Dr. Manuel Pastor is Professor of Sociology and American Studies & Ethnicity at the University of Southern California. Founding director of the Center for Justice, Tolerance, and Community at the University of California, Santa Cruz, Pastor currently directs the Program for Environmental and Regional Equity at USC and co-directs USC’s Center for the Study of Immigrant Integration. He holds an economics Ph.D. from the University of Massachusetts, Amherst, and has received fellowships from the Danforth, Guggenheim, and Kellogg foundations and grants from the Irvine Foundation, the Rockefeller Foundation, the Ford Foundation, the National Science Foundation, the Hewlett Foundation, the MacArthur Foundation, Atlantic Philanthropies, the California Environmental Protection Agency, the W.T. Grant Foundation, The California Endowment, the California Air Resources Board, and many others.
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. His most recent book, Just Growth: Inclusion and Prosperity in America’s Metropolitan Regions, co-authored with Chris Benner (Routledge 2012), argues that growth and equity can and should be linked, offering a new path for a U.S. economy seeking to recover from economic crisis and distributional distress. Previous volumes include: Uncommon Common Ground: Race and America’s Future (W.W. Norton 2010; co-authored with Angela Glover Blackwell and Stewart Kwoh), which documents the gap between progress in racial attitudes and racial realities and offers a new set of strategies for both talking about race and achieving racial equity; This Could Be the Start of Something Big: How Social Movements for Regional Equity are Transforming Metropolitan America (Cornell University Press 2009; co-authored with Chris Benner and Martha Matsuoka) which highlights a promising set of organizing efforts across the U.S.; Staircases or Treadmills: Labor Market Intermediaries and Economic Opportunity in a Changing Economy (Russell Sage 2007, co-authored with Chris Benner and Laura Leete) which offers a critique of current employment strategies and argues for a new “high road” approach to connecting demand and supply in labor markets; and Regions That Work: How Cities and Suburbs Can Grow Together (University of Minnesota Press 2000; co-authored with Peter Dreier, Eugene Grigsby, and Marta Lopez-Garza), a book that has become a standard reference for those seeking to link neighborhoods and regions.
Dr. Pastor speaks frequently on issues of demographic change, economic inequality, and community empowerment and has contributed opinion pieces to such outlets as the Los Angeles Times, the San Jose Mercury News, the San Francisco Chronicle, the Sacramento Bee, the Huffington Post, and many others. He served as a member of the Commission on Regions appointed by California’s Speaker of the State Assembly, and as a member of the Regional Targets Advisory Committee for the California Air Resources Board. In January 2002, he was awarded a Civic Entrepreneur of the Year award from the California Center for Regional Leadership in recognition of his work with metropolitan leaders, and in 2012, he was awarded the Wally Marks Changemaker of the Year award from the Liberty Hill Foundation in Los Angeles in recognition of his many research partnerships with social justice organizations.