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The UCLA Latino Policy and Politics Initiative has supported the efforts of California’s Unseen Latinas Initiative headed by UCLA Alumna and California Assemblymember Lorena Gonzalez (UCLA Law ‘99)

By Nick Gonzalez, Latino Policy & Politics Initiative (LPPI) Policy Analyst

 

Latinas make less than their male and female counterparts, have never served in a statewide elected position and remain underrepresented in corporate leadership positions. A new two-year effort launched by Asm. Lorena Gonzalez (UCLA Law ‘99) and the California Latino Caucus seeks to tackle the inequities that the state’s Latinas face.

UCLA Latino Policy and Politics Initiative faculty and staff have been at the forefront of “Unseen Latinas” by providing expert testimony in its first year of public hearings to identify problems and solutions. Through cross-sectoral research, a team of UCLA LPPI female experts have been putting a data-driven lens on the educational, economic and career barriers that Latinas must overcome.

“By launching the Unseen Latinas initiative, California’s leaders are making it clear that they understand that the state’s continued economic prowess requires that Latinas have a fair chance to succeed and thrive,” said Sonja Diaz, UCLA LPPI founding director, who participated in the October 2020 launch event. “Especially as we emerge from the pandemic, it’s time to make sure that no one gets left behind in the recovery and bright future that lies ahead.”

Latinas make up nearly 20% of Californians, and Latina participation in the U.S. workforce was expected to grow by 26% in the next 10 years. Yet, new research from LPPI shows that Latinas exited the workforce amid the pandemic at higher rates than any other demographic amid the pandemic, making it clear that recovery efforts should provide specific assistance to help them recover financially and get back on their feet.

“California has an opportunity and responsibility to lead what it means to have a just and equal economy,” said Asm. Gonzalez. “UCLA LPPI has been a valuable partner on the Unseen Latinas Initiative. LPPI experts have shared key testimony by shining a light on the inequalities Latinas continue to face, as well as the opportunities that exist to make sure Latinas are no longer unseen and can participate in the state’s prosperous future.”

In an October conversation about the Latina wage gap, Diaz urged action to address the childcare and family obligations that pushed Latinas out of the workforce during the pandemic. Without a clear plan to bring them back into the labor market, the repercussions could be devastating for Latino families and for the state’s economy, she said.

UCLA LPPI expert Dr. Mary Lopez, an economics professor at Occidental College continued the conversation  in a January hearing on the labor market, testifying that policy solutions such as affordable childcare and job training would be essential in reducing workforce inequities for Latinas.

Part of the invisibility of the needs and strengths of the state’s Latinas comes from the lack of representation in media and popular culture. At an April hearing, UCLA LPPI expert Dr. Ana-Christina Ramón provided testimony from the UCLA Hollywood Diversity Report, which she co-founded and co-authors. Latinos and women are among the groups that remain underrepresented in film relative to their population size.

“We know that Hollywood plays a meaningful role in shaping how people perceive others around them,” Ramón said, who is also the director of research and civic engagement at the UCLA Division of Social Sciences. “When Latinas do not have starring roles or they are not seen as doctors, lawyers, or CEOs, that perpetuates the barriers that they face in achieving their full potential.”

The Unseen Latinas public hearings series also discussed the challenges that Latinas face in breaking into the legal field, with expert testimony from UCLA LPPI expert Jennifer Chacon. For example, the California Supreme Court is another glass ceiling for Latinas, where one has never served as a justice.

For information about the legislators leading Unseen Latinas and for details on upcoming hearings, please visit the Assembly website for the state’s Select Committee on Latina Inequities.

The UCLA Hollywood Diversity Report received a $250,000 allocation in the California state budget. Sponsored by Assemblywoman Wendy Carrillo, the funds will support the overarching goals of UCLA’s Hollywood Advancement Project, which produces the Hollywood Diversity Report. It is the industry’s only longitudinal analysis that connects the relationship between the diversity of key jobs in Hollywood films and television productions with the spending power and appetites of increasingly diverse U.S. audiences.

“Numbers don’t lie,” Asm. Carrillo said. “The UCLA Hollywood Diversity Report holds the data needed to effect change for both below- and above-the-line workers, which is why it was critical to leverage our state’s budget to support it. As efforts to expand production and bring back these jobs to the state via California’s Television and Film Tax Credit continue, those efforts should be reflective of the diversity of our state.”

