By Veronica Terriquez and Vanessa Carter
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).
Founded in 1885, the Second Baptist Church has been a pioneer in the struggle for civil rights in Los Angeles. Home congregation to pioneering activist Charlotta Bass, during the civil rights movement, the Church co-hosted two NAACP national conventions and Martin Luther King, Jr. regularly preached from its pulpit.
In the last several decades, the neighborhood around the church has changed dramatically. The new residents, largely immigrant Latinos, often struggle with issues of both working poverty and achieving a voice in civic affairs—exactly the challenges that faced an earlier generation of African American migrants who came from the South to Los Angeles to find new opportunities.
While the combination of rapid demographic change and ongoing economic stress has sometimes provoked conflicts around economic, political and cultural issues, it has also triggered a series of community-based efforts to build new relationships and work together for a more sustainable and inclusive Los Angeles. Commissioned by Second Baptist, funded in part by the California Community Foundation, the Evelyn and Walter Haas Jr. Fund, and the James Irvine Foundation, and conducted by USC’s Center for the Study of Immigrant Integration and Esperanza Community Housing Corporation, this report was another step in this process of relationship-building.
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.
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.