Diversity and Inclusion: DREAM Office
The mission of the DREAM (Diversity, Respect, Equity, Action, Multiculturalism) Office is to prioritize diversity, equity, inclusion and belonging in creating a public health workforce that mirrors the demographics of our communities.
- We understand that communities of color experience persistent systemic inequities that result in disproportionate health outcomes such as higher rates of chronic illnesses, excess deaths and shorter life expectancies.
- We understand that many other minoritized communities such as disabled, LGBTQ, undocumented, formerly incarcerated, and immigrants also experience systemic inequities.
- We acknowledge that racism and police killings of Black people is a public health issue and is a pandemic.
- We recognize there is justifiable anger and distrust within the Black community.
DREAM is dedicated to encouraging and supporting students from all communities and especially those who have experienced historical inequities to pursue graduate degrees in public health at UC Berkeley.
We advocate to reduce barriers to entry into graduate school at the UC Berkeley School of Public Health and we hold the school accountable to any institutional barrier that may exist. We are actively engaged with the students from the time they are “prospective”, all the way through the day they walk across the stage and graduate. Our goal is to support students to achieve success while at Berkeley Public Health and then to be well equipped to enter the workforce to make changes for a better world.
Our services and programs include:
- Outreach, education and advising about public health careers and Berkeley Public Health
- Application Assistance: Advising and Admissions workshops
- Peer mentoring and support
- Recruitment activities
- Support Programs during graduate school (transition courses, tutoring, textbooks and more)
In 2005, the Office of Diversity Services started as a result of student activism. Our office demanded that the school do more to increase student diversity. For the next ten (10) years, dedicated efforts were developed to increase the student diversity and in 2012, the office expanded in hiring an Outreach Coordinator. The office was and is composed of two staff members and also a cadre of student staff (GRADS Coordinators) and volunteers (GRADS Ambassadors) to ensure that DEIB (diversity, equity, inclusion and belonging) efforts are fully maintained. Outreach over the years has been targeted to a variety of institutions, such as California State Schools, other UCs, private colleges, community colleges, HBCUs, HSIs and high schools.
In 2005, the underrepresented minority population at BPH was 5%. In 2015, that number increased to 17%. Our goal is to have a student population that mirrors the demographics of the State of California, who will become shovel ready to tackle the pressing public health issues facing our most vulnerable community members.
Although what started with a focus in increasing the numbers of diverse students, the position expanded to assist the institution in creating more equitable admissions policies as well as addressing the priority of hiring faculty of color. The office was also instrumental in the development of the first ever school wide committee called D.I.C.E, diversity, inclusion, community, and equity that has addressed school wide “dice” issues. Additionally, a Summer Preparatory Program was designed to help students gain access to academic, campus, and school resources before classes begin. Eventually, the Office of Diversity Services became the DREAM office and now serves as a model for the UC Berkeley campus on how to recruit, retain, and graduate a top class of diverse public health graduate students.
Student Body Snapshot
We have a longstanding commitment to diversity, equity and inclusion as pathways to excellence at all levels of the school—via recruiting, mentoring, and inclusively engaging with diverse populations of students, faculty, staff, and community partners.
The information below is a snapshot of the Berkeley Public Health graduate student community for Fall 2020. Percentages are based on a total school enrollment of 740 graduate students. Please note: numbers may not add up to 100 because of rounding.
Students of Color
|Asian and Pacific Islander|
|Native American/Alaska Native||1.2%|
|TOTAL STUDENTS OF COLOR||46.6%|
|International (not included in race/ethnicity count)||10.7%|
|Decline to State||4.1%|
|Decline to State||11.6%|