UCSF to establish Multicultural Resource Center

The center will promote a campus culture of inclusion.

Mijiza Sanchez, UC San Francisco

UC San Francisco will establish a Multicultural Resource Center to promote a campus culture of inclusion and equity, cultural competency and interprofessional collaboration, as well as support the recruitment and retention of diverse faculty, staff, students and trainees.

Recently named director of the new center, Mijiza Sanchez envisions it being a warm, welcoming space that will serve as a bridge to the entire campus community when it opens this fall.

But first she has to find the place.

“It’s the very first thing on my agenda,” said Sanchez, M.P.A., whose appointment became official on Aug. 1.

Sanchez is among the directors who report to Renee Navarro, M.D., Pharm.D., who as vice chancellor of diversity and outreach leads the newly formed Office of Diversity and Outreach.

“The mission of the Office of Diversity and Outreach is to build a broadly diverse faculty, student and staff community, to nurture a climate that is welcoming and supportive, and to engage diverse ideas for the provision of culturally competent education, discovery and patient care,” Navarro said.

For the past six months, Navarro has worked to establish a centralized office of Diversity and Outreach to “bolster and foster collaboration, improve our effectiveness and serve as a cornerstone for cultural transformation on our campus. With a unified approach, we will coordinate and assess diversity activities on campus and identify areas of need so that we may continue diversity training and accountability measures,” she said in an email to the UCSF community.

With that in mind, the following units have been integrated within the Office of Diversity and Outreach:

Renee Navarro, UC San Francisco

The Multicultural Resource Center, to be based on the Parnassus campus, will offer support services for the UCSF community. In her role as director, Sanchez will chair a task force with broad representation from across the university to determine its function and scope.

UCSF will host a celebration in October, which is Diversity Awareness Month, to pay homage to supporters of diversity efforts and to the students whose quest for such a center began years ago.

“They were multi-ethnic, multicultural and — in many instances — the first generation in their families to go to college and attend grad school,” Sanchez said. “We honor the unique needs of our multicultural students and we’re committed to providing students from diverse backgrounds the resources they need as well as a safe space where they can interact with staff who have the expertise to support them.”  They often require special resources and a place they can go to where people understand their struggles.

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