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Davis, California

Friday, February 23, 2024

Survey addresses diversity and discrimination in the city

The Davis Human Relations Commission is conducting a survey to gain better understanding of diversity and discrimination experiences in Davis.

The report will help the commission promote diversity and address discrimination issues in Davis, according to Kelly Stachowicz, staff liaison of the Davis Human Relations Commission.

The brief and anonymous survey will reveal if members of the community, including UC Davis students, have experienced discrimination in Davis.

Survey-takers rate to what degree they feel diversity is encouraged in Davis, identify where they have experienced discrimination and specify the type of discrimination they encountered, if any. The options include discrimination against age, ethnicity, race, gender, physical appearance, religion, sexual orientation, physical/mental disabilities and/or income.

Stachowicz believes the updated report is vital to encourage diversity and prevent discrimination because Davis is a college town.

“Students, faculty and staff come from diverse backgrounds and traditions to UC Davis,” Stachowicz said.

UC Davis’ Cross-Cultural Center aims to foster exchanges of cultures and promote diversity by openness, said Johnathen Duran, a CCC intern.

The CCC has taken steps toward eliminating discrimination by having a gender neutral restroom instead of separate male and female restrooms, which they say promotes equality and diversity.

“Sexism is an issue,” Duran said. “Boys and girls are divided into separate categories as if we are not all human. It’s not good to divide people based on physical attributes.”

Duran said UC Davis promotes diversity with the various organizations that have people of different cultures and genders, but still has not reached complete diversity.

UC Davis does not meet the land-grant institution mission that reflects the demographics of California, Duran said. The percentage of Latinos and African-Americans is not equitable to the percentage seen throughout the state.

Nonetheless, the Davis Joint Unified School District is attempting to deter discrimination in its schools. They are addressing the achievement gap of students of color who score lower on standardized tests compared to Caucasian and Asian students, Stachowicz said.

The survey will help the commission see if the city is doing enough to prevent discrimination.

The International House welcomes diversity and can help prevent discrimination.

“We promote respect and appreciation for all people and cultures and encourage a global community by providing many opportunities for multicultural interactions and exchange,” said Elisabeth Sherwin, executive director of the International House.

The commission distributed the survey to affordable housing complexes and to senior centers in Davis with the hope that more residents will take the survey. The commission will also have a Spanish version available soon, according to Stachowicz.

The city will work with the locations where people have felt discriminated against by providing information and education on how to address discrimination, says Stachowicz.

To participate in the survey visit cityofdavis.org.

HELEN TREJO can be reached at city@theaggie.org.


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