In November 2019, LA Mayor Eric Garcetti’s Office Civic Memory Working Group convened its first meeting consisting of 40 historians, indigenous elders and scholars, architects, artists, curators, designers, and other civic and cultural leaders. Many of UCLA’s brightest minds were at the table. The charge for those present was to produce a series of recommendations to help Los Angeles engage more productively and honestly with its past, particularly where that past has been whitewashed or buried.

UCLA Members of the Mayor’s Office Civic Memory Working Group:

Advisors to the Working Group:

The Working Group’s report, including a print volume and an accompanying website, was released on April 15, 2021. The report has specific policy recommendations throughout, yet below are 18 key recommendations for moving forward:

The Hollywood Sign in Ruin

Continue and Expand the Conversation

1. Spend the second half of 2021, virtually or in person as the COVID-19 pandemic allows, discussing these recommendations and other materials in this report with a range of Los Angeles communities. These listening sessions should explore, among other subjects, how the City can shift its focus in stewarding civic memory from acting as a gatekeeper to a facilitator, giving fuller voice to community memory and bottom-up representation. Use these sessions to begin to turn the recommendations on this list into policy or built markers of civic memory.

2. Develop programs to train all city employees in civic history and Indigeneity, as they are hired and on an ongoing basis.

Carlos Diniz: A History of Drawing the Future

Increase Access and Share Information

3. Create a new City Historian position, or a three-person council of historians and community elders, on a rotating two-year basis, looking to the City’s Poet Laureate position as a model and potentially drawing from the ranks of college and university history departments and independent scholars.

4. Organize a task force of museum professionals, working artists, historians, Indigenous and other community leaders, and others to explore the creation of a Museum of the City of Los Angeles, with the understanding that this group may recommend instead supporting similar work inside museums and other cultural institutions already established.

5. Complete and publish an audit of the monuments and memorials in Los Angeles on public and publicly accessible land.

6. Broaden the accessibility and impact of the Los Angeles City Archives and Records Center as a basis for new civic memory initiatives.

7. Create a room or other space inside City Hall, open to the public, to celebrate civic memory and the Indigenous history of the site and its surroundings. This room should include both historical records and archives and rotating exhibits and displays related to civic architecture and the history of Los Angeles.

1871 Anti-Chinese Massacre

Recognize Indigenous History

8. Begin the process of adopting an Indigenous Land Acknowledgement Policy for the Mayor’s Office and for the City, in close collaboration with the Los Angeles City/County Native American Indian Commission (NAIC), as outlined in the summary appearing later in this volume from the Indigenous Land Acknowledgement subcommittee.

9. Create a new, full-time staff position within the Mayor’s Office to serve as official liaison to the NAIC and the broader Indigenous community.

10. Embed historians and Indigenous leaders on a compensated basis in City-led planning efforts, for example the Taylor Yard/G2 Equity Plan for a site along the Los Angeles River. Preserve or Acknowledge the Various Histories Embedded in the Built Environment

11. Take steps to protect the architecture and civic memory of the recent past, beginning with an effort to extend the Department of City Planning’s SurveyLA initiative from 1980 to the year 2000.

12. Strengthen financial and other penalties for the prohibited demolition of significant architecture, particularly residential architecture.

13. Pursue the expansion of Historic-Cultural Monument status to include thematic or non-contiguous designations, for example the Bungalow Court, and to protect the body of work of a single prominent firm or social or cultural movement.

14. Consider a City-led effort to mark and make visible the boundaries of racially exclusive zoning and lending practices in housing, e.g. redlining, or the communities displaced or disfigured by freeway construction.

6710 La Tijera Blvd.

Reconsider Memorials and Difficult Histories

15. Create a garden or series of gardens dedicated to the essential workers of Los Angeles.

16. Arrange specific community-engagement sessions during the remainder of 2021, guided by the recommendations in this report, to solicit ideas for commemorating the 30th anniversary, in 2022, of the 1992 civic unrest in Los Angeles. The goal should be a range of commemorative approaches, rather than a single event or memorial.

17. Work with the leadership of the Chinese American Museum and a range of community groups to develop citywide commemorations, considering both ephemeral and permanent forms, to mark the 150th anniversary of the 1871 Anti-Chinese Massacre on October 24, 2021.

