Bunche Research Report, Vol. 6, No. 2 (February 2012)
Defending Affirmative Action
The affirmative action battle rages on in the United States. Legal arguments are being heard at the federal appeals level and, beginning in fall 2012, at the Supreme Court level. In light of the cases being presented to the Sixth and Ninth Circuit Federal Court of Appeals, the Bunche Center presents the following brief submitted by the California Social Science Researchers and Admissions Experts as Amici Curiae in support of the plaintiffs, Coalition to Defend Affirmative Action, et al. v. Brown, Yudof, and Connerly. The brief was co-authored by the Bunche Center Director and Assistant Director and based on Bunche Center research.
California’s Proposition 209 amended the state constitution to ban the use of race-conscious admissions at state universities. Amici have an interest in presenting to the Court the 14 years of empirical data that documents the detrimental effects California Proposition 209 has had on underrepresented minorities in the state who seek access to the University of California. Although Proposition 209 also has constrained the access of underrepresented minorities to the University of California’s transfer student, graduate, and faculty ranks, this brief focuses primarily on the negative effect on freshman admissions. It pays particular attention to the case of African American students in California, since the effects of Proposition 209 on this group have been most pronounced. The empirical evidence in this brief is relevant to the Court’s determination of whether Proposition 209 violates the Equal Protection Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment of the U.S. Constitution.
For more information about this brief and affirmative action issues, please visit the Bunche Center’s Diversity Issues page.
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Bunche Research Report, Vol. 6, No. 1 (October 2011)
The Struggles for Racial Justice at UCLA, 1960 to 1963: Memoirs of a Scholar Activist
The report is a historical analysis of African American student activism from 1960 to 1963. During this period, a small number of African American activists at UCLA confronted Westwood merchants, apartment owners and employers, UCLA administrators, and reactionary student leaders with evidence of racial discrimination. Because there were so few African Americans at UCLA, the group needed support from other student groups in order to: 1) demand recognition of UCLA NAACP as a “Category I” student organization; 2) protest discrimination by Westwood merchants, apartment owners and employers; 3) establish a “Chancellor’s Committee on Discrimination;” 4) organize support for national civil rights causes, including: a) the “student sit-in movement” of 1960; b) the student march on the 1960 Democratic Convention; c) food and clothing drives for disenfranchised voters in southern states; d) the “Freedom Rides” of 1961 (and the “Freedom Rider Loan Fund” of 1962). These are the memoirs of Professor Robert Singleton, the Founding Director of the Ralph J. Bunche Center for African American Studies at UCLA from 1969 to 1970. He is currently an Economics professor at Loyola Marymount University.
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Bunche Research Report, Vol. 5, No. 1 (October 2009)
Black Los Angeles: A Preview
The Ralph J. Bunche Center for African American Studies at UCLA has been engaged in a multi-year research initiative, the Black Los Angeles Project, a major undertaking that explores the historical and contemporary contours of L.A.’s black community by bringing together the work of scholars from across Southern California. The culmination of this work is a 16-chapter book titled, Black Los Angeles: American Dreams and Racial Realities. Each chapter in the volume presents a case study or historical vignette that engages with five central themes: communities and neighborhoods; religious life; political participation; cultural production; and social justice. Collectively, the chapters attempt to connect the dots between the past, present, and future of Black Los Angeles. This volume edited by Darnell Hunt and Ana-Christina Ramon will be released by NYU Press in spring 2010. The October 2009 Bunche Research Report, “Black Los Angeles: A Preview,” presents anecdotes and art that convey the spirit of the chapters comprising each of the book’s four sections: Space, People, Image, and Action.
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Bunche Research Report, Vol. 4, No. 1 (January 2008)
GAMING THE SYSTEM: Inflation, Privilege, and the Under-representation of African American Students at the University of California
Authors: Robin Nicole Johnson, Cynthia Mosqueda, Ana-Christina Ramón, & Darnell M. Hunt
Supported by a grant from the Ford Foundation, UCLA’s Ralph J. Bunche Center for African American Studies established the College Access Project for African Americans (CAPAA) in 2002 to examine the crisis of severe underrepresentation confronting African Americans in California’s public institutions of higher education. The latest Bunche Research Report, “Gaming the System,” examines how each UC campus has operationalized comprehensive review and, more specifically, how each campus’ admissions process affects African American access to the UC system. The report assesses how well comprehensive review at each UC campus (except UC Merced which does not employ comprehensive review) addresses educational disparities and ensures ethnic and racial diversity. The report also presents recommendations on what the UC system, each UC campus, and the community can do to increase and preserve diversity at each UC campus.
