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.

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

For information about the Luskin Conference Center, click here.

Upcoming Luskin Lecture Events

Queer Care: LGBTQ Youth in Child Welfare

March 5, 2019      12:30-2pm
UCLA Faculty Center
480 Charles E Young Dr E
Los Angeles, CA 90095
California Room

As part of the Luskin Lecture series, the event will discuss Queer Care: LGBTQ Youth in Child Welfare. LGBTQ kids are overrepresented in foster care and often endure discrimination and abuse within a system designed to protect them. Around 40 percent of homeless youth identify as LGBTQ—often becoming so after “failed” foster placement. Cris Beam, author of To The End of June: The Intimate Life of American Foster Care, will share policy and cultural insights into improving queer care, as well as her personal experiences fostering a trans teenager.

For more event information and tickets, click here.

Social Justice and Public Space: Propositions and Problems

April 23, 2019 2-4pm
Kerckhoff Grand Salon
308 Westwood Plaza
Los Angeles, CA 90095
Kerkchoff Hall

Low’s presentation will focus on a method of evaluating the success of public spaces to better assess social justice in public infrastructure.  She will discuss five dimensions of evaluation based on 25 years of ethnographic research on parks, plazas and streets in cities such as New York, Philadelphia and San José, Costa Rica. Low’s recommendations follow her recent collaborations with the Center for the Future of Places and UN Habitat that sought to develop social justice indicators for urban design. In addition to literature discussions and a review of urban design models, the presentation will examine research on Tompkins Square Park in New York City that illustrates her view that a social justice perspective in urban design has the potential to enhance social diversity, cultural recognition and respect — while fostering social interaction among people who would not otherwise come into contact with one another.

For more event information and tickets, click here.

Just Urban Design: Un-Walling Citizenship

May 1, 2019 2-4pm
Kerckhoff Grand Salon
308 Westwood Plaza
Los Angeles, CA 90095
Kerckhoff Hall

In our increasingly walled world, and the surge of anti-immigrant sentiment everywhere, can the idea of citizenship be recuperated for more emancipatory and inclusive urban and political agendas?  Cruz and Forman will discuss their inspiration for MEXUS, exhibited at the 2018 Venice Architecture Biennale, among other projects.

For more event information and tickets, click here.

Previous Luskin Lecture Events

UCLA Luskin Lecture: Jorge Ramos

Luskin Conference Center
October 9, 2018

Jorge Ramos is a pivotal figure in the American Latino community and 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 throughout the United States, and the world.

The Luskin School of Public Affairs hosted Ramos as part of the UCLA Luskin Lecture Series and recognized his decades of achievements in journalism, and his advocacy for Latino and immigrant communities. The UCLA Medal was presented to Ramos at the Luskin Conference Center.  Ramos’ achievements make him an exemplary role model for all in the UCLA community, and we are proud to add his name to the roster of distinguished leaders and visionaries who have received the UCLA Medal.

Black, Brown, and Powerful: Freedom Dreams in Unequal Cities

April 26-April 27, 2018

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 the recap of 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 the recap of 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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