Manuel Pastor

Manuel Pastor

Professor of American Studies & Ethnicity and Sociology, Director of the Program for Environmental and Regional Equity, and Director of the Center for the Study of Immigrant Integration, University of Southern California

About Manuel

Pastor’s research has generally focused on issues of the economic, environmental and social conditions facing low-income urban communities – and the social movements seeking to change those realities. He speaks frequently on the changing demographics of the U.S. as well as on the ways in which inequality is corrosive to both our politics and our economy. His research projects are routinely in concert with community organizers seeking to reshape democracy from the ground up, with partner organizations that include Community Coalition, Strategic Concepts in Organizing and Policy Education (SCOPE), the Los Angeles Alliance for a New Economy (LAANE), the Coalition for Humane Immigrant Rights, Los Angeles (CHIRLA), and the like. He served as a member of the Commission on Regions appointed by California’s Speaker of the State Assembly, and in January 2002 was awarded a Civic Entrepreneur of the Year award from the California Center for Regional Leadership. In 2012, the Liberty Hill Foundation awarded Pastor the Wally Marks Changemaker Award.


In the News

Manuel Pastor quoted on lead the CBC, you have to connect with urban and rural districts, not just with coastal cities but with the South and Midwest.” by Harold Meyerson, "Home/Politics" The American Prospect, August 5, 2020.
Manuel Pastor quoted on analyzing many of the social movements in which Bass has played key roles. by Harold Meyerson, "Karen Bass: The Movement Activist As Vice President. Can This Star Product of South L.A.'s Social Justice Ferment End Up As Joe Biden's Improbable Veep?" The American Prospect, August 5, 2020.
"Op-Ed: Liberals Skeptical of Joe Biden Should Look to the Example of Jerry Brown," Manuel Pastor (with Sara Sadhwani), Opinion, Los Angeles Times, July 21, 2020.
Manuel Pastor's research on rising rent prices in California discussed by Eric Pape, "Debt of a Salesman: Why the Cost of Living is Making Retirement a Mirage," Fast Company, December 3, 2018.
Manuel Pastor's research on racial equity discussed by Chad Davis, "Improved Racial Equity in St. Louis Region Could Boost Economy and Voter Turnout, Says Report," NPR, September 20, 2018.
"Who Will Win the War for the Soul of the Democratic Party? Ask California.," Manuel Pastor, The Washington Post, July 19, 2018.
Manuel Pastor quoted by Gene Haagenson, "State Assembly Committee Holds Hearing in Fresno on Early Childhood Education" ABC 30, July 11, 2018.
Manuel Pastor's research on California residents discussed by Louis Jacobson, "No, It's Not Correct That 39% of California Students are Undocumented," PolitiFact, July 5, 2018.
Manuel Pastor quoted by Brenda Gazzar and Brian Rokos, "California Starbucks Investigates after Slur Demeaning Mexicans is Printed on Customer’s Coffee Cups" The Mercury News, May 17, 2018.
Interview on his new book Manuel Pastor, KSRO, May 1, 2018.
Manuel Pastor's research on James Fallows, "How California Turned into a ‘State of Resistance’," The New York Times, April 23, 2018.
Manuel Pastor quoted by Anabel Munoz, "Leading Voices in Immigration Convene for California Bold Conference" ABC 7 News, February 7, 2018.
Manuel Pastor quoted by Manuela Tobias, "Are 55 Percent of Immigrants in California on Welfare? That's an Exaggeration" Politifact, January 29, 2018.
Manuel Pastor quoted by Kim Brunhuber, "'We are in a War Here': Black and Latino Residents Fight Gentrification in LA" CBC News, November 4, 2017.
Guest to discuss how LA got its name on USC News, Manuel Pastor, February 22, 2017.
"Latinos and the Future of American Politics," Manuel Pastor, The American Prospect, January 17, 2017.
Guest to discuss Fidel's death on NPR KPCC, Manuel Pastor, November 26, 2016.
Manuel Pastor quoted on environmental justice by Brentin Mock, "The Racial Justice Flaws in California's Climate Bill" CityLab, September 15, 2016.
"Embrace Equity to Win on Climate Goals," Manuel Pastor (with Carol Zabin ), San Francisco Chronicle, September 10, 2016.
"Sanders Backers Need to Keep Organizing," Manuel Pastor, Sacramento Bee, June 28, 2016.
Manuel Pastor quoted on Latino naturalization and citizenship by Julia Preston, "More Latinos Seek Citizenship to Vote against Trump" New York Times, March 7, 2016.
