UC Berkeley annually. He received the Chancellor’s Award in 2007 and was named Berkeley’s Alumnus of the Year in 2009.

imageSaira Hussain ’09, J.D. ’13
Staff Attorney, Asian Law Caucus

Saira Hussain is a staff attorney with the Criminal Justice Reform program at Advancing Justice – Asian Law Caucus. Her work focuses on disentangling federal immigration enforcement from local law enforcement through policy advocacy, litigation, and coalition-building. She also tracks and addresses violations of the TRUST and TRUTH Acts, California laws that place limitations on local law enforcement’s interactions with Immigration & Customs Enforcement.

Saira began working with Advancing Justice – Asian Law Caucus as a Berkeley Law Public Interest Fellow in the Immigrant Rights’ Program, where she focused on representation of immigrants in deportation proceedings. Saira received her J.D. from the UC Berkeley School of Law, and her B.A. from UC Berkeley.

imageMeng L. So ’10, M.A.
Director, Undocumented Student Program

Meng So graduated from UC Berkeley as a first-generation refugee. He now serves as founder and director of the Undocumented Student Program at UC Berkeley, where he coordinates efforts to respond to the needs of first-generation, low-income, undocumented students. The program has quickly been recognized as one that embodies best practices of support, which are being replicated at universities nationwide. Meng serves on the University of California Presidential Task Force on Undocumented Students and the Leadership Board of Educators for Fair Consideration (E4FC).He is a Rockwood Immigrants Rights Fellow for New California, and lends his voice to national efforts to advocate for comprehensive immigration reform.

imageSeth Grossman
Chief of Staff to University of California President Janet Napolitano

Seth Grossman previously served as Deputy General Counsel and Counselor to the Secretary at the U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) during the Obama Administration. At DHS, Grossman oversaw all significant litigation at the department, supervised the DHS regulatory program, and served as a top advisor to the Secretary of Homeland Security on matters related to immigration, civil rights and civil liberties, and privacy, among other issues. While at DHS, Seth served as co-lead for the department on the development of the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program and comprehensive immigration reform in 2012–13. Grossman currently serves as the Chief of Staff to the President of the University of California. He clerked for Justice Stephen G. Breyer of the U.S. Supreme Court, Judge Guido Calabresi of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit, and Judge Stephen Reinhardt of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit. Grossman received his B.A. from the University of Pennsylvania and his J.D. from Yale Law School, where he was a notes development editor of the Yale Law Journal and a Coker Fellow.

imageValeska Castaneda-Puerto ’16
Program Manager, Student Support, Cal Alumni Association

Valeska is a queer Xicana immigrant who came to the United States under asylum as a child. She is a single mother and came to Cal as a first-generation underrepresented junior transfer. Valeska received her B.A. in American studies with a concentration in race, class, gender, and immigration policy, and was a Cal Alumni Association Leadership Award scholar. While a student at Cal, Valeska organized A Trail for Humanity, which raised awareness about violence occurring along the U.S.–Mexico border against undocumented migrants.


Surreal Politics: How Anxiety About Race, Gender, and Inequality Is Shaping the 2016 Presidential Campaign

Friday, September 23, 2016 | Alumni House - UC Berkeley

The Cal Alumni Association and the Goldman School of Public Policy presented an exciting panel discussion of “Surreal Politics: How Anxiety About Race, Gender, and Inequality Is Shaping the 2016 Presidential Campaign.”

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Maria Echaveste J.D. ’80 is the Policy and Program Development Director at the Chief Justice Earl Warren Institute on Law and Social Policy. She joined University of California, Berkeley’s School of Law as a Lecturer after co-founding a strategic and policy consulting group, serving as a senior White House and U.S. Department of Labor official. From 1998 to 2001, she served as assistant to the president and deputy chief of staff to President Bill Clinton. Ms. Echaveste received a Bachelor of Arts in anthropology from Stanford University in 1976. In 1980, Ms. Echaveste received a Juris Doctor from UC Berkeley.


