According to projections by the Census Bureau, the United States will become a “majority-minority” country by 2045, meaning that the proportion of non-Hispanic whites will dip below 50 percent, and no racial or ethnic group will be a numerical majority. What will this racial diversification mean for the future of American civil society?
“One out of every five residents in the Inland Empire – nearly 1 million people – is an immigrant, and that population is growing.
“Yet the region of Riverside and San Bernardino counties isn’t necessarily associated with immigration. Instead, it’s sometimes connected to white flight, or older communities where people flock for lower-priced housing.
“A report released this week by UC Riverside’s newly created Center for Social Innovation is looking to change that. The 20-page report – billed as a first-ever detailed look at immigrants in the Inland Empire – offers demographic information that reveals a complex, growing world of immigrant communities in the two counties and contrasts those groups with similar immigrant populations throughout Southern California.”
“Michelle Magalong is a leading voice for the Asian and Pacific Islander community and in historic preservation as the executive director of the Asian and Pacific Islander Americans in Historic Preservation (APIAHiP). She is also the associate director of the Center for Social Innovation in the School of Public Policy at University of California, Riverside (UCR). She received her BA in Ethnic Studies and Urban Studies and Planning at University of California, San Diego (UCSD), and MA and PhD in Urban Planning at University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA).”
“She served in numerous advisory roles in historic preservation, including on the National Parks Service Experts Panel for the Asian American/Pacific Islander Heritage Theme Study at National Historic Landmarks Program (Department of the Interior), Advisory Committee for California Statewide Asian American Context Statement, and Advisory Committee for the City of Los Angeles SurveyLA Asian American Context Statement.”
“Young people get their degrees and head to Los Angeles or Orange County,” says Karthick Ramakrishnan, associate dean of the UC Riverside School of Public Policy. “Riverside and San Bernardino counties have 4.5 million residents, but they live in the shadows of LA. As a result, we don’t get much attention or investment from corporations or the nonprofit sector.”
When civic and corporate leaders do hear about the region, it’s often in the context of problems and deficits rather than civic entrepreneurs and innovative solutions. Indeed, Karthick notes that this narrative is apparent even among many local nonprofit leaders, and that the region is only beginning to “change the dynamic from a deficit mindset to an asset orientation.”
To that end, he officially announced the UCR Center for Social Innovation on Friday, February 9. With working groups focused on immigration, civic engagement, economic mobility, and leadership/entrepreneurship, Karthick believes the Center can play a pivotal role in nurturing social change by empowering home-grown changemakers to address the needs they understand best.
“UC Riverside‘s School of Public Policy has created a research center to spur greater civic engagement across the Inland Empire, the growth of nonprofit groups and the creation of good-paying jobs for the region’s swelling immigrant and minority population.”
“University officials are calling it the Center for Social Innovation and have tapped Karthick Ramakrishnan, a professor of public policy and political science, to be its director. Similar centers exist at USC and Stanford.”
“‘The Inland area is the future of California — future jobs, future housing, future population growth,’ a beaming Ramakrishnan said at a reception Friday, Feb.9, at the Riverside Art Museum. About 100 community leaders were there.”
“Rather than being overrepresented in Silicon Valley, Asian American executives are severely underrepresented. They may be hired in large numbers by tech companies, but Asian Americans are the group least likely to be promoted into managerial and executive ranks. Whites are twice as likely as Asians to hold executive positions. And while white women have made gains over the past decade as more have broken through the glass ceiling, Asian women have not experienced the same.”
“A 2016 study by Francisco Pedraza, UC Riverside assistant professor of public policy and political science, found that anti-immigrant policies stigmatize both foreign and US-born Latinos by creating a hostile social environment which affects their experiences of discrimination. These non-health policies can adversely affect their health.”
“Despite popular accounts, decades of research actually shows that immigrants – whether legal or illegal – tend to have lower crime rates.
Now, our new research shows that designating a city as a sanctuary has no statistically significant effect on crime.
We examined all the sanctuary cities listed by the National Immigration Law Center (NILC). All sanctuary cities included in the study passed sanctuary laws during or after 2002. We define a sanctuary as a city that expressly forbids city officials or police departments from inquiring about immigration status.”
“Don Howard, CEO of the James Irvine Foundation, said he was impressed with the candor of the discussions, “which speaks to the relationships the university has created with the community.”
Chancellor Kim A. Wilcox said the Inland Empire has the potential to become a national model for community transformation…
Coordination between academia, philanthropy, and policymakers is important, said Surina Khan, CEO of the Women’s Foundation of California. “The people who are closest to the problems know how to solve them. … There is huge potential here if we invest in the region.”