We, the Community Safety and Diversity Working Group, are a diverse group of Uhills residents who:
- Recognize the problems and potentials in University Hills in building an inclusive and engaged community.
- Provide resources for the community’s work through educational efforts, forums, events oriented to addressing issues of social justice and racism.
- Collect, maintain, and, as appropriate, disseminate a record of individual incidents that impinge on the ability to build an inclusive and engaged community in University Hills.
- Maintain regular communication on both policy and procedural issues and advocate for University Hills residents with public safety groups on and off campus.
OUR HISTORY We formed in response to an event on September 1, 2015, when five UC Irvine police officers, all with guns drawn, extracted a 20 year-old black male UHills resident from his home at gunpoint. He was committing no crime – just hanging out with two friends. Many in the community wondered why it happened and how it might be prevented from happening again. We learned that, while many of our neighbors feel safe and welcome in UHills, many do not. Our goal is to promote an environment of inclusiveness for everyone in UHills.
After the incident, the community learned of other incidents occurring on campus. In collaboration with multiple organizations, the groups played a key role in the formation of the UCIPD-Community Relations Committee. The committee submitted a report to the Academic Senate on May 17, 2016. As a result, this report led to the formation of the Public Safety Advisory Committee. Known as the PSAC, the committee is made up of a diverse group of students, faculty, and staff. For more information about the Academic Senate report and the PSAC, please click on the links below.
CSD IN ACTION Over the years, the group has been active in promoting community, safety, and creating inclusion in such a diverse neighborhood in many ways including:
- “SMILE AND SAY HI” campaign when we passed out buttons to increase awareness on engaging others. Request for buttons here.
- Producing a refrigerator magnet indicating when and how to request police assistance. Request for a magnet here.
- Promoting the Vista Verde Walking School Bus to provide a safe, fun, and healthy way for kids to get to school.
- Convening discussions with the UC Irvine Police Department, community groups, and Vice Chancellor Ronald Cortez to discuss community-police relations
- Helping with the UC Irvine Academic Senate’s report on policing
- Block parties, co-sponsored by the UHills Welcoming Committee
- Holding events such as:
- Kindness Day, Pure Praxis Social Education Theater Group, Dancing the Diaspora, Uhills Performance Lab, Trivia Pub Night, Community Book Club, Communty Cookbook and Potluck, Congressional Candidate Forum, Community Painting Project, the Uhills Photography Contest, and more!
SHARING STORIES The incident that occurred in September 2015 is not an isolated story. There are many similar stories that have occurred and continue to occur. We understand it can be difficult to talk about, but we are willing to give our support and our listening ear as we strive to help build our community towards a more inclusive environment for all. Please contact Lilli LaBuen if you would like to share your story at CSDWG@uhills.org.
THE CSD USHERS
The CSD Working Group is led by a steering committee called “ushers” and are comprised of residents in University Hills. Together they find creative ways to serve as an advisory board and help steer the mission to fruition.
2021 CSD USHERS
Lilli LaBuen Gillen
Would you like to get involved? We can always use helping hands! Sign up today.