Advisory Board

RAPHAEL J. SONENSHEIN, Chief Academic Advisor

Dr. Raphael J. Sonenshein, Executive Director of the Edmund G. “Pat” Brown Institute of Public Affairs, California State University, Los Angeles, received his B.A. in public policy from the Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs at Princeton University, and his M.A. and Ph.D. in political science from Yale University. He has written extensively on the relationships among racial and ethnic groups and on the governance of American cities. His book, Politics in Black and White: Race and Power in Los Angeles (Princeton University Press, 1993), received the 1994 Ralph J. Bunche Award from the American Political Science Association as the best political science book of the year on the subject of racial and ethnic pluralism.

Sonenshein served as Executive Director of the City of Los Angeles (Appointed) Charter Reform Commission between 1997 and 1999. As a result of the Charter reform process, a new Charter was placed on the June 1999 ballot, and received 60% of the vote, thereby completing the first successful comprehensive reform of the Los Angeles Charter in 75 years. Sonenshein’s book, The City at Stake: Secession, Reform, and the Battle for Los Angeles, was published in 2004 by Princeton University Press and in paperback in 2006.

In 2006, the League of Women Voters published his third book, Los Angeles: Structure of a City Government for distribution throughout the city government, neighborhood councils, the schools, and the public libraries. In the same year, Sonenshein was named Executive Director of the Los Angeles Neighborhood Council Review Commission to examine the system set up in the 1999 charter. The Commission delivered its recommendations to the City Council in September 2007.

In 1997, 2001, and 2005, Sonenshein served as the political consultant to the election day Los Angeles Times Poll. He is frequently quoted in local and national media, including the New York Times, the Los Angeles Times, CNN, the Associated Press, National Public Radio, and the Washington Post. His monthly column, The Jewish Vote, in the Jewish Journal of Greater Los Angeles, was nominated in 2005 for the best editorial by the Los Angeles Press Club. He has also written op-ed columns for the Los Angeles Times and La Opinion. He is a frequent speaker at academic, professional, and community events.

Sonenshein has received numerous awards, including Best Educator from the CSUF Associated Students and Distinguished Faculty Member from the School of Humanities and Social Sciences. In 2001, Sonenshein was selected as the second Fellow of the John Randolph Haynes and Dora Haynes Foundation. In 2005, Sonenshein was one of four statewide CSU faculty members to receive the $20,000 Wang Family Excellence Award. In 2006, he was named the first winner of the campus wide Carol Barnes Award for Teaching Excellence. He was named one of two co-winners (along with Dowell Myers of USC) of $25,000 awards from the John Randolph Haynes and Dora Haynes Foundation of the first Haynes Research Impact Awards.

Sonenshein spent the fall 2008 as the Fulbright Tocqueville Distinguished Chair in American Studies at the University of Paris 8. His current research with CSUF geographer Mark Drayse and supported by a grant from the Russell Sage Foundation explores the prospects for urban coalitions in an age of immigration.



Christopher Jimenez y West is Assistant Professor of History at Pasadena City College.  He served until July 2009 as the curator of history for the California African American History Museum in Los Angeles, California. He is on the Editorial Board of the journal, The Public Historian (University of California Press), and Co-Chair of the Academic Advisory Board of the Los Angeles City Human Relations Commission.

He was previously the Director of the University of Southern California’s Norman Topping Foundation that assists economically disadvantaged and ethnically underrepresented students, and an adjunct professor at Santa Monica Community College. He received a B.A. in American History from the University of California, Berkeley, and his M.A. and Ph.D. in American History from the University of Southern California.


SUSAN D. ANDERSON, Independent Scholar

Susan D. Anderson is an independent scholar, writer and public historian who specializes in African American history, culture and politics in California. She served as the Curator of the Collecting Los Angeles at the UCLA Library, and prior to that appointment, was the Managing Director of LA as Subject, an archival association hosted by USC Libraries. In 2008, she curated Allensworth: 100 Years of the California Dream, a statewide touring exhibition celebrating the centennial of the self-governed black township.

