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The UCLA California Policy Lab (CPL) recently released a new analysis of California unemployment insurance (UI) claims as part of a policy briefs series publishing research conducted in partnership with the Labor Market Information Division of the California Employment Development Department.

Overview
Historically, the share of unemployed workers receiving regular UI benefits (recipiency rate) in California has been relatively low (as has also been the case in other states). This Data Point combines administrative data from California’s Employment Development Department (EDD) with monthly Current Population Survey (CPS) data to construct an improved recipiency rate to measure the extent to which unemployed and underemployed Californians are receiving regular UI benefits.

Dr. Till von Wachter, a co-author of the analysis, UCLA economics professor and faculty director at the California Policy Lab, says about this new analysis, “The share of unemployed workers receiving UI benefits tends to rise during economic downturns, but even during the Great Recession, we didn’t approach the high rates that we’re seeing now.”

Three key findings from this new research:
1) The recipiency rate in California has increased dramatically over the course of the crisis, from about 50% in April to nearly 90% in December.  
The analysis found that over 2.5 million unemployed Californians were not receiving regular UI benefits in April and May 2020, and while some of these workers likely received benefits under the Pandemic Unemployment Assistance (PUA) program, at least 500,000 workers did not. As the share of workers receiving regular UI benefits increased, the number of workers not receiving regular UI benefits decreased, hovering at around 250,000 in the last four months of 2020.
2) There are geographic disparities in the rates of UI benefit collection that correlate with income, race and ethnicity, access to technology, and other social and economic factors. In counties with higher median household incomes, a larger share of their unemployed workers tended to receive UI benefits, while a smaller share of unemployed workers received benefits in counties with higher poverty rates.
3) CPL’s Recovery Index highlights substantial county-level differences in the economic recovery. Higher-income counties have recovered more quickly than lower-income counties, while counties with a higher share of Black and Hispanic residents have seen slower recoveries than counties with more White residents.

To see the map which tracks the Labor Market Recovery, click HERE.

To see table code of County Level Measures of Economic Recovery and UI Recipient Rates, click HERE.

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

Dr. S. Michael Gaddis, assistant professor of sociology at UCLA, recently wrote an op-ed published in The Hill titled “Millennials and the Great Reckoning on Race.” He writes that although Millenials appear to support “post-racial” attitudes, their “…actions speak louder than words.”  Dr. Gaddis writes: “Unfortunately, the actions of Millennials in recent research I conducted, with Raj Ghoshal of Elon University, suggest that Millennials still engage in racial discrimination and hold deep-seated racial prejudices and stereotypes. Let’s hold off on passing out the participation trophies for a moment.”

To read his informative and thoughtful essay, click HERE.

To learn more about his research, check out this article written by Jessica Wolf for UCLA Newsroom, “Are millennials really as ‘post-racial’ as we think?

 

 

 

 

 

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.

 

UCLA Center for the Study of Women Presents:

GENDER, RACE, AND AGE BEHIND BARS:

IMPACTS OF LONG-TERM SENTENCING

Wednesday, February 3, 2021

12:15 PM – 1:30 PM

RSVP: csw.ucla.edu/behindbars

Join us for a rare opportunity to hear from two formerly-incarcerated women activists on the compounded adverse impacts of long-term sentencing on the elderly, women, transgender people, and people of color in prison and beyond.

 

 

 

 

Jane Dorotik was incarcerated for almost 20 years on a wrongful conviction. She was released in April 2020 due to COVID-19 concerns, and her conviction was reversed in July 2020.

Romarilyn Ralston was incarcerated for 23 years, and is now the Program Director of Project Rebound at the California State University-Fullerton. Both are organizers with California Coalition for Women Prisoners (CCWP).

Dorotik and Ralston will be in dialogue with LA County Public Defender, Ricardo Garcia, and moderator Alicia Virani, the Gilbert Foundation Director of the Criminal Justice Program at the UCLA School of Law. This event is hosted by the UCLA Center for the Study of Women, and co-hosted by the Criminal Justice Program at the UCLA School of Law and the LA County Public Defender’s Office.

            

 

 

 

 

Read CSW’s 2020 Policy Briefs, “Confronting the Carceral State, Reimagining Justice, ” featuring briefs written by Jane Dorotik and Romarilyn Ralston at csw.ucla.edu/policy-briefs.

Free and open to the public.

Register for the Zoom Webinar at csw.ucla.edu/behindbars.

This activity is approved for 1 hour of general MCLE credit.

UCLA School of Law is a State Bar of California approved MCLE provider.

                                

 

The National Book Foundation’s Literature for Justice program “highlight[s] books that contribute to the dialogue around mass incarceration and justice.” Recently, books by UCLA’s Dr. Sarah Haley and Dr. Kelly Lytle Hernández were selected to be on this year’s list.

Dr. Haley’s book, No Mercy Here: Gender, Punishment, and the Making of Jim Crow Modernity, and Dr. Lytle Hernández’s book, City of Inmates: Conquest, Rebellion, and the Rise of Human Caging in Los Angeles, 1771-1965, were selected with five others for this year’s list.

LA Social Science congratulates both Dr. Haley and Dr. Lytle Hernández.

To see the full list of books selected, click HERE.

 

 

 

 

 

 

BBC’s Newsday interviewed Dr. Desi Rodriguez-Lonebear, UCLA Associate Professor of Sociology and American Indian Studies and a Northern Cheyenne tribal citizen.  She discusses how COVID-19 has hit Native American reservations like hers. “Every day there are funerals. We’ve lost so many people that if you actually look at the proportion of people we have lost to Covid in our community it would equal about 1.3 million Americans.”  To listen to the full interview, click HERE.

Dr. H. Samy Alim, UCLA Professor of Anthropology and David O. Sears Presidential Endowed Chair in the Division of Social Sciences, and Dr. Geneva Smitherman, Michigan State University Distinguished Professor Emerita, recently released an opinion piece in The New York Times titled “Of Course Kamala Harris Is Articulate.” They challenge the often used description that high-achieving Black people are “articulate.” They assert that these types of descriptions are highly problematic and offensive, because the exceptional descriptions imply that the opposite is true of other Black people. As co-authors of the book Articulate While Black: Barack Obama, Language, and Race in the U.S., Drs. Alim and Smitherman further explain why comments like these denigrate Black Americans, even if done unintentionally.

To read the full op-ed, please click HERE.

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.

UCLA summer courses are open to BOTH UCLA students and non-UCLA students. All summer 2020 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.

Check out Dr. Eric Avila’s UCLA ONLINE summer course, “American Popular Culture.” The course will discuss culture as told through stories that take shape through written and spoken language; images likes films and photographs; songs, dance, art, magazines, advertising, comic books, video games, music videos, sports, recreation, leisure, and many other forms of cultural expression and cultural experience. Ultimately, the course will emphasize the historical relationship between culture and power in the United States, exploring the many avenues, such as race, class, and gender, through which power flows through cultural expression and production. Join us as we study the diverse voices of American history and how they found powerful and popular forms of expression in the words, images, and sounds of American cultural history.

For more information about this course, see the preview video below, and enroll HERE TODAY!

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 has exciting courses planned for the summer. Professor Scot Brown is offering a course on Funk Music. Professor Terence Keel is offering a Session C course that will have the class “think about how our bodies are deeply impacted by/shaped by the society around us.”

For more information on these courses, see the videos below, and enroll HERE. For additional course previews, click HERE.

Dr. Scot Brown’s Funk Music and Urban History Course:

 

Dr. Terence Keel’s Race, Science, and Society Summer 2020 Course:

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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