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.

 

Supporting scholarship that examines a broad range of identities, values, policies and behaviors is essential to recognizing and engaging with the diversity of the human experience. The Division of Social Sciences remains steadfast in its commitment to rigorously pursuing meaningful research, and appreciates the key role graduate students play as future thought leaders.

As the end of the calendar year approaches, the Division of Social Sciences announces the launch of a new effort to raise $50,000 before December 31, 2020 for the Dean’s Fund for the Study of Diversity and Racial Inequality to support diverse graduate student scholars. This newly established fund will ensure that the Division’s graduate students are offered the resources and support necessary to more broadly examine issues of racial justice in the community and beyond.

If you are able, please join in supporting the Division’s graduate students today.  To give now, click HERE.

 

LA Social Science recently spoke with Dr. Tyrone Howard, Professor of Education, Pritzker Family Endowed Chair in Education to Strengthen Families, and Director of the Black Male Institute, about the state of education during the COVID-19 pandemic. Dr. Howard is seen as one of our country’s leader in multicultural education, social and political context of schools, urban education, social studies education, and educational experience of African American students.

Interview Chapters:

0:24 – Intro of Dr. Howard

1:10 – Is there any music or a book that has help you to get through this pandemic?

1:58 – Talk with us about the state of education?

8:00 – How are teachers dealing with this current moment?

10:23 – Talk with us about some of the projects you are working on which speak to moving the educational space toward a 25th century reality for all students?

14:15 – Any silver line to what we are currently experiencing?

 

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.

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/

 

Subscribe to L.A. 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.

The UCLA California Policy Lab (CPL) recently released a new Data Point focused on the “Lost Wages Assistance” program that started on September 7th in California. After Congress couldn’t come to an agreement about a second stimulus plan, the President put forth this program. CPL’s research team found that about 192,000 California workers will not qualify to receive the $300 benefit, because they do not already receive at least $100 in unemployment insurance benefits. The vast majority (82.5%) of people who will be ineligible to receive the $300 benefit are adults over the age of 20. Over 60% of ineligible claimants are female and over 57% have a high school degree or less.

UCLA Director of the California Policy Lab, Dr. Till von Wachter, told The Sacramento Bee, “While the program will be a temporary boost for unemployed Californians, it’s a 50% reduction from the $600 that unemployed Californians were previously receiving.”

 

 

To read the “Data Point,” click HERE.

To read CPL’s latest policy briefs on this issue, click HERE.

In 2019, the UCLA Center for the Study of Women (CSW) collected Policy Briefs on the theme “Confronting the Carceral State, Reimagining Justice.” The call for submissions was developed by CSW Director Grace Hong and the Black Feminism Initiative Director Sarah Haley. The review committee included Erwin Chemerinsky (Dean of the UC Berkeley School of Law), Amy Ritterbusch (UCLA Department of Social Welfare, Luskin School of Public Affairs), Stephanie Davidson (UCLA School of Law), and Dylan Rodríguez (UC Riverside Department of Media and Cultural Studies).

Six briefs were collected from UC graduate students and system-impacted individuals:

Editor: Katja Antoine, Program and Research Developer, CSW

To download the complete set of policy briefs, click HERE.

To learn more about CSW’s policy briefs, click HERE.

LA Social Science presents its first “Summer Take-Over” featuring Dr. Sarah Haley and Dr. Grace Hong who joined the e-forum for an in-depth discussion about abolition and feminism.

Interview Chapters:

1:50 – Abolition as a concept and its importance to feminism

7:08 – What feminism teaches us about care

11:13 – The concept of home and domesticity is important to a discussion of the carceral state

17:45 – The work of women of color in feminism and some of the questions posed about life or death and relationality

27:12 – Why the U.S. expanded prison systems in the 70’s into the 80’s

32:22 – Contributions of Black Feminism on the carceral state

36:56 – Going back to the meaning of abolition

Dr. Sarah Haley is an Associate Professor in the Department of African American Studies and the Department of Gender Studies and Advisory Committee Chair and Director of the UCLA Black Feminism Initiative with the Center for the Study of Women (CSW). Dr. Grace Hong is a Professor in the Department of Gender Studies and the Department of Asian American Studies, and Director of the Center for the Study of Women (CSW).

By Sophia L. Ángeles, Graduate Student Researcher; Janna Shadduck-Hernández, Project Director, UCLA Labor Center; and Saba Waheed, Research Director, UCLA Labor Center

This past June, the UCLA Labor Center, in collaboration with the Los Angeles Community College District Dolores Huerta Labor Institute and California State University, Long Beach, published two studies examining workers and learners—college students who also work—and their unique educational and work experiences. We employed a methodology that was student-driven, engaging more than 450 undergraduate students to collect 869 surveys and conduct 75 interviews with UCLA, California Community College, and California State University workers and learners across Los Angeles County. Our hope is that these findings will provide information for colleges, employers, and policymakers to improve conditions for workers and learners.

