The Blum Initiative is a non-partisan, non-profit research center committed to growing poverty related research, service, and teaching at UC Riverside and in our community. Established Fall 2015, we seek to inspire and support research of real-world consequence, which broadens our understanding of the causes and consequences of poverty while striving for solutions that meet global and local needs – especially those of the Inland Empire. The Blum Initiative connects UC Riverside scholars with the resources they require to conduct cutting-edge research, leverages its network and cultivates promising students’ interest in poverty solutions through immersive fellowships and signature coursework, among other programming.

The Blum Initiative is one of eleven Blum centers – ten of which are housed within the University of California system – made possible by the generous support of Richard Blum, which support diverse research agendas on poverty and inequality.

Who We Are

The Blum Initiative has unified and reinvigorated UC Riverside’s commitment to poverty studies and research-based solutions. We operate under the guidance of an inter-disciplinary steering committee and have nearly forty affiliated faculty and graduate student (masters and doctoral) researchers committed to the study of poverty from the social sciences, natural sciences, engineering, and humanities. The Initiative also works closely with its sister centers and the greater Blum network encompasses over 100 affiliated researchers who work within the poverty and inequality space.

What We Do

Since Fall 2015 the Blum Initiative has funded faculty and graduate student research, supported students conducting immersive summer fieldwork while serving a population in-need, hosted multiple conferences (one of which had a local focus on immigration and poverty), and brought upwards of 45 experts from across the county to UC Riverside in an effort to heighten our campus’ understanding of the importance of studying and combating poverty. More recently, we have turned outward, engaged with our community and practitioners to develop cooperative strategies to combat poverty in the Inland Empire and Coachella Valley. With a strong network of researchers and an ever-growing group of students passionate about local service we have the intellectual and manpower resources necessary for developing, evaluating, and implementing research-driven solutions to our community’s most pressing needs. Together, we can combine our expertise for a better tomorrow and fight to end poverty in our region.