“We’re in our 10th year of data collection and every year we show that audiences gravitate to content that feature diverse casts and creators, ones that reflect the diversity of the American demographic,” said Dr. Ana-Christina Ramón, director of research and civic engagement for the UCLA division of social sciences and co-author of the Hollywood Diversity Report. “This new support from the state budget will be instrumental to our ongoing efforts to comprehensively track who is getting key jobs in Hollywood, and expand the ways we show how that reality has an impact not only the bottom line for studios themselves, but for the economy at large.”

The Latino Film Institute (LFI), which this year named Dr. Ramón its inaugural scholar, played a key role in the process. Edward James Olmos, LFI Founder and Board Chairman, Rafael Agustín, LFI CEO, and the LFI Board of Directors championed for the report to receive the funding. “Latino communities are particularly underrepresented at all levels of critical Hollywood jobs both in front of and behind the camera,” said Mr. Agustín. “We’re grateful to collaborate closely with UCLA as we seek to reckon with this fact and work toward meaningful change.”

To read the full UCLA Newsroom story, click HERE.

To read the Deadline story, click HERE.

LA Social Science wants to highlight a summer course 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 are being 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 Comm 109: Entrepreneurial Communication offered in Summer Session C (starting August 2). Comm 109 fulfills crossover requirements for a Comm Practicum AND Comm Additional Area Elective. It also fulfills a requirement for the Entrepreneurship Minor. Enroll here TODAY!

The UCLA Labor Center has received $15 million from the 2021-22 California Budget to renovate its historic building that will be renamed for the civil rights icon Rev. James Lawson Jr. This will establish a permanent location for the UCLA Labor Center, which believes that a public university belongs to the people and should advance quality education and employment.

Reverend James M. Lawson Jr. is a civil rights and workers’ rights icon who worked closely with Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. In 2018, UCLA awarded Rev. Lawson the UCLA Medal, the university’s highest honor.

State Senator Durazo (D-Los Angeles), State Assembly member Jones-Sawyer (D-Los Angeles) and State Assembly member Santiago (D-Los Angeles) championed the effort by submitting legislative member requests to their respective budget leaders. The California Black, Latino and LGBTQ caucuses and numerous labor, faith, and educational organizations throughout the state also supported the requests.

“I had the privilege of introducing this initiative before the California State Senate,” said Durazo. “I am excited that the UCLA Labor Center will have a permanent home in my senatorial district, and that we will name the building in honor of an outstanding national American hero and my good friend Rev. James Lawson Jr.”

To learn more about the renaming and the renovation, please click HERE.

Dr. Alfredo Huante is an interdisciplinary social scientist whose research interests rest at the intersection of critical race studies, urban studies, and Latinx studies. His recent research project examines how policymakers, stakeholders, residents, and other urban actors mobilize racial categories in ways that advance gentrification. Drawing from archival, ethnographic, and interview data, Dr. Huante illustrates the ways race and racism adapt to maintain racial inequality even as neighborhoods and cities become more racially diverse and majority-minority.

Dr. Huante is currently a Chancellor’s Postdoctoral Fellow in the Department of Chicana/o and Central American Studies at the University of California, Los Angeles. Previously, he was a postdoctoral research fellow for the Interdisciplinary Research Incubator for Study of (In)Equality (IRISE) at the University of Denver. In addition to a Ph.D. in Sociology at the University of Southern California, Dr. Huante also holds a master’s in urban planning from the University of California, Los Angeles.

 

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Here at UCLA, community engaged scholarship is not an option – it is an imperative. Los Angeles is a profoundly diverse, multicultural city and a gateway to the rest of the planet. In the Division of Social Sciences, we take our location and our embeddedness in Los Angeles very seriously. The findings that come out of our research are findings that can be applied to real world community problems. In this sense, we are engaging LA to change the world.

 

LA Social Science is pleased to share this video highlighting two researchers, Dr. Jason De León and Dr. Jessica Cattelino, and the important community engaged scholarship they are leading in the social sciences.

As a public institution, our work is ultimately in service of you, our community. By engaging LA, we are changing the world.

Presenting UCLA’s first conference on

Data-Informed Governance (DIG)

July 7, 2021

Online, starting at 8 a.m. PDT

REGISTER NOW

Watch three panel discussions featuring experts and peers from the public, private, and civic sectors.

Exchange innovative, actionable approaches to real-world policy issues.

Find out why it is increasingly critical for state and local governments to become technology proficient, using data to inform critical policy decisions.

Join with participants from a wide spectrum of organizations and geographies – from local nonprofits to national research institutes, small cities to regional governing bodies.

