The Institute supports research fellowships for UCLA graduate or doctoral students currently enrolled in graduate programs at the Luskin School of Public Affairs. The Inequality and Democracy Fellowship provides 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 aims to broaden and deepen each 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 cities. Fellows are “in-residence” to conduct research over the course of 12 weeks during the summer and receive guidance and mentorship from both the Institute’s research staff, as well as supervisors at our partner organizations. Fellows also participate in regular meetings with their cohort to collaboratively problem solve, while deepening their peer network.

Learn more about the latest cohort as well as the previous Fellowship projects.

2021 Inequality and Democracy Fellows & Research Projects


Graduate student working groups 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/or address audiences that lie beyond the university. They aim to question established academic wisdom, contribute to public debate, and/or have an impact on policy. Learn more about the application process.

Graduate Student Working Groups 2021-22

    • 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

Graduate Student Working Groups Spring & Summer 2020

    • 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

Graduate Student Working Groups 2019-20

    • 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

Graduate Student Working Groups 2018-19

    • 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

Graduate Student Working Groups 2017-18

    • 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

Graduate Student Working Groups 2016-17

    • 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


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.

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)