Our UC Berkeley School of Public Health Principles of Community is an aspirational statement that reflects the ideals we seek to uphold and affirms our commitment to cultivating a safe, respectful, and inclusive community. These principles affirm Berkeley Public Health’s values of social justice, health as a right, embracing diversity, meaningful impact, and challenging conventional thought. Through these principles, we foster our mission, which includes radical collaborations, preeminent education, and transformational research. We invite members of the BPH community to use the Principles of Community open comment box to share current examples and actionable ideas to transform these aspirations to action within our school.
When we refer to our community in this statement, we refer to all members of our school community. We celebrate the fact that the Berkeley Public Health community extends beyond students, staff, academics, and faculty. Our community includes all employees, no matter their job title or the building in which they work; all of our students, no matter their program; all of our colleagues, no matter their affiliation; and all individuals with whom we work across the UC Berkeley campus. The Principles of Community statement is intended to include all members of our community.
We also recognize, value, and appreciate the diversity of our community, in which individuals have many intersecting identities, lived-experiences, and perspectives. We embrace and celebrate our diverse backgrounds, values, and beliefs. Together, we recognize the complex and cumulative ways discrimination influences personal experiences with harm and harassment. We believe that understanding and valuing our differences and commonalities leads to an inclusive, respectful, and safe environment. We acknowledge that systemic and institutional power abuse causes harm and oppression, on top of perpetuating historical and deep-rooted injustices and biases. As a result of these prejudices, some individuals and communities are at higher risk for experiencing harm and violence. As a community, we commit to practicing anti-racism, disrupting harmful power dynamics, and engaging in active bystander intervention to uncover and dismantle these harmful practices.
The Principles of Community statement is intended to serve as the foundation from which Berkeley Public Health commits to a lifelong practice of active self-evaluation and action to shift power imbalances and foster a community free from harm and violence. Rather than an action plan, this statement is a guide for all current and future prevention activities. The following principles reflect our commitment to maintaining a climate of equity, inclusion, and belonging rooted in mutual respect. Every member of our community has a role in sustaining a safe, caring, and respectful environment in which our core values can thrive. By abiding by these Principles of Community, we are also setting an example for our colleagues, our external partners, and the communities we serve.
We expect every member of our community to acknowledge, value, and practice the following guiding principles:
We lead by centering our Berkeley Public Health community. We prioritize a safe and inclusive environment by centering community members’ unique experiences and perspectives, during the decision-making process. This is critical to our work, education, and identity as a school.
We value everyone in our community. We are committed to creating a safe environment where each person can show up every day exactly as they are, and we value them as individuals and for their contributions to our community.
We put prevention first. As a community and a school of public health, we have a responsibility to ourselves to prevent harm, violence, and discrimination in our community while creating an environment where everyone can grow, thrive, and reach their goals.
We are grounded in social justice. We understand that harm, violence, and discrimination are rooted in systemic oppression. We are committed to the just treatment of everyone and dismantling oppressive structures both within BPH and within broader society, wherever and whenever possible.
We promote safety and respect as rights. Every person in our community deserves to feel safe and receive respect for their physical, mental, and emotional autonomy — always, in every situation.
We practice self-care and kindness. We foster an environment that allows everyone to identify the best ways that they can care for themselves, be kind to others, promote wellbeing and maintain health. We know work grounded in these practices is more sustainable, effective, and transformative.
We are optimistic, hopeful, and committed to change. We know that if we come together as a community every day, we can foster an environment that is free from harm and violence and promotes respect and inclusion.
We call on all community members to incorporate all of these principles into their day-to-day practices. Brief examples of the Principles in Practice can be found in Appendix A.
Below are some examples of how the Berkeley Public Health Principles of Community are currently being translated into action and have been practiced in the past. This list is not an exhaustive list and is intended to serve only as an example. We acknowledge that there is much more work to be done to make these values a daily reality. We are committed to transforming these aspirations into practice, and we welcome all community members to suggest areas for action via this link.
Principle in Practice: BPH holds regular State of the School and Town Hall events to engage all members of our community in discussions about how to make BPH the best place to learn, research, and work.
Principle in Practice: The DICE committee, which works to create meaningful, intentional action to foster a more inclusive BPH environment, administers an annual Climate Survey to allow for data- informed solutions to be established in order to improve community experiences.
Principle in Practice: We hold a variety of knowledge- and skill-based trainings to prevent harm and discrimination, such as the Graduate Student Sexual Violence and Sexual Harassment Prevention Training and the Courage Conversation—Beyond Diversity seminar.
Principle in Practice: BPH has established an Anti-Racist & Racial Justice Action Program Steering Committee to develop short- and long-term goals, strategies, and metrics to become an anti-racist organization.
Principle in Practice: BPH provides access to electronic and print reminders of campus resources that provide services, resources, and promote safety and respect such as the Tang Center, Title IX Office, Disabled Students Program, Ombuds Office, and the Student Grievance Office.
Principle in Practice: The BPH community has access to a variety of resources and opportunities to practice self-care including a stretching room and standing desks in the Berkeley Way West building, mindfulness meditation meetings, flexible schedules, and telecommuting options.
Principle in Practice: The creation, promotion, and integration of these Principles of Community is an example of BPH’s commitment to, and belief in, creating a community that actively practices respect and inclusion.