At 56 million and growing, Latinos represent about 17.8 percent of all Americans — the nation’s largest racial or ethnic minority. In some states, including California and New Mexico, Latinos now outnumber non-Hispanic whites. Although Latinos have emerged as significant actors in American politics, barriers of opportunity and mobility continue to hinder Latinos’ full realization of the promise of 21st century ingenuity.
The climate is ripe for cutting-edge policy research that speaks directly to the needs of Latinos. In today’s political climate, affirmative domestic policy solutions can amplify their impact through state and local policy-making. This is especially true in California. Leveraging the immense research expertise at UCLA, the Latino Policy & Politics Institute (LPPI) addresses a critical gap in research and policy analysis by supporting policymakers and researchers who pursue new theoretical and empirical understanding of how Latinos are — and are not — meaningfully being incorporated into the political system. LPPI is California’s first major multi-issue policy initiative focused on the state’s plurality in almost a decade. The Initiative is well-positioned to catalyze evidence-based, nonpartisan affirmative policy solutions that integrate the diverse needs of communities of color across the U.S.
Founded in spring 2017, the Latino Policy & Politics Initiative (LPPI) is a joint partnership of the UCLA Luskin School of Public Affairs and the UCLA Division of Social Sciences. LPPI champions nonpartisan, evidence-based domestic policy solutions that improve the economic, political, and social landscape for California’s plurality and the nation’s new majority.
Founded in 1994, UCLA Luskin is located in the “world city” of Los Angeles, a living laboratory of far-reaching issues facing communities across the United States and around the world. Offering degrees in Social Welfare, Urban Planning, and Public Policy, UCLA Luskin produces master’s and doctoral graduates who become practitioners, researchers, and policymakers for the public, private, and non-governmental sectors. LPPI leverages UCLA Luskin’s cross-disciplinary strengths with those of the larger UCLA community, including the Anderson School of Management, the Fielding School of Public Health, the Graduate School of Education & Information Studies, and the School of Law. LPPI creates an enterprise-wide home for Latino- focused policy innovation and civic engagement. This crucial advantage equips LPPI to execute world-class research, promulgate timely policy analysis, and leverage diverse relationships to better understand and benefit California’s plurality.
LPPI’s faculty co-directors, Professor Matt A. Barreto and Dean Gary M. Segura, are committed to leveraging the wealth of talent, expertise, and commitment to Latino research already underway at UCLA. Founding Director Sonja Diaz provides strategic advice and counsel. Experts, all distinguished scholars, incubate and champion cutting-edge policy research about Latinos in California.