Vice Provost David K. Yoo

Message from the Vice Provost

Welcome to the UCLA Institute of American Cultures (IAC).

The IAC is the administrative home of the four ethnic studies centers at UCLA – the American Indian Studies Center, the Asian American Studies Center, the Chicano Studies Research Center, and the Ralph J. Bunche Center for African American Studies. These organized research units (ORU) were established in 1969 and for almost 50 years have been involved in advancing research grounded in the experiences and issues of diverse communities in the greater Los Angeles area, but also throughout the United States and internationally and transnationally as well. 

The research of the IAC reaches and draws from the entire university and through partnerships with many stakeholders and constituencies that literally span the globe. As an integral part of a world-class university with a public mission, the IAC examines the dynamic and complex social, economic, political, and cultural formations that are the United States.

I'll be posting regular updates about our ground-breaking work here. Thank you for visiting.


November 2018: Diversity and Social Action Work Showcased at Annual iAC Fall Forum

November 2018: Diversity and Social Action Work Showcased at Annual iAC Fall Forum

December 2018

Recently, we hosted the annual Institute of American Cultures (IAC) Fall Forum. It is an opportunity to honor the recipients of predoctoral fellowships, faculty and graduate student grants, and to showcase scholars and their work, including the longstanding visiting scholars (formerly postdoc) program.

Over the decades, these programs have provided a critical source of funding for people at UCLA and elsewhere. In addition to the funding, the ethnic studies centers have been a vital form of community for students, faculty and visiting folks, something that I have personally benefited from when I spent a year at UCLA at the Asian American Studies Center, almost 20 years ago. That sense of community was evident anew during our Fall Forum when we featured scholars from the centers who shared snapshots of their fascinating projects

Especially gratifying was the fact that many students attended who were likely hearing about the IAC and the ethnic studies centers for the first time. The hope is that our centers will be as important and meaningful source of learning, community, and engagement as it has been for the hundreds if not thousands of students who have preceded them since the late 1960s.

Diversity has become such a commonly used term that it can mean many things and increasingly less at the same time. The research, programming, and community-based work of our centers is one way to ground the shapes and forms that diversity can take as UCLA seeks to fulfill its mission as a public university based in the greater Los Angeles area. The Institute of American Cultures is predicated on the notion that we can do more together than any one of our units can do on their own. The Fall Forum was an example of this and how collectively we are advancing research for social justice.