In response to the race-based violence of the 2017 Charlottesville protest, the Samueli Foundation and UCI sought to build a program for high school students that would unearth and jettison the deeply held, and often unconscious, beliefs created by racism - primarily a belief in the hierarchy of human value. Under the leadership of Associate Dean of Faculty Development & Diversity, Belinda Robnett and Director Teresa Neighbors,  the University of California Irvine has embarked on a commitment to diversity and inclusion.




The mission of School of Social Sciences is to transform our academic and local community through the Diversity, Inclusion and Racial Healing program (DIRHA). DIRHA strives to prepare students to positively engage within diverse and pluralistic environments both within and beyond high schools. To build empathy, cultural competency, and reduce stereotypes that are based in the false hierarchy of human value (race, ethnicity, gender, sexual orientation, etc.) through faculty-led seminars, experiential learning, mentorship and leadership development. To enable participants to pass on their knowledge to their communities and peers through student-driven projects. Through strategic planning and programmatic development we hope to promote a greater understanding and appreciation of diversity in race, gender, nationality, sexual orientation, religion, age, and culture. 



High school students from all across Orange County participated in a DIRHA sponsored art contest, called "MY COVID LIFE." Finalist and runner ups represented schools from north, central and south Orange County. Participants showcased the impact of the quarantine period through original artwork, songs, poems, and photography!


FIRST PLACE: Lauren Roberson, Dana Hills High
runner up: Molly Bergman 
SECOND PLACE: Elian Tolentino, Fullerton Union High 
runner up: Jenny Guzman 
THIRD PLACE: Jeffery Tobar, San Juan Hills High
runner up: Erlich Mayoral 
FOURTH PLACE: Tien Vu, Garden Grove High
runner up: Alena Nguyen 
Thank you to all our participants: 
Nicholas Arnold
Chris Bahena
Alexander Crary
Paul Cabrera
Conner Gleason
Shalyse Pena Godoy
Zachary Holden
Isabella Imhoff
Jiwon Lee
Adam Mansour
Karen Gonzalez Medina
David Miranda
Alexia Ocampo
Alyssa Patlan
Astrid Perez
Vanessa Perez
Jazmin Rodriguez
Samantha Rosas
Sydney Rosas
Shubhra Singhal
Olivia Stephenson
Saryu Vatte
Roxana Vazquez
Bryan Vega
Cesar Vega
Alexander Kuper-Weinstein
Leah West



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