Go Back to the article page

Please upgrade to a browser that supports HTML5 audio or install Flash.

Audio MP3 Download Podcast

Duration: 42:49



Welcome everyone to UCLA Global Conversation with Attorney General Rob Bonta: My Heritage and My Journey. My name is Cindy Fan. I'm Vice Provost for the UCLA International Institute. I'm also a professor of geography and a professor of Asian American Studies. As a land grant institution, the International Institute of UCLA acknowledges that the Gabrielino-Tongva peoples as a traditional land caretakers of Tovaangar. A joint initiative of the US Department of State and Department of Education, International Education Week, or IEW is a time to celebrate the benefits and importance of international education and exchange around the world. Allow me to share part of a recent statement with two departments. I quote, many of our most pressing challenges are inherently global in scope and impact, and can only be addressed by nations and individuals working together, from tackling pandemics and a climate crisis to reducing economic disparities and building prosperity to countering threats to democracy and maintaining peace. Resolving these global challenges requires partnership and collaboration across borders, end quote. At UCLA whose mission is the creation, application dissemination and preservation of knowledge for the betterment of the global society, the International Institute and its partners have led the IEW initiatives since 2016. This week, 44 events organized by 52 Campus units, ranging from lectures to cultural performances and exhibits, and from students and career panels to scholarship workshops, offer something to everyone interested in education, research and service using a global perspective. And it's not too late to sign up for these events. The link to the events is in the chat. The global conversation is the week's highlight. And we're delighted to have Attorney General Rob Bonta as our featured speaker today. Before we get started, I'd like to thank Mani Jad, Jamaica Villegas, Peggy McInerny, Kaya Mentesoglu, Kathryn Paul, Oliver Chien, Alex Zhu, and Attorney General team especially Edwin Saucedo, Izzy Gardon, and Jonathan Gayton. I would also like to go over a couple of housekeeping items. To submit questions to Attorney General Bonta. Please use the Q&A function. And as time allows Attorney General Bonta will address as many questions as he can during the Q&A session. We will be recording this webinar and we will share the link after the event. Now, it is my honor to introduce Attorney General Bonta who will be with us for the next 40 minutes or so until around 3:45 Pacific time. On April 23, 2021, Rob Bonta was sworn in as the 34th Attorney General of the State of California, the first person of Filipino descent and a second Asian American to occupy that position. Born in Quezon City, Philippines, Attorney General Bonta immigrated to California with his family as an infant. He is the son of a proud native Filipino mother and a father who taught him the value of public service to this community. Instilling in him the lessons they learned from the United Farmworkers and a civil rights movement, Attorney General Bonta�s parents lit a fire inside him to fight against injustice. It is why he decided to become a lawyer to help write historic wrongs and fight for people who have been harmed. He worked his way through college and graduated with honors from Yale University and attended Yale Law School. In a state assembly, Attorney General Bonta enacted nation leading reforms to inject more justice and fairness into government and institutions. He has led statewide fights for racial, economic, and environmental justice and worked to further the rights of immigrant families, renters and working Californians. Prior to serving in the assembly Attorney General Bonta worked as a Deputy City Attorney of San Francisco, where he represented the city and county and his employees and fought to protect Californians from exploitation and racial profiling. Please join me in welcoming Attorney General Rob Bonta.

