Social Movements and Governing Power

October 15, 2019

Prepared by: USC PERE (Program for Environmental and Regional Equity) in Collaboration with: Health and Justice for All Power-Building Landscape Working Group

Please note: reports dated earlier than June 2020 were published under our previous names: the USC Program for Environmental and Regional Equity (PERE) or the USC Center for the Study of Immigrant Integration (CSII).

The Health and Justice for All Power-Building Landscape Assessment (PLA) is a scan and data driven analysis of the organizational landscape in California that supports “historically-excluded adults and youth having power, agency, and voice in public and private decision making to create an inclusive democracy and close health equity gaps”—one of The California Endowment’s North Star Goals. The purpose of the PLA is to inform discussions—both within The California Endowment (TCE) and, importantly, between TCE and practitioners and peers in the field—and decision making about the evolution of TCE’s 10-year Building Healthy Communities Initiative beyond 2020.

The goals of this brief are to provide a framework for understanding what types of organizations comprise the power-building ecosystem in California; share key observations about local to statewide dynamics and capacities that drive policy, systems, and structural changes; and provoke new thinking and approaches to measuring power. The findings are drawn from an assessment of the power-building organizational landscape in California; review of literature on organizing, power building, and social movements; discussions within TCE and with external partners; interviews with leaders in the field, and previous research and interviews with organizers, strategists, organizers, and funders dating back to 2008.

Read our other publications by research area

    Immigrant Integration & Racial Justice

    Our work on immigrant integration and racial justice brings together three emphases: scholarship that draws on academic theory and rigorous research, data that provides information structured to highlight the process of immigrant integration over time, and engagement that seeks to create new dialogues with government, community organizers, business and civic leaders, immigrants and the voting public to advance immigrant integration and racial equity.

    Economic Inclusion & Climate Equity

    In the area of economic inclusion, we at ERI advance academic theory and practical applications linking economic growth, environmental quality, and civic health with bridging of racial and other gaps; produce accessible and actionable data and analysis through the data tools; and establish research partnerships to deepen and advance the dialogue, planning, and actions around racial equity, environmental justice, and the built environment.

    Social Movements & Governing Power

    ERI’s work in the area of governing power includes: conducting cross-disciplinary studies of today’s social movements, supporting learning and strategizing efforts to advance dialogues among organizers, funders, intermediaries, evaluators, and academics, and developing research-based social change frameworks and tools to inform—and be informed by—real-world, real-time efforts towards a vision of deep change.

    Publications Directory

    In 2020, the USC Program for Environmental and Regional Equity (PERE) and the USC Center for the Study of Immigrant Integration (CSII) merged to form the USC Equity Research Institute (ERI).

    The full list of publications published under our previous and current names can be found in our publications directory.

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