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Photo by Clancy O'Dessky

Two women and UCLA are joining together to create Latina Futures, 2050 Lab, a project to support research, collect and analyze data, and provide insights on the experiences of Latinas across the country and policies that affect their lives, it was announced by UCLA.

Veronica Terriquez, director of UCLA’s Chicano Studies Research Center, said Latinas and other women of color have dealt with economic, social, political and health crises disproportionately, and their needs have been overlooked by policymakers. She is collaborating with Sonja Diaz, founding director of the Latino Policy & Politics Institute, on the project at UCLA.

The lab, launched with $15 million from the California state budget through efforts from the California Latino Legislative Caucus, will provide data and research focusing on how Latinas contribute to the nation’s laws and policy debates.

One of the first areas of study for the 2050 Lab will be producing an anthology on the state of Latinas in education, civil society and the labor market. The anthology, to be published by the Chicano Studies Research Center’s press, will provide an agenda for Latinas who are expected to make up 13% of the U.S. population and account for 11% of the labor force by 2050.

“By building on the canon of our scholarly predecessors, we seek to produce cutting-edge research, elevate new voices and deepen community partnerships,” Terriquez said in a statement. “Ultimately, we aim to inform action and track progress towards achieving more equitable and inclusive institutions where Latinas can thrive.”

Education, healthcare and other areas affected by COVID-19 revealed immense health disparities that persist in Latino communities in the United States, and Diaz said it creates a need for dialogue between Latina academics and politicians.

“Latinas have shouldered the heaviest burden during this pandemic, yet they have remained invisible, disposable and inconsequential at decision-making tables,” Diaz said. “This is not only bad for children and families, but for all Americans.”

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