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UCLA Institute of American Cultures
Kelly Lytle Hernandez headshot

Director, Ralph J. Bunche Center for African American Studies

Kelly Lytle Hernández is the Thomas E. Lifka Endowed Chair in History and African American Studies at UCLA. She is also the Director of the Ralph J. Bunche Center for African American Studies at UCLA. One of the nation’s leading experts on race, immigration control, and mass incarceration, she is the author of award-winning books, Migra! A History of the U.S. Border Patrol (University of California Press, 2010), and City of Inmates: Conquest, Rebellion, and the Rise of Human Caging in Los Angeles (University of North Carolina Press, 2017). City of Inmates recently won the 2018 James Rawley Prize from the Organization of American Historians, 2018 Athearn Prize from the Western Historical Association, the 2018 John Hope Franklin Book Prize from the American Studies Association, and the 2018 American Book Award. Read the book trailer for City of Inmates.

Currently, Professor Lytle Hernández is the director and principal investigator for Million Dollar Hoods, a university-based, community-driven research project that maps the fiscal and human cost of mass incarceration in Los Angeles. For her leadership on the Million Dollar Hoods research team, Professor Lytle Hernández was named the 2018 KCET/PBS Local Hero and has received numerous honors, including the 2018 Freedom Now Award from the Los Angeles Community Action Network and the 2019 Catalyst Award from the South Central LA advocacy collective, CADRE. Professor Lytle Hernández is writing two monographs for Norton Books on the history of race and resistance in the U.S.-Mexico borderlands.