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The USC Program for Environmental and Regional Equity (PERE) conducts research and facilitates discussions on issues of environmental justice, regional inclusion, social movement building, and immigrant integration.  Learn about PERE >>


Latest PERE News

PolicyLink and PERE releases new Regional Equity Profile of the Houston-Galveston region


October 14, 2014
by PolicyLink and PERE

Houston-Galveston is characterized by overall economic strength and resilience, but wide racial gaps in income, health, and opportunity coupled with declining wages, a shrinking middle class, and rising inequality place the region’s economic success and future at risk.

PolicyLink and PERE's analysis showed the region already stands to gain a great deal from addressing racial inequities. If racial gaps in income had been closed in 2012, the regional economy would have been $243.3 billion stronger: a 54 percent increase.

Learn more and download the Houston-Galveston regional equity profile >>

Video: Manuel Pastor on ABC7 Eyewitness News commenting on poverty, jobs, and plan to raise the L.A. minimum wage


October 7, 2014

ABC7's Elex Michaelson interviewed Manuel Pastor in a piece looking at the context of local poverty and Mayor Garcetti's proposal to increase the L.A. minimum wagea plan that Vice President Joe Biden supported during his recent visit to Los Angeles.

Read the full story and watch the clip >>

Welcome new PERE/CSII researchers and students

September 25, 2014

This semester we are thrilled to welcome four new team members. Learn more in their profiles below:

Research Assistants: Kristie Hernandez and Walter Thompson-Hernandez >>

Undergrad Assistants and Interns: Paxton Hall and Chrystal Li >>


L.A. Times on the CalEnviroScreen and the state's cap-and-trade program debates


September 23, 2014

PERE Director, Manuel Pastor was quoted by the L.A. Times' Tony Barboza on the current debate about California's plans to distribute the state's cap-and-trade program funds.

The state's analysis has some shortcomings but has largely drawn praise from researchers and environmental justice groups, said Manuel Pastor, a sociology professor who directs USC's Program for Environmental and Regional Equity and who developed a precursor to CalEnviroScreen.

"The good news is there's now a method and a flow of money that is aimed at addressing the most environmentally exposed and disadvantaged communities and dealing with climate change at the same time," Pastor said. "This is a state that's no longer debating that there is a pattern of environmental disparities, but actually marshaling resources to try to address it."

Read the full story >>

Photo Credit: L.A. Times

New blog post: "All Together Now?: Inequality & Growth in US Metro Areas"

September 11, 2014

Chris Benner and Manuel Pastor posted a new guest blog for the Institute for New Economic Thinking's website.  In their piece, "All Together Now?: Inequality and Growth in US Metro Areas", Benner and Pastor analyze the links between equity and sustained growth, with new research and a new frame.

Read on for more insights > >

L.A.'s Proposed Minimum Wage Increase: Prof. Pastor urges consideration of "the research and the record"

September 2, 2014

On the heels of Mayor Garcetti's announcement of a proposed minimum wage bump this past Labor Day, PERE's Manuel Pastor looks back at a previous wage increases in his recent Huffington Post entry. Pastor evaluates the reactions he has heard time and again and what the research shows, and suggests analysis from a broader perspective.

"But just as in 1987 when those opposed to progress suggested that an extra 90 cents an hour was likely to shipwreck the California economy, it might be good for the rest of us to take a breath, consider the research and the record, and have a more productive conversation about the best ways to address inequality and make sure that work does indeed pay."


Read the full op-ed >>

At #EndingPoverty in L.A. event with Tavis Smiley, Manuel Pastor highlights issues of concentrated poverty

July 3, 2014
USC News

USC's feature story by Lizzie Hedrick covers a panel discussion hosted by the Tavis Smiley Foundation to address poverty in Los Angeles. At the event, Manuel Pastor was invited to speak on a panel about racial disparities and the effects of concentrated poverty in L.A. County.


"The Color of Carbon: How the EPA Clean Power Rule Could Help Communities of Color"

June 27, 2014

The latest op-ed in the Huffington Post by Manuel Pastor and Rachel Morello-Frosch that brings health and equity concerns to the forefront of the debate on the EPA's proposed "Clean Power Plan Rule."

Pastor and Morello-Frosch offer a compelling analysis of the proposed Rule's effects through a climate justice and public health lens. The authors point out that lowering greenhouse gas emissions—and their toxic co-pollutants—can yield immediate health benefits for communities of color.

Read the full article  >>

Click to tweet this article  >>  

Meet our new team members

We are excited to welcome three new staff members: 

Lauren Portillo, Administrative Assistant;  Pamela Stephens, Data Analyst; and Alejandro Sanchez-Lopez, Data Analyst.

We also have a group of new (and continuing) graduate and undergraduate student researchers, and interns this summer.

Read our grad student profiles >>

Read our undergrad student profiles >>

Prof. Manuel Pastor's buzzworthy op-ed "Are Latinos Really Turning White?"

May/June 2014
Prof. Pastor's recent Huffington Post blog post stirred up quite the buzz on Twitter, in the blogosphere, and in The New York Times blog, The Upshot.
In this new op-ed, Prof. Pastor infused some much needed "data reality" into the public discourse which followed an earlier NY Times blog by Nate Cohn titled, "More Hispanics Declaring Themselves White." (May 22, 2014) 
In his op-ed on May 29th, Prof. Pastor argued that:

"...a more nuanced understanding of the data and the questions being asked would probably lead one away from a breathless conclusion that a new and fundamental shift in Latino assimilation is occurring."

