CARE (Campus Advocacy Resources and Education) Advocate for Racial Justice
University of California, San Francisco
San Francisco, CA
Health and Societies Major, Africana Studies Minor
I’m the first within the University of California system to have my role. I support and advocate for folks who experience discrimination and harassment due to their race, ethnicity, or national origin. A lot of that looks like meeting with people one-on-one as well as connecting people to campus and community resources.
I’ve been the first person in every position I’ve had since I graduated from social work school, and I don’t think that’s by accident. I gravitate toward opportunities that seem new and innovative because I see the potential and room for growth.
My background is in social work, and up until this point I’d been doing program management or program development within the healthcare system. For a while I worked at Einstein Hospital in Philadelphia, managing their hepatitis C linkage program, and then I worked in Penn’s Family Resource Center, supporting students and postdocs with children by managing programming and making our digital presence and our physical space more inclusive. At that time, I also worked part-time as a psychotherapist, seeing clients at a practice that focused on the LGBTQ community, which is the community I’m a part of.
Then, in mid-2020, I moved to Oakland and worked for a while in a health equity nonprofit, doing program evaluation and working on projects that centered the needs of Black women and families.
My current role is a good fit because it’s an opportunity to integrate all the skills and experiences I’ve had up to this point. I’m back in higher education, but I’m able to use my clinical skills and my program management and development skills as I think about ways to expand the CARE program and to best support UCSF learners, faculty, and staff in having a safer environment and feeling like they have somebody on their side if they experience harm.
One of my proudest moments career-wise was when I was at Penn in the Family Resource Center. Early in the pandemic, I helped create the first Black parent check-in space, in partnership with the Penn Women’s Center. It was a virtual drop-in space for Black parents on campus to connect with other folks who shared their identities. It became increasingly clear something like that was needed after the murder of George Floyd. What makes me proudest is that since I left, this has been expanded to host Asian & Asian-American Parent check-ins and LGBTQ+ Parent Check-ins. They’ve created spaces for people within different communities.
I’ve been the first person in every position I’ve had since I graduated from social work school, outside of being a therapist, and I don’t think that’s by accident. I gravitate toward opportunities that seem new and innovative because I see the potential and room for growth. My career has happened in that way intentionally, but it can be challenging when you’re the first, because there’s no blueprint to follow. — April 3, 2023 • Photo submitted by Kendra Hypolite