In light of the reawakened reckoning on racial justice issues and other historical and contemporary inequalities, the UCLA Division of Social Sciences is turning its attention and support to its graduate students. The newly established Dean’s Fund for the Study of Diversity and Racial Inequality was created to provide funds to graduate students in the Division researching and examining the important social justice issues of our time.

Launched in November 2020, an email campaign showcased cutting-edge research in the division with the goal of raising $50,000 by December 31, 2020.  For six weeks, messages highlighted various research projects, ranging from how COVID-19 has disproportionately impacted communities of color to the Division’s own Hollywood Diversity Report.

Midway through the campaign, Dean Darnell Hunt’s Advisory Board was so inspired by this effort that the board decided to provide $25,000 in matching funds. Additionally, Material, a modern marketing services company, led by Chairman and CEO UCLA alumnus Dave Sackman ’80, also a member of the Dean’s Advisory Board, pledged a $25,000 gift. Thanks to these gifts, as well as the generous support of numerous donors, alumni and friends, the campaign exceeded its goal, raising over $77,000.

“As the #1 public university in the United States, we continually strive to advance knowledge, address pressing societal needs, and foster the kind of environment enriched by diverse perspectives in which our students can flourish. I am truly heartened by how the UCLA community came together to support our graduate students during these challenging times.” —Dean Darnell Hunt

Graduate students in the Division’s departments and programs are invited to submit research proposals and the funds will be distributed as $5,000 grants starting summer 2021. Raising money for this fund will be an ongoing effort, underscoring the Division’s commitment to its graduate students as they take on important and critical research around issues of diversity and inequality.

To support graduate students through the Dean’s Fund for the Study of Diversity and Racial Inequality, please visit this site.

OR

To submit a research proposal for the Dean’s Fund for the Study of Diversity and Racial Inequality, please apply by submitting your information HERE, where you will be asked to provide:

1.  Name

2.  Department/Program (Must be a department/program in the UCLA Division of Social Sciences)

3.  Year in program

4.  Other summer support

5.  Project title

6.  Project abstract (one page max)

7.  Faculty support letter

UCLA’s Luskin Center for History and Policy (LCHP) has continued to be a leading voice in connecting past to present. The center’s “Then & Now” podcast has tackled some of the most challenge topics of the day by connecting them to the past. The latest conversation is with UCLA alumna Anthea Hartig. LCHP writes:

“In 2019, Anthea M. Hartig made headlines when she became the first woman director of the Smithsonian Institution’s National Museum of American History in Washington, DC. Since then, she has been a fierce advocate for public history in the nation’s capital. Join us for this President’s Day episode as we learn about how Hartig, a UCLA alumna, fell in love with history, developed a rich and challenging approach to the past, and sees history as a key to navigating the present.”

To hear this informative podcast, click HERE.

In light of the reawakened reckoning on racial justice issues and other historical and contemporary inequalities, the UCLA Division of Social Sciences is turning its attention and support to its graduate students. The newly established Dean’s Fund for the Study of Diversity and Racial Inequality was created to provide funds to graduate students in the division researching and examining the important social justice issues of our time.

Launched in November 2020, an email campaign showcased cutting-edge research in the division with the goal of raising $50,000 by December 31, 2020. For six weeks, messages highlighted various research projects, ranging from how COVID-19 has disproportionately impacted communities of color to the Division’s own Hollywood Diversity Report.

Midway through the campaign, Dean Darnell Hunt’s Advisory Board was so inspired by this effort that the board decided to provide $25,000 in matching funds. Additionally, Material, a modern marketing services company, led by Chairman and CEO UCLA alumnus Dave Sackman ’80, also a member of the Dean’s Advisory Board, pledged a $25,000 gift. Thanks to these gifts, as well as the generous support of numerous donors, alumni and friends, the campaign exceeded its goal, raising over $77,000.

“As the #1 public university in the United States, we continually strive to advance knowledge, address pressing societal needs, and foster the kind of environment enriched by diverse perspectives in which our students can flourish,” said Hunt. “I am truly heartened by how the UCLA community came together to support our graduate students during these challenging times.”

