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Activist and Author Bree Newsome to Speak at UC Riverside

RIVERSIDE, Calif. ( — In June 2015, Bree Newsome drew national attention to South Carolina when she scaled a 30-foot flagpole outside the state capitol building and unhooked its Confederate flag as an act of civil disobedience against what she perceived as “racist symbolism.”

On Oct. 18, Newsome will speak about the experience and her work as a community organizer and activist during a lecture at the University of California, Riverside titled “Tearing Hatred From the Sky.” Sponsored by UCR’s Women’s Resource Center, the event will take place at 7 p.m. in Room 302 of the Highlander Union Building (HUB).

Denise Davis, director of the Women’s Resource Center, said Newsome’s talk will draw connections between a variety of historic milestones — including the 1960s heyday of the civil rights movement — and contemporary activism designed to combat systemic racism and other forms of social inequality.

“Bree is sure to be an inspiring speaker who can comment on both her lived experience as a black woman and how her personal piece of activism fits into our moment’s continuation of the civil rights movement,” Davis said. “I’m also hoping that she’ll be able to offer some advice as to where we go from here.”

Newsome’s highly visible act of protest, committed June 27, 2015, came just one day after President Barack Obama delivered a eulogy at the funeral of Clementa Pinckney, a black pastor and South Carolina state senator who had been killed weeks earlier during a mass shooting at the Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church in Charleston.

“Five days before the action, we huddled in a small living room. What united us was a moral calling and a commitment to doing the right thing, recognizing the power we had as individuals coming together to act as one,” Newsome wrote in an August 2017 op-ed published by The Washington Post.

“With awareness of history and belief in a better future, we decided to attack a symbol of systemic racism with a direct action that symbolized its dismantling. We almost immediately settled on removing the flag, both as an act of civil disobedience and as a demonstration of the power people have when we work together.”

South Carolina’s Senate voted to officially remove the flag from the capitol’s grounds on July 6, 2015. In the wake of the event, Newsome became a prolific author and commentator, regularly sharing her perspectives on newsworthy happenings such as the recent debates over the removal of Confederate monuments across the country and the impact of Colin Kaepernick’s ongoing protests during the NFL national anthem.

Newsome’s upcoming talk at UCR is free and open to the public, and registration is not required to attend. The event’s supporting sponsors include the Center for Ideas & Society, the Department of Gender and Sexuality Studies, and the Office of Diversity and Inclusion.


UC Riverside Transformed Into Hub of Innovation with National Science Foundation I-Corp Site Status

Startups for Innovators” workshop, taught by Mark Leibowitz and Jay Gilberg, in spring 2017.

RIVERSIDE, Calif. ( — The University of California, Riverside is poised to become a hub of innovation with a recent grant from the federal government that will help researchers transform their discoveries into real world applications.

UCR has been awarded the prestigious National Science Foundation (NSF) Innovation Corps Site status and a $500,000 grant to provide in-house commercialization training to faculty and students over the next five years.

“The goal is to bridge the gap between public support of science and private capital funding of new commercial ventures,” said Rosibel Ochoa, UCR’s associate vice chancellor for technology partnerships. “This award solidifies UC Riverside’s advancement in the innovation and startup creation ecosystem. It provides a platform for ideas originating at the university to receive the training and support needed to promote paths of success for students, faculty and researchers.”

The NSF Innovation Corps (I-Corps) program prepares scientists and engineers to extend their focus beyond the university laboratory, allowing participants to accelerate research projects toward commercialization. The new award will allow 10 UCR teams per quarter to participate in “Startups for Innovators” workshops, where they will receive NSF I-Corps training on how to interview customers, engage with industry partners and develop ideas into a job-producing business. UCR participants will be eligible to receive up to $3,000 in funding to help develop an idea.

Read the full press release here:


UC Riverside is Leading the Fight Against Citrus Greening Disease

RIVERSIDE, Calif. ( — With the recent discovery of Huanglongbing (HLB, also called citrus greening disease) on a tree in Riverside, the spread of this deadly bacterial disease continues in California. The bacteria, which is carried by a tiny insect called the Asian Citrus Psyllid, has already decimated citrus groves in Florida and elsewhere.

Building on many years of research efforts, experts in the University of California, Riverside’s College of Natural and Agricultural Sciences (CNAS) have been working with government and industry officials to address the disease and keep it from spreading.

Ongoing research efforts include breeding plants for resistance, developing molecular tools to combat this disease, new treatment programs using insecticides and bactericides, and early disease detection techniques. In the short term, UCR is developing techniques to increase citrus production and overall health to give the industry a boost.

UCR experts who can speak about HLB include:

Tracy Kahn, Curator of UCR’s Citrus Variety Collection

Contact: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it., (951) 827-7360

Tracy Kahn is the curator of UCR’s Citrus Variety Collection, one of the world’s most diverse living collections of citrus and related types with approximately 1,000 different varieties, including mandarins, blood oranges, navel oranges, citrons, clementines, tangors, grapefruit, Valencia oranges, and pummelos. She conducts research evaluating the commercial potential of new citrus varieties and provides various extension activities on citrus for the industry and the public.

Peggy Mauk, Director of Agricultural Operations, College of Natural and Agricultural Sciences

Contact: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it., (951) 827-4274

Peggy Mauk researches abiotic or biotic stresses to subtropical fruit crops, such as avocado, citrus, dates and mangos. As director of agricultural operations, she oversees field research in support of the mission of the College of Agriculture and Natural Sciences.

“UCR continues to provide research results that support the California Citrus Industry and beyond. Now that HLB is in Riverside there is fear of devastation. For example, Florida has only approximately 30 percent of production compared to 10 years ago, but there is hope for the future.”

Georgios Vidalakis, Professor & UC Extension Specialist in Plant Pathology; Director of the Citrus Clonal Protection Program


This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it., (951) 827-3763


As the director of UCR’s Citrus Clonal Protection Program, Vidalakis is working to ensure HLB and other exotic citrus diseases do not enter California via propagative plant materials. The CCPP has been the gatekeeper in excluding lethal citrus diseases, such as HLB, from entering and spreading in California since 1956.

“Citrus breeders in Florida have been unfortunate in having been flooded with HLB. Many hybrids were lost, but through the years trees that appear to tolerate the disease a little better than others started to appear. The CCPP has received California citrus industry and federal funding to introduce hundreds of these trees into California to evaluate their potential use as commercial citrus varieties or parents of varieties that may be HLB tolerant.”

For additional information and experts, view the full release at:

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