About the Blum Center

Spring light on the UC Santa Cruz campus


Locally and around the world, poverty and economic insecurity limits opportunity and reduces life chances. But it does not have to be this way. UCSC’s Blum Center illuminates the causes and consequences of poverty and demonstrates how participatory governance and effective policies and programs can alleviate economic hardship. It is not about fixing people, it is about fixing systems.


The UC Santa Cruz Blum Center is part of a network of centers working on poverty across all ten University of California campuses. At UCSC, we take a unique, multifaceted approach to poverty alleviation, focusing our work in three crucial areas: fiscal equity, housing, and food access.

Our community-engaged research brings together students, faculty, nonprofit leaders, and key stakeholders who share an interest in promoting economic equity, and expanding access to affordable, high quality housing and food. Our projects promote social enterprise that stimulates shared prosperity and governance that is participatory and inclusive.

We foster poverty alleviation, social enterprise, and participatory governance by:

  • Supporting student and faculty collaborative, solution-focused research and anti-poverty initiatives

  • Writing policy briefs to inform future action

  • Providing paid internships for undergraduates to gain experience  while significantly contributing to community organizations 

  • Amplifying the perspectives and experiences of disenfranchised communities

  • Equipping individuals, families, and communities with the information they need to make an impact