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LA Social Science interviewed Dr. Marcus Hunter, Scott Waugh Endowed Chair in the UCLA Division of Social Sciences, Professor of Sociology and African American Studies, and Mr. Christian D. Green, M.A. in African American Studies at UCLA and current adjunct professor. They discussed their role on the national, local, and regional events celebrating the legacy of Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. that took place on January 18. Dr. Hunter participated in the 4th Annual National Day of Racial Healing. They discussed their work with legislators, media, and community-based organizations.  Specifically, they discuss the educational resources they are advocating to be part of the U.S. Truth, Racial Healing & Transformation (TRHT) Commission and Reparations for African Americans and at the local level.

Learn more about the January 18 events HERE.

 

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On January 18th, 2022, the 4th Annual National Day of Racial Healing will take place. Alongside a slate of national, local, and regional events hosted and sponsored by the Kellogg Foundation, Dr. Marcus Anthony Hunter, the Scott Waugh Endowed Chair in the Division of the Social Sciences, Professor of Sociology and African American Studies at UCLA, will be moderating a culminating panel on Facebook Live with Congresswoman Barbara Lee, Congresswoman Sheila Jackson Lee, Dr. Gail Christopher, and Dr. Ron Daniels. The panel will focus on and bring further awareness to legislative efforts on the Hill to enact the first-ever U.S. Truth, Racial Healing & Transformation (TRHT) Commission and Reparations for African Americans.

RSVP for the virtual panel HERE.

For more information, click HERE.

Check back with LA Social Science for interviews and more posts regarding the issues discussed in this panel.

UCLA Labor Center / IRLE Dedication, UCLA, James Lawson Jr., Worker Justice Center

For a building dedicated to ensuring fair treatment and opportunities for workers and that is located in the heart of one of Los Angeles’ working-class immigrant neighborhoods, naming it after iconic civil and workers’ rights leader Rev. James Lawson Jr. was perfect.

On Dec. 11, the UCLA Labor Center’s historic MacArthur Park building was officially named the UCLA James Lawson Jr. Worker Justice Center in honor Lawson, one of the civil rights movement’s most-prominent leaders of non-violent protest and a UCLA labor studies faculty member.

“Throughout history, many of our greatest leaders have urged us to look inward,” UCLA Chancellor Gene Block said to the audience of 300 attendees at a ceremony hosted by the Los Angeles County Federation of Labor in partnership with the Labor Center. “They ask: Who are we as people? What do we value? What kind of society do we want, and what are we willing to do to build it?

“For over 60 years, James Lawson has invited Americans to consider such pressing questions. He has insisted that humanity’s salvation lies in reason and compassion, not violence or exploitation. His vision and valor have mobilized Americans, changed this nation, and inspired activists around the globe.”

Once referred to as “the mind of the movement” and “the leading strategist of nonviolence in the world” by Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., Lawson, now 93, is known internationally for teaching nonviolent resistance tactics to young activists. In the course of his life, Lawson and his colleagues and students led lunch counter sit-ins, freedom rides and worker strikes including the historic 1968 Memphis Sanitation Strike during the civil rights movement.

Lawson said he was humbled by UCLA naming a building in his honor.

“I had no idea how to prepare for this moment. For this extraordinary experience of all of you and the coalition that came together, to make this possible,” Lawson said. “On behalf of my wife, Dorothy, and her parents, and my parents and our great grandparents, and all on behalf of our sons, our grandchildren … we thank you very much, absolutely astonishing — I could never have imagined anything like this at all.”

To read the rest of the UCLA newsroom story by Citlalli Chávez-Nava about this historic occasion, click HERE.

UCLA Sociology Ph.D. candidate Josefina Flores Morales is a sociology doctoral candidate at the University of California, Los Angeles. Her research interests include: social demography, race/ethnicity, immigration, and health. In this interview, she discusses her article that analyzes Twitter discourse about undocumented immigrants during COVID.

 

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Dr. Shannon Speed, citizen of the Chickasaw Nation of Oklahoma and director of the UCLA American Indian Studies Center and professor of Gender Studies and Anthropology, recently received the President’s Award from the American Anthropological Association (AAA) for her work bringing together scholarship and activism in advocating for Indigenous and Native American women. This award is given annually to encourage and reward an AAA member’s excellent contributions to the anthropological field.

To read more about Dr. Speed’s work and this award, check out the UCLA Newsroom article by clicking HERE.

LA Social Science interviewed Dr. Justin Dunnavant, Assistant Professor of Anthropology at UCLA, about being an archaeologist who excavates histories on land and under the sea.

Interview Chapters:

0:00 – Intro

0:58 – Is there a book, music, or movie that helped you get through the pandemic?

1:45 – Tell me about what archaeologists do and what sorts of questions you’re exploring in your research?

3:19 – How did you get involved in scuba diving and what you do as an underwater archaeologist?

5:45 – Community engagement centers heavily in your work, how is archaeology relevant in the communities where you work, and humanity more widely?

7:40 – Tell us more about the work you’ve done with Hulu and other media outlets?

9:40 – Out of all the places you could have landed, what made you choose UCLA and what do you hope to get out of your experience in Southern California?

To learn more about Dr. Dunnavant, click HERE to visit his website.

