I would like to thank you for your ongoing support of the Ralph J. Bunche Center for African American Studies at UCLA. 2012 marked 42 years of university and community service for the Bunche Center. We could not accomplish our important work without you—our alumni and friends—who are our community partners in excellence. I encourage you to take a moment to make a year-end gift to the Bunche Center; it will be a worthwhile investment. Your gift will make a significant and immediate impact on the Center’s success by providing vital resources and allowing us to address our most pressing needs. Your donation might even be eligible to be matched by your employer, thus doubling its impact; please check the Gift Options section of our webpage.
The year featured a provocative array of research and programmatic initiatives, including the Center’s Race and Hollywood Project—which aims to produce the definitive, on-going study of barriers to and best practices for diversifying the Hollywood entertainment industry—and welcoming home scholar, activist, and UCLA alumnus Clayborne Carson as our 23rd Thurgood Marshall lecturer and honoree.
The year also featured ongoing efforts by the Center to increase African American access to higher education at both the undergraduate and graduate levels. Tapping into research initiated as part of the Center’s Ford Foundation-funded College Access Project for African Americans (2002-2008), Center scholars coordinated the writing of amicus legal briefs for court cases in the Sixth and Ninth Circuit Courts of Appeal that challenged the bans on affirmative action in Michigan (Proposal 2) and California (Proposition 209). These briefs were signed by dozens of social scientists and admissions experts throughout the state of California. Meanwhile, our Mellon Foundation-funded Summer Humanities Institute (SHI), which has prepared students for the rigors of graduate school since 2001, enjoyed its first year of support (of three) from the UC Office of the President’s initiative focused on Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs).
It was an exciting year, and this coming year picks up where it left off.
During 2013, the Center aims to produce a pilot study that kicks off the Race and Hollywood Project in earnest. It also plans to continue pursuing funding for the next phase of the College Access Project for African Americans, which will undoubtedly grapple with whatever decision emerges from the Fisher v. University of Texas affirmative action case currently being reviewed by the U.S. Supreme Court. SHI will be revamped in order to initiate and nurture ties between UCLA researchers and their counterparts at HBCUs. And, of course, the outcome of the November 2012 elections will most definitely chart a course for the nation that Center scholars are uniquely situated to examine.
I invite you to join us at Center events—Circle of Thought brown bag series, Bunche Author Series book signings, and the annual Thurgood Marshall Lecture, among others—as well as keep up with our research efforts on Hollywood diversity, college access, and related social justice issues.
We are deeply grateful for your generous support, which enables us to maintain our standing as a leader in ethnic studies at one of the most prestigious public research universities in the world. Please subscribe to our website by visiting the main page and inputting your email address so that you will automatically receive the latest updates to our calendar and blog entries.
I look forward to connecting with you throughout what promises to be an eventful year.
Darnell M. Hunt
Director of the Ralph J. Bunche Center for African American Studies at UCLA
Professor of Sociology