UCGHI Black Lives Matter Task Force

UCGHI stands in solidarity against systemic racism, police brutality, and injustice – atrocities that tear down the health and well-being of Black communities. To be silent and to continue with business as usual is to be complicit. We, as individuals and as an institution stand with you. Black Lives Matter.

Since 2020, the Black Lives Matter (BLM) movement catalyzed the UC Global Health Institute to center justice, equity, diversity, and inclusion (JEDI) in all our work. Through our complex journey, we continue to reflect on how we have supported systemic racism and unlearn our approaches rooted in these systems, be open and learn about justice-oriented models, explore what we can do differently in our work, and take actionable steps to address past harms and create justice-focused anti-racist frameworks as individuals and as an organization, especially as a systemwide entity.

The UCGHI BLM Task Force, created on June 9, 2020, works in partnership with UCGHI Leadership and the University of California, Office of the President. The Task Force is comprised of faculty, staff, and students and engages in discussions on JEDI, anti-racism, and decolonizing global health while highlighting areas that need further attention at UCGHI and across UC.

Since 2020, the BLM Task Force has:

  • Created and administered a DEI survey to gather metrics of diversity and inclusion within the UCGHI community and used results to come up with solutions that foster a more diverse and inclusive environment to prevent future discrimination.
  • Provided guidance on JEDI-centered recruitment processes for UCGHI Leadership positions, including the addition of four new UCGHI Advisory Council members and the new Director.
  • Created a five-pronged DEI Recommendations list that includes an evolving action plan to better integrate anti-racism into the fabric of the institution.
  • Provided direction for the UC Global Health Day 2021 event (Decolonizing Global Health to Advance Health Equity) and UC Global Health Day 2022 event (Centering Social Justice in Community Health).
  • Advised the direction of UCGHI-related presentations and events, most notably the UCGHI presentation to the UC Regents.
  • Created space for UCGHI Centers and Programs to examine and better integrate JEDI into their programs.
  • Served as a reliable resource for UCGHI Leadership and UCGHI Centers/Programs to better integrate justice, equity, diversity, and inclusion throughout their existing programs and initiatives and launch new programs and initiatives.

Our Members

Sun Yu Cotter, MPH
UCGHI Deputy Director, UC Global Health Institute, (Co-Chair)

Sun Yu Cotter is the co-Chair for the UCGHI Black Lives Matter Task Force and the co-Chair for UCSF’s Institute for Global Health Sciences Diversity, Equity & Inclusion Committee. She is a global health professional with extensive field experience and certified in mediation and conflict resolution.

Madhavi Dandu, MD, MPH
Director, UC Global Health Institute

Madhavi Dandu, MD, MPH, is a Professor of Medicine and the Director of UCGHI. At UCSF, Dr. Dandu spends time in the inpatient clinical services supervising and teaching medical students and residents. Her main non-clinical areas of focus are global health education, curriculum development, and mentorship, especially in the areas of ethics and cultural humility. She has previously directed the Master of Science in Global Health program at UCSF and the Global Health Pathway/Area of Distinction for the Internal Medicine Residency. In addition, she previously co-directed the Global Health Core for the Division of Hospital Medicine and was a senior curriculum adviser for the HEAL Fellowship. Dr. Dandu continues to pursue her research interests in human rights and global public health. She collaborates with colleagues at UCSF and several community-based organizations to create cultural humility training for public health professionals.

Kemi AminKemi Amin, MBA
Communications Consultant, UCGHI, UCSF Institute for Global Health Sciences/Dept. of Epidemiology & Biostatistics

Kemi is the communications director for the UC Global Health Institute (UCGHI), the UCSF Institute for Global Health Sciences (IGHS), and the UCSF Department of Epidemiology and Biostatistics (DEB). Kemi joins UCGHI, IGHS and DEB from the UCSF Library where she served as the Communications Manager for nearly five years. Prior to her tenure at the Library, Kemi led the marketing and membership departments at the UC Botanical Garden at Berkeley. She has more than 15 years of experience in graphic design, marketing and communications, and strategic planning.

Douglas M. Haynes, PhD
Vice Chancellor for Equity, Diversity & Inclusion, UC Irvine

Douglas M. Haynes is the Vice Chancellor for Equity, Diversity and Inclusion and Chief Diversity Officer at UC Irvine. Vice chancellor Haynes leads a comprehensive effort to establish UCI as a national leader and global model of inclusive excellence. At the core of this aspiration is a campus community where all expect equity, support diversity, practice inclusion and honor free speech. Joining the history faculty in 1994, Dr. Haynes has contributed to the advancement of the mission of UCI as a public research university. His research and teaching interests are broad, spanning from the development of the modern medical profession, comparative health care systems, to the representations of disease and illness in the mass media.

  • Federico Castillo, PhD
    Lecturer, UC Berkeley, UCGHI Planetary Health Center of Expertise, Deputy Director

Federico Castillo is an Environmental/Agricultural Economist with a PhD and undergraduate degrees from the University of California, Berkeley. He is currently engaged in research with scholars from Tropical Agricultural Research Center (CATIE), National Autonomous University of Mexico (UNAM), Lawrence Berkeley National Lab (LBNL) and the University of California, Davis in projects dealing with ecosystem based adaptation to climate change, the socio-economic impact of weather extremes in California agriculture, and climate change impacts on migration from Mexico to the US.  

