Cal Humanities

"The understanding of a culture comes from hearing the language, tasting the food, seeing personal interactions, experiencing the traditions, and so much more in context."

— Elizabeth Laval & Candice Pendergrass, Sikh Youth Public History Project

"The understanding of a culture comes from hearing the language, tasting the food, seeing personal interactions, experiencing the traditions, and so much more when it is in context."

— Elizabeth Laval & Candice Pendergrass, Sikh Youth Public History Project

The Fourth Estate: Media and Democracy     

Multiple hands in various colors hold papers. Behind them is an outline of the state of California.

What is non-profit news? Does journalism have a civic mission? In a landscape of social media and citizen journalism, who decides who gets to be a journalist, and what defines journalism?

Voting Rights for Indigenous Populations

A colorful mural of Indigenous people voting

Despite rights granted by the Indian Citizenship Act of 1924, many native people remain excluded from democratic processes. We explore the barriers facing native voters and seekers of public office.

Civic Participation and California Immigrants

We discuss the state of civic power for immigrants and DACA status holders in California – electoral and beyond – from California’s founding to current day. What role might California’s immigrant communities might play in the future of citizenship?

Voting Rights for Incarcerated Californians

Multiple hands in various colors hold papers. Behind them is an outline of the state of California.

In November 2020, California voted to refranchise 50,000 parolees under Prop 17, sparking a broader conversation about voting rights for incarcerated and formerly incarcerated citizens. How has this question been discussed throughout state history?

Voters on the Move

Learn about the work of California’s Citizens Redistricting Commission in this discussion of our state’s evolving electoral map.

Equity at the Polls: Voter Access in California Elections

Since 1960, California has greatly improved its voter registration process. Ballots are now mail-in, multilingual, and registration is available up to election day. Why then do California elections not fully reflect the diversity of the state? What tactics can increase – and sustain – voter engagement?

The 70.8%: What Explains California’s Voter Turnout?  

Multiple hands in various colors hold papers. Behind them is an outline of the state of California.

In 2020, California had its highest voter turnout since 1952; but why? What factors into high and low voter turnout? How have watershed moments in California history affected turnout? We’ll explore what voting’s past means for California’s future.

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