Stephen Small, Professor

Closed (1) Black Lives @ Cal

Applications for fall 2021 are now closed for this project.

This brand-new public history project will document the lives of UC Berkeley’s Black students, faculty, staff, and alumni via an accessible and engaging website similar to One goal of the project is to collect existing information and make it available in one place, and another goal of the project is to identify the gaps and start filling them. For example, when did the first Black student attend UC Berkeley? The answer is not that clear! In addition to focusing on individuals, the project will spotlight key periods of policy changes and collective action and will document trends over time, for example, numbers and percentages of Black faculty.
The project is sponsored by African American Student Development and the Institute for the Study of Societal Issues; we will eventually be conducting outreach to involve other campus departments and units in collaborating to develop the website. In addition to Stephen Small and Gia White, the project team includes Takiyah Jackson, Director, African American Student Development Office.

Since the project is just launching, the research apprentices have an opportunity to shape the project according to their own interests, while also contributing to the team goals. Those who continue in the project for more than one semester will have the opportunity to do their own projects related to the team project.
One major task for fall will be locating existing relevant content (for example oral histories, articles, photos) and creating a database to keep track of all of that by individual name, relationship to UCB (ie student, faculty, staff, alum) and year. A related task will be working as part of the team to develop an organizing structure for the website. The next step will be to create brief profiles of selected individuals, which could include text, images, video and/or audio. There may be the opportunity to conduct original interviews, though this will likely occur in a later semester. Another task will be creating a timeline of key dates and periods and then as with the individuals, creating content (text, image, video and/or audio) to go along with those key dates and periods. While most of the research will be qualitative, the apprentice also has the opportunity to find relevant quantitative data to provide context for the project and then to create visualizations to communicate those quantitative data to the public.
While no one student will do all of the above in one semester, the possible learning outcomes include: coding qualitative data; communicating complicated, text-heavy material in an engaging and accurate manner; connecting individual histories to larger social movements and contexts; understanding how history gets written and how to fill in missing information and perspectives.

Day-to-day supervisor for this project: Gia White, Staff Researcher

Qualifications: Required: Independent and creative, responsible and organized, good at working with a team, committed to the project. Any of the following skills would be useful but they are not required: experience with website design/editing, especially Open Berkeley; social media; podcasting; creating brief videos; graphic design (eg creating timelines, maps, charts, logos). The work can be done remotely or in-person Students of any major or year are welcome.

Weekly Hours: 6-8 hrs

Related website:
Related website: