Board of Directors
A first-generation college attendee, I am passionate about education. One of only two Black students in my class in Economics, I graduated from UCLA with cum laude honors in 1980. I served as Chair of the ASUCLA Communications Board, and in the Undergraduate Admissions Office. I was also active in the Black Student Union where I met my husband of 42 years, Nate Oubre, class of 1981.
I received my MBA from the Harvard Business School (HBS) in 1984, and my doctorate in Education from the University of Pennsylvania in 2017.
My career encompasses both industry and higher education. I worked in planning roles at the LA Times and Walt Disney, and founded BriteSmile. Later, as Dean and College President of two of the most diverse institutions in the country, I was able to increase diversity, improve completion rates, and attract multi-million-dollar donations in support of DEI including a $25 million naming gift for the College of Business at SF State, and a $12 million gift to Whittier College from philanthropist MacKenzie Scott. I implemented programs that increased the retention and graduation rates for Black students by diversifying faculty, implementing mentorship programs with Black alums, and fundraising for scholarships for Black students.
I hope to continue to work toward improving Black student outcomes as a member of the UBAA Board. I have watched with concern the declines in the population of Black students at UCLA since the passage of Prop 209. UBAA’s efforts to recruit, fund, and provide academic and career support are admirable. I hope that UBAA can also become even more active in developing the Black pipeline for graduate and Ph.D. programs.
I appreciate being considered for the UBAA Board and look forward to my continued involvement as a very proud Black Alum of UCLA.
Go Black Bruins!
Mekki El Boushi
As an Astrophysicist, I am dedicated to offering a nuanced perspective on the intricate interplay of science, technology, and education within our community. With a distinguished career spanning over four decades as both a scientist and a minority in the field, I am acutely aware of the challenges we face in ensuring that the profound importance and contributions of scientists are duly recognized. Frequently overshadowed by professions such as engineering and medicine, it is imperative to communicate that scientists occupy a distinct and invaluable role in shaping our understanding of the world.
Moreover, I aim to emphasize the symbiotic relationship between science and technology, underscoring the pivotal role that scientists play in catalyzing paradigm shifts with far-reaching implications for global society. It is essential to recognize and address the disparities that often adversely impact marginalized communities, particularly people of color. By fostering a deeper understanding of the unique contributions made by scientists and advocating for the integration of science and technology in our communities and society at large. I hope to actively contribute to a more equitable and enlightened future for all.
UCLA Black Alumni Association is an organization that represents all African American/Black students who have come through UCLA. As a graduate of UCLA and a former active officer for UBAA, I am qualified to sit on the Board to assist with directing the organization to the next level. There are relations that need to be built and restored to ensure UBAA is indeed the best alumni organization in this country.
I have always been an alumni member that is for all our alumni. I was able to get people involved as volunteers who had never participated while I served as VP of Social and Community Programs. In the first two years when Kevin Harbor was President, there was a spirit of welcoming volunteers to become more involved, and we were able to engage our alumni so they felt free to participate in UBAA. I saw that change with different presidents as we went back to people feeling isolated rather than welcomed.
While we bring in new people, there is still that feeling that I came in with 10 years ago. As a board member, I will uphold the work we have done and continue to build our scholarships and annual programs, but I will also focus on how to get more people involved with UBAA. As a board member, I believe I will be more effective in this area. I look forward to being elected to this position to bring my gifts to the organization I faithfully serve in and love.
Greetings UBAA Nominations and Elections Committee,
My name is Anthony Jackson, class of 1983. I am honored to have been nominated as a candidate to serve on the Board of Directors of the UCLA Black Alumni Association (UBAA). Much of my identity is tied to my time on campus as an undergraduate where I was a Nommo editor during my senior year, and, most recently, as a graduate student pursuing my doctorate in Educational Leadership. I also recognize how fortunate I am to have had these two educational experiences at UCLA bookend my professional career as an educator. Those experiences have equipped me with a broad perspective that can meaningfully inform the next three years of the Board’s leadership, acknowledging that current and past Boards of Directors have been stellar in their stewardship of the UBAA mission and vision.
