Diverse Panel Considers 2012 Vote

Inside Out: Social Justice, Activism and the 2012 Vote

With the upcoming presidential election only weeks away, the Bunche Center — in collaboration with the Institute of American Cultures (IAC), the other ethnic studies centers, Academic Advancement Program, and Center for the Study of Race, Ethnicity, and Politics — will host, “Inside Out: Social Justice, Activism and the 2012 Vote.”

 The panel features a diverse panel of experts who will explore the meaning of the 2012 elections through a social justice frame.  Moderated by Mark Sawyer, Director of the UCLA Center for the Study of Race, Ethnicity and Politics and Associate Professor of Political Science, the panel will consider issues such as race, class, voter suppression efforts, and alternatives to traditional electoral politics.

Bunche Center Director Darnell Hunt promises that the event will offer a different way of framing the election.  “Mainstream media looks at the election in more narrow terms.  We wanted this event to consider a broader range of perspectives than that.  We felt that the IAC, because it is composed of the four ethnic studies centers, would be a good environment to bring together experts to examine the 2012 vote.”

“Inside Out: Social Justice, Activism and the 2012 Vote” features a wide range of voices, from academics to artists.  The panelists include Lalo Alcaraz, political cartoonist, satirist and faculty member at the Otis School of Art & Design in Los Angeles; Dennis Loo, Professor of Sociology, Cal Poly Pomona and The World Can’t Wait; Mark Masaoka, Asian Pacific Policy & Planning Council; Joely Proudfit, Director of the California Indian Culture and Sovereignty Center and faculty member at California State University, San Marcos.

Hunt makes clear that the panel is not targeted specifically at the differences between Republicans and Democrats.  “We want to break out of the two-party discussion.  In some ways, partisan divisiveness is what’s diverting attention from the real issues.”  Hunt feels the conference will be a good opportunity to look at how social justice can be a part of the electoral process.  Hunt adds, “The panel will look at the role social activism can play in electoral politics, the degree to which the two might work together.”

The IAC was founded in 1969 as a collaborative initiative to foster and advance ethnic studies scholarship at UCLA and to build connections among the four ethnic studies centers — American Indian Studies Center; Asian American Studies Center; Chicano Studies Research Center; and Ralph J. Bunche Center for African American Studies.  The IAC works to advance our understanding of the new social and cultural realities in America defined by population shifts, as well as increased fluidity with regard to race, ethnicity, identity, and culture.

The event will be held on Thursday, October 25, 2012, with a reception starting at 5:30 and the panel discussion commencing at 6:00pm.  It will be held in Haines Hall 144, on the UCLA campus.  All-day parking ($11) and short-term parking (payable at pay stations) are available in Lots 2, 3 or 4 (enter the campus at Hilgard and Westholme avenues). For updated information, call 310-206-8267 or visit www.bunchecenterdev.pre.ss.ucla.edu.