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HBCU-Berkeley Environmental Scholars for Change Program

HBCU-Berkeley Environmental Scholars for Change Program Image
Raised toward our $5,000 Goal
43 Donors
Project has ended
Project ended on November 30, at 11:59 PM PST
Project Owners

Help Expand Pathways for Black Environmental Scientists.

We cannot express enough gratitude for your incredible support in helping us achieve our initial goal! Each and every one of you has made a tremendous impact, and we are beyond thrilled! But guess what? We're not stopping there! We've set our sights even higher and are now aiming for a new goal of $10,000!

Agricultural intensification, food sovereignty, climate change, biodiversity loss, and water scarcity are intersecting socio-environmental crises that necessitate interdisciplinary perspectives and systems thinking. 

Addressing these deeply-rooted challenges requires committed changemakers whose perspectives and experiences reflect those who are most deeply affected. The Department of Environmental Science, Policy, and Management (ESPM) recognizes the urgency of the task at hand and the enormous opportunities to work toward transformative change. ESPM has partnered with Tuskegee University and Spelman College to launch an intensive two month summer research internship and mentoring experience for students from Historically Black College and Universities (HBCU). This initiative is called HBCU-Berkeley Environmental Scholars for Change Program. 

This Program facilitates two-way learning among UC Berkeley and HBCU students and faculty while fostering preparedness and belonging for HBCU students interested in environmental science graduate work at Berkeley. These objectives work toward a larger goal of increasing the recruitment and retention of Black graduate students in Berkeley’s environmental science programs by addressing some of the many barriers that exist for Black students at a Predominantly White Institution. The Program consists of: 

  1. A 25-hour per week research project with the mentorship of an ESPM faculty and PhD student/postdoc. Students develop specific environmental biophysical or social science research skills and at the culmination of the program present their work in a well-attended symposium. 
  2. Developing a community of belonging through mentorship activities that foster relationships with Black faculty, staff, and graduate students at Berkeley and connect participants with vibrant Black environmental and cultural spaces in the Bay Area and beyond. 
  3. Interdisciplinary environmental science skill-building and graduate school preparedness workshops. 
  4. Field trips to garner exposure to a range of post-graduate environmental science career tracks in academia and community organizations.

Beyond their summer in Berkeley, students have the opportunity to continue to work with their research mentors, such as presenting at national conferences and co-authoring peer-reviewed publications.

Your donation will help us raise $5,000 to support DEIBJ initiatives at the Rausser College of Natural Resources.

2023 scholars Chris Bass, Na'Zyia Dowdy-Arnold, Destinee Whitaker, and Carlos Jackson with ESPM and UC Cooperative Extension mentors Drs. Fred McPherson, Mary Blackburn, and Vernard Lewis. Photo by Pam Kan-Rice.

 “[Dr. Ray] was super easy to talk to. I feel like I could TRULY talk to her about anything, which is a main reason I will continue a relationship with her—it is rare to find that openness in academia.” Love Lundy (2022)

"The mentorship lunches were absolutely amazing. They were perfect. We created a relationship with those various people…and from there a bond was started. So the fact that they even came to our [research] showcase was beautiful.” Christopher Bass (2023)

The program solidified [Berkeley] being my top choice. The way the program was set up I had the opportunity to not only do the research but to build relationships in the department as well as people at Berkeley. I also feel like what really sealed the deal for me was we had a cookout at Vernard Lewis’ house and showing all the different Black figures in Berkeley and that gave me a sense of home…Once I had that opportunity I was like, ‘I knew I’d never be alone out here.” Destinee Whitaker (2023)

2022 scholars Massa Godbold, Joy Rutledge, Marianna Beard, and Love Lundy. Photo by Rosalie Z. Fanshel.


Our way
of Thanking You


New Donor

If you join the Rausser College as a first time donor with a gift of $25 or more, you will get an invite to have coffee with one of our staff. Your name will also be added to our digital magazine distribution list and will get special invites to our college events.

3 of 200 Claimed
Estimated Delivery: October 2023


Handwritten Thank You Card

For every gift of $75 or more, we will send you a handwritten thank you note on a unique Rausser College card. These cards are designed for our college and is not available outside of Rausser College.

4 of 1000 Claimed
Estimated Delivery: October 2023


Telephone Call

In addition to the perks listed above, a generous gift of $150 or more will get you a telephone call from one of our staff.

2 of 100 Claimed
Estimated Delivery: December 2023


Shout out on Social Media

In addition to perks above, a special mention will be made for your donation on the Rausser College's LinkedIn page.

2 of 500 Claimed
Estimated Delivery: October 2023
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