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Vickie Mays appointed as inaugural special advisor to chancellor on Black life

Vickie Mays, a public health professor, will serve as advisor to the chancellor on issues related to the Black community at UCLA, effective immediately.(Daily Bruin file photo)

By Genesis Qu

Aug. 31, 2020 6:08 p.m.

UCLA appointed public health professor Vickie Mays to a new position to advise the Chancellor on issues affecting the Black community.

Chancellor Gene Block announced Monday that Mays, a professor in the School of Public Health, will serve as the special advisor to the chancellor on Black life. Mays will advise the Chancellor and other administrative leaders on how to enhance the campus climate for Black students, Block said.

Mays will start her appointment immediately, said UCLA spokesperson Bill Kisliuk in an emailed statement.

Block announced he would create the role in June following nationwide protests against racial discrimination and police brutality. The position is one of several reforms Block proposed as part of an effort to improve conditions on campus for Black students. Block also committed to funding a Black Resource Center on campus and devoting more resources to research of Black life and racial injustice.

[Related link: UCLA to create new Black Resource Center in major step for Black student community]

Mays previously served as the assistant vice chancellor for research diversity, the chair of the UCLA Academic Senate and the chair of the Undergraduate Council, Block said.

Mays specializes in mental and physical health disparities in racial and ethnic minorities and also directs the UCLA Bridge Research, Education, Innovation, Training and Education Center, a research institute which works to eliminate health disparities in underserved communities.

Mays did not respond to an immediate request for comment.

Block said Mays’ university governance experience, intellectual expertise and advocacy skills prepare her to address race-related issues on campus.

“These qualities make her exceptionally well-qualified to work with leaders across campus to help guide and strengthen UCLA’s efforts to support our Black Bruin family and shine a light on the barriers to opportunity presented by anti-Black racism,” Block said in the statement.

This story will be updated.

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Genesis Qu | Assistant News editor
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