Welcome to PERE

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


New Equitable Growth Profile for Fairfax County, Virginia


June 18, 2015

By PolicyLink and PERE

Fairfax County, Virginia is one of the wealthiest counties in the nation—but data from the National Equity Atlas finds that not all residents share in this economic prosperity. The Fairfax county profile presents data on demographic change and shows how investments in education and good jobs for communities of color are key to the county's economic future.

Learn about equitable growth in Fairfax County >>

New Report: Linking in the Lab: Innovating Cross-Movement Leadership and Learning


June 2015

By Rachel Rosner and Madeline Wander
With an Executive Summary by Manuel Pastor

What role do movement networks play in social movement building?  What are the conditions for innovative, values-based leadership development to strengthen cross-movement innovation and collaborations? 

Linking the Lab
is the result of a multi-year project— called "the Network Leadership Innovation Lab" and created by Management Assistance Group—aimed at better understanding the role and effectiveness of network leadership in movement building.

Learn more and view report >>

New Report: #WomenCanBuild: Including Women in the Resurgence of Good U.S. Manufacturing Jobs

May 2015

A new PERE report, #WomenCanBuild:Including women in the resurgence of good U.S. manufacturing jobs, shows how addressing the underrepresentation and wage disparities for women in transit manufacturing can be good for econonomic growth. The report presents data on the state of manufacturing, stories of women in the industry, and promising best practices.

More info >>

New Brief: Getting Real About Reform - Estimating Revenue Gains from Changes to California’s System of Assessing Commercial Real Estate

May 2015

By Jennifer Ito, Justin Scoggins, and Manuel Pastor

In coming years, tax reform will likely be on the agenda in California. Given the large-scale cuts experienced during the Great Recession and the fact that a subset of new revenue generated from Proposition 30, approved by voters in 2012, is set to expire at the end of 2016, discussions about both structural changes in the way we tax and whether such changes will yield new revenues will occupy the attention of both policymakers and the public.

One such set of discussions is concerned with revisiting the provisions of commercial property assessments ushered in under Proposition 13, which was approved by voters nearly 40 years ago. While much has been written about Proposition 13 and its effect on residential property, only limited empirical analysis has been generated with regards to commercial property.

In this brief, we build on earlier work of academics from the California State University, Sacramento and experts from Blue Sky Consulting Group and provide an analysis of ten consecutive years of county assessor data on all non-government-owned commercial and industrial property in California covering the years 2004 to 2013.

Learn more >>

New Report: Talkin' 'Bout Our Generations: Data, Deliberation, and Destiny in a Changing America

April 24, 2015

By Manuel Pastor, Jennifer Ito, and Vanessa Carter
Commissioned by the Generations Initiative

The nation is a-buzz about its majority multi-ethnic future. By 2044, the U.S. is predicted to become a majority-minority nation. Since 2011, the majority of births have been to people of color, and by the end of the decade, the majority of youth will be of color. But across the nation, regional stakeholders and decision-makers are asking what this means for the future. What is the impact and how should they respond?

New Equitable Growth Profile: The San Francisco Bay Area Region

April 22, 2015

By PolicyLink and PERE

The Bay Area is booming, but a rising tide economy is not lifting up its low-income communities and communities of color. As communities of color continue to drive growth and change in the region, addressing wide racial inequities and ensuring people of color can fully participate as workers, entrepreneurs, and innovators is an urgent priority. Our analysis finds that the regional economy could have been $117 billion stronger in 2012 had its racial gaps in income and employment been bridged.

Learn about equitable growth for the San Francisco Bay Area region >>

New Equitable Growth Profile: The Research Triangle Region

March 31, 2015

By PolicyLink and PERE

As the Research Triangle Region undergoes a profound demographic transformation, ensuring that communities of color are full and active participants in the region’s economy is critical to its success and prosperity. This profile, produced in partnership with the Triangle J and Kerr-Tarr regional Councils of Governments and guided by a 26-member advisory committee, describes how the 13-county regional economy could have been about $20 billion stronger in 2012 absent its large racial economic gaps, and presents strategies to put all residents on the path toward reaching their full potential. 

Learn more about equitable growth in the Research Triangle Region >>



New Equitable Growth Profile:The Cape Fear Region

February 11, 2015

By PolicyLink and PERE

The Cape Fear region is experiencing a demographic transformation characterized by a diversifying younger population and a rapidly growing senior population that is predominantly White. To secure a thriving economy for the decades to come, the region must tap the economic potential of its growing young population. Building education and career pathways for all and ensuring young workers are prepared for the jobs of the future are key strategies for inclusive growth in the region. 