Attorney General Rob Bonta 4:49

Thank you so much Vice Provost Fan for that very kind, introduction and very generous introduction. I really appreciate the opportunity to be here. It's wonderful to join the UCLA International Institute for this conversation and again, thanks for reaching out to me and honored to be here as a part of this event. And since its inception, International Education Week provides an annual opportunity to celebrate and affirm the importance of diverse perspectives, international education, dialogue and exchange. And in California, we sure know the importance of these values. We are very proud of the fact that more than one out of four Californians are immigrants. We are proud that our innovative spirit and diversity have made us the 5th largest economy in the world. We're proud to share more than 140 miles of border with our neighbors in Mexico and we're proud of universities like UCLA that recognize the importance of an international perspective, home to many international scholars. And this year during this continued pandemic, and as delegations from COP26 return home, this week's importance cannot be stressed enough. International exchange and dialogue, collaboration cooperation have never been more vital. We must work together. We have no choice across borders, perspectives, nationalities and identities to tackle humanity's greatest challenges, including global climate catastrophe, and issues of public health like deadly pandemics. By solving these challenges, we can advance justice and equity at a global scale. And whether you lead the largest state department of justice in the nation of I have, as I have the honor and privilege of doing, or whether you're a first year Bruin, we all have a role to play in advancing justice from a global perspective. This work, it's embedded in my DNA, quite literally, I am the confluence of two nations. My father was born 50 miles west of UCLA in Oxnard, California, and my mother, Cynthia was born in Los Banos, about 50 miles away from Manila, the capital of the Philippines. They met while studying in Berkeley, at the Pacific School of Religion. They were active in activist circles organizing for civil rights and voting rights, speaking out against the Vietnam War and supporting the farmworkers movement. Their activism would take them to the Philippines where I was born, and where they served as social justice missionaries. 49 years later, they would watch me be nominated to serve as California Attorney General, in a space of international and cross-cultural significance at that International Hotel in San Francisco. It was the same building where decades earlier, my mother Cynthia stood up along with other courageous activists and linked arms to protect a diverse community of immigrants from being evicted from the International Hotel. In the time between those two moments, my birth in the Philippines and my nomination at the International Hotel to serve as attorney general, I've learned many lessons about advancing justice and the value of advancing justice from a cross cultural perspective. And so, let me talk about three of those lessons each from a different phase in my life, my childhood, my teens, and early adulthood second, and finally third my time in the California State Assembly. In my childhood, my parents moved to the heart of the farmworker�s movement, a central valley town in the Tehachapi�s named La Paz, a very magical place just southeast of Bakersfield in Kern County. They were recruited to help a diverse and international community of Filipino and Latino farmworkers advocate for better wages and working conditions alongside iconic leaders that we have all heard of Dolores Huerta, Cesar Chavez and few of us have heard of this next one, but also important Philip Vera Cruz, a great Filipino American leader in the farm worker movement. I only have a few memories from those days, I was very young. But most of all, what stuck with me, were the lessons that I learned about equality. In La Paz, it didn't matter if your dad was Cesar Chavez or a migrant worker from Latin America, it didn't matter if you just immigrated from the Philippines or if you were Chicano, and your family was home to this land for hundreds of years. It didn't matter if you were black or white, everyone was there. Because of the mission. We all saw injustice and inequity in the world. And we wanted to fix it. We came together from various backgrounds to fight for the same cause the mission united us across cultures and identities. And it was our community's cross-cultural commitment to advancing justice to advancing workplace conditions for working people that led to the movement�s success. And the lesson I learned in my childhood is that there is great power in coming together in solidarity across cultural differences, that power can change the world. The farmworkers movement is proof, is Exhibit A of that. The most beautiful thing about it in my view is the collaborative spirit. That coming from many different backgrounds and experiences and perspectives to fight for a common cause and to be successful in transformational change. In my teens, and college years, I grew a passion for public service. But I also grew a passion for something nearly as universal, the sport of soccer. During my time, I played competitively growing up as a youth and had opportunities to play on competitive teams that took me around the state around the nation and ultimately, around the world. And I built lasting relationships with the teammates and players from different backgrounds, different lived experiences, different countries, different cultural backgrounds, and from different nations. Soccer allowed me to travel the world and taught me life lessons. There is a universality to the game, lessons to be learned about humanity, the importance of working together of supporting one another. You know, there were times when I could step on a field or, and not speak the same language, not have anything in common with the person I was with, or the teammates I was with. Some are immigrants, some are refugees, some were growing up in poverty in another country, but we always connected across those boundaries. And you don't need to speak the same language or have much in common. But if you and those you are with are determined, you can work together, work in unison work across cultural differences and accomplish positive things together. And so, as we work together across the international community to solve humanity's big challenges, we should do it as if it were a team sport, we need to collaborate, we need to cooperate. We're at our best when we're working together. And this moment, meaning this moment requires it, demands it, we're going to have to work together and accomplish things together or we're not going to be successful. If we're going to defeat climate change, and prevent the next pandemic we need to, and we should put our differences aside to uplift humanity. Each nation has a role to play. There can be different roles, you know, all sorts of different approaches. Parts of the accomplishing the goal need to occur, but we all have to start playing as a team. The final lesson I'd like to speak out about is what I learned while participating in international trips. During my time in the California State Legislature, I had an opportunity to go to China, the Philippines multiple times, Australia, Netherlands, Singapore, and

