Check back here regularly to learn about Luskin Center activities, new reports, and other noteworthy updates about our work.

From Student Politics to Capitol Insurrection: The Intensification of Extremism at UCLA and Beyond

On January 6, 2021, hundreds of far-right protestors, many of them wearing white nationalist clothing and insignia, stormed the U.S. Capitol building. On February 16, UCLA student Christian Secor was arrested for his participation in the riot.

This report tracks the intensification of this extremist activity on national, state, and local levels, and tracks how white nationalism made its way to the UCLA student body. It was researched and written by a team of UCLA undergraduates and recent graduates – as a follow up to a report on white nationalism in Southern California that LCHP released last year. The authors are Grace Johnston-Glick and James Nee (National section); Lacy Green and Gavin Quan (State section); Brandon Broukhim and Talla Khelghati (UCLA section). It was edited by Erin Onarecker.

Read the report [HERE].

LCHP Releases Report on the History of Homelessness in LA County

The Making of a Crisis: A History of Homelessness in Los Angeles County

A new report by the UCLA Luskin Center for History and Policy takes a historical view to understand the historic roots of the homelessness crisis in Los Angeles County.

This report was researched and written by Dr. Kirsten Moore-Sheeley, Alisa Belinkoff Katz, Andrew Klein, Jessica Richards, Fernanda Jahn-Verri, Marques Vestal, and Zev Yaroslavsky.

To read the paper, click [HERE]. The fact sheet can be found [HERE], and the executive summary can be found [HERE].

Find the UCLA Newsroom announcement [HERE].

Find Vestal and Klein’s LATimes Op-Ed, “What we should have learned from L.A.’s long history of homelessness,” [HERE].

LCHP is covering the report findings in a series of podcast episodes on homelessness in Los Angeles. Listen to Vestal, Klein, and Jahn-Verri discuss the report below:

Listen to Moore-Sheeley and Richards interview Dr. Jonathan Sherin, the director of the LA County Department of Mental Health, below:

LCHP Research Fellows Release Report on History of Traffic Congestion in Los Angeles

A Century of Fighting Traffic Congestion in Los Angeles (1920-2020)

LCHP Research Fellows (2019-20) recently completed their report tracking the history of fighting traffic congestion in Los Angeles.

This report was completed by Martin Wachs, Distinguished Professor Emeritus of Civil and Environmental Engineering and City and Regional Planning at the University of California, UCLA PhD candidate Peter Sebastian Chesney, and UCLA Master of Urban and Regional Planning Candidate Yu Hong Hwang. Read more about the research team here.

To read the paper, click [HERE].

To see a timeline of attempts to solve the “congestion problem” in Los Angeles, click [HERE].

To listen to the podcast episode with the authors, click [HERE].

LCHP Releases Report on the History of Voter Access in California

Reckoning with Our Rights: The Evolution of Voter Access in California

A new report by the UCLA Luskin Center for History and Policy takes a historical view to understand why, in 2020, the electorate in California specifically remains so demographically and socioeconomically skewed.

This report was spearheaded by Alisa Belinkoff Katz, LCHP fellow and associate director of the Los Angeles Initiative at the UCLA Luskin School of Public Affairs. The research team also included Zev Yaroslavsky, a senior fellow at the center, UCLA PhD candidate Izul de la Vega, undergraduate Saman Haddad and recent graduate Jeanne Ramin.

To read the paper, click [HERE].

To read the UCLA Newsroom announcement, click [HERE].

To watch the Why History Matters event discussing this report, click [HERE].

Announcing the 2020-21 Class of Luskin Center Research Fellows

Announcing the 2020-21 Class of Luskin Center Research Fellows

The UCLA Luskin Center for History and Policy is pleased to announce its next class of Luskin Research Fellows for 2020-2021. The Luskin Center is one of the first institutions of its kind in the nation to bring together in-depth historical research and cutting-edge policy analysis.

The Luskin Research Fellowships for 2020-2021 have been awarded to research teams comprised of UCLA faculty, graduate students, and community partners. Four Research Fellowship teams were selected this year from a large pool of very strong candidates.

These research teams are awarded funds to conduct collaborative research that will bring historical analysis to bear on specific issues of contemporary relevance. The teams are specifically asked to produce historical and policy analysis that will aim to solve the contemporary issue they have identified.

This year, we broadened our call for proposals to include public facing and artistic projects that also engaged partner institutions across Los Angeles.

The following projects reflect some of the most cutting edge approaches to utilizing history to inform the present and help guide the future. They address some of the most pressing issues of the day through a historical lens, including public health, racial inequality, and systemic injustice.

The winning teams are:

Project Members: Tyree Boyd-Pates of The Autry Museum of the American West, Dr. Stephen Aron, Dr. Brenda Stevenson

In 2020, the Autry Museum of the American West launched The Collecting Community History Initiative (TCCHI): The West During COVID-19, which aims to help communities across the West identify and preserve items of historical and cultural significance during the COVID-19 pandemic. In the wake of the killing of George Floyd, the Autry expanded the project to collect and contextualize artifacts related to the “Black Lives Matter” protests that have erupted across the West (as well as the nation and the world).

This project will involve developing a UCLA seminar about the initiative, curation, and community engagement. It will also involve a series of public programs about plagues and protests, past and present.

Read more.

Project Members: Hao Ding, Dr. Anastasia Loukaitou-Sideris

Architecture and design not only shape the built environment but can also help create and reinforce cultural identities of places and communities through the construction of historic and cultural heritage. What happens, however, in neighborhoods that have a significant presence of racial and ethnic minority populations? To what extent is the evolution of architecture and design in these neighborhoods reflective of their cultural heritage and identity? Do local planning authorities allow expressions of the ethnic culture (or cultures) in the built environment or seek to reinforce a singular hegemonic cultural identity (namely the one of the dominant culture) through planning regulations, planning codes, and design guidelines?

This project will examine these question by researching the history of the architectural styles of cities such as Alhambra, Compton, and El Monte. Click here to learn more about this project and the project members.

Project Members: Dr. Tawny Paul, Dr. Daniel Diaz

The Covid-19 pandemic has highlighted how much society depends on essential workers. But some workers are more protected by policy than others. Rates of pay, health provision, working conditions, and access to recourse through unionization varies from sector to sector. Within the broad category of essential workers, farmworkers stand as a class apart.

LCHP will support this team to hold a public workshop that will contextualize the struggles being faced by farmworkers during the pandemic by discussing the movement to protect farmworkers in the 1960s, 1970s, and 1980s, from dangerous pesticides. Click here to read about this project and the project members.

Project Members: Dr. Terrence Keel, Armond Lee

The medical examination of George Floyd is a recent episode in a long history of American biomedical science constructing death in ways that absolves state accountability and suppresses knowledge about the biological effects of institutional racism.

This project asks: How does the pretense of objective biomedical knowledge erase the conflict of interest between state-sanctioned violence protected by legal immunity and a state sanctioned medical body charged with the task of disclosing cause of death in state custody? LCHP will support this team in obtaining coroner’s reports and proof of death letters to examine historical examples that address this question. Click here to learn more about this project and the project members.

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