Leadership

David K. YooDavid K. Yoo is Professor of Asian American Studies &  History at UCLA.He was the lead editor for the Oxford Handbook of Asian American History. Dr. Yoo is the author and editor of nine books, including Contentious Spirits: Religion in Korean American History, 1903-1945. In addition, Professor Yoo served as the Director of the UCLA Asian American Studies Center and senior editor of Amerasia Journal, and currently is a series editor for the University of Hawaii Press and the University of Illinois Press. Dr. Yoo previously taught at Claremont McKenna College and the Claremont Colleges, where he chaired both the Department of History and the Intercollegiate Department of Asian American Studies.

Professor Yoo has been a Senior Fulbright Scholar (Korea) and a recipient of fellowships from the American Council on Education, Rockefeller Foundation, the John Randolph Haynes and Dora Haynes Foundation, and the Huntington Library. He has been active in many professional organizations including the American Studies Association, and the Association of Asian American Studies. Professor Yoo is also the recipient of the Hoshide Distinguished Teaching Prize at UCLA. His community involvement includes serving on the boards of the Korean American Scholarship Foundation and formerly the Little Tokyo Service Center.

Born and raised on Los Angeles, Professor Yoo received his B.A., magna cum laude, from Claremont McKenna College, an M.Div. from Princeton Seminary, and the M.A., M.Phil., and Ph.D. from Yale University. 

Shannon Speed

Shannon Speed is a citizen of the Chickasaw Nation. She is currently the Director of the American Indian Studies Center and Associate Professor in Gender Studies and Anthropology. Dr. Speed has worked for the last two decades in Mexico, and her research and teaching interests include indigenous politics, legal anthropology, human rights, neoliberalism, gender, indigenous migration, and activist research. She has published five books and edited volumes, including Rights in Rebellion: Human Rights and Indigenous Struggle in ChiapasHuman Rights in the Maya Region: Global Politics, Moral Engagements, and Cultural Contentions, and Dissident Women: Gender and Cultural Politics in Chiapas. Dr. Speed has published numerous journal articles and book chapters in English and Spanish, as well as two books in Spanish. 

Her current research is on indigenous Latin American women migrants and gender violence, and her book in progress is entitled, States of Violence: Indigenous Women Migrants and Human Rights in the Era of Neoliberal Multicriminalism. She serves on the Council of the Native American and Indigenous Studies Association (NAISA) and as co-chair of the Otros Saberes/Other Knowledges section of the Latin American Studies Association (LASA). In 2013, Dr. Speed was awarded the Chickasaw Dynamic Woman of the Year Award by the Chickasaw Nation, and in 2014 she received the Lifetime Achievement Award from the State Bar of Texas Indian Law Section.

Karen Umemoto, Director, UCLA Asian American Studies Center

Karen Umemotis a professor in the departments of Urban Planning and Asian American Studies and is the inaugural Helen and Morgan Chu Endowed Director’s Chair of the Asian American Studies Center. Professor Umemoto received her Ph.D. in Urban Studies from Massachusetts Institute of Technology and holds a M.A. in Asian American Studies from UCLA and a B.A. in Interdisciplinary Social Science from San Francisco State University. 

Professor Umemoto’s research and practice take a broad view of planning in the context of social inclusion, participatory democracy, and political transformation. She has published over 50 articles, book chapters, and professional reports, and she has served on the boards for the Association for Asian American Studies and the Association of Collegiate Schools of Planning. She has also served on editorial boards for five journals, including the Journal of the American Planning Association. In 2001, she received the University of Hawai'i Regents Medal for Excellence in Teaching. She is the recipient of the W.E.B. DuBois Award of the Western Society of Criminology, co-author of Jacked Up and Unjust: Pacific Islander Teens Confront Violent Legacies (University of California Press, 2016), and the author of Truce: Lessons from an L.A. Gang War (Cornell University Press, 2006).




