TV producer Norman Lear had the crowd eating out of his hand during a conversation punctuated with jokes and sharp observations. (photos by Les Dunseith)
Television producer Norman Lear is one of the most influential people in his business. On the night of Jan. 17 in the Real D Theater in Beverly Hills, the 95-year-old creator of some of TV’s most legendary shows — who is still working on two current shows — gathered with members of the UCLA community and the public to reflect on his career, philanthropy and advocacy efforts after a screening of the documentary “Norman Lear: Just Another Version of You.”
The screening was part of a special conversation hosted by UCLA’s public policy magazine, Blueprint — the latest issue of which focuses on philanthropy. Editor-in-chief Jim Newton moderated the event.
UCLA students and Chancellor Gene Block in front of the Smithsonian National Museum of African American History and Culture. (Zoya Chhabra/UCLA)
When UCLA students lined up at a diner counter top replica in the National Museum of African American History and Culture for an interactive exhibit, they were handed touch screens that asked them questions about how they would respond to living through the Civil Rights Movement. This opportunity to imagine living as someone else aligned with a major goal of Chancellor Gene Block’s recent trip to Washington, D.C.
“It gave you the chance to sort of feel what those people felt when they were doing a sit-in,” said third-year Naomi Kisel, who is a first-generation college student whose parents fled the Soviet Union for a better life and identifies herself as a political conservative.
Former State Senate Republican Leader Dick Ackerman and former Democratic Congressmember and State Assemblymember Mel Levine sit down to talk higher education.
As the public bemoans increasing partisan rancor in local, state and federal government, a new Political Action Committee (PAC) has quietly grown in prominence in California that is being driven by both Democrats and Republicans — showing a bipartisan way forward through an issue they can all agree on: funding higher education.
Former State Senate Republican Leader Dick Ackerman and former Democratic Congressmember and State Assemblymember Mel Levine are the “odd couple” as co-chairs of the California Coalition for Public Higher Education (CCPHE), but to them, there is nothing weird about teaming up for an issue that is of paramount importance to keep California prominent in the nation and the world.