The whole Cal community comes together to kick off Homecoming! Alums, parents, and students are invited to join us live to hear a campus update and conversation about social justice.
Carol Christ began her term as Berkeley’s 11th chancellor in 2017. A celebrated scholar of Victorian literature, she is also well known as an advocate for high-caliber, accessible public higher education, a proponent of the value of a broad education in the liberal arts and sciences, and a champion of women’s issues and diversity on college campuses. Christ spent more than three decades as a professor and administrator at UC Berkeley before serving as president of Smith College from 2002 to 2013. Since her return to Cal, she has worked to foster community and improve the campus climate for people of all backgrounds, celebrate the institution’s long-standing commitment to free speech, strengthen Berkeley’s financial position, address a housing shortage, and develop a ten-year strategic plan for the campus.
Clarendon is a star basketball player for the WNBA’s New York Liberty and she’s also a social justice activist.
The WNBA announced the Social Justice Council as part of its 2020 season dedicated to its efforts. The council is led by Clarendon and others, and the goal is to educate, amplify, and mobilize for action to address a history of inequality, implicit bias, and systemic racism.
Clarendon told sports writer Dani Bar-Lavi just this past August: “Within sports right now, you’re seeing what’s still safe. Like, it’s safe to kneel, it’s safe to wear a Black Lives Matter shirt. It’s safe to wear Breonna Taylor now, even for the men. But you’re not seeing what this league does, and what the Liberty is doing specifically — we take it a step further. Like, you’re not seeing people wear a Black Trans Lives Matter shirt in sports still to this day, when that’s the community that’s being dramatically affected. Because it’s still not the safest form of activism, and that’s where I think we always lead the way.”
The WNBA veteran continues to lead off the court and on. In her first season with the New York Liberty, Clarendon recorded a career-high 11.5 points per game over 19 contests, starting all 19. She also shot a career best 87.3 percent from the free throw line.
Clarendon writes, “I started to really delve into identity politics and understand how the way that the world sees you also shapes your identity.” Read her essay, “It’s Time to Think Bigger.”
Mineta was born in San Jose, California to Japanese immigrant parents who were not allowed to become U.S. citizens at the time due to the Asian Exclusion Act. During World War II, the Mineta family was removed from their home and sent to the Heart Mountain internment camp near Cody, Wyoming along with thousands of other Japanese immigrants and Japanese Americans.
Mineta graduated from UC Berkeley in 1953 with a degree in business administration. Upon graduation, Mineta joined the U.S. Army and served as an intelligence officer in Japan and Korea. His career in politics began in 1967 when he was appointed to a vacant San Jose City Council seat. He would go on to become the first Japanese American mayor of a major U.S. city. As mayor, Mineta created development-free areas in San Jose.
Mineta then had a distinguished career in the U.S. House of Representatives. He was a key author of the landmark Intermodal Surface Transportation Efficiency Act of 1991. He pressed for more funding for the Federal Aviation Administration. He was a driving force behind the Civil Liberties Act of 1988, which officially apologized for and redressed the injustices endured by Japanese Americans during World War II. In 1995, he was awarded the Martin Luther King, Jr. Commemorative Medal by George Washington University for his contributions to the field of civil rights.
Mineta served as secretary of commerce under Bill Clinton, making him the first Asian Pacific American to serve in the cabinet. He later served as secretary of transportation — the only Democratic cabinet secretary — in George W. Bush’s administration.
Mineta was at ICTS Europe Holdings and serves on the board of directors at Health Discovery, U.S. Investigations Services, Hill & Knowlton, and the Maureen and Mike Mansfield Foundation.
Zaragoza is a passionate activist in higher education. She has served on multiple boards during the entirety of her college career, including serving as a board member on the California Community College’s Board of Governors and as a trustee to Calbright College. Zaragoza transferred from Modesto Junior College to UC Berkeley to pursue a degree in geography and political science. She currently serves as the 2020–22 Student Regent for the University of California Board of Regents. She is a McNair Scholar studying rural education for Black, Indigenous, and people of color and geographic disparity in university admissions.