CALIS was launched in 2000 as a regional site of the California Subject Matter Projects to serve as a state resource center of the California International Studies Project. CISP spearheaded national legislation to support international education.
The USC East Asian Studies Center was an original co-sponsor of CALIS as a state resource center. Through EASC leadership and initiative, outreach began with a Schools for a New Millennium grant from the National Endownment for the Humanities.
With CIBER as the host partner, CALIS launched the inaugural International Economic Summit in California - IES 2003- sponsored by the Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco and the California Trade Education Center. Over the next four years, CALIS helped establish the Southern California IES as a national model for the FRB.
Through Artists for Amnesty, CALIS designed and hosted Teaching Hotel Rwanda, a workshop coordinated with MGM Home Entertainment for the DVD release of Hotel Rwanda in 2005.
CREATE at USC is the first university center of excellence funded by the U.S. Department of Homeland Security. The Center for Risk and Economic Analysis of Terrorism Events collaborated with CALIS in 2004-06 to design outreach sessions and materials on biosecurity.
Journeys in Film received Longview Foundation and Sony Pictures Entertainment grants to partner with CALIS in pilot projects with two LAUSD middles schools and Culver City High School. Choosing among four foreign films, teachers implement a curriculum that enables students to explore cultures through the eyes of their peers. The pilot culminated in a student oration competition in 2006.
A sister site in the CISP network, the International Studies Education Project - ISTEP - at San Diego State University partners with CALIS to extend both our centers' programs to teachers in Southern California. Collaborations include the Curriculum Development Contest in Human Rights Education and work in the field of security studies and causes of war.
The Center for Teaching International Relations (CTIR) at the University of Denver invited CALIS to help them expand the World Affairs Challenge to Los Angeles.