Man on the Street
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Gilliam is leading UCLA’s effort to strengthen ties between
the campus and the broader community around it.
Photography by Diana Koenigsberg
days, Franklin Gilliam is living life on the fly.
UCLA’s new associate vice chancellor for community partnerships,
he is spearheading the university’s "UCLA in LA"
initiative to strengthen ties between the campus and the community
and to enhance the quality of residents’ lives. One day, he’s
welcoming Los Angeles public school students to UCLA where they
are getting help in math and science, another he is talking to the
command staff of the Los Angeles Police Department about UCLA’s
commitment to work with the LAPD on the importance of mass communications
in building strong relationships between the department and the
broader Los Angeles community. Over the past few weeks, he has conferred
with members of the Los Angeles school board and with community
and religious leaders — people close to the heartbeat of the
city, such as Monica Lozano, president and chief operating officer
of La Opinión and a University of California regent;
John Bryant, chairman and CEO of Operation Hope; and Stewart Kwoh
’70, J.D. ’74, president and executive director of the
Asian Pacific American Legal Center.
task is enormous. Throughout UCLA’s history, the university
has been knitted into the city’s fabric, working to resolve
pressing issues and problems. Today, thousands of UCLA students,
faculty and staff participate in some 200 campus programs that serve
the community in far-reaching ways. But until Gilliam’s appointment,
there was no central person to coordinate this massive effort that
focuses the university’s vast resources, manpower and expertise
on critical community issues such as health care, child and family
wellness and the arts.