Core Team

Ananya Roy


Twitter: @ananyaUCLA

Ananya Roy is Professor of Urban Planning, Social Welfare and Geography and inaugural Director of the Institute on Inequality and Democracy at UCLA Luskin. She holds The Meyer and Renee Luskin Chair in Inequality and Democracy. Previously she was on the faculty at the University of California, Berkeley, where she founded and played a leadership role in several academic programs including those concerned with poverty research and poverty action.

Ananya’s research and scholarship has a determined focus on poverty and inequality and lies in four domains: how the urban poor in cities from Kolkata to Chicago face and fight eviction, foreclosure, and displacement; how global financialization, working in varied realms from microfinance to real-estate speculation, creates new markets in debt and risk; how the efforts to manage and govern the problem of poverty reveal the contradictions and limits of liberal democracy; how economic prosperity and aspiration in the global South is creating new potentialities for programs of human development and social welfare.

Ananya is the recipient of several awards including the Paul Davidoff book award, which recognizes scholarship that advances social justice, for Poverty Capital: Microfinance and the Making of Development (Routledge, 2010); the Distinguished Teaching Award, the highest teaching recognition that the University of California, Berkeley bestows on its faculty; and the Excellence in Achievement award of the Cal Alumni Association, a lifetime achievement award which celebrates her contributions to the University of California and public sphere.

Visit Ananya Roy’s full website

Marisa Lemorande

Deputy Director

Phone: (310) 267-5403

Marisa Lemorande is Deputy Director of the Institute on Inequality and Democracy at UCLA Luskin. Marisa brings to the Institute many years of experience working with nonprofit, community, and cultural organizations concerned with social justice. By building robust alliances and developing effective communications and fundraising strategies, Marisa has shown leadership and creativity in supporting activists, artists, and scholars, both in Los Angeles and elsewhere in California. A graduate of UCLA, Marisa has served as Program Manager of the UCLA Center for Culture and Health. In this capacity, she managed large federally funded projects, including one of the most diverse and successful programs the NIH has supported over a 25-year grant cycle. Most recently, Marisa held the position of Director of Alumni Relations and Social Media for the UCLA Luskin School of Public Affairs. In this role, she implemented a dramatic expansion of the school’s alumni networks and led the most successful crowdfunding campaign in UCLA’s history. Marisa joins the Institute with a sharp analysis of socio-spatial inequality and a passion for community outreach, public scholarship, and policy advocacy. 

Cristina Barrera

Communications and Program Manager

Phone: (310) 267-5401

Cristina graduated from UCLA where she double majored in English and Chicana/o Studies and minored in Labor and Workplace Studies. As a student, she helped produce the book project Undocumented and Unafraid at the UCLA Labor Center. She has years of experience working on legislation and marketing efforts for a City of Los Angeles Councilmember. Most recently, she served as a writer and editor for a nationally distributed magazine. Cristina has worked with several nonprofits on issues ranging from poverty and community development to health care and education and was a founding member of Youth Speak Collective, an organization serving the Northeast San Fernando Valley.


Faculty Advisory Board

Laura Abrams, Social Welfare

Hannah Appel, Anthropology

Dan Froot, World Arts and Cultures/ Dance

Akhil Gupta, Anthropology

Ian Holloway, Social Welfare

Gaye Theresa Johnson, African-American Studies and Chicana/o Studies

Robin D.G. Kelley, History

Helga Leitner, Geography

Anastasia Loukaitou-Sideris, Urban Planning

Pedro Noguera, Education and Information Sciences

Eric Sheppard, Geography

Chris Tilly, Urban Planning

Edward Walker, Sociology

Wes Yin, Public Policy

Student Advisory Board

Kristen Brock-Petroshius, Social Welfare Ph.D. student

Isaac Bryan, Public Policy Master’s student

Gina Charusombat, Public Policy Master’s student

Khalilha Haynes, Urban Planning Master’s student

Taylor Holland, Urban Planning Master’s student

Victoria Lewis, Public Policy Master’s student/ M.D. Candidate

Hilary Malson, Urban Planning Ph.D. student

Matthew Mizel, Social Welfare Ph.D. student

Alexandria Parker, Social Welfare Master’s student

Javier Rodriguez, Social Welfare Master’s student

Sean Tan, Public Policy Master’s student

Alvin Teng, Public Policy Master’s student

Erica Webster, Public Policy Master’s student