The UCLA Luskin Lecture Series enhances public discourse on topics relevant to the betterment of society. The Series features renowned public intellectuals, bringing together scholars as well as national and local leaders to address society’s most pressing problems. Lectures encourage interactive, lively discourse across traditional divides between the worlds of research, policy and practice. The Series demonstrates UCLA Luskin’s commitment to encouraging innovative breakthroughs and creative solutions to formidable public policy challenges.

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For information on the Luskin Lecture Series or any of the events, please call (310) 206-8034 or email events@luskin.ucla.edu

For information about the Luskin Conference Center, click here.

Upcoming Luskin Lecture Events

James Forman Jr. Book Discussion

Thursday, November 7, 2019

California African American Museum (CAAM)
600 State Drive, Los Angeles

James Forman, Jr., author of  “Locking Up Our Own: Crime and Punishment in Black America,” will discuss his critically acclaimed 2017 book which explores how decisions made by black leaders — often with the best of intentions — contributed to disproportionately incarcerating black and brown people.  His Washington Post bestseller  was longlisted for the National Book Award and has been named a Best Book of the Year by numerous publications, including the New York Times, The Marshall Project, Publisher’s Weekly, and GQ Magazine. Forman,  a graduate of Yale Law School, and former law clerk for Supreme Court Justice Sandra Day O’Connor, now teaches constitutional law at Yale and the course “Race, Class, and Punishment

To RSVP for the event, click here.

To stay up to date on event information for the Luskin Lecture Series and upcoming events, join our mailing list here

Statement Regarding Site of December Democratic Debate

On Nov. 6, the Democratic National Committee asked our media partners to move the scheduled December 19, 2019, debate to another venue following renewed and unanticipated objections from organized labor. With regret, we have agreed to step aside as the site of the debate rather than become a potential distraction during this vitally important time in our country’s history.

We Gon’ Be Alright: Luskin Lecture and Screening

Wednesday, January 15, 2020

James Bridges Theater
Melnitz Hall 1409, UCLA

Join us for a screening of the digital adaptation of “We Gon’ Be Alright,” Jeff Chang’s critically acclaimed collection of essays on racial resegregation, followed by a dialogue with the author and filmmakers. The docuseries produced for PBS’ Indie Lens Storycast examines how a nation that has historically embraced diversity has allowed itself to resegregate along racial and economic class lines — and how Americans can come together in ways that offer hope beyond the divide.

The evening’s panelists:

Jeff Chang, author and advocate for racial equity. Chang is vice president for narrative, arts and culture at the nonprofit Race Forward and co-founder of CultureStr/ke and ColorLines. He has been a USA Ford Fellow in Literature and the winner of the Asian American Literary Award.

Kimmie Kim, producer and showrunner of the “We Gon’ Be Alright” docuseries. Kim has produced numerous documentaries on subjects including the 40th anniversary of “Saturday Night Live,” singer/songwriter Ed Sheeran and comedian Rick Crom.

Bao Nguyen, producer and director of the “We Gon’ Be Alright” docuseries. The filmmaker’s past work has been seen on HBO, NBC, Vice, ARTE, PBS and the New York Times, as well as in international festivals and museums.

To RSVP for this event, click here.

To stay up to date on event information for the Luskin Lecture Series and upcoming events, join our mailing list here

Previous Luskin Lecture Events

Oct. 17, 2019: During “Dawn of a New Day: Asian American Women Who Are Changing Media,” panelists actress Tess Paras, writer Fawzia Mirza, performance artist Kristina Wong, and director Grace Lee fierce discussed their experiences on becoming female leaders, storytellers, and activists who challenge a predominantly male-dominated film/tv/media industry. With moderator Ada Tseng of TimesOC. For a full recap of the event, click here.

Oct. 10, 2019: UCLA Luskin School of Public Affairs joined the Human Rights Campaign in providing nine Democratic presidential candidates a forum to speak about their policy platforms and plans regarding moving LGBTQ equality forward. Read more.

May 14, 2019: In a moderated Q&A, featured panelists including Richard Alatorre, Gil Cedillo, Gloria Molina, Richard Polanco, and Antonio Villaraigosa share their thoughts on the history authors David R. Ayón and George L. Pla capture in their book “Power Shift: How Latinos in California Transformed Politics in America”.  To read a full recap of the event, click here.

May 1, 2019: During their lecture “Just Urban Design: Un-Walling Citizenship”, Teddy Cruz and Fonna Forman discussed their inspiration for MEXUS, exhibited at the 2018 Venice Architecture Biennale, among other ongoing projects. Click here for a full recap on the lecture.