Later this spring, the Division’s graduate students will be invited to submit research proposals, and the funds will be distributed as $5,000 grants starting summer 2021. Raising money for this fund will be an ongoing effort, underscoring the Social Science’s commitment to its graduate students as they take on important and critical research around issues of diversity and inequality.

To support graduate students through the Dean’s Fund for the Study of Diversity and Racial Inequality, click HERE.

 

During Latinx Heritage Month, LA Social Science interviewed Brisa Smith Flores, a UCLA graduate student in World Arts and Culture, and Ky’tavia Stafford-Carreker, a recent UCLA pre-med graduate, about the contributions of Afro-Latinxs in the U.S. They discuss the genesis of the first Afro-Latinx student organization and undergraduate course in Chicana/o & Central American Studies at UCLA. They, also, discuss their own Afro-Latina identity.

Interview Chapters:

:05 – Intro

4:43 – What has been your experience as an Afro-Latina on the West Coast?

7:53 – How did you come to identify as Afro-Latina? And what that means to you?

11:29 – How did you establish the first Afro-Latina/o student organization at UCLA?

18:20 – Paper on anti-Blackness in Mexico using art history.

 

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UCLA Anthropology alumnus and Professor Robert B. Lemelson has made a generous gift to establish The Study of Black Life and Racial Inequality Program Fund that will provide critical support for graduate and undergraduate students who share a commitment to the study of Black Life and Racial Inequality in Anthropology.

As part of Anthropology’s commitment to ensure ongoing financial support for transformative positive social change, as well as provide much-needed material support for students engaged with these issues, Professor Lemelson’s gift will pave the way for more sustainable future support from alumni and friends who share Anthropology’s vision of impactful research and social justice.

To build on this vision, the Department of Anthropology is excited to support a student-initiated group focused on academic engagement, mentorship, and the professional development of Black graduate students in Anthropology. The Department will also offer a new mentoring course for diverse undergraduates led by the student group to be inaugurated in the Winter of 2021. Undergraduates in the course who are also interested in pursuing independent research will be encouraged to apply to the Department’s prestigious undergraduate Lemelson Anthropological Honors Program to further develop their research and professional careers.

The Department of Anthropology is deeply grateful to Professor Lemelson for his support of this vision and his generous gift, which will ensure the program’s success in years to come.

We invite the community to join us in this important initiative to support the study of Black Life and racial inequality by making an online gift HERE. If you are interested in making a gift by check, please contact Lisa Mohan at lmohan@support.ucla.edu. We appreciate your support of this important program.

 

Two UCLA alumni experts explain the importance of Proposition 16. Professors Maria Ledesma and OiYan Poon give a full account of the importance of Affirmative Action and how the elimination of this policy in California heavily decreased opportunities and access for minorities and women. They further explain how critical it is to vote in the upcoming election and specifically address the positive impact of passing Proposition 16 in California.

Interview Chapters:

0:04 – Introduction

1:40 – Why was affirmative action needed?

6:20 – Why did voters originally pass Prop 209 (that eliminated affirmative action) in 1996?

11:32 – What are some additional myths about affirmative action?

19:50 – What was the impact after Prop 209 was passed in 1996?

22:19 – Why is Prop 16 so important today? And how will it make California strong?

28:25 – Conclusion

 

Register to vote in California (Deadline Oct. 19, 2020) and other official information on voting: https://voterguide.sos.ca.gov/voter-info/index.htm

Official voter guide on prop 16: https://voterguide.sos.ca.gov/propositions/16/

 

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The grassroots organization People for People (Gente por Gente) LA grew organically with the help of UCLA students to respond to the needs of the community, particularly during COVID-19. Find out how researchers, Dr. Leigh-Anna Hidalgo and Rosanna Simons, at UCLA along with community members are making a difference and how you can get involved.

