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Justice, Equity, Diversity and Inclusion (JEDI) Commitments


Corporate and Foundation Relations JEDI Vision

The Office of Corporate and Foundation Relations (CFR) at UC San Diego is committed to promoting a safe, equitable and inclusive professional environment and elevating antiracism as an institutional priority. As active participants in the global community of private giving, CFR is responsive to the emergence of coroprate and foundation programs and initiatives that seek broad impact on justice, equity, diversity, and inclusion (JEDI) issues. CFR team members serve as committed ambassadors for university programs that advance JEDI in education and research toward building awareness and partnerships with community organizations and national foundations. CFR is actively fostering an environment to ensure Black, Latinx, Indigenous peoples, and other racially minoritized researchers succeed in securing corporate and foundation funding.

Emerging Foundation Trends

The events of recent years have sparked a heightened awareness across the corporate and foundation landscapes of the need for continuous evaluation and evolution to better align funding practices to meet the most pressing challenges of society. Foundation responses following the uprising in support for Black Lives Matter ranged from issuing statements of support, to launching new funding mechanisms to support diversity and inclusion in their focus areas, as well as taking a critical look at their own structure, teams, and processes. Many companies and foundations are committed to a continuous process of learning and updating practices to support systemic evolution toward equity. In addition, significant cohorts of funders have made public commitments, including A Call to Action: Philanthropy’s Commitment During COVID-19 and the Disability Inclusion Pledge, in an effort to create collective accountability and transition statements into actionable change.

Implementation across the philanthropic sector may vary in approach and focus. These efforts are meant to integrate meaningful JEDI components into RFPs, specifically encourage applications from diverse faculty, and drive internal evaluation of data, practices, and funding models.

Bold examples of challenging traditional funding models are being led by Darren Walker, president of the Ford Foundation, and the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation.

Learn more about President Walker’s vision for social justice philanthropy.
Learn more about MacArthur’s participatory process for co-creating our equitable recovery.

University Action for JEDI Initiatives

As an Emerging Hispanic Serving Institution, UC San Diego is committed to ensuring an equitable, diverse, and inclusive university in all aspects. Ongoing efforts are informed by the university’s first Strategic Plan for Inclusive Excellence, with the Office for Equity, Diversity and Inclusion serving as a university-wide resource. Leaders across the university are recognizing that more work needs to be done to diversify the faculty and researchers in our university community, as well as the need to address current gaps in the diversity of our educational offerings. Recent projects aimed at addressing these needs included the development of a new undergraduate degree program and the launch of two new projects designed to recruit and hire faculty whose research focuses on racial/ethnic disparities in STEM fields with a significant focus on the Black Diaspora and African American communities:

Article: UC San Diego approves new undergraduate degree in Black Diaspora and African American Studies

Article: Grants Totaling $700K Fund Two Major Projects Aimed at Advancing Faculty Diversity

Further, we recognize that faculty are leading new initiatives to support students, faculty, and the community-at-large. CFR proactively connects to individuals leading these new academic and research programs, such as the Indigenous Futures Initiative, and also responds to requests for support for more established programs as they address the needs of underrepresented students during the COVID-19 pandemic, including the PATHways to STEM through Enhanced Access and Mentorship (PATHS) Program. We are encouraged by the many initiatives across the university to effectively reach out to, include and support students and faculty that have historically been underrepresented.

The UC San Diego community holds great respect for the land and the original people of the area where our university is located. The university is built on the unceded territory of the Kumeyaay Nation. Today, the Kumeyaay people continue to maintain their political sovereignty and cultural traditions as vital members of the San Diego community.  We acknowledge their tremendous contributions to our region and thank them for their stewardship. Read more about UC San Diego Principles of Community

Our Commitment — Corporate and Foundation Relations As a Bridge

Our CFR team is poised to serve as a catalyst for conversations around JEDI between our institution and national corporations and foundations. We help guide university leadership on the higher standards and new focus areas adopted by private corporations and foundations and prepare for new initiatives as they evolve and are ready to expand with philanthropic support. CFR is focused on elevating early-stage projects that aim to pursue JEDI and that are led by faculty from racially-minoritized groups. CFR works to facilitate expanded support and investment that will lead to impact and solutions for internal, regional and world issues. Not only are we responding to the shifts in the corporate and foundation funding landscapes, we are working to vigilantly protect dignity — on our team, in our workplace, and at our university. 

As a team, CFR is committed to learning and evolving our work to keep JEDI a team and institutional priority. Looking forward, we have several goals to support a JEDI vision at UC San Diego: 

  1. This includes working with university leadership to highlight the need for more robust data on student and faculty demographics as well as specific data for university and affiliated leadership. This data is increasingly used in foundation proposals, provides evidence of the university’s commitment to diversifying its population, and allows UC San Diego to qualify for funding opportunities. 
  2. CFR has prompted dialog with partners across the university to ensure internal university processes are equitable. This includes implementing evaluation measures to determine progress and success.
  3. In parallel, CFR is determined to ensure our resources and funding opportunities are reaching all faculty and will partner with the Vice Chancellor of EDI’s office to ensure effective outreach practices are employed. 

Connect with Us

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Corporate and Foundation Relations is dedicated to continuous progress through awareness, learning, and allyship. We invite feedback, dialogue and discussions on these topics to better understand how we can effectively partner toward a more just future for our faculty, students, staff, and partners.