In conjunction with our mission, the Institute for Social Transformation partners with organizations who share a commitment to social justice. We’ve provided a list of additional publications and resources that represent transformative work addressing critical issues.
January 2023 – One of the biggest challenges to solving today’s global problems, such as climate change, pollution or the depletion of natural resources, is that only a minority contributes to the collective action needed to address these problems. We study how correcting people’s beliefs about social norms and behavioral trends encourages collective action in a setting where the desired behavior is not yet prevalent. In a field experiment among 1,709 subjects, we test whether low sign-up rates for a recycling program in urban Peru can be increased by providing information (1) that most people regard participation in the program as important, i.e., on the “injunctive norm”, (2) on an increasing recent trend in sign-up rates. Correcting inaccurate beliefs increases sign-up decisions significantly among people who underestimate either the injunctive norm or the positive trend. This evidence demonstrates that belief updating can be used effectively to encourage collective action where it is currently weak. Paper co-authored by Kristian López Vargas, University of California, Santa Cruz.
May 2021 – Counterpoints brings together cartography, essays, illustrations, poetry, and more in order to depict gentrification and resistance struggles from across the San Francisco Bay Area. Each chapter reflects different frameworks for understanding the Bay Area’s ongoing urban upheaval, including: evictions and root shock, indigenous geographies, health and environmental racism, state violence, transportation and infrastructure, migration and relocation, and speculative futures. Compiled by the Anti-Eviction Mapping Project, co-founded by Erin McElroy, UC Santa Cruz Feminist Studies alum.
February 2021 – Housing precarity is a significant concern at college campuses across the United States. Housing precarity at the University of California at Santa Cruz (UCSC) is part of a broader affordable housing shortage in Santa Cruz County. As one of the most unaffordable areas in the United States, many UCSC students struggle to find affordable off-campus housing. This report by the UC Santa Cruz Blum Center analyzes the Slug Support program for students experiencing basic needs challenges.
October 2020 – The California Immigrant Data Portal (immigrantdataCA.org) is an interactive website developed by the USC Equity Research Institute and launched on October 27, 2020. The portal presents data and case studies that can be used to better understand and promote the well-being of immigrants, their families, and their communities.
May 2020 – Even when the crisis has impacted every community and every walk of life, our research shows that race matters in a particularly sharp and uncompromising way in this crisis, as shown vividly in this analysis of COVID-19 prevalence in Los Angeles County.
March 25, 2020 – This collection of papers brings to bear decades of frontline experience from authors who have worked across all levels and locations in civic and political engagement. It was designed to speak across–and to offer applicable lessons and recommendation to–readers from diverse sectors, including community organizing, strategic communications, philanthropy and more.
March 23, 2020 – With COVID-19 threatening the nation, certain populations are more vulnerable to its health, economic, and education impacts. This report looks at certain vulnerable populations in Los Angeles: the elderly, the undocumented, renters, and children on the other side of the digital divide.
December 2013 – This report explores the relationship between universities and the public through the recent development of progressive community-engaged research centers (PCERCs). The sustainability challenges and strategies for founding, funding, and institutionalizing PCERCs teach us important lessons about the state of university-supported, community-engaged scholarship.