MSE Anti-Racism Work Group
The UC Irvine Department of Materials Science and Engineering values different experiences, perspectives and cultures. We strive to create a welcoming and respectful environment for all and to promote accessibility, inclusion and equitable opportunity and learning. The department is proud to support an internal Anti-Racism Work Group, comprised of students, faculty and staff, whose focus is to further identify actions that propagate racism within the department and enact policies to directly promote anti-racism and inclusive excellence. As part of a commitment to formally investigating the nature of racial inequality in the department, MSE has an internal form (link at the bottom of this page) for people to report racist and/or discriminatory behavior. The department plans to use responses to inform its efforts on improving the department's climate of inclusion. MSE@UCI also holds town halls to discuss current events impacting our community, best practices for promoting inclusion and equity, and how to apply these practices within the department and curriculum.
"To be antiracist is to think nothing is behaviorally wrong or right -- inferior or superior -- with any of the racial groups. Whenever the antiracist sees individuals behaving positively or negatively, the antiracist sees exactly that: individuals behaving positively or negatively, not representatives of whole races. To be antiracist is to deracialize behavior, to remove the tattooed stereotype from every racialized body. Behavior is something humans do, not races do."
Ibram X. Kendi
Historian, Scholar, Author
Message from the MSE ARWG Chair, Associate Professor Tim Rupert
The problems of social injustice and racism in our communities compel us to look inward at ourselves and ask what we can do to confront racism and bias as a department. Particularly timely are the issues of anti-Black racism, which we are seeing manifest in our local, national and international communities. We also recognize that other members of our department community experience discrimination, including Asian, Latinx, international students and LGBTQ+ groups. By promoting an anti-racist culture, we aim to mitigate the alternative culture (racism) and make our campus an inclusive and supportive environment for everyone.
First and foremost, the MSE faculty bring you a message that racism in all of its forms has no place at our university nor in our department. We are committed to ensuring and maintaining an anti-racist environment for students, staff and faculty. We further recognize that such statements are insufficient by themselves to correct department climate issues, and we therefore commit to real and significant action.
With this in mind, we have created the MSE Anti-Racism Work Group. This group’s name reflects its core goal to identify and remediate policies and actions within the purview of the MSE department that promote and propagate racism. First, we will investigate the nature and source of racial inequality in our MSE department. These actions will include starting a potentially uncomfortable dialogue with department stakeholders (students, staff, faculty) to learn the scope of inequalities that exist in the education system as they relate to our department in order to inform and craft policies to improve upon them. Second, we will enact policies to directly promote anti-racism within the department, with the hope that they can serve as best practices for other units to adopt. The five professors and two DECADE student representatives below have volunteered for this group, and we will initiate a transparent process to include additional students, postdocs and staff interested in participating in this important effort. The goal is to have a diverse group of people who can themselves provide unique perspectives while also engaging different members of the MSE community.
Report Racist and/or Discriminatory Behavior to the MSE Anti-Racism Work Group
Please use the internal department reporting form listed above for the anonymous reporting of implicit bias, racism, microaggressions or discrimination that you witness or perceive in the department. Input from this form will only be used to guide department discussion and policy development.
Submissions will route to the MSE ARWG for assessment and follow up. If there is a conflict of interest with any member of the AWRG (see members below) and you do not feel comfortable submitting this form, consider contacting the Office of Equal Opportunity and Diversity (OEOD) or the MSE department chair.
For incidents you feel require specific corrective action, UCI maintains the OEOD to address incidents of discrimination, retaliation, sexual harassment and sex offenses. The OEOD is equipped to handle a wide range of incidents, from perceived discrimination among peers to explicit acts of racism and harassment. The OEOD offers and coordinates with other campus offices a corresponding range of services, from informal advising and consultation to arbitration and legal action. The Department of Materials Science and Engineering encourages anyone experiencing incidents of the above type to consult the OEOD here:
2020-2021 MSE Anti-Racist Work Group (ARWG) Members:
- Tim Rupert, Associate Professor, ARWG Chair
- Stephany Alonso, MSE Undergraduate Student
- Will Bowman, Assistant Professor
- Stacy Copp, Assistant Professor
- Salma Anter El-Azab, Ph.D. Student
- Allon Hochbaum, Associate Professor
- Nadjia Motley, Ph.D. Student
- Regina Ragan, Professor
- Amy S. Ricks, MSE CAO
- Desiree Rios, Student Services Adviser