Dr. Karen Umemoto, the current director of the Asian American Studies Center at UCLA, talks about her influential work in the fields of race relations and restorative justice, as well as how ethnic studies programs help foster more empathy in students and citizens. (Intro: 2019 Recap)
Dr. Karen Umemoto is the current director of the Asian American Studies Center at UCLA. Her many influential works in the fields of race relations and restorative justice include books (co-author of Jacked Up and Unjust: Pacific Islander Teens Confront Violent Legacies, the author of Truce: Lessons from an L.A. Gang War) and numerous journal articles and book chapters. She is also the recipient of research and service honors such as the W.E.B. DuBois Award of the Western Society of Criminology. Her research centers on issues of democracy and social justice in multicultural societies with a focus on U.S. cities. Professor Umemoto’s research and practice take a broad view of planning in the context of social inclusion, participatory democracy, and political transformation. While at the University of Hawaii, Professor Umemoto also served as the Director of Training for the Asian Pacific Islander Youth Violence Prevention Center (2000-2010) in the School of Medicine, working to reduce youth violence in Hawaii. She has also worked on a variety of community development projects and assisted nonprofit organizations and government agencies with strategic planning.