African American Thriving Initiatives (AATI)

Background image: Student smiling at the camera with a blue beanie and shirt that reads Berkeley First Gen
Image credit:
Brandon Alexis Sanchez Mejia


For more information on the initiative please contact:
Takiyah Jackson
Director of Thriving, African American Thriving Initiatives

For more information about supporting the initiative please contact:

Brooke Bodipo-Memba
Executive Director, Student Experience & Diversity Philanthropy

The African American Thriving Initiatives

Inspired by an urgent set of demands posed by Black students in February of 2015, and supported by concerned individuals including students, staff, faculty, alumni, and community members, the African American Thriving Initiatives (AATI) is a comprehensive effort to address the underrepresentation of African American students, faculty, and staff at UC Berkeley, and to improve the climate for those who are here now and all who will join our community in the future.

Today, AATI is sponsored by Vice Chancellor for Equity & Inclusion Dania Matos. The steering committee is co-chaired by Takiyah Jackson, Director, African American Student Development; Olufemi Ogendle, Assistant Vice Chancellor of Enrollment; and supported by Brooke Bodipo-Memba, Executive Director|Student Experience & Diversity Philanthropy, UDAR.

2023 African American Initiative Scholarship Celebration

UC Berkeley Black Graduation 2023

Saturday, May 20, 2023 at 9:00am
Zellerbach Hall
Univeristy of California, Berkeley

Black Graduation is an annual, campus-wide ceremony that celebrates all Black/African/African American identifying students upon completion of their undergraduate, master’s, Ph.D., J.D., and/or professional degree programs. This joyous event has historical roots and cultural importance dating from the inception of the African American Studies Program in the 1970s and has been a “holy grail” for Black/African/African American students during their Berkeley careers.