The Blum Center hosts an array of different programming throughout the year to support learning, debate, and engagement on issues related to poverty, inequality, and democracy. Scroll down to learn more.
The Central Regional Equity Initiative and website is sponsored by the UCSB Blum Center and The Fund for Santa Barbara. This initiative funds and supports community-engaged research here at UCSB, and in collaboration with USC's Equity Research Institute (ERI), provides knowledge, and resources for the tri-county region of Santa Barbara, Ventura, and San Luis Obispo. This regional framework addresses the widening inequities and structurally embedded patterns and practices of systemic racism, and the immediately clear and present dangers of human-induced climate change present on the Central Coast.
Here at the Blum Center, our goal is to deepen our understanding of regional inequities and disparities, facilitate a region-wide conversation, and support the planning and implementation of initiatives focused on advancing social, health, environmental, and economic equity.
The Dr. U.S. Awasthi Initiative in Cooperative Economics encompasses a broad spectrum of collaborative endeavors, from the communal practices and empowerment strategies of indigenous communities to the support and exchange networks developed within the contemporary mutual aid movement. There is a rich tradition of cooperative endeavor in movements for racial and intersectional justice.
Through this initiative, undergraduate, graduate, and faculty reserach funding has been made possible by generous support from the family of Dr. U.S. Awasthi. Learn more about our 2023-24 Cooperative Economics Workshop Series, and our most recent 2023-24 award recipients.
In partnership with the Blum Center, the Central Coast Community Labor Project is offering UCSB students an opportunity to spend their summer learning about community and labor organizing by participating in UCSB LABOR SUMMER! In collaboration with the Central Coast Labor Council, students will learn about and apply organizing and research practices as paid interns at Central Coast unions and allied organizations that are working to advance labor and achieve social and economic justice.
More information, including frequently asked questions, can be found on our Labor Summer page.
The Blum Center believes that ensuring that information on key public issues and policies is accessible, digestible and inclusive of different viewpoints is a key condition for ensuring a healthy democracy. Our team, in consultation with community partners, will select a complex public issue or policy to break down each year to foster a broad and publicly engaged debate and collective effort to work towards a more just future. Following the first project on the Green New Deal, a new series-in-progress is underway:
The Blum Center is interested in researching and disseminating insights about Guaranteed Basic Income (GBI). GBI holds implications for public policy research to address widening income inequality. Pilot programs throughout the nation are currently being evaluated to effectively study cash transfer implementation mechanisms and identify which populations benefit most from basic incomes. GBI has the potential to address widening inequities and advance racial and economic justice.
Pop Ups bring together students to discuss current issues of poverty and inequality with an expert in the field. The moderated discussions provide students with a chance to ask research and professional development related questions in a small setting, and build connections with peers with similar interests. Our Public Forums highlight local action and community leaders working to advance intersectional justice on a given theme, foster public discussion about different appoaches to social change, and spotlight ways to get involved locally.
Nicholas Kristof and Sheryl WuDunn's Tightrope: Americans Reaching Hope
Scott Ellsworth's The Ground Breaking: An American City and Its Search for Justice
Applied workshops provide students with in-depth knowledge on a particular policy/issue or skill with experts in these fields.
The Power to the People student-led podcast features interviews with leading thinkers, activists and organizers about pressing questions shaping the lives of youth today, strategies for mobilizing their engagement, and avenues for action.