World-Traveling Doctor on a Global Approach to Tuberculosis ...Eric Goosby, MD
Professor of Clinical Medicine, UCSF, Institute for Global Health Sciences, Center for Global Health Delivery and Diplomacy, Director

Dr. Eric Goosby is a professor of clinical medicine and the Director of Global Health Delivery and Diplomacy in the UCSF Institute for Global Health Sciences (IGHS). He currently serves as the UN Secretary-General's Special Envoy on Tuberculosis. , bringing to the job a combination of expertise in infectious diseases and experience running large public health response programs in the U.S. and internationally. Dr. Goosby was the founding director of the Ryan White CARE Act in 1991 and subsequently served in the Clinton Administration to expand the program considerably.  As Global AIDS Coordinator under President Barack Obama, he was responsible for implementing the President's emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR).

Geremy Lowe, MPH
PhD Student, UCSF; Former UCGHI Student Ambassador

Geremy is currently a PhD at UCSF in the History of Health Sciences Program. His academic interests include: environmental justice, global poverty, and public health. He is concerned with the future marginalized communities face as a result of economic inequality and spacial discrimination. His role as a research assistant has enhanced his passion for demystifying poverty within the Black communities. Geremy is currently conducting original research in understanding contemporary Black identity and the connection to Black geography.

Stephanie Sumstine-Felice, MPH
Communications Specialist, UC Global Health Institute

Stephanie Sumstine-Felice, MPH, is the Communications Specialist for UCGHI. Stephanie joins UCGHI from the UCLA Center for Community Health where she worked as a Project Director for six years working on research studies on substance use, sexual health, and addressing health disparities in historically underserved communities. Stephanie was the Center Coordinator for UCGHI’s Center for Gender and Health Justice (CGHJ) for over five years where she managed communications and the Center’s education and training programs. She has supported the CGHJ’s signature research project on local and global campus-based violence prevention since 2018. She is passionate about health equity, reproductive justice, addiction prevention, and sustainability.

Ushma Updahyay, PhD, MPHUshma Upadhyay, PhD, MPH
Associate Professor, UCSF, Center for Gender and Health Justice;Director of Research

Ushma Upadhyay, PhD, MPH, associate professor-in-residence in the UC San Francisco Department of Obstetrics, Gynecology and Reproductive Sciences, is based at the Advancing New Standards in Reproductive Health Program at UCSF's Bixby Center for Global Reproductive Health. Her work encompasses two overarching themes: the effects of women's empowerment and gender equity on reproductive health and improving access to contraception and abortion care. Her current research focuses on understanding and documenting the impact of state-level abortion restrictions on women's lives.

Samantha Ying, PhD
Assistant Professor of Soil Biogeochemistry, UC Riverside, UCGHI Center for Planetary Health, Co-Director

Samantha (Sam) Ying is a professor in the Environmental Science Department.  She is passionate about her research, teaching, and, in particular, engagement with her students and community.  She is dedicated to empowering the disadvantaged and ensuring equity for all.  Sam’s research and teaching focus on chemical and biological processes within soils that shape water quality, food security, and the global cycles of critical elements such as carbon and nitrogen.  Her work seeks to provide soil and water management practices for a healthy and sustainable future while training the leaders of tomorrow.   Sam received her B.S. from UC Santa Barbara and Ph.D. from Stanford University; she joined the UCR faculty in 2015.

Jerry John Nutor, PhD, RN, MS
Assistant Professor in Family Health Care Nursing, UCSF

Jerry John Nutor is an assistant professor at University of California, San Francisco.  His research interests are in maternal and child health, and HIV among childbearing women in Sub-Sharan Africa.  Jerry is passionate about promoting collaboration between scholars and researchers working in Africa and North America. He is the founder and secretary general of Africa Interdisciplinary Health Conference (AfIHC). He founded AfIHC to create a platform for the various healthcare providers in both clinical and academic/research settings to meet and discuss their research findings to promote evidence-based practices related to the health sector in Africa.

Melissa Smith, MD
Director of Health Equity Initiatives, UCSB; Associate Director for UCGHI Center for Gender and Health Justice

Melissa Smith, M.D., is a family medicine physician who has worked in primary care clinics in low-income communities in the US and Central America for three decades. Dr. Smith is the Director of Health Equity Initiatives at UC Santa Barbara, where she co-teaches a seminar on Community-based Participatory Research on health disparities, and is involved in collaborative efforts to address health concerns of historically marginalized communities in Santa Barbara County.

Bridgette Smith, MPH
PhD Student, UC Davis

Bridgette Smith, MPH, is a currently a PhD graduate student studying Epidemiology at UC Davis with a strong interest in health equity, chronic and infectious disease prevention. Through studying Microbiology at UC Merced and her extensive work in educational programs and social justice, Bridgette is passionate about health education and health disparities in the US and abroad.

Roshni Desai
Global Health Program Coordinator, UC Global Health Institute

Roshni Desai, BS, is the Global Health Program Coordinator at UCGHI and most recently was the Program Assistant for the Institute. She earned her Bachelor of Science degree in Global Disease Biology from UC Davis and has experience working in college health & counseling services - focused on health education & promotion, mental health, and COVID-19 campus safety. Roshni is passionate about the transdisciplinary nature of global public health. Her interests include disease surveillance, health security, emergency preparedness, and operationalizing the One Health approach.

Paolo De La Cruz
Program Assistant, UC Global Health Institute

Paolo De La Cruz is a recent graduate from UC Irvine (UCI) with a BS in Public Health. He was a 2021 Global Service Scholar for the UCI Blum Center for Poverty Alleviation where he virtually interned under a nonprofit in South Africa. Throughout undergrad, he assisted with research investigating the moral distress of family medicine doctors during the COVID-19 pandemic. He also led a research project to understand undergraduate mental health amidst the pandemic. As a former vice president and community outreach chair for Healing Through Humanities, an organization that combines health and the humanities, he assisted with the operations of a $6000-funded intergenerational photo narrative project. He appreciates the interdisciplinary nature of the field of global health and is particularly interested in pandemic preparedness and response.