Henry E. Brady Ph.D. is Dean of the Goldman School of Public Policy and Class of 1941 Monroe Deutsch Professor of Political Science and Public Policy at the University of California, Berkeley. He received his Ph.D. in Economics and Political Science from MIT in 1980. He has written on electoral politics and political participation, social welfare policy, political polling, and statistical methodology, and he has worked for the federal Office of Management and Budget and other organizations in Washington, D.C.
Read Political Polarization by Henry E. Brady Ph.D >>

Jonathan Stein M.P.P., J.D. ’13 is a civil rights attorney, currently of Asian Americans Advancing Justice – Asian Law Caucus, the nation’s oldest Asian American civil rights organization, and previously of the ACLU of California. Jonathan focuses on ensuring access to voting for immigrant voters, limited English-proficient voters, and historically disenfranchised communities. He currently serves as Chair of the Board of Directors of the nonprofit organization California Common Cause and is a Commissioner on the City of Oakland Public Ethics Commission.

Sarah Anzia M.P.P., Ph.D. is a political scientist who studies American politics with a focus on state and local government, elections, interest groups, political parties, and public policy. Her recent book, Timing and Turnout: How Off-Cycle Elections Favor Organized Groups, examines how the timing of elections can be manipulated to affect both voter turnout and the composition of the electorate, which, in turn, affects election outcomes and public policy. She has a Ph.D. in political science from Stanford University and an M.P.P. from the Harris School at the University of Chicago.

Jack Glaser Ph.D. received his Ph.D. in psychology from Yale University in 1999 and joined the faculty of the Goldman School in 2000. He is a social psychologist whose primary research interest is in stereotyping, prejudice, and discrimination. He studies these intergroup biases at multiple levels of analysis. In particular, he is interested in the police practice of racial profiling, especially as it relates to the psychology of stereotyping, and the self-fulfilling effects of such stereotype-based discrimination.
Read Cracking The Code: Implicit Bias and Racial Profiling by Jack Glaser >>

Celebrity Politics in the Digital Age

Tuesday, May 24, 2016 | Los Angeles Music Center

Los Angeles Times reporter David Lazarus ’83 moderates a panel discussion with La Cucaracha cartoonist Lalo Alcaraz M.Arch ’91, California’s Vicki Haddock, and Variety’s Jim Rainey ’81 about “Celebrity Politics in the Digital Age.” The panel will share their thoughts about gender, race, media, and celebrity in the 2016 presidential election.

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Lalo Alcaraz M.Arch ’91 is a nationally-recognized Chicano artist, writer, and cartoonist, known for chronicling the cultural and political ascendancy of Latinos in the US. He is the creator of the syndicated daily comic strip La Cucaracha, seen in the Los Angeles Times and papers nationwide; a producer and writer for Fox Television’s Bordertown; and a consultant for the 2017 Pixar film Coco. A brutal satirist, Alcaraz is also “Jefe In Chief” of the website, co-host of KPFK Radio’s talk show The Pocho Hour of Power, and a New York Times best-selling author.

Vicki Haddock has covered state races and presidential campaigns since the Reagan-Mondale face-off of 1984. She has been a writer/editor at the Oakland Tribune, San Francisco Examiner, and San Francisco Chronicle. She received the “Best in the West” award for enterprise journalism, and co-authored the book Never in My Wildest Dreams about pioneering African American broadcaster Belva Davis. Since 2013, she has been editor of California Magazine Online.

David Lazarus ’83 is an award-winning business columnist for the Los Angeles Times, focusing on consumer affairs. He also appears daily on KTLA-TV Channel 5 and is a part-time radio host. His work appears in newspapers across the country and has resulted in a number of laws protecting consumers.

Jim Rainey ’81 is a veteran Los Angeles journalist. For nearly 30 years, he covered various beat assignments for the Los Angeles Times, eventually taking the helm of its Politics Now blog and On the Media column. In addition to his extensive coverage of local news, he also filed reports from the front lines of the ’04, ’08, and ’12 presidential campaigns to the Iraq War in 2006. In 2015, Variety announced it had appointed Jim as a Senior Film Reporter.