Bunche Research Report, Vol. 3, No. 3 (Sept. 2006)
“Merit” Matters: Race, Myth & UCLA Admissions, 2006 CAPAA Findings
Supported by a grant from the Ford Foundation, UCLA’s Ralph J. Bunche Center for African American Studies established the College Access Project for African Americans (CAPAA) in 2002 to examine the crisis of severe underrepresentation confronting African Americans in California’s public institutions of higher education. Currently, CAPAA is documenting specific admissions practices that disadvantage underrepresented students at each of the nine undergraduate UC campuses. The focus of this report – the fourth in a series — is the role that an overly narrow definition of “merit” plays in limiting African American access to UCLA.
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Bunche Research Report, Vol. 3, No. 2 (June 2006)
ADMISSIONS & OMISSIONS: How “The Numbers” Are Used to Exclude Deserving Students, 2005-2006 CAPAA Findings
Supported by a grant from the Ford Foundation, UCLA’s Ralph J. Bunche Center for African American Studies established The College Access Project for African Americans (CAPAA) in 2002 to examine the crisis of severe underrepresentation confronting African Americans in California’s institutions of higher education, particularly after the repeal of Affirmative Action in California through Proposition 209. Currently, CAPAA is conducting research to examine differences in the admissions review processes at each of the nine undergraduate UC campuses. In response to the recent UC admissions announcement for Fall 2006, this report outlines the current status of African American access to the UC system. In addition, this report presents selected findings from an ongoing study of UC admissions practices. The goal of the larger study is to advance our knowledge about the specific practices that disadvantage African American students in the UC admissions process. On the basis of this knowledge, we aim to recommend viable strategies for remedying the persistent problems surrounding African American access to higher education in California and beyond.
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Bunche Research Report, Vol. 3, No. 1
(E)RACING RACE, ERASING ACCESS, 2004-2005 CAPAA Findings
African American students who aspire to college in California – particularly to the state’s most competitive public institutions – face an uncertain future. Since Proposition 209 was passed by the voters in 1996, which made it illegal to consider race for admissions to state-funded institutions, a reactionary political climate has intensified in the state. Concerns for equity and access have been replaced by a rigid reliance on supposedly objective and “colorblind” indicators of merit, while K-12 inequities that disadvantage African American students throughout the state have been allowed to fester.
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Bunche Research Report, Vol. 1, No. 2
SEPARATE BUT CERTAINLY NOT EQUAL, 2003 CAPAA Findings
In 2002, the Ralph J. Bunche Center for African American Studies at UCLA was awarded a five-year grant stemming from discussions with the Ford Foundation about the Center’s concerns with the repeal of Affirmative Action in California’s public institutions via the passage of Proposition 209, and the subsequent decline in African American admissions to the University of California (UC) system. This report chronicles the results of studies culminating from three mini-grants that were awarded to the project in 2003. In a year in which we celebrate the 50th anniversary of the Brown vs. Board of Education of Topeka decision that ended legalized segregation in American schools, we find a troubling trend in California toward resegregation and the concomitant inequalities.
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CAAS Research Report, Vol. 1, No. 2
PRIME TIME IN BLACK AND WHITE: Not Much is New for 2002
This follow-up to the last year’s study (see Vol. 1. No. 1. below) examined 234 episodes of 85 sitcoms and dramas airing on ABC, CBS, NBC, Fox, UPN, and WB during three weeks between October 13 and November 16, 2002. The resulting sample consisted of 189.5 hours of programming and included coding for 3,656 characters. For the first time, the study compared the total amount of time white, black, Latino and Asian American characters appeared on the screen in their respective shows.
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LIVING JUST ENOUGH: Race and Homeownership in Los Angeles
Owning one’s own home is a defining element of the “American Dream.” Like many other aspects of the “American Dream,” homeownership has been difficult for African Americans to attain, relative to other groups. Homeownership rates are approximately 20 percentage points higher among Whites than Blacks or Latinos in Los Angeles County. This research, conducted by University of Southern California Professor Angela James, reviews trends in homeownership by race, focusing specifically on Los Angeles County. Making homeownership more attainable for African Americans and other Los Angelinos must become a policy imperative for those interested in the well-being of urban communities.
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CAAS Research Report, Vol. 1, No. 1
PRIME TIME IN BLACK AND WHITE: Making Sense of the 2001 Fall Season
As a follow up to his research on race and representation in prime time television, Dr. Darnell Hunt, Director of the Bunche Center and Professor of Sociology, has launched a study of programming on several major networks this fall (ABC, CBS, NBC, FOX, UPN, WB, SHO, HBO). This project tracks the race of characters in sampled programming, the important socio-economic and demographic characteristics of their roles (age, occupation, education, gender, etc.), the various functions performed by the characters in the story line (hero, villain, fool, etc.), the prominence of the role in the overall series (i.e. regular, guest star, host), and the program genre (i.e. situation comedy or drama) This research is designed to increase employment opportunities for African American performers in prime-time television and educate executive producers about the social and commercial benefits of increasing the diversity of black images on television.
DOWNLOAD CAAS Research Report-June 2002