Each year the Institute supports graduate students from all three departments at the UCLA Luskin School of Public Affairs for capstone research projects that align with and advance at least one of the Institute’s key research themes. Learn more about the application process.

Hidden Hazards: The Impacts of Climate Change on Incarcerated People in California State Prisons

Aishah Abdala, Abhilasha Bhola, Guadalupe Gutierrez, Eric Henderson, and Maura O’Neill (2023)

Evaluating the Impact of the L.A. County Office of Immigrant Affairs in Supporting Immigrant Residents

Julie Aguilar, Rayan Bacaloni, Shannon Camacho, Kathreen Lopez (2021)

Establishing a Consent Policy for Youth Diversion in Los Angeles County

Susan Baik, Oceana R. Gilliam, Lindsay Graef, Nicollette Lewis, Erica Webster (2019)

Housing in Honolulu: Analyzing the Prospect of Taxing Empty Homes

Adam Barsch, Erika Cervantes, Mary Daou, Dickran Jebejian, Michael Rios (2020)

One Dollar Day: Labor Conditions within California Immigrant Detention Centers

Kamal Cheema, Laura Edwards, Thomas Hernandez, Mei Naito, and Ibuki Yamada (2023)

Diverting Black Girls in Los Angeles County from the School-to-Prison Pipeline through Intersectional Policy Solutions

Amanda De La Cerda, Amy Sage, Mariela Nevárez, Savannah Ramirez, Cassandra DeWitt (2021)

Surveillance Technology in Schools: Implications for Equity

Savana Doudar, Dinan Guan, Jaymie Park, Sydney Saubestre, and Emily Silberstein (2023)

Border Health Justice: Ensuring Due Process and Public Health Safety Amidst the COVID-19 Pandemic

Melissa Candell Villacreses, Nivedita Keshav, Jose Negrete Manriquez, Ashley Reyes, Olivia Ho Wu (2022)


The Institute supports graduate student working groups who undertake a year-long plan of collective work related to one of the Institute’s key research themes. Working groups are encouraged to speak to public issues and address audiences beyond the university. The aim is to question established academic wisdom and contribute to public debate with a commitment to social, racial, and research justice. Learn more about the application process.

