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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.

UCLA Alum Rafael Agustín (’03 & ’04), TV Writer (Jane the Virgin) and CEO of the Latino Film Institute (LFI), discusses writing and bringing Latinx stories and characters to film and TV; his experience at UCLA; and helping the next generation of Latinx filmmakers.

Interview Chapters:

0:00 – Intro

0:33 – What got you interested in theater and television?

1:38 – What was your experience at UCLA?

3:16 – Why is it important to tell Latinx stories in TV and film?

5:05 – New projects, and advice on breaking into TV and film.

Learn more about Mr. Rafael Agustín and the Latino Film Institute (LFI) by visiting their website at https://latinofilm.org/.

Read about LFI’s advocacy of the UCLA Hollywood Diversity Report series HERE.

Read about LFI naming Dr. Ana-Christina Ramón their inaugural LFI Scholar in 2021 HERE.

 

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UCLA Sociology PhD candidate Debanjan Roychoudhury discusses policing, police misconduct, and police policy with LA Social Science. Roychoudhury, who grew up in New York City, examines NYPD data regarding stop and frisk and references his work “South Side We Outside: Policing and Placemaking in Historic Jamaica Queens New York,” as well as providing insight into his teaching pedagogy.

 

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.

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

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.