Anderson’s blog, The Reparations Chronicles, won the 2009 Best Blogger on Ethnic Perspectives Award from New America Media. She is the author of Rivers of Water in a Dry Place: Early Black Participation in California Politics, in Racial and Ethnic Politics in California, published by the Institute of Governmental Studies, University of California, and; A City Called Heaven: Black Enchantment and Despair in Los Angeles, in The City: Los Angeles and Urban Theory at the End of the Twentieth Century, University of California Press. She is the author of the three-part report, African American Political Strength, Background and Implications for Los Angeles:  A Framework for Analysis, Discussion & Action.

A correspondent for the PBS Frontline special, L.A. is Burning: Five Reports from a Divided City, she has appeared on national media and began her career as a journalist. Her book, Nostalgia for a Trumpet: Poems of Memory and History, was published by Northwestern University Press in April 2008.



William Deverell is Director of the Huntington-USC Institute on California and the West and Professor of History at USC. Professor Deverell is the author of numerous studies on the 19th and 20th century American West. Recent publications include Whitewashed Adobe: The Rise of Los Angeles and the Remaking of Its Mexican Past and Land of Sunshine: The Environmental History of Metropolitan Los Angeles, which he co-edited with Greg Hise. With David Igler of UC Irvine, he edited, The Blackwell Companion to California, and with Greg Hise, he is editing, The Blackwell Companion to Los Angeles. Previous publications include, Eden by Design: The 1930 Olmsted/Bartholomew Plan for the Los Angeles Region; Railroad Crossing: Californians and the Railroad, 1850-1910; the co-edited volumes, Metropolis in the Making: Los Angeles in the 1920s and California Progressivism Revisited. Deverell is the co-author of an 8th grade United States history text.

Professor Deverell has held fellowship appointments at the Center for Advanced Study in the Behavioral Sciences, the Getty Research Institute, and the Huntington Library. In 2009-2010, he will be the Beinecke Senior Fellow at Yale University. He earned his undergraduate degree in American Studies from Stanford and his M.A. and Ph.D. in American history from Princeton.


DOUGLAS FLAMMING, Georgia Institute of Technology

Douglas Flamming

Douglas Flamming is a Professor of History, specializing in the history of modern America with a particular interest in American regionalism. His first book, Creating the Modern South: Millhands and Managers in Dalton, Georgia 1884-1984 , won the Philip Taft Labor History Prize in 1992. His second book, Bound for Freedom: Black Los Angeles in Jim Crow America , was published by the University of California Press in 2005. His third book, entitled African Americans in the West , was published in spring 2009. His current research explores the American South during the Vietnam War era. He regularly teaches courses on historical methods, America since 1877, the history of the South, and the Vietnam War.




LORN S. FOSTER, Pomona College

Lorn S. Foster is the Charles and Henrietta Detoy Professor of Government and Professor of Politics at Pomona College. His expertise lies in issues related to the Voting Rights Act, urban politics, race and ethnicity.

Currently, he is working on a book on the political role for eight churches in Los Angeles from 1910-1950 and has conducted more than seventy interviews with members of these institutions. He is also assisting these churches with archiving and preserving their records.

Foster has written for various publications and has been awarded many honors including the Post-Doctoral Fellowship for Minorities for the National Research Council.



FRANK D. GILLIAM Jr., University of North Carolina

Frank D. Gilliam, Jr. is the Chancellor of the University of North Carolina, Greensboro. He was formerly the Dean of the UCLA School of Public Affairs, and a professor in UCLA"s departments of Political Science and Public Policy. He also is the founding director of the UCLA Center for Communications and Community. His research focuses on strategic communications and public policy; electoral politics; and racial and ethnic politics.

He has been published in a wide range of academic journals (e.g., the American Political Science Review, the American Journal of Political Science, the Journal of Politics, the Harvard International Journal of Press/Politics, and the Metropolitan Universities Journal). He also authored the 2001 book, Farther to Go: Readings and Cases in African American Politics (Harcourt).

Dean Gilliam has consulted on a wide range of projects for national foundations (e.g. Gates, Kellogg, and the California Endowment) and organizations. He is frequently quoted in the national and international press. He also makes frequent appearances on local and national news programs. Professor Gilliam holds a B.A. from Drake University and a Ph.D. from the University of Iowa.