In full transparency, my pre-pandemic involvement with the UBAA was mostly as a former Nommo editor passively engaging via Facebook posts and email. This cursory connection was done from afar while my work as an LAUSD teacher, administrator, and charter school co-founder occupied me. Having retired after 35 years of committed service to Black and Brown children, families, and communities, I believe that being on the UBAA Board of Directors will allow me to continue a form of that service while contributing my vast K-12 educational leadership expertise. This would also support my vision for an articulated K-16 model where Black Bruin identities are established, like mine was, in Kindergarten, and cultivated and sustained throughout elementary, middle, and high school, thereby expanding pathways to becoming Black alumni.
I hope to share more about me and the contributions I will bring to the UBAA Board. Thank you.
Peace and Respect,
Greetings! For those of you who don’t already know me, I’m Wanda Knight, a 1988 alum with a BA in Design with Computer Emphasis. I am running for a Board of Director position, so my voice can be heard to help bring new ideas to the UBAA realm. I have been giving back to the UCLA Black community not only monetarily, but more importantly through volunteering/mentoring ever since I stepped foot on the Bruin campus in 1983. It started with programs such as the Student Educational Enrichment Program (SEEP) while I was a student and continues with the UBAA Legacy Scholarship Program as an alum. I’m a firm believer in supporting social opportunities for our alumni, so I have volunteered with the UBAA Reunions, the Annual Ski Trips to Mammoth, and I’ve traveled internationally with UBAA.
Increase alumni involvement and recruit new membership – work with out of state Black alumni and increase social media outreach
Increase social opportunities – international travel, plays, concerts, annual ski and camping trips; white water rafting, etc.
Continue collaboration with other Black Alumni organizations – join USC Black Alumni on their annual trip to Martha’s Vineyard; continue tailgating opportunities
Develop mentorship programs at all learning levels – mentor not only at the middle and high school levels, but also at elementary school levels
Throughout my professional career, I have gained substantial expertise in many areas of management and leadership. These skills will contribute to the growth of UBAA and allow me to assist in decisions involving the UBAA strategic plan, management and budget. My strengths have enabled me to provide resourceful solutions leading to new ground breaking developments. Bottom line: I’d love to have direct influence on the decisions that are being made to improve our black alumni community.
Dear UCLA Black Alumni Association Members,
I hope this message finds you in good health and high spirits. It is with great enthusiasm and a deep sense of commitment that I announce my candidacy for re-election to the UCLA Black Alumni Association (UBAA) Board of Directors.
I am Brett J. York, a proud UCLA alumnus with over 25 years of experience in the Human Resources Technology Industry. My journey in HR technology has allowed me to contribute to various industries, including retail, media, utilities, education, and local municipalities. Currently serving as an HR Systems Project Manager, I have had the privilege of working with esteemed companies such as Gap Inc., Discovery Communications, Zendesk, and Kaiser Permanente, among others.
My connection to UCLA has been unwavering since my undergraduate years. As Chapter President of the Gamma Xi Chapter of Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity, Inc., I was honored to be selected as Alpha’s Western Region Undergraduate “Brother of the Year.” During my time as a student leader, I played a pivotal role in chartering the first Black Greek Letter Organization Council (BGLOC) at UCLA and served as Programs Coordinator for the UCLA Black Student Alliance (BSA) and Chairperson for the UCLA Program Activities Board (PAB).
My commitment to creating a diverse and inclusive community at UCLA is reflected in my involvement in programs like the Special Education Exposure Project (SEEP) and the Jefferson High School Tutorial Project. These efforts earned me the Chancellor’s Marshall Service Award at graduation.
Returning to the Bay Area in 1989, I maintained strong ties to UCLA. Over the past 30 years, I have actively contributed to the UCLA Alumni community, serving on various committees, including the Ralph Bunche Scholarship committee and the Alumni Scholarship Steering Committee. As a UCLA Emeriti Alumni Board Member and past Board member of the UCLA Alumni Association, my dedication remains steadfast.
In my first term as an elected Director of the UBAA Board (2018-2021), I played a crucial role in advocating for the need to "reimagine and reignite" UBAA. While significant strides have been made, there is still much work ahead. Therefore, I am running for my second three-year term (2023-2026) with the belief that together, we can make UBAA even more relevant, collaborative, and engaged.