Attorney General Rob Bonta 12:40

whether it was a conversation with a worker or a high-level government official, these trips affirm for me that across our cultural differences and borders, at the end of the day, we all want our children to achieve success, and experience prosperity to realize their dreams and meet their full potential. There's a universality in that there's so much in common that we have. Although we often think that we're so different, we all want economic stability for our families, we all want our children to succeed to achieve success, we all want our next generation to be better off than we were. And today, when the world can seem so divided, it's important to recognize and remember that in many ways, what we want as nations and families is the same. Those are the three lessons that influenced me that influence my global perspective and the fights I lead. One, the power of solidarity, two, the power of working as a team, and three, the power of recognizing our shared values across cultures. This brings me to present day and in my role as Attorney General. I take these values and commitments with me. I see my role as the people's attorney, someone who stands up for everyday people, the voiceless of vulnerable the overlook the cast aside that forgotten and achieves and fights for justice for them. Two issues in particular require a global perspective in order to truly achieve justice. That's climate change, one and public health, number two. These are perhaps the most important global issues affecting us and our children today, and we must fight them together as a global community. At the California Department of Justice, we are fighting global issues at a local level, as we do our part to fight for cleaner air and water, fight toxic pollution, and environmental contamination, fight for those living at the intersection of poverty and pollution, and fight for the health of our communities, and access to care. We lead these actions for the wellbeing of Californians, but we also recognize that they are the right fights to lead as global citizens what we do here, it impacts others. And as I enforce the law in California, I often think about what Martin Luther King Jr. wrote from the Birmingham City Jail in 1963. That famous line, �We are caught in an inescapable network of mutuality, tied in a single garment of destiny. Whatever affects one directly affects all indirectly.� And his words remind us that we all need each other. We're intertwined. We're interlinked. What we do affects others, we are interconnected in terms of our actions and the outcomes and our shared future. And we are all connected as we fight the common threats and common challenges in our societies. No matter your discipline, no matter what you do, no matter your title, like the farm workers in La Paz, we all have a role to play in advancing justice at the local and at the global level. As Attorney General, that�s my mission every day. So, let me thank you for this opportunity. Thank you, Vice Provost Fan and everyone who's contributing to the important programming happening this International Education Week, it's an honor to join you. And I'm looking forward to some of your questions. Thanks again for having me.

Cindy Fan 16:00

Thank you so much, Attorney General Bonta. If it's okay for me to just respond very quickly with a couple of somewhat personal remarks, personal response. First of all, we gave you a title, My Journey, My Heritage, and I think your remarks made me think that you must be a very brilliant student, that you respond to a professor's question with accuracy, with a lot of facts, a lot of information. You talked about your childhood, you talk about your teen years, and you talked about your international trips, and also the values, the mission, your mission, advancing justice, the importance of being working together and being in solidarity with those of you fighting for. And also, I think, perhaps even more important than that is that universality. Sorry, can�t say that word, how do you say that again?

