The historic selection of Senator Kamala Harris, as the first Black woman and Asian American woman to be a major party’s vice presidential nominee, has sent ripples throughout the American landscape. UCLA’s Newsroom, recently asked UCLA Faculty to share their insights on this historic selection.

The following faculty members and center directors from the UCLA Division of Social Sciences were quoted:

Natalie Masuoka, Associate Professor of Political Science and Asian American Studies;

Grace Kyungwon Hong, Director of the UCLA Center for the Study of Women and Professor of Asian American Studies;

Sonja Diaz, Founding Executive Director of The Latino Policy and Politics Initiative at the UCLA Luskin School of Public Affairs;

Juliette Williams, Professor of Gender Studies; and

Ellen DuBois, Professor Emerita of History.

To read the UCLA Newsroom article written by Jessica Wolf, click HERE.

 

Earlier this month, the UCLA California Policy Lab released their sixth policy brief which focuses on close to real-time information on daily initial unemployment insurance (UI) claims. The latest policy brief, “An Analysis of Unemployment Insurance Claims in California During the COVID-19 Pandemic,” focuses on the increasing number of workers who are returning to work and seeing their unemployment claims either reduced or denied altogether as a result.

Key Research Findings:

1. More than Half of Recent Unemployment Claims are from Californians who are RE-Opening their Claims.

2. The Number and share of additional claimants varies significantly by industry.

3. Nearly one-third of California workers have filed for UI benefits since the start of the COVID-19 crisis in mid-March.

4. For the week ending July 11th, 3.28 million claimants, or about 17% of the CA labor force, were paid unemployment insurance benefits.

5. The share of paid UI claimants receiving partial benefits (due to reporting some work earnings) has risen substantially since early May.

6. As illustrated in our Data Point, without the $600 per week additional benefits from FPUC, half of all individuals received payments below the Federal Poverty Level.

7. In the week ending July 25th, only 63% of new initial claimants reported they expect to be recalled. The gap in recall expectations between Black claimants and others’ which was seen earlier in the crisis appears to have narrowed in recent weeks.

To read the press release, click HERE.

To read the full report, click HERE.

Dr. Scot Brown, a UCLA professor and musician, talks with LA Social Science about his published books, current music project, and future research projects.

Interview Chapters:

0:00 – Intro

1:21 – Is there a book or an album that has help you to get through this pandemic?

3:19 – Tell us about your book “Fighting for Us”

9:36 – Tell us about your upcoming research which focuses on Dayton?

14:58 – How do you balance academia and music?

19:23 – In this moment, how does music create a foundation for the current movement?

23:00 – Talk about the intention behind the video for “Last Man

26:17 – Closing

To learn more, check out Dr. Brown’s book, Fighting For Us.

Also read Dr. Brown’s quote in The New York Times about Ankara Print and it’s significance for the African American community if it goes mainstream.

In the first interview of the book series, Heredity Under the Microscope author Dr. Soraya de Chadarevian, Professor in the Department of History and the Institute for Society and Genetics, speaks with LA Social Science about her new book that examines the history of research into chromosomes and heredity.

Interview Chapters:

0:00 – Intro

1:04 – Why study the history of chromosomes?

2:12 – What is the main argument of the book?

2:48 – Key findings

5:32 – Conversations around studying the genome

9:06 – How does understanding history of chromosomes help us understand contemporary debates?

12:16 – How did an interdisciplinary approach help with this book?

14:22 – Why would this be a great book to assign in class?

15:35 – Closing

To learn more, check out Dr. de Chadarevian’s book Heredity Under the Microscope.

 

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UCLA Professor Stephen Acabado recently co-authored an essay for INQUIRER.net that discusses how monuments in the Philippines “glorify both our fight for self-determination and the contributions of our colonial overlords.” The authors credit the #BlackLivesMatter movement for this renewed investigation into monuments and the histories they represent, as they urge the reader to see monuments as elevations of history.

A pre-war photo of the Plaza Quince Martires in Naga City. The monument honors the 15 martyrs of Bicol who were executed by the Spanish in 1897 for rebellion. (Photo: Savage Mind: Arts, Books, Cinema)

To read this essay, click HERE.

Leading expert and pioneer in his field, UCLA distinguished Professor Otto Santa Ana takes us through a historical and contemporary account of how stereotypes of Latinos in the media have led to anti-immigrant and anti-Latino policy. He also discusses his latest research that was cited in the recent Supreme Court decision that upheld Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA).