Fernando J. Guerra is Director of the Thomas and Dorothy Leavey Center for the Study of Los Angeles at Loyola Marymount University. Dr. Guerra served as Assistant to the President for Faculty Resources from 1992-1996. He is a Professor of Political Science and Chicana/o Studies, and has served as Chairman of the Chicana/o Studies Department, Director of the American Cultures program, and Director of the Summer in Mexico program. He has been on the faculty at Loyola Marymount University since 1984.  Guerra earned his Ph.D. and M.A. in Political Science from the University of Michigan.

Professor Guerra has written numerous scholarly articles and has also contributed to popular publications. His area of scholarly work is in state and local governance and urban and ethnic politics. He is currently working on a book on the political empowerment of Latinos in California.

Guerra has also served as a source for the mass media. He has been quoted in approximately 500 news stories by over twenty publications including The Los Angeles Times, The New York Times, The Washington Post, La Opinión, The Chicago Tribune, The Wall Street Journal, Time Magazine, Newsweek, Business Week, The Economist, and media outlets in Europe, Latin America, and Asia. He has appeared on CNN, NBC’s Today show, CBS Evening News with Dan Rather, Fox National News, and numerous local television news/public affairs shows, including KCET's Life and Times, where he also served as an occasional co-host.


MELISSA HARRIS-PERRY, Wake Forest University

Melissa Harris-Perry is the Maya Angelou Presidential Chair at Wake Forest University. She is the Executive Director of the Pro Humanitate Institute and founding director of the Anna Julia Cooper Center.

Melissa is Editor-at-Large at She hosted the television show “Melissa Harris-Perry” from 2012-2016 on weekend mornings on MSNBC. She is the author of the award-winning Barbershops, Bibles, and BET: Everyday Talk and Black Political Thought, and Sister Citizen: Shame, Stereotypes, and Black Women in America.

Her academic research is inspired by a desire to investigate the challenges facing contemporary black Americans and to better understand the multiple, creative ways that African Americans respond to these challenges. Her work has been published in scholarly journals and edited volumes and her interests include the study of African American political thought, black religious ideas and practice, and social and clinical psychology. Professor Harris-Perry's creative and dynamic teaching is also motivated by the practical political and racial issues of our time. Professor Harris-Perry has taught students from grade school to graduate school and has been recognized for her commitment to the classroom as a site of democratic deliberation on race.

Professor Harris-Perry's writings have been published in newspapers throughout the country. She regularly provides expert commentary on U.S. elections, racial issues, religious questions and gender issues for MSNBC news. She is a regular contributor to The Nation.


SCOTT KURASHIGE, University of Washington Bothell

Scott Kurashige is a Professor in the School of Interdisciplinary Arts and Sciences and Senior Advisor for Faculty Diversity and Initiatives at the University of Washington Bothell.

Kurashige is the author of The Shifting Grounds of Race: Black and Japanese Americans in the Making of Multiethnic Los Angeles (Princeton University Press, 2008).ThThrough its dissection of the struggles members of both groups engaged while navigating the politics of race, class, and community, the book offers a window into the intersecting histories that produced the multiethnic metropolis. He is also co-author with Grace Lee Boggs of The Next American Revolution: Sustainable Activism for the Twenty-First Century (University of California Press, 2011).

Prior to his current position, Kurashige was Associate Professor of American Culture, Asian/Pacific Islander Studies, American Studies and History at the University of Michigan. He received his B.A. in history with minors in Afro-American Studies and economics from the University of Pennsylvania (1990), M.A. degrees in Asian American Studies (1996) and history (1996) from UCLA, and Ph.D. in history from UCLA (2000). He has been a fellow at Harvard University and the Smithsonian Institution.



Kyeyoung Park is Associate Professor of Anthropology and Asian American Studies at UCLA. She taught at Princeton University in 1998-1999. She attended Seoul National University in Korea before coming to the United States for graduate studies at the City University of New York Graduate Center where she obtained her Ph.D. in anthropology. Her book, The Korean American Dream: Immigrants and Small Business in New York City (1997), by Cornell University Press, is the winner of the 1998 Outstanding Book Award in History and Social Science from the Association for Asian American Studies. She also jointly wrote a book on (Los Angeles) Korean immigrants’ ethnic relationship; co-edited a book on Korean American economy; and edited/co-edited special issues of the Amerasia Journal including the volume entitled, How Do Asian Americans Create Places?