Unknown Speaker 16:57


Cindy Fan 16:59

universality of peoples around the world, even though we think of them as potentially different, right. So, I wanted to follow up with a few questions. And you might have already mentioned some of that. And that is, this is a state with a large immigrant and diaspora population. So how do you think of your work in relation to the background and heritage of the people who serve?

Attorney General Rob Bonta 17:27

Well, I think about it in a couple of different ways. And one is my own lived experience. The fact that my mom is an immigrant from the Philippines, the fact that I was born in Quezon City in the Philippines, and was brought here as a two-month-old, by my parents, and that so many of us here in California, are, are immigrants as well. There's a reason why we're number one in the nation for technology, agriculture, manufacturing, tourism, new businesses, and college graduates, because our diversity is our strength. It's what makes us great. California is home to 11 million, almost 11 million immigrants and 27% of our population is foreign born, which is more than double the percentage in the rest of the country. And those numbers are numbers to be proud of. I'm proud of them. And they're very important, proud to be part of that second statistic about the number of folks who are foreign born. And when it comes to my role, I'm focused on protecting our diverse communities, but also working with them. It's important to partner, collaborate, co-create solutions. That's why I established a community awareness response and engagement team, the care team to work with and sit with and ally with our communities across the state of California, including our immigrant communities. That's why I have had anti-hate crime roundtables throughout the state. We have 13 planned, we finished nine already. That's why I created the Racial Justice Bureau, as well to stand firm and strong against racial injustice, including hate, which is such a, an epidemic at the moment. But you know, the way I see it, going back to your original question is we have a very special community here in California. And what makes it great is the fact that we do have so many immigrants, so many folks from diverse perspectives and backgrounds and lived experiences and it's an honor to serve all of them and to see and value every one of them.

Cindy Fan 19:30

Thank you, Attorney General Bonta, and since you brought up the anti-Asian hate and hate crimes, and I noticed that a few months ago, you unveiled new guidance and reports to help the public and law enforcement better understand and address hate crimes. Can you tell us more about your expectations for the outcome and what feedback have you received from law enforcement?

Attorney General Rob Bonta 19:56

Yeah, thanks for this question. I�m really thankful for the opportunity to talk about my work to address the rise of hate. You know that California is the most diverse and the most progressive state in the nation. But we're also unfortunately not immune from the forces of hate. We've seen it too many times in too many places, people and communities being targeted because of who they are, how they look, where they're from, who they love, how they pray. And that's wrong. It's unacceptable. And it doesn't have to be this way. And the way to take it on is to be clear eyed about the problem and the challenge that we face. And we put out data to show what we all anecdotally knew to be true from what we've seen, but we want to put real numbers on it that hate crimes have increased 31% across the state, that we saw an alarming 107% increase when it came to Asian Americans as the targeted victims. And this is unacceptable. And since taking office, one of my top priorities has been addressing that crisis head on. I mentioned I established the Racial Justice Bureau. And as you mentioned, I issued new guidance and resources to help the public and law enforcement better understand and address hate crimes. And what we also found is that over 50%, of hate crimes were not being identified or investigated as such that they were being passed over as the hate crimes that they were. And it was really important to build the case, identify them as hate crimes, understand the motivation behind the criminal act, and document it and gather the evidence. And so, we provided guidance to law enforcement, who has received it as helpful support and resources for their work. We also encouraged each district attorney's office to create a Hate Crimes Unit, and to work closely with impacted communities in that work. And I've been meeting with law enforcement all across the state, we have law enforcement leaders that are anti-hate roundtables. And we also have zone meetings where we work with all of law enforcement in a certain geographical area in the state. And I've heard from law enforcement to your question that they want to be partners in this work, they know our communities are feeling under attack, and they want to be there for them. And that's encouraging. And it's important, and we must work together to rebuild that trust between law enforcement and our communities, and especially communities of color for whom that trust is not what it should be. And it needs to be earned. So, I believe we can restore public trust and keep our communities and officers safe. And that work is not mutually exclusive. In fact, it's me enforcing because trust, in my view, generates safety and safety generates trust.

