Community Scholars Program

The Community Scholars Program was launched in 1991 to bring together community leaders and UCLA students to study pressing policy issues in Los Angeles. Using applied research, participants develop a product that aims to impact local policy to further social justice. In the past, students have worked on projects related to banking, immigration, housing, health in South Los Angeles, and green jobs. Each Community Scholars cohort addresses an important policy challenge and formulates solutions that incorporate the expertise of community-based change agents and UCLA student researchers.

The Community Scholars program is open to undergraduate and graduate students through UCLA Labor Studies housed in the Institute for Research on Labor and Employment and is co-sponsored by the UCLA Labor Center, the UCLA Center for Community Learning, and a rotating graduate academic department each year

2021-2022 Community Scholars Program

The 2021-2022 Community Scholars course focused on “Labor and Decarceration: Building a Just Transition towards the Future of Work in California” co-sponsored by the UCLA Department of African American Studies and the UCLA Million Dollar Hoods Program. Undergraduates participated in this course as part of the year-long Astin Community-Engaged Scholars Program through the UCLA Center for Community Learning. 

The 2022 student participants collaborated with community change-agents, including people who were formerly incarcerated and people who were formerly employed in California’s juvenile justice system. Together, with racial justice organizers and systems leaders, they finalized projects to advance ‘Youth Justice Reimagined,’ LA County’s road map to transform the youth justice system from punishment to healing. To view the final projects and presentations, click here.

For information about the 2022-23 Community Scholars course, please contact Gaspar Rivera Salgado at grsalgado@irle.ucla.edu

Previous Community Scholars Projects

Community Scholars Related Links