Wide shot of 16 LPPI staff, faculty and fellows of LPPI on campus

UCLA ‘initiative’ formally becomes Latino Policy and Politics Institute

The former UCLA Latino Policy and Politics Initiative has officially become the UCLA Latino Policy and Politics Institute, thanks to $3 million in ongoing annual funding from the state of California.

The funding, championed by the California Latino Legislative Caucus, was initially secured in 2021, with the most recent allocation passing in the state budget bill June 14. The support has allowed the institute, known as LPPI, to grow from a start-up Initiative to a permanent research fixture at UCLA with a robust fellowship program and a consortium of nearly 50 faculty experts across UCLA’s College and professional schools.

Founded in 2017 by civil rights attorney Sonja Diaz and UCLA professor and polling expert Matt Barreto through a partnership between UCLA’s Luskin School of Public Affairs and division of social sciences, LPPI was launched to address the most critical domestic policy challenges facing Latinos and other communities of color. Since its inception, the institute has utilized the power of research, advocacy, mobilization and leadership development to propel policy reforms that expand a genuine opportunity for all Americans.

“As chair of the Latino Legislative Caucus, I am so grateful for the Latino-centric research from LPPI that has helped us formulate the policies our communities need most,” said state Sen. María Elena Durazo. “Latinos play an essential role in California, yet we are disproportionately impacted by issues like the gender pay gap and disparate health outcomes. It is critical that we have a Latino-focused think tank with readily available data on the various topics that Latinos care about most.”

With LPPI as a leading national Latino policy institute, UCLA continues to make critical strides towards its goal of achieving federal designation as a Hispanic-Serving Institution by 2025.