Cindy Fan 22:39

Thank you, I think you're absolutely right. That trust is really important. That's, you know, the core of the community. And, and thank you for being so proactive in fighting hate and fighting hate crimes at every level of the state. Related to this, last month Governor Newsom announced the launch of the governance council on Holocaust and Genocide Education. And I believe you're on the committee, and I believe that the newly created Council will be tasked with identifying instructional resources to teach students across California about the Holocaust and other acts of genocide, and provide young people with the tools necessary to recognize and respond to on campus instances of anti-Semitism and bigotry. But could you say something? Could you tell us something about this work?

Attorney General Rob Bonta 23:29

Yes, I was very honored when Governor Newsom selected me to serve as co-chair of the Governor's Council on Holocaust and Genocide Education. The council is working to identify instructional resources to teach students across California about the Holocaust and other acts of genocide, anti-Semitism and bigotry. And I think and the mission of this initiative is to teach students about the lessons of genocide and support students, teachers and families when acts of anti-Semitism or bigotry occur on our school campuses. National surveys have indicated truly a shocking decline in awareness among young people about the Holocaust and other acts of genocide. A recent nationwide survey, for example, found that nearly two thirds of millennials and Genzers did not know that 6 million Jews were murdered in the Holocaust, over half of those surveyed thought the death toll was fewer than 2 million. In California, we�re offering an antidote to the cynicism, that this is how things are, responding to the hate the best way we know how with action with education. And as we continue to confront the stain of bigotry and anti-Semitism in California and across the country, it's imperative that we come together to develop tools to combat hate across our society, including in education and the Governor's Council will ensure California schools are positioned to protect our communities and recognize the trauma of the past. So, I was very honored to join this endeavor as co-chair.

Cindy Fan 25:03

I thank you for your leadership in co-chairing this council. And one of the questions that came from the audience is somewhat related to this, but it's also taking us, you know, beyond the state, to, in fact, beyond the nation, and maybe to the world. And so, the question is, given the nation is so divided, what are your thoughts on bridging the divide?

Attorney General Rob Bonta 25:29

We're divided, and it's a challenge that we need to accept and, you know, those in leadership roles in our communities, in government in, you know, in every role, I think, really need to take it upon ourselves to acknowledge where we are, and to take steps to overcome it. And I always thought that we would always have differences in opinions about how to get to success for our people, for Americans, for human beings generally, that people would have different views about what that look like. Some people might want a bigger government that can provide stronger social services and support for community, some people might think that the free market is a better approach in smaller government is better, some people want bigger investments, some people want less taxes and less investments in communities. And, and so there's a lot of different perspectives, there's conservative approaches, and, and others that are all worthy of consideration and might be able to get us to where we want to be, but I never thought we'd be where we are now, which is disputing the actual facts. Disputing facts, science, data, evidence, that's a problem. And if we can�t agree on what the facts are, we don't have a baseline for building our opinions, and our suggestions for solutions. It's going to be hard for us to bridge this divide. And, you know, vaccines, for example, is one part of it. I believe in science, I believe in facts, I believe in evidence, and the facts and the science, evidence show that the way out of this pandemic is through vaccines, we have vaccines. But not everyone is using them. And because some of those people are not subscribing to the science and facts and evidence behind vaccines. And so that creates a difficult problem we're in, you know, we're staying in an international pandemic longer than we must because of the resistance and reluctance to participate in uptake and use and get vaccines. And so, I think that how leaders talk and what they say, is really important. And we had a, in my view, a former occupant of the White House, who did not meet the moment in how he spoke and what he said, and too often used hate and discrimination and xenophobia, and drew wedges between us instead of uniting us, it's time to be united. And it's time to understand what I talked about in my opening remarks are our commonality or universality, our common human condition, our desire to, in nearly always want the same things, and not and allow that to bring us together instead of being driven apart. But it's going to, just like we talked about trust, we're gonna need to build that back, we're gonna need to prove and show that by working together, by relying on a common set of facts, by building solutions that are for all to be successful, that are inclusive of all communities, that we can move forward and advance by working together and not by not being divided. Sometimes people get so focused on our divisions, even though they're small, they, they, you know, they take up all the air in the room. But I think it's more important for us to focus on our commonality. And there's so much more that that we have in common. And let's focus on that, seek and find common ground and seek solutions that benefit all of us. And I think that's our pathway out of this divided time that we're in.

