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Mission of CLPR
The Center for Latino Policy Research (CLPR) was founded in 1989 in response to the challenges of limited educational, political, and economic opportunities facing the Latino/Chicano population. The Center’s goal is to leverage the complexity of the Latino experience in the United States in order to shed light on the myriad factors that affect the distribution of material, social, and political opportunities within U.S. society. Not only are Latinos the nation’s largest minority group, but studying Latinos requires an intersectional approach which takes into consideration issues of race/phenotype, gender, class, age, sexuality, national origin, migration status, generation, and language use.
We accomplish our mission through the conduct of community-engaged research projects that, in collaboration with our organizational partners, work to inform local, state, and national policies that affect Latinos. Our work aims to foster community participation in the research process, redefining how the university relates to the community and also ensuring that our research products are relevant to and reach those most directly affected. The result is a set of policy solutions rooted in rigorous academic research and applied practice.
The roots of the Center can be traced to the spring of 1986 through the creation of the working committee that developed the concept for the Chicano/Latino Policy Project, later renamed the Center for Latino Policy Research. With sponsorship from the Berkeley Program in Mexican Studies, UC Berkeley faculty initiated an effort to coordinate high quality interdisciplinary research and training on policy relevant issues related to the Chicano/Latino population in the United States. Three years later, in March 1989, the Project was officially approved by the campus administration and affiliated with the Institute for the Study of Social Change. In 2010, the center became part of the newly-formed Institute for the Study of Societal Issues.
The Project’s pioneers broke new ground when they established the Center for Latino Policy Research at UCB. The Project was governed by a Faculty Steering Committee, which included Joe Martínez, Margarita Melville, Alex Saragoza, and Guadalupe Valdés, with Martín Sánchez-Jankowski serving as Chair.
For nearly twenty years, CLPR scholars have played a central role in advancing knowledge about the demographic changes within California society and the patterns of inequality Latinos face across numerous domains. They have expanded current knowledge on a number of policy concerns related to Latinos, such as education, immigration, political participation and civic engagement, public health, and others. The Center has also added teaching offerings related to Latino policy issues to Berkeley’s curriculum and has worked to train undergraduates and graduate students in the process of research production and policymaking.