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Luskin Scholars Join UCLA’s New Initiative to Study Hate

UCLA is launching the Initiative to Study Hate, an ambitious social impact project that brings together a broad consortium of scholars to understand and ultimately mitigate hate in its multiple forms. Supported by a $3 million gift from an anonymous donor, researchers including UCLA Luskin scholars will undertake 23 projects this year, the first of a three-year pilot program. Through his work with the UCLA Institute for Society and Genetics, Aaron Panofsky, professor of public policy and sociology, will map the ways white nationalist groups selectively use and reject science to perpetuate themes of otherization and dehumanization online. Researchers from UCLA Luskin Social Welfare will participate in three projects: Doctoral student Emily Maurin-Waters and associate professor Laura Wray-Lake will examine prejudicial violence against LGBTQ youth and the impact of whether it is framed as bullying or a hate crime. Doctoral student Taylor Reed will lead a team including Sara Wilf and Victoria Millet MSW ’22 to study racism and discrimination within organizing spaces, as experienced by Black and Latinx individuals taking part in youth gun violence prevention movements. And assistant professor Brian Keum and doctoral student Michele Wong will join a team from the UCLA Fielding School of Public Health that will explore the spillover effect on the mental health of Asian Americans in the wake of the mass killing of spa workers in Atlanta, Georgia. From Urban Planning, master’s student Eliza Franklin Leggett will disrupt the built environment in an Alabama town with a history of white supremacy by inserting historical markers documenting hidden Black histories.

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