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University of California Blum Federation

The UCLA Blum Center on Poverty and Health in Latin America is one of 10 UC Blum Centers that now form a network across the UC system. Each Blum Center has an interdisciplinary and applied approach to understanding and confronting challenges of poverty and inequality in California, across the nation and around the world.

The UC Blum Federation, launched in February 2016, brings together the 10 individual Blum Centers and initiatives to enhance teaching and research collaboration on global poverty, economic and social justice, and democracy. Seed funding for the Federation was provided by the UC Office of the President.

Each of the 10 Blum Centers brings specialized expertise to addressing the problems of poverty, justice and democracy. The Federation will integrate that wide-ranging expertise under a single umbrella, while opening new educational opportunities for students.

UC Blum Federation Activities
UC Blum Federation Student Activities
About the 10 UC Blum Centers


UC Blum Federation Activities


UC Blum Research Action Network: Discovering Solutions for Global Wellbeing

A Compendium of Research Working Toward Reducing Poverty and Improving Health for All Populations

The purpose of the UC Blum Federation is to support activities that cut across all Blum Centers and focus on the areas of 1) network coordination advancement; 2) enhanced student collaborations; and 3) novel policy and community research. As a result, the UC Blum Federation’s Research and Policy Committee formed the UC Blum Research Action Network (UC BRAN) to stimulate and showcase original research and policy initiatives across the UC Blum Centers and UC system through a thematic annual publication. This Compendium represents the first efforts to do so.

The May 2017 issue of the Compendium can be downloaded here.





Big Ideas

Big Ideas is an annual contest aimed at providing funding, support, and encouragement to interdisciplinary teams of students who have “big ideas.” Since its founding in 2006, Big Ideas has inspired innovative and high-impact student-led projects aimed at solving problems that matter to this generation. By encouraging novel proposals and then supporting concrete next steps, Big Ideas is helping contest winners make an impact all over the world.

The infrastructure of this contest is made possible through the generous support of the Andrew & Virginia Rudd Family Foundation.

 Read more.


UC Blum Federation Student Activities


Student Action Council for Eradicating Poverty and Inequality (SACEPI)

The Student Action Council for Eradicating Poverty and Inequality (SACEPI) serves as the student body and voice of the Blum Federation. As such, SACEPI links student power across the UC system to shape and advance the Blum Federation’s mission and actions while nurturing a growing student movement for equity and social justice locally, nationally, and internationally.

Project Update:

On April 19th, UC students across California participated in Global Poverty Action Day (GPAD). Via the Student Action Council for the Eradication of Poverty and Inequality (SACEPI), 8 of the UCs organized events on issues related to poverty that resonated with their campus and surrounding communities, including food and housing insecurity, responsible production and consumption, technology and humanitarian relief, and poverty and foreign aid. As a SACEPI representative from the University of California at Santa Barbara, Caitlin Rathe, notes, "it's been exciting to watch each of these events develop at many UC campuses. Students at each campus are taking a different approach to raising awareness and inspiring action around sustainable development and poverty, but we're working together to amplify student voices across the UC and make change that is greater than our individual efforts."

The UCLA Blum Center hosted an event focused on the intersection of poverty, health disparities, and health care access - titled “Obamacare, Trumpcare, You Care: Health Care Access, Policy, and Action.” The event began with a panel discussion with Dr. Michael Rodriguez - Professor and Vice Chair of UCLA Family Medicine; David Ditullio - Graduate Student Representative to UC-SHIP Executive Oversight Board and MD/Ph.D. student at David Geffen School of Medicine; and Emily Cohen - Finance Director to Bruin Democrats. The panelists answered questions from students about vulnerable populations, barriers to health care access, the future of healthcare policy in America, and effects the national policy might have on student health insurance. In addition to the panel discussion, Bruin Democrats presented on how to best contact state representatives and effectively communicate on national policy issues. Multiple students mentioned they had learned something new about taking action on issues of health care access. Another success from the event was the development of partnerships. Notably, the American Medical Student Association expressed interest in future collaborations with the UCLA Blum Center. In addition, student representatives from Public Health Initiative: Leaders of Tomorrow, American Medical Student Association, Stroke Force, and the Global Health Living Learning Community, also discussed how they could further collaborate in this area.

The UCLA Blum Center hopes to continue to build off of the collaborations established through the development of this event and continue the development of UC-wide Blum Center projects with SACEPI in the coming year.

Next Steps: 

In the next year of SACEPI, we hope to develop a legitimate online space to externally promote what SACEPI is and what we do to a larger audience. We are working on finding ways to form more concrete collaborations among the UC Blum Centers with future projects. Additionally, we will begin discussing ways to recruit more student representatives for next year’s council by developing a common application and setting more concrete standards of participation. 

Overall, the goal of SACEPI is to amplify the voice of students at every UC to guide Blum Center projects that will mitigate poverty and inequities on a local and global level. The goal for the UCLA Global Poverty Action Day event was to bring students together for a discussion regarding health care access on a national level and foster connections among students so they can find an outlet to become involved in the issues of health care access and decreasing health disparities in their communities. 


The UC Blum Federation supports on-campus and other student activities throughout the year. The UCLA Blum Center funded three fellows in Summer 2016-17 and two fellows were awarded for this summer, 2017-2018. The UC Blum Federation funded four other students from other University of California Campuses for this summer. Meet the 2017 Summer Scholars!

Health Equity Curricula

The UCLA Blum Center develops and delivers several courses related to health equity. As part of our work for the UCLA Global Health Minor, we supported three courses listed below. In addition, we delivered the Health Equity and Civil Rights course

  • Global Health in Asia and Field Preparation, spring 2016 - Taught by Professor Roger Detels. This course explores the fundamental principles of public health and its application in addressing systemic health issues in East, Southeast and South Asia.
  • Global Health in Practice, summer 2016 - Taught by Professor Kelika Konda. This course introduces students to important concepts and topics in global health, including burden of disease, global health actors and the Millennium and Sustainable Development Goals, and provides significant opportunities to experience global health in the field.
  • Diversities and Disparities: The Case of Peru, summer 2016 - Taught by Professor Angela Bayer. This course helps students better understand how diversities and disparities in peoples and places impact human health, using Peru as a case study. After a general overview of the topic, students explore key global health issues. For each health issue, the “state of the issue” is briefly discussed at the global level and then more specifically within the context of Peru. Excursions complement classroom lectures.


For more information on the UCLA Global Health Minor.



About the 10 UC Blum Centers



UC Berkeley Blum Center for Developing Economies
Focus: global poverty and inequality
UC Davis Blum Center for Developing Economies
Focus: finding sustainable solutions to alleviating global poverty
UC Irvine Blum Center for Global Engagement
Focus: sustainable energy, hydrology, public health innovative financial methods and public policy
UC Los Angles Blum Center on Poverty and Health in Latin America
Focus: working across boundaries to reduce poverty and health inequalities in Latin America
UC Merced Blum Center for Developing Economies
Focus: the developing economy of the San Joaquin Valley and the Sierra Nevada region
UC Riverside Blum Poverty Initiative
Focus: the nexus between poverty, water and sustainability in the Coachella Valley in Riverside County
UC San Diego Blum Cross-Border Initiative
Focus: poverty research and practice in the San Diego-Tijuana region
UC San Francisco
UC Santa Cruz Blum Center on Poverty, Social Enterprise and Participatory Governance
Focus: unique training and research opportunities for students to work and learn firsthand about poverty alleviation projects

UC Santa Barbara Blum Center for Global Poverty Alleviation and Sustainable Development
Focus: research and public programming concerning global poverty alleviation and sustainable development