Optimism and opportunity are hallmarks of UCLA. It is only fitting, then, that the university is now home to the Institute on Inequality and Democracy at UCLA Luskin School of Public Affairs, whose mission, in part, is to “organize knowledge to challenge inequality.” Established with the support of two of UCLA’s most committed donors, Meyer ’49 and Renee Luskin, the institute launched in February under the superb leadership of Professor Ananya Roy, its inaugural director.
A world-renowned scholar, author, and teacher, Roy has said that “equality requires constant vigilance,” lest history repeat itself. Roy’s plans for the institute include analyzing and transforming racial, income, and other divides and disparities not only in the U.S., where they are not only hotly debated topics in the presidential election but also around the world — “across global South and global North.” Roy was born in Calcutta, India, a city marked by vast economic inequality.
The Luskins, avid advocates for social justice, long have directed their philanthropy toward that cause. They and Roy, who also holds the Meyer and Renee Luskin Chair in Inequality and Democracy, believe that UCLA — a great public university in a city that manifests inequalities but also mobilizes to fight them — is the perfect place for the institute.
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