Interview Chapters:

0:53 – Initial Involvement with People for People (Gente por Gente)

3:59 – Genesis and Purpose of People for People LA

6:44 – Stories of Students and Community Volunteers Helping the Elderly

10:59 – How to Get Involved

 

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By Dr. Celia Lacayo, Associate Director of Community Engagement, Division of Social Sciences

Commander Robert Hill is the Vice Chair of the UCLA Naval Science Department and a student in the Executive MBA Program at UCLA Anderson School of Management. He is a double Bruin as he received his undergraduate degree from UCLA in Biology (’96) where he participated in the Naval ROTC and earned his commission as an Officer in the Navy.

Commander Hill has an impressive record of military service, particularly with the Navy’s Submarine Force. He is out at sea for three months at a time. He served on the USS Nebraska (SSBN 739) for his first assignment for three years, then earned a graduate degree in the applied physics of Sonar at the Naval Postgraduate School. He has conducted various tours in Hawaii and San Diego where he oversaw ship planning and intel operations. He rose up the ranks to Executive Officer, second-in-command, on the USS Columbus (SSN 762). Afterwards, he specifically led submarine tactical development in the Pacific for six years where he tested new technology in the area of weapon and sensor deployment.

Currently in his second year in the UCLA EMBA program, Commander Hill says the biggest strength of the program is the quality of the students who contribute so much to the discussions, because they come from all backgrounds and walks of life. One of the current projects he is working on is part of his culmination thesis where a group of five students are partnered with a community organization and are given a real-life problem to solve. His group is specifically working with the Chief Information Officer for the City of Santa Monica on a business exploratory project. Commander Hill has used his prior military experience to make huge advances in the project and solidify strong relationships with city agents.

Commander Hill has also made an impact in higher education as a Commander in the NROTC and a lecturer of courses at USC and UCLA. He expresses that it is very important for him to give back and does so by mentoring other military college students. His time at UCLA has been special in part because, as he states, “UCLA emphasizes and supports veterans very strongly.”

Commander Hill has made a wonderful life here in Los Angeles where he resides with his wife and fellow Bruin, Darlene Hill, a fifth-grade teacher with LAUSD.

 

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UCLA alum Karina Ramos (’99) an attorney at Immigrant Defenders Law Center represents many immigrant children seeking asylum. She discusses the need for more attorneys to advocate for children’s rights. With COVID-19, the U.S. immigration courts have mostly halted the timeline for their proceedings, significantly delaying progress, often with devastating consequences for the children. 

Interview Chapters:

0:50 – What type of work does Immigrant Defenders Law Center do?

1:28 – What’s your role?

2:36 – Legal Representation & Advocacy for Immigrant Children

5:39 – Specific Cases (“Alex”)

11:07 – Impact of COVID-19 on Court Cases and Children’s Future

15:50 – Support for Child Asylum Seekers

 

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LRW Group, a local marketing services firm and UCLA Division of Social Sciences community partner, was a key contributor to the Los Angeles County COVID-19 study that sought to find the true spread of the virus in the county through serological testing. Led by UCLA alum, chairman and CEO Dave Sackman, LRW Group partnered with USC and the Los Angeles County Department of Public Health by identifying and recruiting a representative sample of LA residents to participate in the study. The findings released last week suggest infections from the new coronavirus are far more widespread, and the fatality rate is much lower here in LA County than previously thought.

LRW Group formed a partnership with the UCLA Division of Social Sciences in 2019. The partnership created a dedicated UCLA staff position tasked with recruiting undergraduates and graduate students for paid summer internships in data science. The initiative will support a proposed major in Data and Society in the division and feature support workshops and roundtables in social data science, as well as guest lectures by LRW leadership and employees.

According to Dean Darnell Hunt:

“LRW’s commitment will seed our efforts to establish a pipeline of underrepresented students into the new Data and Society major we are developing as part of the division’s larger big data initiative. Along with this generous and important contribution, LRW also has pledged to offer paid internships to some of our most promising students, creating an opportunity for them to envision future careers and gain workplace experience that enhances their academic pursuits at UCLA.”

 

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