If granted the opportunity to continue serving, I am committed to listening to the needs of our membership and driving the necessary changes to strengthen UBAA. I humbly seek your support and vote in this endeavor.
In Bruin Brotherhood,
Brett J. York ’86
Devon Miner (he/him, ’11) has relentlessly committed himself to leveling the playing field and ensuring people of color, especially Black people, have equitable access to the social, economic, and political capital to unlock our full potential. While at UCLA, Devon collaborated with Dr. Tyrone Howard to create “Blackliminated,” the first ever class designed to help Black men at UCLA more successfully matriculate. Devon was also active in AAP, EAOP, and ASU where he held leadership roles in organizations such as SHAPE and AMC. Devon went on to receive his Master of Education from the University of Pennsylvania and currently works at the intersection of education and workforce as a director where he interfaces with systems leaders and lead project teams to ensure Black and other underserved communities of color are adequately educated, trained, and prepared to competitively enter and advance in the labor market. Devon is board trained and certified through the African American Board Leadership Institute (AABLI) and currently serves as an alumni board member for the Giving Back Corporation where he helps raise funds to award scholarships for Black and Brown high school students across the greater Los Angeles area. Devon hopes to leverage his knowledge and experience to continue advancing the mission and vision of the UCLA Black Alumni Association (UBAA).
I am seeking re-election as a Board member for UBAA. During my tenure as a Board member I have worked to positively impact not only UBAA, but UCLA and the Community.
Prior to becoming a board member and Officer I was a very active volunteer. I decided I wanted to have more of an impact on UBAA and I ran and was elected Vice President of Community and Social Programs where I served for two terms. Subsequently, I was elected to the UBAA
Board of Directors and have served for the past 5 years. In my capacity as a Board member, I have served on several committees for the benefit of the Black alumni such as the Doby Legacy Scholarship Awards Gala, and Legacy Scholarship Committee, I also worked on the Education
Summit, Social Justice Events, and Admit Receptions for Freshman and Transfer students. In addition, one of my accomplishments was implementing the Leslie Orticke Transfer Scholarship. Prior to this, UBAA had not had a scholarship devoted to transfer students. As a former transfer student and Community college Counselor, I am very passionate about making sure transfer students succeed and this scholarship can assist students with achieving their academic
goals. I look forward to continuing my work as Chair of this transfer scholarship committee and continuing to raise funds.
I have a continued passion for supporting and empowering the Black Alumni community at UCLA. If re-elected, I would work to frequently survey alumni and the community to see what programs and activities they would like to see from UBAA. I am a team player and I have collaborated effectively for years with other UBAA Board members and officers. I am thankful for the time I have spent thus far as a UBAA Board member and I welcome the opportunity to continue working to make a positive impact on the UCLA Black Alumni Community.
Dear UCLA Black Alumni Association Members,
I am excited to announce my candidacy for a position on the UCLA Black Alumni Association, and I am writing to express my passion for fostering a strong sense of community, empowerment, and growth among our esteemed alumni.
As a UCLA graduate and former student body president, I understand the significance of our alma mater and the impact it has on shaping individuals into leaders. My experiences at UCLA have fueled my commitment to creating an inclusive and supportive environment for all Black alumni. That’s why upon returning home to the Bay Area after graduating UCLA, I co-founded the Bay Area chapter of the UCLA Black Alumni Association. If elected, I will leverage my skills in community engagement and leadership to strengthen the bonds among us. My professional background in public affairs, media, and communications has equipped me with the necessary skills to implement strategic initiatives that address the unique
needs and aspirations of Black alumni. I am dedicated to promoting diversity, equity, inclusion and accessibility, ensuring that our association serves as a platform for amplifying the voices and achievements of Black Bruins.
I envision a UCLA Black Alumni Association that not only celebrates our shared history but also actively contributes to the ongoing success of its members. I will work tirelessly to develop programs that provide mentorship, networking opportunities, and career advancement resources. Additionally, I am committed to collaborating with the broader
UCLA community to create a supportive network that empowers current students and fosters a sense of pride in their academic journey.
I kindly ask for your support in this endeavor, and I look forward to the opportunity to serve and contribute to the continued excellence of our UCLA Black Alumni Association.
Devin T. Murphy