Black Lives @ Cal (BLAC) is a dynamic multi-year research initiative to celebrate, defend, and advance Black history at the University of California, Berkeley. BLAC uses qualitative methods to investigate the lived experiences, struggles, and accomplishments of UC Black campus members (i.e., Black students, faculty, staff, and alumni) with a balanced attention to individuals, informal collectives, organizations, and campus units.
BLAC is dedicated to developing novel ways to preserve and publicize these legacies such as a website and interactive visuals (e.g. timeline, maps, exhibits) so that prospective, current, and former Black campus members can identify themselves with and build upon the these legacies.
The initiative is spearheaded by lead investigator and director Caleb Dawson. Caleb Dawson is an Abolition Democracy Dissertation Fellow at the Black Studies Collaboratory and PhD candidate in the Graduate School of Education’s Critical Studies of Race, Class, and Gender cluster. Caleb currently oversees three project groups of eleven undergraduate research students: Research, Content Creation and Special projects. BLAC is supported by a steering committee that is composed of faculty, staff, and alumni who oversee BLAC’s strategic planning and implementation as well as serve as vital liaisons between the University and the initiative. Gia White–the researcher, writer, and presenter of these histories, is one of our steering committee members and collaborators in envisioning this event. Additional support for the initiative comes from the African American Student Development Office, the Institute for the Study of Societal Issues, and the African American Studies Department at UC Berkeley.
Planned Future Events
BLAC Exhibit in Berkeley Library BLAC Participatory Research Retreat
BLAC in Time (podcast) BLAC Augmented Reality
BLAC Homecoming BLAC Resource Guide
BLAC Yearbook BLAC Theses
BLAC Time Capsule