The Institute on Inequality and Democracy at UCLA Luskin invites graduate student members of RPN to its launch event (February 4-5, 2016 at UCLA). Directed by RPN Steering Committee member Ananya Roy, and convening faculty and students from multiple disciplines, the institute will lead research and public scholarship on wealth inequality, urban dispossession, and racial hierarchy with the aim of contributing to critical thought and social change activism. Thinking from the global South, the institute’s work will take up issues that are of concern to global Los Angeles and other cities in the global North.
The launch event, “Urban Color-Lines: Analysis for Mobilization in an Unequal World” is organized around a simple but powerful story: that of worldwide struggles to resist evictions and foreclosures and to craft a politics of spatial justice in the face of repeated displacements. Connecting the South Side of Chicago with the Cape Flats of South Africa, linking ghetto and favela, scaling from everyday eviction blockades to the courtroom to the United Nations, these poor people’s movements expand the scope of democratic aspiration and engender discussion about how social change happens in an unequal world. Bringing together scholars, activists, and policy makers from the Chicago Anti-Eviction Campaign, as well as from India, Brazil, and South Africa, and of course Los Angeles, Urban Color-Lines will pinpoint the urgent work that needs to be done in addressing structures of debt, housing exclusion, and criminalization in marginalized urban communities. Equally urgent work for us is how the themes of inequality and democracy can transform the university, its canons of knowledge and its engagement with the lives and histories of subordinated peoples. The scholars who will gather at Urban Color-Lines are actively involved in decolonizing the university and reimagining the partnership between academic research and social change.
RPN is sponsoring 4 RPN graduate students to attend the launch event February 5th & 6th. You can find more information on the Institute’s webpage: https://challengeinequality.luskin.ucla.edu/