In 1997-1998, she was a fellow at the Russell Sage Foundation. Currently, she is completing a book about racial relations among Korean, African, and Latino Americans before and after the 1992 Los Angeles uprising. In addition, she has conducted a new research project on Korean immigrant communities in Latin American countries of Argentina, Brazil, and Paraguay. She has published many articles in journals such as American Anthropologist, Urban Anthropology, Medical Anthropology Quarterly, Amerasia Journal, and Positions. Her research interests include socio-cultural theories and issues of identity as well as forms of social inequality (e.g., race, class, and gender) and migration/diaspora.



Manuel Pastor is a Professor of Geography and American Studies Ethnicity at the University of Southern California where he directs the Program for Environmental and Regional Equity (PERE) and co-directs the Center for the Study of Immigrant Integration. He has received grants and fellowships from the Irvine Foundation, the Rockefeller Foundation, the Ford Foundation, the National Science Foundation, the Hewlett Foundation, the Kellogg Foundation, the MacArthur Foundation, and many others.

Pastor's most recent book, co-authored with Chris Benner and Martha Matsuoka, is This Could Be the Start of Something Big: How Social Movements for Regional Equity are Transforming Metropolitan America (Cornell University Press 2009). He has also co-authored with Chris Benner and Laura Leete, Staircases or Treadmills: Labor Market Intermediaries and Economic Opportunity in a Changing Economy (Russell Sage, 2007). He co-authored with Angela Glover Blackwell and Stewart Kwoh, Searching for the Uncommon Common Ground: New Dimensions on Race in America (W.W. Norton, 2002). He also co-authored with Peter Dreier, Eugene Grigsby, and Marta Lopez-Garza, Regions That Work: How Cities and Suburbs Can Grow Together (University of Minnesota Press, 2000), a book that has become a reference for those seeking to better link community and regional development.


DAVID C. PERRY, University of Illinois

David C. Perry is the Director of the Great Cities Institute and Professor of Urban Planning and Policy in the College of Urban Planning and Public Affairs at the University of Illinois at Chicago. He also serves as Associate Chancellor for the university’s Great Cities Commitment. The Great Cities Institute is a university-wide research center to study the cities of the world from an engaged research perspective.

Perry is the author or editor of ten books including the forthcoming, The University, The City and Land: Comparative Studies, edited with Wim Wiewel, and over 100 articles, book chapters and reports on the "engaged university," the university as an urban institution, urban and regional economic development and policy, race, politics and urban violence, segregation and the production of urban space. Perry is an equally experienced policy practitioner having served on numerous national and local public boards and commissions. Perry received his Ph.D. from the Maxwell School at Syracuse University.


QUINTARD TAYLOR, University of Washington

Quintard Taylor is the Scott and Dorothy Bullitt Professor of American History, University of Washington, Seattle. He is the Director of, an online reference center which makes available a wealth of materials on African American history in one central location on the Internet, the "Google" of African American history.

Taylor has more than thirty years of teaching experience in African American history and specifically African Americans in the American West. His previous positions have included Washington State University, California Polytechnic State University, the University of Oregon (where he was chair of the Department of History from 1997 to 1999) and the University of Lagos (Fulbright-Hays Fellowship). He has also authored two books, In Search of The Racial Frontier: African Americans in the American West, 1528-1990 and The Forging of A Black Community: Seattle’s Central District from 1870 through the Civil Rights Era. He has edited two anthologies, Seeking El Dorado: African Americans in California and African American Women Confront the West, 1600-2000. Taylor has also written over fifty articles on western African American history, 20th Century African American history, African and Afro-Brazilian history. His current projects include Urban Archipelago: A 20th Century History of the African American Urban West for the University of Arizona Press and From Timbuktu to Katrina, a two volume reader in 19th and 20th Century African American history for Wadsworth-Thomson Publishers.  He is co-author of the forthcoming Dr. Sam: The Autobiography of Dr. Samuel Kelly, Soldier, Educator and Advocate.