Elizabeth Blaney, Leonardo Vilchis and Jane Nguyen were welcomed as the 2020 Activists-in-Residence by the Institute on Inequality and Democracy at the UCLA Luskin School of Public Affairs and the UCLA Asian American Studies Center during a reception on Jan. 22. 

Blaney and Vilchis are part of Union de Vecinos, a community-based organization that formed the first tenant union in East Los Angeles, and Nguyen is part of Ktown for All, which advocates on behalf of Koreatown’s homeless population.

During their residencies, the three will pursue projects aimed at advancing housing justice while collaborating with UCLA faculty and students to create new models of public scholarship and engagement. Blaney will study the structure of Venezuela’s communal councils, which promote community decision-making, to identify lessons for local organizers. Vilchis will examine how recent victories in the Los Angeles and California housing movements are connected to the global fight for housing justice. Nguyen will begin creating a grassroots coalition throughout Los Angeles that provides direct aid to unhoused residents.

Now in its fourth year, the UCLA Activists-in-Residence Program sustains artists, advocates and public intellectuals as they pursue the demanding work of effecting social change.

Read the full story here on the Luskin School of Public Affairs website.