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March 23, 2006
DH 06 RH22
Contact: Russ Hudson,
Media Relations Coordinator
Director Funded for African American
Institute to research roles of African Americans in politics, keep archives, encourage participation
Carson, CA— An acting director who will help identify and pursue resources for, as well as help shape the scope and mission of, the California African American Political and Economic Institute (AAPEI) on the California State University, Dominguez Hills campus has been funded through the California State University Chancellor’s Office.
The acting director chosen for the task is David L. Horne, an associate professor at California State University, Northridge (CSUN), co-chair of the Reparations Platform Coalition in Los Angeles, editor of The Journal of Pan African Studies and the Journal of African Studies, and a member of the Los Angeles Redistricting Commission. AAPEI was located at CSUN before being transferred to CSUDH by Governor Gray Davis in 2003, who signed into law Assembly Bill 60, which established the Institute at CSUDH. After the transfer was complete, there were meetings of CSUDH faculty, staff, and administrators from a variety of departments and divisions to discuss and plan the formation of the AAPEI.
When the funding to bring in an acting director who could apply time, knowledge, and experience in the shaping and launching of the Institute was announced, President James E. Lyons, Sr., said, “The African American Political Institute fills a very important void in the African American community. There is a critical need for accurate information on issues of importance to our community. It must be research based so that we have an opportunity to help shape key public policy issues. In addition, the institute will have the opportunity to work with and encourage young people to consider careers in public service. In that way, we will be doing our part in developing a cadre of future leaders.”
Horne, who has also participated in the United Nations Human Rights Commission Conferences on Racism, Xenophobia, and Related Intolerances, said, “California has needed an ongoing and dynamic institute like this for a long time. We need to relentlessly train youth how to understand, analyze, and negotiate the political process. Expecting people to just ‘do the right thing’ and waiting for fairness is not how the American political system works—you have to learn how to articulate, advocate, and defend your group’s interests or you will regularly get the crumbs of politics…or nothing at all.
“The Institute will provide that training and it will also satisfy our need to a central information collection and dissemination point from which we can speak accurately about African American political and economic issues,” he said. Horne gave credit for the Institute and the current funding for an acting director to members of the California State Assembly, CSU Chancellor Charles B. Reed, and to Lyons.
One staunch supporter of the Institute has been California Assemblyman Mervyn Dymally, (D-52nd, Compton), who said, “The opening of California’s African American Political and Economic Institute at Cal State Dominguez Hills brings great pleasure to all of us in politics. Through the Institute, California will now have a ‘one stop shop’ for gathering and researching information on the influence of Blacks in California politics.”
Reed, who was delighted to be able to provide the funds to bring in Horne, said, “I look forward to working with the Assembly members and to work that will be conducted through the Institute.”
The Institute is designed to be an ongoing academic and community research center that will conduct research, analysis, and information dissemination as it relates to the past, current, and future roles of African Americans in California politics. It will serve as a clearinghouse and be used to encourage participation of African Americans in the state’s political and public-policy arenas. In addition, there are plans for the Institute to become an archive for the collection and preservation of the documents and records of the contributions of African American politicians and economists.
CSUDH is located at 1000 E. Victoria Street, off Avalon Boulevard between the 91 and 405 freeways. It is also accessible from the 110 freeway at the 190th Street exit, which becomes East Victoria Street east of the freeway.
California State University, Dominguez Hills
University Communications & Public Affairs
Welch Hall, B-363