LEARN MORE

The DIG Conference is a convening of people from diverse backgrounds that aims to demonstrate the potential for structured peer-to-peer learning on this subject. This cross-section of attendee profiles encourages the advancement of data-centric solutions for public policy that are accessible, scalable, and pragmatic.


DIG is made possible thanks to the support of the UCLA Luskin School of Public Affairs, the Luskin Center for Innovation at UCLA, the College of Social Sciences, the LA Social Science Initiative, the Anderson School of Management, the Ziman Center for Real Estate, and Impact@Anderson.

UCLA Labor Center‘s Director Kent Wong, was recognized as one of the “Giants of Justice” yesterday, June 3rd, by the Clergy and Laity United for Economic Justice (CLUE). CLUE “is an organization that brings together clergy and lay leaders of all faiths with workers, immigrants, and low-income families in the cause of a just economy that works for all and protects those most vulnerable.” Director Wong was honored along with faith leaders and community activists in Southern California who inspire others to build a just and sacred society.

LA Social Science would like to congratulate Director Wong for this well deserved honor.

Dr. Justin Dunnavant, an incoming professor in the Department of Anthropology, has been selected as one of “15 global changemakers” for the National Geographic 2021 Emerging Explorer cohort.

National Geographic Society states: “These 15 individuals are conducting innovative work focused on a range of topics such as inventing space technologies, ocean exploration, understanding the past through archaeology and anthropology, species conservation, storytelling, and elevating young voices for the future of education.”

Dr. Dunnavant is currently a provost’s postdoctoral fellow at Vanderbilt University’s Spatial Analysis Research Laboratory and will be an assistant professor in UCLA’s Anthropology Department starting this fall. His current research in the U.S. Virgin Islands investigates the relationship between ecology and enslavement in the former Danish West Indies. Dr. Dunnavant is also co-founder and president of the Society of Black Archaeologists, an American Academy of Underwater Sciences scientific diver, a consultant for the Smithsonian’s National Museum of African American History and Culture, and a 2021 inductee to The Explorers Club. His research has been featured on Netflix’s Explained and Hulu’s Your Attention Please and in American Archaeology and Science magazines.

To read Dr. Dunnavant’s latest article, “Craft an African American Graves Protection and Repatriation Act,” in NATURE, click HERE.

Please join the Department of African American Studies at UCLA as it commemorates the Tulsa Massacre Centennial beginning TODAY throughout the Memorial Day weekend.  To learn more, click HERE to visit a special edition of their website.

Events

On the 100th anniversary of the 1921 Tulsa Race Massacre, this series, co-presented by the UCLA Department of African American Studies and the UCLA Hammer Museum, unpacks the history and legacy of an under-examined chapter of racial violence in the United States. These five online panels will cover the history of the massacre and its on-screen representations, as well other instances of domestic terrorism against communities of color in the United States, the renewed urgency and viability of reparations, and the economic empowerment of Black Americans.

The 1921 Tulsa Race Massacre: A Historical Context

Tuesday, June 1, 2021, 5:00 PM PDT

Professor Brenda E. Stevenson moderates an online conversation with Karlos K. Hill and Hannibal Johnson, both authors and experts on the 1921 Tulsa Race Massacre, in which a white mob assaulted residents, looted, and destroyed their homes, churches, schools, and businesses in the predominantly Black neighborhood and business district of Greenwood in Tulsa, Oklahoma. The panel discusses the history of Black migration to Oklahoma, the Jim Crow realities of the early 20th century, the facts surrounding the Tulsa massacre, and the immediate aftermath in which hundreds of Black Americans were dead, homeless, or imprisoned, their families and financial lives devastated.

An Associate Professor and Chair of the Clara Luper Department of African and African-American Studies at the University of Oklahoma, Hill is the founder and chair of the 1921 Tulsa Race Massacre Commission. His most recent book is The 1921 Tulsa Race Massacre: A Photographic History. An attorney, author, and highly regarded public historian, Johnson is the author of Black Wall Street 100: An American City Grapples with its Historical Racial Trauma.

 

Tulsa on Screen: Watchmen with Damon Lindelof & Cord Jefferson

Thursday, June 3, 2021, 5:00 PM PDT

RSVP HERE

In this online program, professor Brenda E. Stevenson joins writer and producer Damon Lindelof, creator of HBO’s Watchmen series, and Watchmen writer Cord Jefferson to discuss how they crafted the series’ remarkable representation of the Tulsa Race Massacre. The series explores the generational trauma of the massacre within the context of an alternative U.S. history. Lindelof and Jefferson discuss why they centered Watchmen on this largely ignored event in American history, as well as how and why popular culture can continue to confront history, racism, and structural violence.