Chris Zepeda-Millán — 2018 Ralph J. Bunche Award Recipient

The American Political Science Association (APSA) will present the Ralph J. Bunche Award to Dr. Chris Zepeda-Millán at the 2018 APSA Annual Meeting & Exhibition, the world’s largest gathering of political scientists and source for emerging scholarship in the discipline. The $1,000 award recognizes the best scholarly work exploring the phenomenon of ethnic and cultural pluralism.

Born and raised in the East Los Angeles barrio of Boyle Heights, Chris Zepeda-Millán received his Ph.D. from the Department of Government at Cornell University under the supervision of Michael Jones-Correa and Sidney Tarrow. His research focuses on issues related to immigration policy, social movements, and racial politics, and he is currently an Acting Assistant Professor of Public Policy and Chicano Studies at UCLA.

The winners of the Ralph Bunche Award are two outstanding and field-defining books, Juliet Hooker’s Theorizing Race in the Americas: Douglass, Sarmiento, Du Bois, and Vasconcelos (Oxford University Press) and Chris Zepeda- Millán’s  Latino Mass Mobilization: Immigration, Racialization, and Activism (Cambridge University Press).

Chris Zepeda-Millán’s study of the 2006 immigrant rights protest wave in the U.S. is a lucid, theoretically rich, and sweeping (yet succinct) study that will undoubtedly become one of the foundational works for the study of Latino politics. The book asks where, how, and why these mass mobilizations occurred, as well as what were their effects. This groundbreaking book stood out to the entire committee for the depth of original data collection, its ability to simultaneously bridge and make original contributions to the fields of racial politics, immigration, and social movements, and its nuanced conceptualization of various types of threats and the racialization of Latino identities. Zepeda-Millán provides strong evidence that despite the fact that Latinos are often characterized as a “sleeping giant,” they are actually extremely politically active and often work together to resist anti-Latino and -immigrant policies using both electoral politics and political activism.