Interview Chapters:

0:00 – Intro

0:46 – How do media narratives affect Latino stereotypes?

6:04 – Analysis of Trump’s language about Latinos and the Supreme Court fight for DACA

11:13 – What do you say to new scholars who want to have an impact?

15:50 – Final thoughts

18:37 – Closing

To learn more, check out Dr. Santa Ana’s book, Brown Tide Rising.

 

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UCLA Political Scientist and Race, Ethnicity, and Politics expert Dr. Natalie Masuoka discusses how changing demographics have affected the last elections. She describes how Asian American and Latino voters are advocating for their communities and are involved at the local, state and national levels. She also gives us some insight into how these voters may impact the presidential election this November.

00:00 – Intro

00:55 – How are the growing demographics of Latino & Asian Americans affecting elections?

01:38 – What are some specific issues Latinos and Asian Americans are advocating for?

03:10 – Barriers to voting

04:18 – What are political parties doing to incorporate Latino & Asian American voters?

06:00 – Data on how these communities are affecting state, local, and national elections

08:23 – Projections on how these voters will make a difference in the 2020 presidential election

09:33 – Closing

To learn more about Dr. Masuoka‘s research, check out a recent report by the Latino Policy & Politics Initiative (LPPI) and the Asian American Studies Center titled “Democratic Primary 2020: Analysis of Latino and Asian American Voting in 10 States” (June 2020). This ten state analysis of high density Latino and Asian American voting precincts offer valuable insights into the preferences and participation of these electorates going into the November election. Among those states in which we have data, the Latino and Asian American electorates did not grow significantly when comparing ballots cast between the 2016 and 2020 primary elections. The exception to this pattern was among high density Asian American precincts in Texas where the growth of new voters was strong. While the COVID-19 pandemic may partially explain the slow growth of voters, it does suggest that the Democratic party can do more to mobilize Latino and Asian American voters for the general election. Given the fact that Vice President Biden is the presumptive Democratic nominee when Latino and Asian American voters had offered strong support for Sanders in state primaries, Democrats will need to make solid efforts to encourage Latino and Asian American voters to turn out in November. To read the full report, click HERE.

 

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In a recent Washington Post (Monkey Cage) essay, Dr. Efrén Pérez, UCLA Professor of Political Science and Psychology, discusses how all racial minorities have been in solidarity with one another during the current anti-racism protests. His research suggests that rather than participating as individuals of separate racial identities, they are probably acting as politically engaged members of a shared group and identifying as “people of color.” He writes:

“My research reveals that the label “people of color” was created by — and for — African Americans and has evolved into an identity that politically mobilizes many nonwhites toward common goals — unless “people of color” feel that others in the coalition are ignoring their own racial group’s unique challenges.”

To read the full article, “‘People of color’ are protesting. Here’s what you need to know about this new identity,” and to learn more about the research into this new identity, click HERE.

Dr. Ramesh Srinivasan, UCLA Professor of Graduate Studies of Education and Information Sciences and Bedari Kindness Institute Faculty Advisory Committee member, recently co-authored a hybrid academic/journalistic piece in Salon discussing how tech elites have captured our fascination, while pushing pathways that likely disenfranchise almost everyone except themselves. Dr. Srinivasan and Mr. Peter Bloom write:

“Our blind trust in digital technology has not only had a huge impact on economic and political realities, but also our beliefs and aspirations; from what we consider to be progress, to the stories we tell ourselves around who an innovator is. Perniciously, these stories even appear to be fodder for those hoping to escape a supposedly unredeemable society and unsaveable planet. Whether due to global pandemics, climate crises, nuclear proliferation, or gross economic and political inequalities, collapse seems always right around the corner, if not here already, and the wealthiest and most powerful in our world are planning for it and profiting from it while the rest of us are left to accept our fate.”

To read the full article, “Tech Barons Dream of a Better World — Without the Rest of Us,” click HERE.

 

Photographer: Madelene Cronjé

Dr. Robin D.G. Kelley, UCLA Professor of African American Studies and Distinguished Professor of History & Gary B. Nash Endowed Chair in U.S. History, was recently interviewed for Intercepted with Jeremy Scahill. In the podcast episode, Dr. Kelley provides historical context for the current abolitionist movement by discussing numerous key moments and issues, including the Tulsa race massacre, criminalization of community, racial capitalism, a third Reconstruction era, and social justice movements. To listen to the full interview and to read the transcript, click HERE.