Manuel Pastor quoted on city stewardship by Alana Semuels, "Budget Woes in One of America's Wealthiest Cities" The Atlantic, February 25, 2016.
Manuel Pastor quoted on investing in under-served neighborhoods by Leslie Berestein Rojas, "After Decades without a Movie Theater, Compton Could Get One" KPCC, February 10, 2016.
Manuel Pastor quoted on environmental equity by Aura Bogado, "Environmental Justice Scores a Win in California Carbon Policy" Grist, December 7, 2015.
"DAPA Matters," Manuel Pastor (with Tom Jawet and Lizet Ocampo), Center for American Progress, November 19, 2015.
"2016 and 2020 DAPA-Affected Voters and 2012 Margins of Victory, by State," Manuel Pastor (with Tom Jawetz and Lizet Ocampo), Center for American Progress, November 19, 2015.
Manuel Pastor's research on equity, growth, and community discussed by Melissa De Witte, "More than Economics: New Book Explores How Equality Helps Economies Grow," UCSC Newscenter, October 15, 2015.
Manuel Pastor quoted on the lack of investment in Compton by Iyana Robertson, "Here’s Why ‘Straight Outta Compton’ is Not Playing in Compton" Vibe, August 18, 2015.
Guest to discuss divestment in low-income areas on CBSLA, Manuel Pastor, August 17, 2015.
"One (Economic) Argument for ONE California," Manuel Pastor, Huffington Post, May 5, 2015.
Manuel Pastor quoted on the 2015 USC State of the Neighborhood Report by Eddie North-Hager, "State of the Neighborhood Report Offers Proposals for Surrounding Communities" USC News, April 21, 2015.
"Blocking Immigration Action Will Exact a Political Price," Manuel Pastor, Sacramento Bee, March 18, 2015.
"Twelve Ways to Reverse Inequality and Close the "California Chasm"," Manuel Pastor (with Dan Braun), Capital & Main, February 26, 2015.
Manuel Pastor's research on the implications that the lack of resources have on the lives of unauthorized immigrants discussed by Emily Brennan, "SDSU Researcher Finds Unauthorized Immigrants Lack Resources," Daily Aztec, February 25, 2015.
Manuel Pastor's research on demographic shifts discussed by Garret Wilson, "Grand Rapids Will be 25 Percent Latino by 2040, Predicts USC Demographer," Michigan Live, September 29, 2014.
"Los Angeles Proposes a Higher Minimum Wage," Manuel Pastor, Huffington Post, September 2, 2014.
Guest to discuss undocumented immigrants in California on KPPC’s Take Two, Manuel Pastor, May 8, 2013.
"Lessons for L.A. from 1992," Manuel Pastor (with Kafi Blumenfield), Los Angeles Times, April 25, 2012.
"California Needs an Integrated Plan on Immigration (See Utah)," Manuel Pastor (with Ange-Marie Hancock), Sacramento Bee, March 27, 2011.
"Latino Report Card Offers Road Map to Greater Success," Manuel Pastor (with Ron Gonzalez), San Jose Mercury News, March 20, 2011.
"Promesas que Empeoran," Manuel Pastor, (Promises that Impoverish), La Opinion, October 2, 2010.
"Immigrants’ Future is California’s Future," Manuel Pastor (with Vanessa Carter), San Francisco Chronicle, July 2, 2010.
"Reaching L.A.’s ‘Unbanked’," Manuel Pastor, Los Angeles Times, February 25, 2009.


Unsettled Americans (edited with John Mollenkopf) (Cornell University Press, 2016).

Draws on case studies from old and new immigrant destinations to explore the dynamics of these interactions, drawing lessons about the conditions that contribute either to greater conflict and polarization or to cooperative inclusion of new groups.

Just Growth: Prosperity and Inclusion in America’s Metropolitan Regions (with Chris Benner) (Routledge Press, 2012).
Demonstrates that equity and growth can go together – and explores the how and why, including the creation of diverse “knowledge communities” that share facts and frames about the regional future.
Uncommon Common Ground: Race and America’s Future (with Angela Glover Blackwell and Stewart Kwoh) (W.W. Norton, 2010).
Takes a complex look at race in the wake of the Obama election, arguing that persistent differentials need to be challenged more forthrightly in order to secure a stronger America.
This Could be the Start of Something Big: How Social Movements for Regional Equity are Reshaping Metropolitan America (with Chris Benner and Martha Matsuoka) (Cornell University Press, 2009).
Looks at social movement organizing across the metropolitan regions of the U.S. and argues for a new approach to both policy and politics.