BE-STEM List of Demands 2020

BE-STEM List of Demands 2020

On October 20th 2020, the leadership of BE-STEM sent the following email enclosing the BE-STEM List of Demands: a series of requests crafted with several Black graduate students and Black postdocs at UCSF in order to improve the experience of current and future Black trainees.

Here's the link to our demands.


Dear Dean Watkins, Dr Stanford, Prof. Mullins and Prof. Lobo,

I am writing to you today on behalf of our trainee organization Black Excellence in STEM @ UCSF(BE-STEM) as its Co-President. We have formed during the summer with the goal of improving the experience of current Black trainees at UCSF, increasing Black representation in STEM and to mentor the next generation of Black scientists. While we appreciate the several advocacy efforts that have sprung over this summer where systemic racism has been brought to light and continuous efforts made by the Graduate Division, we are contacting you as the unique voices of a subset Black students and postdocs here at UCSF to continue to address equitable change through a list of demands.

We have taken some time to craft our list of demands to improve the Black trainee experience here at UCSF that you can find here. You may notice that some of these demands intersect with several that have already been made. In that case, we elevate the urgency to address them in a timely and decisive fashion. Other demands have specific requirements for increasing equity that we hope that you will address.

We are also sending these demands here to Dr Jeanne Stanford, in her role of Director of Mental Health Services, so that point 6 can be addressed. In addition, to address point 9, we are also requesting a response from the Academic Senate and here we are sending it to Prof. Dyche Mullins, in his role as a chair of the Graduate Council on the Academic Senate, and Prof. Errol Lobo, as chair of the Equal Opportunity Committee in the Academic Senate. We hope Prof. Mullins and Prof. Lobo can adequately respond to this demand, if not, that they work with whoever would be more appropriate to respond to it.

We request a point-by-point response to these demands in the coming weeks and a virtual meeting with all stakeholders to clarify all the points. We also hope that this can be addressed in the upcoming town hall.

Thank you for your attention,


Nadia Ayad and Chase Webb

Co-Presidents of BE-STEM@UCSF

BE-STEM meetings with UCSF leadership

BE-STEM met with UCSF leadership to discuss the BE-STEM petition in 3 separate occasions:

On 10/29/2020, we met with Dean Elizabeth Watkins, Associate Dean Elizabeth Silva, Assistant Dean D'Anne Duncan, Dr. Jeanne Stanford, Director of Mental Health Services, Prof. Dyche Mullins, chair of the Graduate Council. Meeting notes can be found here.

On 01/11/2021, we met again with Dean Elizabeth Watkins, Assistant Dean D'Anne Duncan, Assistant Dean Elizabeth Silva for updates. Meeting notes can be found here.

After repeated requests for a formal written response and to add the BE-STEM petition on the Graduate Division website, it finally went live on the website on 03/05/21. You can find it here.

On 04/02/2021, we met with now Interim Dean Elizabeth Silva and Assistant Dean D'Anne Duncan. In that meeting, we again could not find any commitments from the administration to fund or take on any of the requested items. While we remain steadfast in our commitment to create a community space for Black students and postdocs at UCSF, we are skeptical of UCSF's funding and commitment for the same.

On April 1, 2022 BE-STEM leadership met with D'Anne Duncan, PhD and at the time recently appointed Graduate Division Vice Provost Dean Nicquet Blake, PhD to discuss the Graduate Division's ongoing efforts to fulfill items listed in our 2020 Petition. During this meeting Dean Blake reiterated her commitment to increasing representation of Black and Brown students at this school and has since financially supported several of BE-STEM's social and outreach events. Most recently the UCSF Graduate Division has hired a CARE advocate for Racial Justice to support and assist those experiencing racial- or ethnic-based discrimination. This was specifically requested within our 2020 Petition.