Hundreds of UC Berkeley food club members and alumni have joined a nationwide hunger strike aimed at demanding justice for Trayvon Martin and other black men killed by police in the United States.UC Berkeley students, alumni, faculty and staff took part in a two-week hunger strike at the campus in California on Nov. 30.
The students, who will work through Thanksgiving, were among several dozen students and staff who took part last year, during the same time period, in an unprecedented hunger strike that also included UC Berkeley faculty and students.
Last year’s strike was the largest since a similar protest in 2016, which saw more than 400 people in the same location on the same day.
The hunger strike is the latest effort by students and faculty to pressure the school to stop institutional racism, according to the hunger strikers.
In response, UC Berkeley President Nicholas Dirks and the Board of Regents approved a $4.7 million grant in November to expand the college’s anti-racism and equity programs.
Last month, the university issued a new diversity training curriculum for faculty and administrators, which includes a focus on “the intersections of race, ethnicity, gender, sexual orientation, disability, ability, and other identity categories.”
According to the UC Berkeley Student Government Association, the students will work on issues ranging from campus racial bias and institutional racism to campus anti-LGBTQQQ bias and police brutality.
In an email to the university’s student body, the hunger strike’s organizers said that they are now “calling on the UC system to address systemic racism, discrimination, and inequality on campus, especially within the Black, Latinx, and Queer (BL/Q) communities, which have experienced racial bias in the UC System and other educational institutions.”
They also noted that, despite efforts to address racism on campus through the new diversity program, the UCs own internal investigations and policies, and UCs policies are failing to address bias in its own admissions and employment processes.
The strike began at noon on Nov