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Inaugural Latino Applied Policy Research Awards Announced Grants from the UCLA Latino Policy and Politics Initiative support projects targeting inequities that impact communities of color

The UCLA Latino Policy and Politics Initiative (LPPI) has awarded a total of $150,000 to six Latino-led applied research projects at UCLA aimed at developing policy solutions to challenges facing Latino communities in California.

The inaugural Latino Applied Policy Research Awards provide yearlong funding for the six research groups, including two all-Latina teams, whose projects will focus on topics such as homelessness, the impact of public art on policy, and the relationship between immigration and educational equity.

The awards also support the training of future Latino academics by giving UCLA students the opportunity to participate in the projects under the tutelage of expert faculty and scholars.

“The Latino Policy and Politics Initiative is investing in our future with these grants,” said Sonja Diaz, founding director of LPPI. “We are not only helping to develop the next generation of researchers, we are pushing the value of applied research as a means to continue driving tailored policies and achieving real-time impacts that lead to increased and sustained meaningful opportunities for Latino communities.”

Over the next year, the six teams of researchers will examine:

  • How a public art exhibition at the U.S.–Mexico border raised public awareness and fueled criticism of federal immigration policy.
  • How immigration enforcement actions affect Latino students’ educational attainment.
  • Why homelessness counts underestimate the number of unhoused Latinos and how this affects the allocation of resources that could help stem the problem.
  • How wildfire and disaster planning policies impact Latino immigrants and Indigenous people.
  • How to strengthen labor and health protections in the sport of boxing.
  • How to build more effective, powerful political coalitions among Latinos and other people of color.

“The projects we are funding focus on the ways in which inequity persists within Latino communities and aim to provide real solutions,” said Silvia González, the initiative’s co-director of research. “We are proud to work with researchers who are pushing the envelope and using their expertise to develop the critical analysis needed to drive better policy on a breadth of issues.”

The Latino Applied Policy Research Awards are made possible by $3 million in ongoing funding from the California Legislature to LPPI to conduct research and develop policy solutions that address inequities that disproportionately impact Latinos and other communities of color.

“While the knowledge produced in academia often remains divorced from policy debates, the insights provided through rigorous scientific inquiry should inform policymaking to reduce inequities that afflict communities of color,” said co-director of research Rodrigo Dominguez-Villegas. “Our applied research grants will act as an essential tool to translate the work of academic institutions into on-the-ground solutions in real-time.”

Full descriptions of each research project can be accessed here.

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