Our aim is to initiate research, teaching, service, and programming on poverty at the University of California, Riverside. By “initiate”, we organize, encourage, lead, and subsidize activities at UCR on poverty. Our focus is on both global and regional poverty, and the interactions between the two. We are committed to studying and addressing poverty throughout the world, including in developing countries, in other rich democracies, and throughout the U.S. Particularly important to our mission is poverty in Inland Southern California. Inland Southern California, comprising the counties of Riverside and San Bernardino (and often referred to as the Inland Empire), has some of the highest poverty rates among the nation’s largest metropolitan areas. By poverty, we are dedicated to understanding relative and material deprivation, economic insecurity, and a host of related inequalities and disparities. We are a member of the network of Blum centers across the University of California, and partner with other units at the University of California, Riverside, with community organizations locally, and with other institutions internationally. We intend to deliver on these goals through teaching, research, and service.





In terms of teaching, the Blum Initiative will offer a graduate seminar on poverty beginning in Spring 2016. We will offer a larger undergraduate class on poverty during the 2016-2017 year. We will also subsidize the development of new courses related to global and regional poverty. Also, we are open to funding student-initiated unique learning experiences and opportunities related to poverty. We also aspire to host speakers and events that should encourage the study of poverty among students and faculty at UCR. Eventually, we also hope to offer an undergraduate minor in poverty in the coming years. In terms of research, we co-organize a faculty/graduate student workshop titled the “Poverty, Inequality, and Health” workshop. We also organize and host conferences and speakers on important questions, debates, and challenges in poverty research. We offer faculty seed research grants that are designed to subsidize and encourage research on poverty. We also offer graduate and undergraduate students funding for collaborative research with faculty on poverty. Finally, a portion of our funds is set aside for unique and innovative research on poverty on an ad-hoc basis. In terms of service, we aim to fund students to engage in service learning and internships related to poverty. We strongly encourage involvement in the regional community. However, we also aspire to enable students to engage in service learning throughout the world. Our research mission also complements our service mission as we strongly encourage community-engaged scholarship.


The Blum Initiative was made possible through generous support from the University of California Office of the President, the Provost of the University of California at Riverside, and especially Regent Richard C. Blum.