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 events@luskin.ucla.edu

For information about the Luskin Conference Center, click here.

Upcoming Luskin Lecture Events

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.

“Power Shift: How Latinos in California Transformed Politics in America”

May 14, 2019 6-8pm
Ackerman Grand Ballroom
308 Westwood Plaza
Los Angeles, CA 90095
Ackerman Grand Union

Power Shift charts the rise of Latino political power and its impact, from the breakthrough election of the first Mexican American to the Los Angeles City Council in 1949 to today’s leadership of California and its heavyweight role in the national political landscape. Power Shift recounts the origins and development of 10 Los Angeles Latino leaders who transformed politics and government, forging a progressive political tradition in the process. Based on hundreds of hours of oral interviews and expert research, Power Shift tells a personal, gripping story that has critical relevance to our political present. The book also discusses how this social movement spearheaded critical changes in public health, law enforcement, education, housing, immigration, transportation, and environmental policies. Power Shift is co-authored by David R. Ayón, Senior Strategist/ Advisor to Latino Decisions and Senior Fellow at the Center for the Study of Los Angeles and George L. Pla, President & CEO of Cordoba Corporation.

Featured panelists include Richard Alatorre, Gil Cedillo, Gloria Molina, Richard Polanco, Antonio Villaraigosa and authors David R. Ayón and George L. Pla.

For more event information and tickets, click here.

Previous Luskin Lecture Events

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 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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