18. Develop strategies to recontextualize outdated or fraught memorials as an alternative to removal—although removal will, in certain cases, remain the best option.

To read the full report, click HERE.

In his new book The Amorites and the Bronze Age Near East: The Making of a Regional Identity, Dr. Aaron Burke, Kershaw Chair of Ancient Eastern Mediterranean Studies and Professor of Near Eastern Languages & Cultures at UCLA, traces the complex collective identity of Amorites through space and time. He challenges traditional notions of identity and offers a more complex and historical understanding of identity.

Interview Chapters:

0:04 – Intro

0:36 – What is the main argument/contribution of the book?

4:30 – How do the Amorites challenge the traditional notions of identity?

8:48 – How does your analysis account for nuanced understandings of Amorites not formed before?

15:47 – What does this account of Amorites tell us about groups today, and why should someone read this book?

To learn more, check out Professor Burke’s book, The Amorites and the Bronze Age Near East: The Making of a Regional Identity.

 

Subscribe to LA Social Science and be the first to learn more insight and knowledge from UCLA’s Division of Social Science experts and other faculty about upcoming video/audio sessions and posts about current issues.

As summer 2021 approaches, LA Social Science will be highlighting some of the summer courses being offered within the Division of Social Sciences at UCLA.

UCLA Summer Courses are open to BOTH UCLA Students and NON-UCLA Students. All Summer 2021 courses will be offered online due to the COVID-19 pandemic. You can enroll as long as you are 15 years of age or older by the first day of summer and you do NOT have to be enrolled in an academic institution in order to participate in UCLA Summer Sessions. For more information, click HERE.

UCLA’s Department of Economics has amazing courses this summer. Check out the summer courses HERE and the pre-collegiate summer institutes HERE. Register/enroll HERE Today!

For Summer 2021, all Summer Session courses will be held online. Economics welcomes enrollments in their summer courses from all college students. Economics summer sessions courses attract a diverse student body, with students from UCLA, from two- and four-year universities in the United States, and from international schools. Economics welcomes enrollments in Economics 1 and 2 from students attending high school in the United States.

UCLA Precollege Summer Institutes provide highly-motivated high school students the opportunity to earn college credit while advancing their skill set in one area of study. During these one- to three-week concentrated programs, students experience lectures, hands-on learning, field trips, group projects, and other activities that provide an intensive and engrossing study of their chosen subject.

As summer 2021 approaches, LA Social Science will be highlighting some of the summer courses being offered within the Division of Social Sciences at UCLA.

UCLA Summer Courses are open to BOTH UCLA Students and NON-UCLA Students. All Summer 2021 courses will be offered online due to the COVID-19 pandemic. You can enroll as long as you are 15 years of age or older by the first day of summer and you do NOT have to be enrolled in an academic institution in order to participate in UCLA Summer Sessions. For more information, click HERE.

UCLA Department of African American Studies is offering amazing courses this summer. For more information about these courses, click HERE, and register/enroll HERE Today!

As summer 2021 approaches, LA Social Science will be highlighting some of the summer courses being offered within the Division of Social Sciences at UCLA.

UCLA Summer Courses are open to BOTH UCLA Students and NON-UCLA Students. All Summer 2021 courses will be offered online due to the COVID-19 pandemic. You can enroll as long as you are 15 years of age or older by the first day of summer and you do NOT have to be enrolled in an academic institution in order to participate in UCLA Summer Sessions. For more information, click HERE.

UCLA’s Communication Department has amazing courses this summer. Check out the courses listed below and click on each link to read the full course description. Register/enroll HERE Today!

**ALL 2021 SUMMER A and C COURSES ARE ONLINE**

Summer Session A: June 21-July 30 (Six Week)

COMM 1 – Principles of Oral Communication [West]
COMM 10 – Introduction to Communication [Suman]
COMM 100 – Communication Science [Jones/Bryant]
COMM 114 – Understanding Relationships [Suman]
COMM 157 – Celebrity, Fame, and Social Media  [Peterson]
COMM 166 – Inside Hollywood [Peterson]
COMM 188A – Sex and the Cinema [Hurwitz]
COMM 195 – Summer Internship Course [Johnson/Svenson]

Summer Session XA: June 21-July 9 (Three Week Intensive)

COMM 187 – Ethical and Policy Issues in Institutions of Mass Comm [Newton]

Summer Session C: August 2-September 10 (Six Week)