April 23, 2019: Professor Setha Low shared five dimensions of evaluating the success of public spaces to better assess social justice in public infrastructure based on 25 years of ethnographic research on parks, plazas and streets in cities such as New York, Philadelphia and San José, Costa Rica during her lecture “Social Justice and Public Space: Propositions and Problems.” Click here for a full recap on the lecture.

March 5, 2019: Author and educator Cris Beam shared policy and cultural insights into improving queer care, as well as her personal experiences fostering a trans teenager, during her lecture, “Queer Care: LGBTQ Youth in Child Welfare.”

October 9, 2018: Jorge Ramos. A pivotal figure in the American Latino community, Ramos is the long-time host of Univision Noticias’ evening news, as well as their Sunday news magazine Al Punto. His more than 30 years of engaging and informative reporting — as well as his unwavering dedication to advancing the rights of marginalized communities — have been an inspiration to so many people. He was recognized for his decades of achievements in journalism, and his advocacy for Latino and immigrant communities, with the presentation of the UCLA Medal. Read more.

April 26-April 27, 2018: “Black, Brown, and Powerful: Freedom Dreams in Unequal Cities.” This two-day Luskin Lecture powerfully addresses the use of academic research to advocate for societal change regarding the affordable housing crisis in California, urban displacement, and inequality. To read more about the discussion and watch videos, click here.

March 5, 2018: “A Conversation with Chelsea Manning.” To read the recap of the event with the former United States Defense intelligence analyst, click here

Fall 2017: Off the Table. The UCLA Luskin School of Public Affairs and the UCLA Food Studies Graduate Certificate Program presented a series of events that took topics of urban agriculture, food security and food policy off the table and brought awareness to the food movement in the Los Angeles area. Read the recap of the events by clicking here

May 25, 2017: “Do Words Matter? Journalism, Communication and Alternative Truth.” A daylong symposium during which journalists, scholars and media pundits debated whether truth matters in a polarized United States, and reporter and news anchor Ray Suarez summarized the condition of American politics vs. American journalism. Read the recap of the event by clicking here.

April 28-30, 2017: “Flash Point 2017”
A weekend of reflection, debate, education and artistic interpretation marking the 25th anniversary of the start of the Los Angeles Riots in 1992. Read the recap of the event by clicking here.

Watch the video of the “Media and Social Change” panel discussion.

Feb. 7, 2017: “Disrupt Aging” featuring Jo Ann Jenkins, CEO of AARP. Read the recap of the event and view a video interview with Jenkins by clicking here.

Feb. 5, 2016: “The Audacity of Despair”
A Conversation with David Simon
Read the recap of the event by clicking here.

Jan. 12, 2016: “The Paris Agreement: An Agreement for Humanity”
A Conversation with Mary Robinson
Read the recap of the event by clicking here.

March 30, 2015: “A Conversation With Leon Panetta
Read the recap of the event by clicking here.

April 14, 2015: “The Role of Arts & Culture in Public Life”
Read about the event by clicking here.

Dec. 4, 2014: “Lessons from Little Rock: A Conversation with Terrence Roberts
Read the recap of the event by clicking here.

May 15, 2015: “A Conversation With U.S. Transportation Sec. Anthony Foxx
Read about the event by clicking here.

Jan. 29, 2014: “A Conversation With Sec. Madeleine Albright
Read the recap of the event by clicking here.

Oct. 21, 2014: “American Winter: Millions of Americans Still Left Out in the Cold”: A Documentary Screening and Discussion
Read the recap of the event by clicking here.

March 21, 2013: The Future of Aging in America: A Conversation with A. Barry Rand, CEO of AARP
Read the complete Rand recap by clicking here.

March 6, 2013: Partnering for Schools: Building the Future of Education in Los Angeles with Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa & LA Unified School District Superintendent John Deasy
Read the complete Villaraigosa-Deasy recap by clicking here.

Dec. 4, 2013: “A Conversation With Marian Wright Edelman
Read the recap of the event by clicking here.

Jan. 23, 2013: Campaigns Matter! with former Governor Howard Dean
Read the Howard Dean recap by clicking here.

Nov. 7, 2013: “Policing: Where We Have Been, Where We Are & Where We Are Going” with former LAPD Chief William J. Bratton.
Read the Bratton review by clicking here.

Feb. 28, 2013: Change Can Come with New York City Commissioner of Transportation Janette Sadik-Khan
Read the complete Sadik-Khan recap by clicking here.


Oct. 17, 2012: Sea Change or More of the Same? Looking Beyond Nov. 6. See video by clicking here.


Feb. 16, 2012: A Conversation with Charles Ogletree, Harvard University
Read the Charles Ogletree recap by clicking here.

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