Read Manuel Pastor's full article on The Huffington Post >>



PolicyLink and PERE's Regional Equity Profile for the Southeast Florida Region

June 2014

by PolicyLink and PERE

The newest regional equity profile in partnership with PolicyLink, "An Equity Profile of Southeast Florida" shows how communities of color are driving the region's population growth, and how addressing racial gaps in income, health, and opportunity can lead to inclusive economic growth for all.

Learn more and download the report >>

New USC PERE/UCLA Luskin Report: "Sharing Solar's Promise: Harnessing LA's FiT to Create Jobs and Build Social Equity"

April 24, 2014

"Sharing Solar's Promise: Harnessing LA's FiT to Create Jobs and Build Social Equity" is a a joint USC PERE/UCLA Luskin Center study conducted on behalf of the Los Angeles Business Council Institute. This report discusses the benefits of investing in solar equity "hot spots" in LA and how focusing on high-need and high solar potential communities can spur economic growth, foster environmental sustainability, and create social equity in the workforce.

Learn more and view/download the full report >>


Join PERE for a Book Event on Wednesday, April 16th

We're hosting a discussion and book party featuring co-author, Rev. Alexia Salvatierra, about her recent book, Faith-Rooted Organizing: Mobilizing the Church in Service to the World.  Join us to learn more about new organizing strategies, and how organizers can engage middle class communities in movement building for social change.

Wednesday, April 16, 2014, 12:30 PM - 2:00 PM
USC Leavey Library Auditorium (in the basement)

RSVP Now! >>

"L.A. in Motion" - A PERE and KCET web series on transportation equity

February 2014 through April 2014

PERE has partnered with KCET Departures for a series of articles exploring what transportation equity means for Los Angeles and its residents. Based on the research from our report, "An Agenda for Equity," this series features guest writers and neighborhood stories from organizations creating their vision of the Next L.A.

Learn more about the series >>


There's Something Happening Here... A Look at The California Endowment’s Building Healthy Communities Initiative

February/March 2014
By Manuel Pastor, Jennifer Ito, and Anthony Perez

PERE tells the story of the early years of The California Endowment's Building Healthy Communities (BHC) initiative, and offers a narrative to support conversations and efforts to shape its future. PERE created three-part storyline linked together by an overarching concept of "Just Health"—a vision for California centered on equity.

Learn more and download the report >>

Minnesota’s Tomorrow: Equity is the Superior Growth Model

March 2014
by Jennifer Tran and Sarah Treuhaft

Minnesota’s Tomorrow: Equity is the Superior Growth Model is a joint report from PolicyLink and the Program for Environmental and Regional Equity (PERE) which documents the costs of racial inequities and the work under way to address these disparities in the state.  The report addresses:

  • Minnesota’s demographic transformation, describing current and future demographic shifts;
  • How racial and economic inclusion will help Minnesota grow and compete, explaining why equity matters for all Minnesotans;
  • How to implement equitable growth in Minnesota through policy priorities that achieve shared prosperity;

Learn more and view the report >>


A Foot in Both Worlds: Institutionalizing Progressive Community-­Engaged Research Centers within Universities

December 2013

By Jeffrey O. Sacha, Jared P. Sanchez, Ange-Marie Hancock, and Manuel Pastor

A Foot in Both Worlds: Institutionalizing Progressive Community-­Engaged Research Centers within Universities explores the relationship between universities and the public through the recent development of progressive community-engaged research centers (PCERCs).

Learn more and view the report >>

Click to tweet and share this report! >>


An Agenda for Equity: A Framework for Building a Just Transportation System in Los Angeles County

November 2013
By Vanessa Carter, Manuel Pastor, and Madeline Wander

An Agenda for Equity: A Framework for Building a Just Transportation System in Los Angeles County puts forward a framework for how investing with equity can lead to more sustainable economic growth for a region, and highlights why equity matters at every stage of transportation planning and development.

Learn more and view the report >>
Click to share this report on Twitter >>


Building Coalitions for the 21st Century: Radical Transformative Politics in North Carolina

Join us on October 23, 2013 at USC Kaprielian Hall, Room 445.

PERE Affiliate, Juan De Lara, releases new research on blue-collar warehouse workers

September 2013
By Juan D. De Lara, Ph.D.

Juan De Lara, PERE affiliate researcher, releases new report highligthing the needs of blue-collar warehouse workers and their families in the midst of economic recovery.

Learn more and view the report >>


PERE's Environmental Justice Screening Method is featured in the August edition of EM Magazine

Screening for Justice: Proactive Spatial Approaches to Environmental Disparities

By Manuel Pastor, Rachel Morello-Frosch, and Jim Sadd

This article appears in the August 2013 issue of EM Magazine, a publication of the Air & Waste Management Association (A&WMA; www.awma.org). To obtain copies and reprints, please contact A&WMA directly at 1-412-232-3444.


Youth Evaluation research brief released by PERE Affiliate, Veronica Terriquez

August 2013
BHC Youth Program Inventory Survey 2013
By Veronica Terriquez and Abdiel Lopez


Manuel Pastor comments on a new book by PolicyLink and the Center for American Progress in a recent Webinar

An All-In Primer: Demographic Change and the Economic Imperative of Equity

Tuesday, August 27, 2013


PERE and Florida New Majority release new report highlighting how organizers in Florida integrate voter mobilization into long-term organizing

April 2013
By Manuel Pastor, Gihan Perera, and Madeline Wander

Learn more and view the report >>


On the 21st Anniversary of the Los Angeles Civil Unrest PERE releases the full-length version of L.A. Rising: The 1992 Civil Unrest, the Arc of Social Justice Organizing, and the Lessons for Today's Movement Building

April 2013
By Manuel Pastor and Michele Prichard

Learn more and view the report >>

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