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History, African American studies professor appointed as director of Bunche Center

Kelly Lytle Hernández, a UCLA History and African American studies professor, has been appointed as director of the Ralph J. Bunche Center for African American Studies. (Courtesy of UCLA Newsroom)

By Andrew Fortin-Caldera

April 11, 2019 2:17 am

A UCLA history and African American studies professor has been appointed as the new director of the Ralph J. Bunche Center for African American Studies.

Kelly Lytle Hernández, the Bunche Center’s interim director and a leading expert on immigration, race and mass incarceration, will start the position of director this July.

According to the Bunche Center website, the Center’s research seeks to broaden knowledge of the history, lifestyles and sociocultural systems of people of African descent and study issues that affect their psychological, social and economic well-being.

Lytle Hernández’s research focuses on uncovering the leading causes of incarceration in Los Angeles. In 2016, she launched the Million Dollar Hoods project, which gathers data to show how much the LA Police Department and LA Sheriff’s Department spend on incarceration.

In addition to her work with the Bunche Center, Lytle Hernández is an award-winning author. Her works “MIGRA! A History of the U.S. Border Patrol” and “City of Inmates: Conquest, Rebellion, and the Rise of Human Caging in Los Angeles” have won the 2010 Clements Prize and the 2018 American Book Award, respectively.

Lylte Hernández assumed the role of interim director in October 2017. The position was previously occupied by sociology professor and current dean of social sciences Darnell Hunt, who acted as director of the Bunche Center from 2001 to June 2017.

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