On May 19, 2020, UCLA’s Latino Policy and Politics Initiative, the UCLA Center for Neighborhood Knowledge, and Ong and Associates (an economic and policy analysis consulting firm) issued the brief, “Struggling to Stay Home: How COVID-19 Shelter in Place Policies Affect Los Angeles County’s Black and Latino Neighborhoods.” It aims to support policies and programs that address inequities facing those in neighborhoods where compliance with shelter-in-place is difficult and to provide guidance for public officials as California rebuilds from the COVID-19 pandemic. The study finds that more than 2 in 5 Blacks and Latinos in Los Angeles County face high burdens from the county’s shelter-in-place rules. These communities are seen to be densely populated with restricted access to open spaces and limited access to food.

The research brief provides five core recommendations for Los Angeles city officials and other jurisdictions with burdened populations:

  1. Expand COVID-19 testing with a focus on neighborhoods who face the highest risk sheltering in place.
  2. Provide transportation assistance and add personal care resources like hand sanitizer at bus stops.
  3. Expand paid leave options for low-wage workers or employees in the service sector to discourage people from going to work when they feel sick.
  4. Increase food assistance.
  5. Expand high-speed internet access and social safety net to include more relief, including Medi-Cal, childcare and early childhood education programs, by expanding eligibility and elongating the benefit period.

This brief is the third in a series of research papers examining the economic impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on neighborhoods in L.A. County. Previous research papers found that Asian-American and Latino neighborhoods in Los Angeles County were most vulnerable due to the pandemic’s impact on the retail and service sectors, and Latino neighborhoods were less likely to receive the individual rebate under the CARES Act.

Download the full report HERE.

LPPI Media Contact:

Eliza Moreno

E: lppipress@luskin.ucla.edu

P: 310-487-9815

As many states begin to reopen after the coronavirus shutdown, American Indian communities are reporting some of the highest rates of COVID-19. With Professors Randall Akee, Shannon Speed, and Desi Rodriguez-Lonebear as the lead researchers, UCLA’s American Indian Studies Center (AISC) and the Ralph J. Bunche Center for African American Studies are working to comprehensively document the disparate impact of the pandemic on Black, Indigenous, and other historically marginalized communities. They have created this publicly-accessible resource where the COVID-19 cases and deaths can be tracked by tribal nation and states on a weekly basis.

Dr. Mishuana Goeman (Tonawanda Band of Seneca), Associate Professor of Gender Studies, Chair of American Indian Studies IDP, and Special Advisor to the Chancellor on Native American and Indigenous Affairs, discussed the importance of this project and shared the following with LA Social Science:

The AISC and our faculty at UCLA care deeply about serving American Indian Communities. Our expertise in research combined with communities needs to do what we do best in mapping the [COVID-19] data in AI communities—provide reliable and important information that enhances solutions to our most difficult and current issues we face. The data on American Indian communities is often sparse and inaccurate, this project is exemplary in the Data Sovereignty movement where UCLA has strong leadership by Randall Akee and Desi Rodriguez-Lonebear who represent us on the global level.

 

Professor Akee, one of the lead researchers, told LA Social Science the following about the project:

“This is work that is based off of data that an online newspaper called Indian Country Today has been collecting and verifying by tribal reservation affiliation or location for American Indians and Alaska Natives that are reported to have COVID-19 as either a case of death. It was our idea at the Bunche Center and American Indian Studies Center to put this into a usable format (graphically) for others that might be interested in this topic at the reservation-level. Thus, these figures, to the best of our knowledge [are] the only depiction of the progression of cases at the tribal/reservation-level for American Indian and Alaska Natives. We’ve all seen the state graphs and those for other countries, but this is the first for these tribal governments. it is hoped that we can continue to update this weekly with their data and this may be useful for administrators in these communities.”

To learn more about this tracking resource and to check out the interactive graphs, click HERE.

 

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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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UCLA’s Latino Policy and Politics Initiative (LPPI) in partnership with the UCLA Center for Neighborhood Knowledge recently released a very powerful report, “Left Behind During a Global Pandemic: An Analysis of Los Angeles County Neighborhoods at Risk of Not Receiving COVID-19 Individual Rebates Under the CARES Act.” It urges state and local leaders to step up for Latino neighborhoods in Los Angeles County. The report illuminates the vulnerability to economic uncertainty of these neighborhoods, and yet they are least likely to receive federal aid.

Some of the findings of this report are listed below:

  • Large segments of Los Angeles County’s population are excluded from the CARES Act’s individual rebate because of the requirements set by the act.
  • Neighborhoods with the highest risk of not receiving a rebate are overwhelmingly comprised of people of color.
  • Immigrants are also relatively more concentrated in higher-risk neighborhoods than native-born populations.
  • Many of the riskier neighborhoods are majority renters, whereas the least risk neighborhoods are predominately homeowners.

The report finds that fifty-six percent of Latino neighborhoods in L.A. County are at the highest risk of not receiving needed relief. Overall, the report recommends state and local governments should direct economic relief and social safety net benefits toward these vulnerable communities.

Read the full report HERE.

 

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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LA Social Science invited three Los Angeles-based professors to join a roundtable discussion about culture during the COVID-19 pandemic. Dr. Shana Redmond, UCLA Department of African American Studies and Global Jazz Studies Musicology, Dr. Safiya Noble, UCLA Department of African American Studies and Department of Information Studies, and Dr. Robeson Taj Frazier, USC Annenberg School for Communication and Journalism, came together to engage in a lively conversation about black cultural production and consumption. Discussion topics included D-Nice, Tik-Tok, Twitter, Instagram, and more.

 

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In an informative video series by the Autry Museum of the West about Native American artist Harry Fonseca, UCLA Gender Studies Professor Nancy Mithlo and Harry Nungesser, Fonseca’s partner, discuss his life and work. Check out this series below.

Harry Fonseca: Coyote Leaves The Rez

Harry Fonseca: Coyote Green High Tops

Harry Fonseca: Coyote Wide-Eyed

As summer 2020 approaches, LA Social Science will be highlighting some of the summer courses being offered within the Division of Social Sciences at UCLA.

The UCLA Department of African American Studies will be offering C191 – Variable Topics Research Seminars: “Reproducing While Black” (Mondays and Wednesdays 1:00pm-3:05pm) with Professor Ugo Edu. The course will “investigate the stakes of Black reproduction globally, strategies of resistance, and strategies for securing healthy and sustainable reproduction.”

For more information about this course, see the video below, and enroll HERE.

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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LA Social Science interviewed Dr. Pedro Noguera, Distinguished Professor of Education in the Graduate School of Education and Information Students and Founder of the Center for the Transformation of Schools at UCLA. Dr. Noguera discusses the center’s work on shining a spotlight on students experiencing homelessness in California. To learn more about this important issue, check out his center’s interactive map “We See You: Shining a Spotlight on Students Experiencing Homelessness in California” HERE.

 

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