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Mobility & Opportunity

UCLA LPPI Receives $15 Million to Launch Latina Futures Project


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Today, members of the Legislature joined with the UCLA Chicano Studies Research Center (CSRC) and the UCLA Latino Policy & Politics Institute (UCLA LPPI) faculty, fellows and staff to celebrate the launch of the Latina Futures, 2050 Lab (2050 Lab). 

Today, members of the Legislature joined with the UCLA Chicano Studies Research Center (CSRC) and the UCLA Latino Policy & Politics Institute (UCLA LPPI) faculty, fellows and staff to celebrate the launch of the Latina Futures, 2050 Lab (2050 Lab).

Photo courtesy: David Esquivel, UCLA
From left to right: Vice Chancellor and Provost Darnell Hunt, Veronica Terriquez, Sonja Diaz, Assemblymember Isaac Bryan, Assemblymember Wendy Carrillo, Board of Equalization Member Antonio Vazquez, Senator Maria Elena Durazo, Assemblymember Sabrina Cervantes and Assemblymember Luz Rivas.

In this year’s budget, the Legislature prioritized $15 million to create the 2050 Lab to support policy research, leadership programs and civic engagement with a Latina lens.  The 2050 Lab builds upon the foundation laid by the California Latino Legislative Caucus’ Unseen Latinas initiative, created to address the continued and growing inequality that Latinas experience in economic outcomes, career and leadership opportunities, and educational attainment.

“I am proud of the legislature’s $15M investment to launch the Latina Futures, 2050 Lab. This historic investment will allow us to create policies to address the inequities Latina women face in entertainment, healthcare and the judicial system,” said Senator Maria Elena Durazo, chair of the California Latino Legislative Caucus. “As we recover from the COVID-19 pandemic and ascend to become the 4th biggest economy in the world, we cannot afford to leave Latina women behind.”

By 2050, Latinas will represent 13% of the U.S. population, 11% of the labor force, and have a median age 11 years younger than non-Hispanic white women. The 2050 Lab will accelerate research and provide critical data and insights that reach decision-makers. The 2050 Lab, with the leadership of Veronica Terriquez, director of the CSRC and Sonja Diaz, director of UCLA LPPI, will invest in scholarly interventions that utilize  a Latina lens to shape policymaking that remedies gender inequity through visibility and inclusion.

“I am proud to join with UCLA LPPI and the CSRC to celebrate this significant $15 million state budget investment, championed by Latino Caucus, that will advance a new future for Latinas that centers their experiences and invests in building their expertise. The Unseen Latinas Initiative was created to raise awareness of the inequities Latinas experience. By taking this next step with the Latinas Futures Lab, we will build a new generation of leaders to advance this work and shift the nation towards action,” said Assemblymember Sabrina Cervantes, who serves as Vice Chair of the California Latino Legislative Caucus.

Today’s launch of Latina Futures included the announcement of a national Latina law symposium, set for Fall 2023 which will be held in partnership with the UCLA School of Law Chicanx-Latinx Law Review, University of Denver Latinx Center, Hispanic National Bar Association, and Latina Lawyers Bar Association. The Illuminating the Way Symposium will bring together prominent members of the legal field from across the country with a shared commitment to lift up the work of pioneering Latinas and expand diversity in the legal profession. At the symposium, these leaders will engage in substantive discussions on the challenges that face Latinas’ economic, political, and social status in the United States, and begin to identify opportunities that support Latinas’ mobility.

“We are imagining a bold future for the United States, one that prioritizes the inclusion and leadership growth of Latinas so we are represented at every decision-making table,” said Sonja Diaz, founding director of UCLA LPPI. “One need look no further than those most impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic or growing inflation to see the devastating consequences of a policymaking process that excludes us. The Latina Futures, 2050 Lab will grow the next generation of Latina leaders and researchers that will advance meaningful policy change for the nation’s new majority.”

Photo courtesy: David Esquivel, UCLA
From left to right: Sonja Diaz, Ana-Christina Ramón, Assemblymember Wendy Carrillo, Vice Chancellor and Provost Darnell Hunt and Michael Tran.

Assemblymember Wendy Carrillo also presented a check to the Hollywood Diversity Report, joined by UCLA Executive Vice Chancellor and Provost Darnell Hunt and Dr. Ana-Christina Ramón, director of the newly founded Entertainment Media Research Initiative. The Hollywood Diversity Report is an ongoing analysis of gender and racial diversity in film and television which examines who receives key writing, acting, directing and show creator jobs in the industry. The report also shows how diverse content appeals to our country’s increasingly diverse demographics.

“As UCLA seeks to become a Hispanic Serving Institution by 2025, we’re proud to have the Legislature recognize the work of our centers focused on closing data gaps, illuminating solutions and uplifting new Latina leadership at the nations’ preeminent public university,” said Dr. Ana-Christina Ramón.

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The UCLA Latino Policy and Politics Institute addresses the most critical domestic policy challenges facing Latinos and other communities of color through research, advocacy, mobilization, and leadership development to expand genuine opportunity for all Americans.