Cindy Fan 29:16

So, Attorney General Bonta, what I'm hearing is that a global perspective, it's also helpful for us to think more in terms of commonality, and working together. And therefore, we can take the global perspective to also a smaller scale local community, our you know, our city and state. I hope I'm not reading too much, or too much from what you said.

Attorney General Rob Bonta 29:43

No, that's exactly what I'm saying. You know, that our commonality across cultures and ethnicities and races across countries throughout this world, we're common, we're the same. We want to plan it and we want to overcome climate change. We want to be healthy, we want to overcome an international pandemic. We want our children to be successful. We want economic security and public safety and health care and education, and good jobs. Those are common throughout the world. And if we focus on how to get there on how to achieve that, and not subscribe to the zero-sum myth, and the scapegoating that we get the, you know, the myth that in order for us to succeed, someone else must fail. That's not true that we can both be successful, we can all be successful. There's a way for us all to rise together. In fact, I think we're either gonna rise together or not at all, and that we're all in this together, and that there's no us and them, although that's a narrative that we see very often these days. There's only us, the very diverse us, some California us, and United States of America us throughout this world. We're in this together, and we need each other to be successful. And we're more similar that we are different.

Cindy Fan 30:56

Thank you, Attorney General Bonta. So, there are a couple of questions coming in, that are quite different from what we've discussed so far. So, one of the questions is coming from a Filipino American privacy professional and a proud UCLA alum. And the question really is about your own life experiences and how your life experiences have influenced how you look at privacy.

Attorney General Rob Bonta 31:24

How I look at privacy?

Cindy Fan 31:25

Yes, in particular, I think this has to do with digital society that we are in a digital society and so forth. There's a lot of, you know, issues regarding privacy legislation. And as Attorney General. Do you have any thoughts about you know, how do we protect privacy? And how do we approach privacy?

Attorney General Rob Bonta 31:51

Yeah, I mean, I have my own beliefs. And I also have the law, the state of California, that the CCPA. And it's important that we implement that as it's been made into law, and that, you know, it's one, it's my role as the chief enforcer of the CCPA, to make sure that people's privacy is protected, that privacy is each individual's, it's not something to be taken and monetized and commodified, without consent or permission. And I think that that is a fundamental belief that many people here in California and throughout the nation have. And so that looks like different things when it's put into action. But the CCPA is something that we�re at the DOJ very serious about. We've already began, begun our implementation and enforcement of it. And, you know, we want certainly our California businesses, especially our homegrown businesses, to be successful, and to thrive, and to innovate. And we want people, business leaders to be entrepreneurs, and to dream and to think of the next great thing that will move technology and humanity forward. And as they do that, we want them to be responsible to the people, of our state, to consumers to families. That includes protecting individual privacy.

Cindy Fan 33:14

Thank you. And back to something a little bit more personal. So, one of the attendees asked, how important was having a mentor in your success as an attorney?

