Caring, optimistic, open-minded people are the folks Sandy Holman ’87 believes will change the world.
“When I was younger, I thought everyone was raised with the same philosophy: love is the most important thing you can give and receive,” said Holman. “But soon I realized things aren’t always like my family taught me.”
Growing up in a military family, Holman lived outside the United States until the third grade. After moving here, the contrast between her family’s values and her vivid encounters with racism in the public school system sparked her passion for social justice.
In 1991, Holman founded the Davis-based Culture CO-OP to provide educators diversity training and address systemic inequity. The alignment between the Culture CO-OP's mission and the UC Davis School of Education's Equity Summit inspired Holman's gift during The Campaign for UC Davis.
"Equity in education is necessary for people to have the opportunity to thrive in life,” said Holman, who is also a Cal Aggie Alumni Association member. “Anything we can do to encourage people to share power and resources is critical, and the Equity Summit has done tremendous work in that area."
Holman’s true philanthropic passion, however, is centered in a different kind of giving. Currently the Culture CO-OP has 25 interns, and over the years, hundreds of Aggies have enjoyed hands-on experience and mentoring under Holman’s wing.
“My primary investment in UC Davis has been giving back to students. The privilege of working with youth is one of the most important parts of my job,” said Holman, who was nominated by one of her interns to be co-marshal of the centennial Picnic Day Parade. “And the most meaningful aspect of staying connected to UC Davis is bringing students’ attention to equity and social justice issues. It’s never been more critical to share love, power and resources.”