Learn about equitable growth in the Cape Fear region >>


Congratulations to Prof. Manuel Pastor! Turpanjian Chair in Civil Society and Social Change

February 5, 2015

We are excited to announce that Prof. Manuel Pastor was recently installed as the inaugural holder of the Turpanjian Chair in Civil Society and Social Change. As the Turpanjian Chair, Prof. Pastor aims to connect PERE/CSII's community allies, scholars, change makers,and the university as a whole for research that makes an impact on the civil society sector.

For an event recap, read USC Dornsife's feature story >>

Announcement: Capital and Main's #StateOfInequality Series Launched

February 4, 2015

Over the coming month, Capital and Main will feature stories, photos, infographics and podcasts to educate and inform on the rampant inequality in California and offer solutions to get the state back on track. The State of Inequality Series also features an essay by PERE Director, Prof. Manuel Pastor, along with work by New Yorker contributor Maria Bustillos, former U.S. Labor Secretary Robert Reich, and many others. Stay tuned for updates throughout February and follow the hashtag #StateOfInequality

See the series on Capital and Main >> 

Media Mention: "Black Lives Matter Aspires to Reclaim the Legacy of Martin Luther King, Jr."

January 18, 2015

Mother Jones
by Gabrielle Canon and Bryan Schatz

This piece delves into the history of social movements, and explores how Martin Luther King, Jr.'s legacy and work remain important to today's Black Lives Matter movement. PERE's Manuel Pastor discusses about movement building research and what will need to happen for this one to last.

Read the full article >>

View other PERE media mentions >>

Publication: Equitable Growth Profile of the Piedmont Triad Region

December 4, 2014

By PolicyLink and PERE

The Piedmont Triad region in North Carolina—covering 12 counties and home to the cities of Greensboro, Winston-Salem, and High Point—is a growing region whose demographics are rapidly changing.

Communities of color are driving growth, and have increased from 20 to 33 percent of the population since 1980. Ensuring its diverse residents can participate in the regional economy and contribute to stronger job growth and broadly shared prosperity is critical for the region’s future.

Learn about equitable growth in the Piedmont Triad region >>

Publication: Equitable Growth Profile of the Omaha-Council Bluffs Region

December 2, 2014

By PolicyLink and PERE

Omaha-Council Bluffs has a relatively strong and resilient regional economy, with overall low unemployment and steady job growth. At the same time, wages have stagnated for most workers and many communities of color face barriers to accessing good jobs, living wages, and the education needed for the jobs of the future. Increasing connections to good jobs, raising the floor for low-wage work, and building communities of opportunity metro-wide are key strategies to shift the region towards equitable growth.

Learn about equitable growth in the Omaha-Council Bluffs region >>

Article: Co-Creating Movement Metrics that Matter - Resources, Reflection and the Right Data

November 2014

PERE Project Manager Jennifer Ito shares key lessons about co-creating movement metrics in this cover article for the National Committee for Responsive Philanthropy’s newsletter.  Ito's article spotlights a case study (and forthcoming report) on the National Domestic Workers Alliance’s Strategy, Organizing, and Leadership (SOL) Initiative, and outlines ideas for the field moving forward.

View this article on NCRP >>

Learn more about the NDWA SOL Initiative report >>

Publication: Transforming Lives, Transforming Movement Building

November/December 2014

By Jennifer Ito, Rachel Rosner, Vanessa Carter, and Manuel Pastor

Transforming Lives, Transforming Movement Building documents the impacts and lessons from a two-year transformative leadership and movement building program to strengthen the domestic worker movement.

In collaboration with trainers from generative somatics (gs) and Social Justice Leadership (SJL), the National Domestic Workers Alliance (NDWA) took a cohort of 60 domestic workers and organizers through an intentional process of transformation that integrated political somatics practices with leadership skills for organizing and building power.

Learn more and download the report >>


Article: Integrating Public Health And Community Development To Tackle Neighborhood Distress And Promote Well-Being

November 5, 2014

The November 2014 issue of the Health Affairs journal includes an article by PERE's Manuel Pastor and Rachel Morello-Frosch around the theme of "Collaborating for Community Health." Pastor and Morello-Frosch called for "public health to reconnect to urban planning in ways that emphasize the impact of place on health and that address fundamental causes of poor health, such as poverty, social inequality, and discrimination."

