In honor of the work of activists Erin Brockovich and Ed Masry, Universal Pictures and UCLA have established a program to help students pursue studies in environmental and social justice.
A $100,000 donation from Universal Pictures will be divided equally between undergraduate and graduate students, starting in the 2001-02 academic year. There will be $50,000 available for undergrad scholarships to transfer students from community colleges as part of the College of Letters & Sciences’ Academic Advancement Program, which serves more than 7,100 first-generation college or low-income undergrads.
The other $50,000 will be used to support graduate fellowships to students in UCLA’s School of Public Policy & Social Research, whose academic interests, research and community activities demonstrate an awareness of and commitment to environmental justice.
UCLA’s Policy School has a 30-year history of working in the environmental arena.
The efforts of Brockovich and Masry, who campaigned on behalf of the citizens of Hinckley, a small California town plagued by illnesses caused by contaminated chromium-laced groundwater, was the basis for U’s Oscar-nominated feature “Erin Brockovich.”
“Environmental justice is an important field of study, and with the generosity of Universal Pictures, students at UCLA will have an important new opportunity to research environmental issues and help provide solutions to difficult problems,” said UCLA Chancellor Albert Carnesale.
“It is a great honor for us to be recognized by Universal Pictures and UCLA for our work in fighting for environmental justice,” Brockovich and Masry said in a statement.
Universal Pictures chair Stacey Snider added: “This donation to UCLA represents Universal Pictures’ ongoing commitment to honoring the legacy of two real-life heroes, Erin Brockovich and Ed Masry, through educational opportunities for students who want to pursue careers in environmental justice.”