Check out the recent UCLA Newsroom article on Dr. Dunnavant HERE.

 

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“Building upon her decades of work as an artist and activist, Barbra Streisand’s visionary act of generosity will enable UCLA scholars from many different fields to collaborate on research that will move society forward,” UCLA Chancellor Gene Block said.

The Barbra Streisand Institute includes 4 research centers that address her concerns:

  • the Center for Truth in the Public Sphere
  • the Center for the Impact of Climate Change
  • the Center for the Dynamics of Intimacy & Power Between Women & Men
  • the Center for the Impact of Art on the Culture

These centers will be housed in UCLA’s Division of Social Sciences. Widely recognized as an icon in multiple entertainment fields, Streisand has attained unprecedented success as a recording artist, actor, director, producer, screenwriter, author and songwriter. She is the first woman to direct, produce, write and star in a major motion picture, the first woman composer to receive an Academy Award, the only recording artist who has achieved No. 1 albums in six consecutive decades, and the first woman to receive a Golden Globe Award for Best Director.

Alongside these achievements, Streisand has long been a staunch supporter of civil rights, gender equality, and upholding democracy. She has also been a leading environmental activist, funding some of the earliest climate change research at the Environmental Defense Fund beginning in 1989.

“It is my great pleasure to be able to fund an institute at UCLA, one of the world’s premier universities,” Streisand said. “This will be a place where future scholars can discuss, engage and argue about the most important issues of the day; where innovators will speak truth to power, help save our planet, and make glass ceilings for women an anachronism; and in the process give us a chance to have a brighter, more promising future.”

To read more of this UCLA Newsroom story by Melissa Abraham, please CLICK HERE.

The UCLA California Policy Lab (CPL) recently released a new report titled, “Inequity in the Permanent Supportive Housing System in Los Angeles: Scale, Scope and Reasons for Black Residents’ Returns to Homelessness.”

In Los Angeles County, Black people represent 9% of the general population yet comprise 40% of the homeless population. In its 2018 groundbreaking report, the Los Angeles Homeless Services Authority Ad Hoc Committee on Black People with Lived Experience of Homelessness concluded that homelessness is a by-product of racism in the United States. The Committee also found racial inequities in outcomes for Black residents of homeless services, particularly Permanent Supportive Housing (PSH).

This report, in partnership with LAHSA and community-based service providers, further examines why there are racial inequities in returns to homelessness or interim housing for Black PSH residents. To estimate the racial inequity in returns to homelessness, we used administrative data from the Homelessness Management Information System (HMIS). To identify potential factors that contribute to Black residents falling out of PSH and returning to homelessness, we conducted interviews and focus groups with PSH program managers, case managers, and Black residents.

To learn more, read the full report HERE.

Read the CPL press release HERE.

Dr. Safiya Umoja Noble, Associate Professor of Gender Studies and African American Studies at UCLA, was recently awarded the 2021 MacArthur Fellowship. The John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation honors 25 luminaries, who each receive $625,000 over five years. The Chicago-based foundation has awarded these “genius” grants every year since 1981 to help further the pursuits of people with outstanding talent and extraordinary creativity.

“This is an unexpected and thrilling recognition that I hope shines a light on the dangerous, antidemocratic, and unjust technologies that need to be abolished or regulated. I hope to use this grant to further my own work and amplify the work of other Black women.”

Dr. Noble is the co-founder and faculty director of the UCLA Center for Critical Internet Inquiry, an interdisciplinary research center working at the intersection of civil and human rights, social justice, democracy, and technology. Her scholarship focuses on digital media and its impact on society, as well as how digital technology and artificial intelligence converge with questions of race, gender, culture, and power. In her best-selling book, Algorithms of Oppression: How Search Engines Reinforce Racism, she explores how AI and algorithms harm vulnerable people, and undermine the public good.

LA Social Science congratulates Professor Safiya Umoja Noble on this well-deserved honor.

The Smithsonian’s National Museum of African American History and Culture (NMAAHC) partnered with Smithsonian Folkways Recordings to produce the Smithsonian Anthology of Hip-Hop and Rap that was released today, August 20. According to the NMAAHC, “[t]his first-of-its-kind collection chronicles hip-hop’s growth and impact from the parks of the Bronx to the broadest areas of the American experience and worldwide influence. A track list and additional information about the anthology are available, including images from the set.”

In 2014, key figures in the music and culture of hip-hop came together to comprise an executive committee that would work on an anthology that was focused on all facets of hip-hop culture. UCLA’s Dr. Cheryl Keyes, Chair and Professor of African American Studies, Ethnomusicology and Global Jazz Studies worked on the committee with Rappers MC Lyte and Public Enemy’s Chuck D, writer-scholar Adam Bradley, and early Def Jam senior executives Bill Adler and Bill Stephney, artist-writer-director Questlove, and producer-educator 9th Wonder.

To learn more about this amazing anthology, check out the content below.

National Museum of African American History and Culture and Smithsonian Folkways Announce Aug. 20 Release of the Smithsonian Anthology of Hip-Hop and Rap

Origins of Hip-Hop and Rap Explored In Smithsonian ‘Anthology’

How Do You Capture Four Decades of Hip-Hop? Very Broadly