Briana Fernandez Diaz 11/17/1999-9/13/2022
The Department of Sociology and Sexuality Studies is deeply saddened by the loss of our former student, Briana Fernández Diaz. Briana graduated with a Bachelor of Arts Degree in Sociology in May 2022. Briana was the daughter of Mexican immigrants and a first-generation Chicana-Latina scholar in both the Sociology and Race and Resistance Studies programs. She was passionate about knowledge and about serving her communities. Throughout her time at SFSU she experienced many hardships while, at the same time, excelled in her education and professional career--maintaining a 3.98 GPA and making the Dean's list during her four years on campus. In addition, Briana was selfless with her academic colleagues and also served the public in many ways. For instance, she worked with the Human Rights Commission of San Francisco as a Willie L. Brown, Jr. Fellow. There, she worked on numerous initiatives, campaigns, and policies, including the Dream Keeper Initiative, the Campaign for Solidarity, Equity Studies Task Force, and diversifying the SFUSD literature to include inclusive and cultural texts. A true sociologist, Briana integrated personal "troubles" and public issues in her advocacy for underrepresented communities. She was a fierce advocate of young people, demonstrated by her influence over an integrated youth mental health facilities across the state of California. In Spring 2022, the Department nominated Briana for the University Hood undergraduate award, which celebrates our top students’ "academic excellence and special achievement." Sadly, our nomination coincided with her being diagnosed with myeloid sarcoma leukemia, a rare form of cancer, in April. We mourn the loss of Briana and we are so proud of and honored to have worked with her and witness her passion. Sociology and Sexuality Studies, San Francisco State, and San Francisco more broadly have lost an amazingly smart, bright, and gentle light. Our sincere condolences are with her family and friends. May she rest and crossover in peace.