During the 1960s, the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA) hosted research surveys focused on two of Southern California’s largest communities of color: the Japanese American Research Project (JARP, 1962–1970) and the Mexican American Study Project (MASP, 1964–1968). While conceived in separate sectors of the university’s research apparatus, JARP and MASP together exemplify UCLA’s gradual institutionalization of racial diversity over the course of the decade. In the years before UCLA could claim a critical mass of nonwhite scholars and students, these projects inaugurated campus-community relations with local civil rights organizations as both collaborators and critics. Together, JARP and MASP demonstrate that the multiracial integration of California’s higher education system was a prolonged process, first requiring the state’s predominantly white public universities to develop institutional vocabularies of racial difference where none existed prior.

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