Kelly Lytle Hernandez, Director, UCLA Bunche Center for African American Studies

Kelly Lytle Hernandez is The Thomas E. Lifka Endowed Chair in History and African American Studies at UCLA. She is also the Director of the Ralph J. Bunche Center for African American Studies at UCLA. One of the nation’s leading experts on race, immigration control, and mass incarceration, she is the author of award-winning books, Migra! A History of the U.S. Border Patrol (University of California Press, 2010), and City of Inmates: Conquest, Rebellion, and the Rise of Human Caging in Los Angeles (University of North Carolina Press, 2017). City of Inmates recently won the 2018 James Rawley Prize from the Organization of American Historians, 2018 Athearn Prize from the Western Historical Association, the 2018 John Hope Franklin Book Prize from the American Studies Association, and the 2018 American Book Award. The book trailer for City of Inmates can be found here.

Currently, Professor Lytle Hernandez is the director and principal investigator for Million Dollar Hoods, a university-based, community-driven research project that maps the fiscal and human cost of mass incarceration in Los Angeles. For her leadership on the Million Dollar Hoods research team, Professor Lytle Hernandez was named the 2018 KCET/PBS Local Hero and has received numerous honors, including the 2018 Freedom Now! Award from the Los Angeles Community Action Network and the 2019 Catalyst Award from the South Central LA advocacy collective, CADRE. Professor Lytle Hernandez is writing two monographs for Norton Books on the history of race and resistance in the U.S.-Mexico borderlands.

Chon Noriega, Director, UCLA Chicano Studies Research Center

Chon A. Noriega has been director of the UCLA Chicano Studies Research Center since July 2002. He is also an adjunct curator at the Los Angeles County Museum of Art (LACMA). Noriega is the author of Shot in America: Television, the State, and the Rise of Chicano Cinema (University of Minnesota Press, 2000) and editor of numerous books dealing with Latino media, performance and visual art. From 1996 to 2016, he was editor of Aztlán: A Journal of Chicano Studies, the flagship journal for the field since its founding in 1970.

Noriega has been active in media policy and professional development, for which Hispanic Business named him as one of the Top 100 Most Influential Hispanics. He is co-founder of the National Association of Latino Independent Producers (NALIP, established in 1999) and served two terms on the Board of Directors of the Independent Television Service (ITVS), the largest source of independent project funding within public television.

Noriega has made presentations to the U.S. Commission on Civil Rights, the U.S. Congressional Hispanic Caucus, and U.S. Congressional Entertainment Caucus.

Noriega has also helped recover and preserve independent films and video art, including the first Chicano-directed feature film, Please, Don’t Bury Me Alive! (1976), which was added to the National Film Registry in 2014. The restoration of these films is the cornerstone of the CSRC’s ongoing Chicano Cinema Recovery Project with the UCLA Film and Television Archive. Noriega also curated and co-hosted a month-long festival called "Latino Images in Film" on Turner Classic Movies.

In addition to his work in media, Noriega has curated or co-curated numerous groundbreaking art exhibitions, including: Phantom Sightings: Art After the Chicano Movement (2008-10), listed in Show Time: The 50 Most Influential Exhibitions of Contemporary Art; L.A. Xicano, which comprised five exhibitions for the Getty Foundation's Pacific Standard Time initiative (2011-12); and Home—So Different, So Appealing (2017-18), displayed at LACMA and the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston as part the second Pacific Standard Time initiative. He is also editor of A Ver: Revisioning Art History, an award-winning series from CSRC Press on individual Latina/o artists.

Noriega's awards and recognitions include the Getty Postdoctoral Fellowship in the History of Art (for art history) and the Rockefeller Foundation Film/Video/Multimedia Fellowship (for documentary production), as well as recognitions from the Mexican American Legal Defense and Education Fund (MALDEF), the National Hispanic Media Coalition (NHMC), and the American Association of Hispanics in Higher Education.