Attorney General Rob Bonta 33:25

Very, I think there's no real perfect way to have a mentor that works for you sometimes. For those who have had mentors assigned to you, sometimes that mentor is great, sometimes not so great. And, and sometimes assigning a mentor professionally is not as good as an organic mentor who really takes an interest in you and supports you and is a role model for you and helps you through your growth. And that includes your mistakes, and can be a role model for how to do things right. And I had that I had an incredible. Two really. My judge that I clerked for when I was at my very first job out of law school, Judge Alvin Thompson and the District of Connecticut in Hartford, you know, I was a new father and a first-time practicing attorney out of law school and he was patient and kind and a top-notch attorney and judge for sure, but also a good human being. And he showed me that it's important to be compassionate and empathetic and kind, just as you are at the top of your game successful in your profession. And to do both is critical. And, and then I had another one at the Catherine Van Ness firm, which is my first job after the clerkship at Keker, Van Nest & Peters in San Francisco. And it was an incredible leader named John Streeter, who I did, you know, super majority of my work with and I saw how hard, where he worked and how committed to justice he was and how he balanced, you know, he led with his values, and was also a top notch professional. And, you know, he counseled me and mentored me and helped me overcome mistakes and obstacles and be better and provided a showed me a standard of excellence. But the thing that I always thought was important was, you know, be kind, be compassionate, be empathetic, that's so important, so underestimated. I think sometimes people think leadership looks like hard charging and yelling and telling. And it doesn't have to be that, you know, leadership looks like a lot of different things. And it's always a good thing to be kind, compassionate and empathetic.

Cindy Fan 35:43

I think that's a perfect comment and perfect point to make to especially our students who are growing up to be leaders. And in fact, we have a question from the one of the attendees who I believe as a student, which steps should we ask students to be successful in law, even the divide you mentioned earlier?

Attorney General Rob Bonta 36:05

What steps should we take to be successful in law? Yeah. I think you know, those two things go hand in hand, the divide that we're in the sort of going to our extreme corners and not always agreeing and that that sort of zero-sum method I was talking about where people think for one to be successful, someone else needs to be hurt. The law in its purest form, for me, the reason I got into the law was that it was a place to achieve justice to, to fight for communities that have been hurt or harmed or abused, mistreated, who, for whom justice, equal justice under the law was not given to them. And you know, that that's what attorneys are, and can be the people who fight for justice, fight for their client, right wrongs, right injustices and lift people up. And so, I think that can be a really critical role, as we get through our divides to make sure that you're seeing and valuing those communities that always aren't, that aren't always seen and valued. And being their champion, as an attorney, as an advocate, and creating more opportunity, more equity, more justice, more inclusion in this world as a result of that work.

Cindy Fan 37:31

Thank you. And we are winding down to the last few minutes. But if it's okay for me to take you back to one of the things that you mentioned earlier, which I thought was fascinating. And you mentioned sports, you mentioned soccer, and of course, California being such a diverse state, we have a lot of soccer going on. And I asked you what positions you play.

Attorney General Rob Bonta 37:54

Yes, I played this, they call it the six, sometimes defensive center midfield, others, I was kind of in the middle of the field towards the back. And, you know, always tried to be very involved in the game and to support my teammates. And I'll say that soccer when I was growing up was not popular for most folks, football, basketball, baseball, those are the sports of choice. But soccer is the world sport. And it's something that connects us. And as you know, in many countries, it's a religion, it's a passion with a fervor. And people live for it. And it inspires people and brings people together. And that was definitely true for me, it brought me to places I would never would have gone and helped me build relationships with people I never would have known.

Cindy Fan 38:40

Thank you and I if I if I'm correct, I think the midfielders are actually the connectors, probably the core of the team. So very, very appropriate position. So, I want to thank you again, Attorney General Bonta, for joining us today for all your remarks and for your insight and also for sharing your work with us. And I would like to thank everyone who attended this event. And we hope that you will join the many other events and programs during the rest of the International Education Week. Thank you again, Attorney General Bonta and take care and good luck with your work.

Attorney General Rob Bonta 39:18

Thank you, Vice Provost, honored to be here with you. Thanks for having me. Good to see everybody. Bye bye. Thank you. Bye bye