Graduate Student Working Groups 2023-24

    • Lucy Briggs, Madalyn Bryant, Chandi Gordon, Alejandra Rios Gutierrez, Isis Haynes, Jessica Lopez, Ina Morton, Ariella Ventura – Urban Planning. Abolition Course Working Group 
    • Wesleigh Gates, Anna Robinson-Sweet, Matt Schneider – Anthropology, Information Studies, World Arts & Cultures/Dance. Academic Complicity with Policing
    • Nohely Guzmán, Andrew Malmuth, Benjamin Weinger – Geography, Sociology. Critical Climate Adaptation Working Group
    • Maxwell Hellman, Matthew Hing, Natalie Marshall – Anthropology. Health Through Mutual Aid: Creating a “Community Pharmacy” with Unhoused Residents
    • Samyuktha Comandur, Erin Mauffray, Bineh Ndefru – Materials Science & Engineering, Political Science, Spanish & Portuguese. Palms Unhoused Mutual Aid (PUMA-LA)
    • Mariam Khan, Chris Martinez, Adbullah Puckett, Rasheed Shabazz – Anthropology, History, Medicine and Public Health, Urban Planning. Planning for Reentry Working Group
    • Shaellen Franco, Nils Jepson, Ina Morton, Rebecca Swint – Urban Planning. PRAXIS
    • Claire Nelischer, Andres F. Ramirez, Gus Wendel – Urban Planning. Reclaim the Music! Reclaim the Station!
  • Alejandra Rios Gutierrez, Lillian Liang, Kevin Liu, Lindsey Morris, Leslie Velasquez – Sociology, Urban Planning. Abolition and Planning Praxis Course Group 
  • Jeremy Abbott, Olivia Arena, Megan Riley, Doga Tekin, Emma Tran – Community Health Sciences, Information Studies, Urban Planning. Decarcerating Public Libraries: Pedagogy & Praxis
  • Katherine Hernandez, Sedonna Goeman-Shulsky, Juan Felipe Riano Landazabal, Sebastian Solarte – IoES, Geography. Environmental Justice Working Group
  • Emma French, Andrew Malmuth, Nick Tinoco – Sociology, Urban Planning. Housing Justice and Climate Adaptation
  • Abhilasha Bhola, Keenan Do, Alex Ferrer, Jhorna Islam – Public Policy, Social Welfare, Urban Planning. PRAXIS: A Socialist & Abolitionist Organization at UCLA Luskin School of Public Affairs
  • Olivia Arena, Christine Bustillos, Estefany Garcia, Audrey Jang, Lindsey Morris, Nathaniel Myman, Hannah Schwartz – Law, Urban Planning. Students for Community Land Ownership
  • Aziz Fellague Ariouat, Michael Criste, Andrew Jarnagin, Jessica Martin, Haley Roeser, Yassaman Sarvian, Sara Tohamy – Urban Planning. Black Reconstruction Summer Seminar
  • Sam Lutzker, Andrew Malmuth, Hilary Malson, Kate Smock, Victoria Tran – Sociology, Urban Planning. Housing Justice Public Scholarship
  • Tracey Beltran, Alexander Ferrer, Sam Lutzker, Jessica Melendez, Haley Roeser – Sociology, Urban Planning. Informal Tenancy Working Group
  • Rebecca Escoto, Marium Navid, Alexandra Prescott, Priscilla Vazquez – Public Policy, Social Welfare. Luskin Mutual Aid Fund
  • Aziz Fellague Ariouat, Michael Criste, Alexander Ferrer, Harper Lauren, Rachel Lu, Antara Murshed, Nataly Rios, Haley Roser – Urban Planning. Planning Abolitionist Futures: Theory and Praxis
  • Akua Agyen, Alex Bowen, Audrey Comber, Nour Elgezawi, Rebecca Escoto, Kristen Gast, Kevin Nguyen, Priscilla Vazquez – Social Welfare. Reimagining Social Welfare Collective
  • Ben Bressette, Alexander Ferrer, Tiffany Green, Kristin Gunther, Andrew Jarnagin, Nathan Keibler, Casey Leedom, Jessica Martin, Aurelia Mora, Sara Tohamy, Audrey Younsook – Urban Planning. Students for Community Land Ownership
  • Evan Bruetsch, Emmanuel Proussaloglou, Chris Rancourt, Gabe Saltzman – Architecture and Urban Design, Urban Planning. Wasted Space(s): Reimagining Unused Parking Structures as Decommodified Housing
  • Lupe Cazares-Meyers, Nathan Cheung, Paola Lopez – Latin American Studies. Hand in Hand LA
  • Ary Hansen, Sam Lutzker, Kartik Raj – Sociology, Law. Palms Unhoused Mutual Aid (PUMA-LA)
  • Thabisile Griffin, LeighAnna Hidalgo, Rosanna Simons – Chicana/o Studies, Central American Studies. People 4 People/Gente por Gente
  • Cynthia Bourjac, Irene Farr, Alejandro Gonzalez, Andres Gonzalez, Demetria Murphy – Urban Planning. Planners of Color for Social Equity
  • Bernice López, Jodi E. Scofield, Stephanie Ruiz – Social Welfare. Reimagining Social Welfare Collective: An Abolitionist Framework
  • Yamillet Brizuela, Sami Bhusal, Laura Daza Garcia, Spike Friedman, Olivia Miller, Breigh Montgomery, Alicia Morales Perez, Amy Young, Amy Zhou – Public Policy, Social Welfare, Urban Planning. UCLA Luskin Institute on Inequality and Democracy Student Advisory Board
  • Carlie Domingues, AnMarie Mendoza, Carolyn Rodriguez –American Indian Studies. California Indian Graduate Student Working Group
  • Maritza Geronimo, Lauren Ilano, Kimberly Miranda – Chicana/o Studies, Education and Information Studies, Geography. Contra Mapping: A Series on Decolonizing Cartography for Community Resistance
  • Dian Tri Irawaty, Fernanda Jahn-Verri, Jaehyeon Park – Geography, Urban Planning. Discussing Land Titling and Property Rights in the Global South
  • Jason Anthony Plummer, Marcel Roman, Tye Rush – Political Science, Social Welfare. Divesting in Communities of Color: The Long-Term Effects of Redlining on Political Capital and Community Development
  • Naveen Agrawal, Spike Friedman, Dickran Jebejian, Samantha Meyer, Andrew Miller – Geography, Urban Planning. (No) Vacancy: How Can A Vacancy Tax Mitigate Los Angeles’ Housing Crisis?
  • Clementine Bordeaux, Viki Eagle, Jessica Fremland, Renee White Eyes – Anthropology, Education, Gender Studies, World Arts and Cultures/Dance. Owášte Optáya
  • Dian Tri Irawaty, Fernanda Jahn-Verri, Jaehyeon Park – Geography, Urban Planning. Discussing Landscapes of Property
  • Travis Bott, Alexis Coopersmith, Joel Herrera, Nihal Kayali – Geography, Sociology. Political Sociology and the Global South
  • Lorraine Perales, Samantha Piedra – Social Welfare, Public Policy. Reanalyzing the Community Reinvestment Act of 1977
  • Christina Chica, Emma Colven, Matías Fernández, Joel Herrera – Sociology, Geography. Political Sociology and the Global South
  • Skye Allmang, Rebecca Crane, Feliz Quinones – Social Welfare, Urban Planning, Education and Information Studies. Resistance through Research: Graduate Student Working Group on Social Justice + Activism in the Trump Era
  • C. Aujean Lee, Rachel Wells, Silvia Gonzalez – Urban Planning, Social Welfare. Social Protections in the New Administration: Nonprofit Responses Amidst Political Changes
  • Eve Bachrach, Gina Charusombat, Amman Desai, Julia Heidelman, Lawrence Lan, Jacklyn Oh, Xochitl Ortiz, Carolyn Vera, Estefania Zavala – Urban Planning, Asian American Studies. Our Hoods, Our Stories: Documenting Displacement in Boyle Heights and Chinatown
  • Kenton Card, Matías Fernández, Andrew N. Le – Urban Planning, Sociology. Political Sociology and the Global South Working Group
  • Hannah Carlan, Nafis Hasan, Tanya Matthan, Nivedita Nath, Gabriel Locke Suchodolski – Anthropology, History, Sociology. Welfare Workings: Popular Politics and the Public in Contemporary India


From 2020 until 2021, the Institute supported research fellowships for UCLA Luskin graduate and doctoral students. The Inequality and Democracy Fellowship provided students with the opportunity to conduct research and gain invaluable experience in partnership with movement-based organizations with whom the Institute has longstanding relationships. The fellowship aimed to broaden and deepen student’s research skills, while also supporting the urgent, but severely underresourced research needs of our partner organizations who lead critical work on the front lines of our communities and cities.

Fellows & Research Projects