The 2017 UCLA Activist-in-Residence Program
Fellows were in residence on the UCLA campus during Winter Quarter, 2017: January 4, 2017 – March 31, 2017.
We were able to offer two residencies for the inaugural 2017 program. Interested individuals applied for one of the following fellowships:
- The UCLA Asian American Studies Center Fellow: This fellowship is made possible through the Yuji Ichioka and Emma Gee Endowment in Social Justice and Immigration Studies. The fellow focused on addressing social inequality in Asian American and Pacific Islander communities by participating in a variety of events, such as presentations, class visits, workshops, panels, activist projects, video projects, and Center meetings.
- The Irvine Fellow on Urban Life is a residence program funded by the James Irvine Foundation established to bring to the Institute scholar-activists who undertake social movement research and pedagogy directly concerned with equity at the urban scale—preferably in one or more of the following themes:
- Evictions, Displacement and Houselessness in the Global City
- Wealth, Inequality, and Philanthropy
- Welfare and Social Protection in the 21st Century
- Civil and Financial Disobedience
- Policing and Mass Incarceration
While the Irvine fellow is not required to teach a course, we encouraged student engagement through workshops, class visits, community meetings or field research.
Funmilola Fagbamila, an activist and community organizer with more than eight years of experience in Los Angeles County, was the 2017 Irvine Fellow on Urban Life. She has been an organizer with Black Lives Matter since its inception, centering its work on policing, mass incarceration, and the overall physical health and wellness in poor black and brown communities. As the Arts and Culture Director for Black Lives Matter Los Angeles, Ms. Fagbamila’s work sits at the intersection of blackness and freedom. While she was a graduate student in UCLA’s African American Studies Department, Ms. Fagbamila also worked with a number of campus and community groups, primarily organizing around student rights, promoting faculty and student solidarity, and hosting educational events on the increased privatization of public education in California.
Ms. Fagbamila explains that her “scholarship explores the complexity of black identity and ideological posturing in the context of Western world.” During her residency Ms. Fagbamila planned not only to produce a curriculum and host campus workshops regarding inter-ideological communication and intracommunal difference but also complete her stage play, The Intersection, based on engagement across ideological communities. You can learn more about Funmilola Fagbamila’s work here.
The Asian American Studies Center (AASC) Activist Fellow, Lisa Hasegawa, served as the Executive Director of the National Coalition for Asian Pacific American Development (CAPACD) for the past 15 years and recently stepped down in December 2016. Prior to National CAPACD, she was the Community Liaison of the White House Initiative on Asian Americans Pacific Islanders at the end of the Clinton Administration. For her entire career, she has worked at the intersections of civil and human rights, housing, health and community organizing. Lisa is committed to leveraging her cross-disciplinary networks across the country for UCLA students, faculty, and larger community. Having returned to the AASC as the Activist in Residence was a homecoming for her. While she was an undergraduate at UCLA, she started her career in community activism through an AASC internship at the Asian Pacific Health Care Venture.
“We are on the brink of a very challenging period for Asian Americans Pacific Islanders, undocumented immigrants, communities of color, low-income and queer communities,” said Lisa Hasegawa. She continued, “I look forward to facilitating lively dialogue and concerted action amongst networks of activists, advocates and practitioners, together with students and faculty.”
As part of her fellowship, Hasegawa documented achievements and challenges faced during the Obama Administration. Additionally, she engaged students, faculty and community activists in dialogue about how strategies may have fallen short, and took stock of policies that can be strengthened, preserved or defended.