The UCLA Luskin School of Public Affairs, with the generous support of the Ford Foundation, is pleased to announce the recipients of the first Social Justice Faculty Instructional Improvement Grants, which support faculty in their efforts to enhance social justice themes/foci in graduate course offerings:
Urban Planning professor Paul Ong  developed a new Social Justice Service Learning Course –“Affordable and Fair Housing in Transit Oriented Development." This studio course, currently being taught, has a community-oriented client in the Southern California Association of Non-Profit Housing. This course incorporates social justice literature on affordable housing, fair housing, transit-oriented developments and discrimination. It teaches students the skills and analytical methods for evaluating place-based initiatives and will be a model on how to transform a quantitative skills course into a meaningful service-learning course.
Social Welfare professor Alfreda Iglehart  is infusing a social justice lens in the first-year, core course “Theory of Social Work Practice in Organizations, Communities and Policy Settings," which is being taught in collaboration with professors Bridget Freisthler  and Toby Hur . Professor Iglehart will be developing a new case study on Crenshaw High School’s Fire Academy (a program developed by the school to address some of the challenges facing its at-risk youth). Students will learn to think critically about interventions that address social disparities; evaluate nontraditional programs for at risk, minority youth; develop program proposals that advance social justice; and formulate evaluation strategies. This new case study will be one of the very few in Social Welfare curricula that is Los Angeles-based.
Urban Planning professor Vinit Mukhija  will incorporate a social and spatial justice framework for his class “The Informal City: Research and Regulation." Professor Mukhija will establish a new guest speaker series with leading scholars who have a social justice bent who can speak on the intersection of social justice and informality. Professor Mukhija and Associate Dean Anastasia Loukaitou-Sideris  plan on editing and publishing a volume of papers based on this lecture series, which will be a significant contribution on the issue of urban informality and social justice.
Urban Planning professor Susanna Hecht  is developing a new course called “Environmental Justice and Emergent Paradigms: from Sustainability to Survivability." Case studies on the impact of Hurricane Katrina and BP oil spill on New Orleans; US/Mexico border issues and the city of Juarez; and Central American adaptation to climate change, as well as other cases will be developed. This course will challenge students to rethink questions of environmental and ecological justice; and to learn about the various dimensions of environmental justice; impacts of socio-environmental change; distribution of social impacts; and buffering.