COMM 1 – Principles of Oral Communication [West]
COMM 105 – Media Conspiracy Theories in U.S. and the Middle East [Arbabzadah]
COMM 109 – Entrepreneurial Communication [Peterson]
COMM 110 – Gender and Communication [Kicenski]
COMM 140  – Theory of Persuasive Communication [Suman]
COMM 148 – Integrated Marketing [Feramisco]
COMM 156 – Social Networking [Peterson]
COMM 170  – Legal Communication [Huppin]
COMM 195 – Summer Internship Course [Johnson/Svenson]

As summer 2021 approaches, LA Social Science will be highlighting some of the summer courses being offered within the Division of Social Sciences at UCLA.

UCLA Summer Courses are open to BOTH UCLA Students and NON-UCLA Students. All Summer 2021 courses will be offered online due to the COVID-19 pandemic. You can enroll as long as you are 15 years of age or older by the first day of summer and you do NOT have to be enrolled in an academic institution in order to participate in UCLA Summer Sessions. For more information, click HERE.

UCLA Department of César E Chavez Department of Chicana/o and Central American Studies is offering amazing courses this summer. For more information about these courses, contact studentadvisor@chavez.ucla.edu, and register/enroll HERE Today!

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

As summer 2021 approaches, LA Social Science will be highlighting some of the summer courses being offered within the Division of Social Sciences at UCLA.

UCLA Summer Courses are open to BOTH UCLA Students and NON-UCLA Students. All Summer 2021 courses will be offered online due to the COVID-19 pandemic. You can enroll as long as you are 15 years of age or older by the first day of summer and you do NOT have to be enrolled in an academic institution in order to participate in UCLA Summer Sessions. For more information, click HERE.

The American Indian Studies Program at UCLA is offering “Introduction to American Indian Studies” course during Summer Session A and Summer Session C. This course is a survey of selected Native North American cultures from pre-Western contact to contemporary period, with particular emphasis on early cultural diversity and diverse patterns of political, linguistic, social, legal, and cultural change in postcontact period. For more information about the course, email sao@amindian.ucla.edu, and register/enroll HERE Today!

Dr. Eric Avila, UCLA Professor of History, Chicana/o and Central American Studies, and Urban Planning, was recently featured in The New York Times and NPR to discuss infrastructure and racial equity in light of President Biden’s new plan, which seeks to address racial disparities.

In The New York Times, Dr. Avila discusses how federal redevelopment programs negatively affected and excluded minority communities. “‘These highways were essentially built as conduits for wealth,’ Mr. Avila said. ‘Primarily white wealth, jobs, people, markets. The highways were built to promote the connectivity between suburbs and cities. The people that were left out were urban minorities. African Americans, immigrants, Latinos.'”

To read the NYT article, click HERE.

With NPR, Dr. Avila expands further on the impact of highway construction: “It destroyed many communities, and it destroyed the economic, social and cultural lifeblood of these communities. It also divided them, creating these huge barriers within communities or between communities. The best example I can think of in Los Angeles is the Boyle Heights neighborhood. You could imagine an army of bulldozers and wrecking balls invading Boyle Heights to clear neighborhoods to build these massive freeway interchanges that have a huge footprint upon what used to be racially and ethnically diverse working class, sustainable communities. But the freeways and their interchanges destroyed that. And that happened on a national pattern throughout the United States.”

To read or listen to the NPR “For All Things Considered” interview, click HERE.

In Dr. Jeffrey Guhin‘s book, Agents of God: Boundaries and Authority in Muslim and Christian Schools, he compares how boundaries around politics, gender and sexuality are constructed for each group. He demonstrates how the schools use external authorities to teach children specific moral commitments while maintaining religious freedom.

Interview Chapters:

0:04​ – Intro

0:37​ – What is the main argument and contribution of the book?

3:04​ – How do boundaries around politics, gender, and sexuality distinguish the two communities?

6:44​ – How do the communities use external authorities to teach the children?

11:55​ – Why should someone read or assign this book to read?

To learn more, check out Professor Guhin’s book, Agents of God: Boundaries and Authority in Muslim and Christian Schools.

 

Subscribe to LA Social Science and be the first to learn more insight and knowledge from UCLA’s Division of Social Science experts and other faculty about upcoming video/audio sessions and posts about current issues.