This idea led to the formation of the UC faculty group BRIDGE — Building Racial Awareness and Insight through Dialogue and Education — in spring 2019, long before current racial tensions spilled over into the streets. The group of 11 women — faculty and support staff, near evenly Black and white — meet regularly to talk about issues of race and gender in academia specific to UC, but more importantly about the academy at large, say BRIDGE co-founders Keisha Love, associate vice provost for faculty affairs and special initiatives, and Karen Faaborg, professor emeritus and former vice provost of academic personnel.
And what they have hit upon with the group, they say, is a means and model to address these tensions: open, raw, heartfelt dialogue that reveals their true selves and their experiences as women, especially women of color, at the university level. They say what research bears out is that women, specifically minorities, are often overlooked, unheard and undervalued by both administration and students, and the UC group is a way to address and remedy issues of bias and racism. So much so that they are already in talks to implement the group model to others across campus.