More info via Health Affairs >>


Announcement: PolicyLink and PERE's National Equity Atlas Website Launched!

October 22, 2014

How much could the economy benefit from racial inclusion? How can we put tools and data into the hands of  community leaders and policymakers who want to help build an equitable economy for all?

This research brief by PolicyLink and PERE estimates the economic boost of racial inclusion for the largest 150 regions, all 50 states, and the nation.  One key finding was that the national economy stands to grow $2.1 trillion every year from racial equity. As part of this research, PolicyLink and PERE also developed a new interactive website, the National Equity Atlas.

Learn more about the Equity Atlas and download the brief >>

Media Mention: "Eliminating Racial Income Gaps Would Boost GDP By $2.1 Trillion"

October 29, 2014

Citing PolicyLink and PERE's report The Equity Solution, the National Journal's Janie Boschma explains why cities all across the country would benefit from racial equity.  

Read the full article >>

Media Mention: "Why Racial Equality is Good for the Economy, In One Chart"

October 28, 2014

News.Mic's Tom McKay delved in to some of the data on PolicyLink and PERE's National Equity Atlas website, and made the case for why racial equity in the U.S. would help the economy. 

Read the full article >>

Media Mention: L.A. Times cites PERE research on gender wage gaps in California

October 23, 2014

The L.A. Times' Gail Holland wrote a great piece covering a recent State Senate Select Committee on Women and Inequality event in Los Angeles where PERE's Manuel Pastor presented demographic research.

Holland featured some of Pastor's key points on closing the gender wage gap, including: raising the minimum wage, creating more affordable housing, and providing relief for women without immigration documentation.

Read the full story >>

Publication: 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 wage.

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 >>

Media Mention: 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.

Read the full story >>

Photo Credit: L.A. Times

Guest blog: "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 > >

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

September 2, 2014

Following Mayor Garcetti's Labor Day announcement of a minimum wage increase proposal, PERE's Manuel Pastor looked back at a previous wage increases provides analysis from a broader perspective.

Read the full op-ed >>

Event: 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.


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

June 27, 2014

This op-ed 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."  They offer a compelling analysis through a climate justice and public health lens by pointing out how lowering greenhouse gas emissions (and their toxic co-pollutants) can yield immediate health benefits for communities of color.

Read the full article  >>

PERE Announcement: 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 >>

Op-ed: Prof. Manuel Pastor's buzzworthy piece "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 related 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."
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 the full article >>

Publication: 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 >>

Publication: 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 joint USC PERE/UCLA Luskin Center study conducted on behalf of the L.A. Business Council Institute. This report discusses the benefits of investing in solar equity "hot spots" and how high-need and high solar potential communities can spur economic growth and foster environmental sustainability.

Learn more and view/download the full report >>

PERE Event: Book Party - Wednesday, April 16, 2014

We hosted a discussion and book party featuring co-author, Rev. Alexia Salvatierra, on a recent book, Faith-Rooted Organizing: Mobilizing the Church in Service to the World.  She discussed 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

Web Series: "L.A. in Motion" - PERE and KCET Departures features L.A. stories of transportation equity

February 2014 -April 2014

PERE partnered with KCET Departures for a compelling series of web 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 featured guest writers and neighborhood stories from organizations creating their vision of the Next L.A.

Learn more about our L.A. in Motion series >>

Publication: "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

In this report, PERE featured the early years of The California Endowment's Building Healthy Communities (BHC) initiative, and offered a narrative to support 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 >>

Publication: "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. 

Learn more and view the report >> 

Publication: "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! >>


Publication: "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 put forward a framework for how investing with equity can lead to more sustainable economic growth for a region.  PERE's research and narrative demonstrates why equity matters at every stage of transportation planning and development.

Learn more and view the report >>

Click to share this report on Twitter >>


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

October 23, 2013 at USC Kaprielian Hall, Room 445.

PERE Affiliate Publication: Prof. 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, released a new report on the needs of blue-collar warehouse workers and their families in the midst of economic recovery.

Learn more and view the report >>


Media Mention: PERE's Environmental Justice Screening Method is featured in 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 appeared 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 (412) 232-3444.


Publication: Youth Evaluation research brief released by PERE Affiliate, Veronica Terriquez

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


Webinar: 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


Publication: 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 >>


Publication: 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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