Two-thirds of workers and learners work every single term of their undergraduate careers—the new normal for many students pursuing higher education. A majority work in low-wage jobs in the service industry. Forced to work as many hours as possible to make ends meet, two-thirds miss at least one educational opportunity because of work duties. Juggling work and school leads many to forgo internship and work-study opportunities in their fields of study that could improve opportunities in their future careers. Their situation is so stressful and overwhelming that 40% of workers and learners have considered withdrawing from school.

Graphic: Eunice Ho

Iris López, a recent UCLA Labor Studies graduate, explains the predicaments workers and learners face in their struggle to attend school and keep up with living expenses:

“My biggest concern has always been my ability to finance my education. My mother is a single parent who works in the fields. I feel guilty asking for help because I know she is struggling herself. Education should not cost us our ability to eat or cause concern over how we’re going to pay the next few units.”

 

Graphic: Eunice Ho

The COVID-19 pandemic has exacerbated conditions for workers and learners, as half were laid off, terminated, or furloughed in April and May. As schools moved to minimize the spread of COVID-19, one quarter of workers and learners were forced to make housing changes, such as moving back in with family or vacating student housing. The housing situation has further impacted learners who must attend classes remotely while managing home responsibilities, like caring for younger siblings or family members who have fallen ill.

Graphic: Eunice Ho

What can be done?

Current trends point to increasing tuition and living expenses for college students, making it likely that more will have to work to offset those financial burdens.

Addressing the needs of workers and learners requires investing in California’s education system to achieve the following:

  • Support learners as workers by ensuring a living wage, accommodating work schedules, and supporting students’ workplace organizing efforts.
  • Strengthen career and educational pathways by making career resources more accessible, supporting paid internships that advance career goals, and increasing opportunities for networking and mentorship.
  • Support workers as learners by making college affordable or free and expanding work-study opportunities.
  • Provide holistic support by increasing access to mental health services and addressing food and housing insecurity.

 

Report: Unseen Costs: The Experiences of Workers and Learners in Los Angeles County (click to download)

Brief: A Survey of Los Angeles Workers and Learners During COVID-19 (click to download)

 

Sophia L. Ángeles is a graduate student researcher with the UCLA Labor Center’s Worker and Learner project and a UCLA PhD candidate. Her research focuses on the intersection of immigration and language to examine newcomer youths’ educational experiences and their K–16 trajectories.

Janna Shadduck-Hernández, Ed.D., is a project director at the UCLA Labor Center and teaches for UCLA Labor Studies and the Graduate School of Education and Information Studies. Her research and teaching focus on developing culturally relevant, participatory educational models with first- and second-generation university students, community members, and youth, with a focus on the organizing efforts of low-wage workers to combat labor and workplace violations.

Saba Waheed is research director at the UCLA Labor Center. She has over fifteen years of research experience developing projects with strong community participation. With her team at the Labor Center, she coordinated the first ever study of domestic work employers, launched a study of young people in the service economy, and conducted research on the taxi, garment, nail salon, construction, and restaurant industries.

UCLA Latino Policy and Politics Initiative (LPPI) and the Alianza for Youth Justice have released a new “Call to Action” report titled “The Latinx DATA GAP in the Youth Justice System.” This report shows that inconsistent data collection methods complicate race and ethnicity tracking across different stages in the youth justice system.

“As our country undertakes a long overdue reckoning on race and justice, it is critical that Latinos be included in the conversation,” said Sonja Diaz, Founding Director of the UCLA Latino Policy & Politics Initiative and one of the report’s co-authors. “Far too often we are overlooked, but to effectively address inequities in the justice system, especially the egregious disparities facing Black Americans, policymakers and advocates need accurate data on Latinx youth. This new report details the challenges of collecting data on system-impacted youth and offers a way forward so that leaders can craft viable solutions based on facts as we reopen our economy and transform failed systems.”

Findings:

1. Today, Latinx youth represent 25%, or about 8.3 million, of the total U.S. youth population between ages 10-17.

2. State agencies involved in the criminal justice system collect data that identifies Latinx youth inconsistently if at all, creating an incomplete picture of Latinx ethnic data.

3. States report racial/ethnic data inconsistently across the 3 points of contact: arrests, detention, and probation.

  • 42% of states did not report racial or ethnic data for arrests
  • 30% of states did not report racial and ethnic data for detention
  • 52% of states did not have racial or ethnic data for probation

To read the full report, click HERE.

To learn more about UCLA Latino Policy and Politics Initiative, visit: https://latino.ucla.edu/