Staff Biographies

Victor NarroVictor Narro
Project Director
Labor Center
(213) 480-4154 x209

Areas of Expertise: Low-wage immigrant workers, immigration policy, worker centers


Currently a project director for the UCLA Labor Center, Victor Narro has been involved with immigrant rights and labor issues for many years. At the UCLA Downtown Labor Center, Victor Narro’s focus is to provide leadership programs for Los Angeles’s immigrant workers and internship opportunities for UCLA students. Victor is also a lecturer for the Chicano/a Studies Department, where he teaches classes that focus on immigrant workers and the labor movement. Over the past few years, Victor has worked with janitors, hotel workers, laundry workers, sanitation workers, port truckers, and more recently, car wash workers.

Victor was formerly the co-executive director of Sweatshop Watch. Prior to that, he was the workers’ rights project director for the Coalition for Humane Immigrant Rights of Los Angeles (CHIRLA), where he was involved with organizing day laborers, domestic workers, garment workers, and gardeners. His work in multi-ethnic organizing led to the creation of the Multi-ethnic Immigrant Workers Organizing Network (MIWON) in collaboration with KIWA, Garment Worker Center, and Pilipino Worker Center. Through Victor’s leadership, the day laborer project was able to grow into the National Day Laborer Organizing Network that today includes forty community-based worker centers from around the country. Before his tenure at CHIRLA, Victor worked in the Los Angeles regional office of the Mexican American Legal Defense and Educational Fund (MALDEF).

Victor is co-author of Broken Laws, Unprotected Workers: Violations of Employment and Labor Laws in America’s Cities (2008), and Wage Theft and Workplace Violations in Los Angeles (2010). He is also co-editor of a recent book, Working for Justice: The L.A. Model of Organizing and Advocacy (Cornell University Press, 2010). In 2005, Victor was appointed by L.A. Mayor Villaraigosa to the Police Permit Review Panel of the Los Angeles Police Commission, where he served until 2010.


Gaspar Rivera SalgadoGaspar Rivera-Salgado
Project Director
Labor Center
(310) 206-3910

Areas of Expertise: Immigration, Latinos in the US, US-Mexico relations, race relations, Latin American culture and politics, indigenous peoples in the Americas


Dr. Gaspar Rivera-Salgado was born in Oaxaca, Mexico, and received his doctorate in sociology from the University of California, Santa Cruz. He is currently a project director at the UCLA Center for Labor Research and Education, where he teaches classes on work, labor, and social justice in the US and immigration issues. He also directs the Institute for Transnational Social Change, a project of the Labor Center.

Gaspar has previously held positions at several universities in the United States (including the University of Southern California and the University of California, San Diego) and was named the 2005 Visiting Professor in Development and Human Rights at the University of Utrecht, in the Netherlands. He currently serves as an advisor to several migrant organizations in California, including the Binational Center for Oaxacan Indigenous Development, the Coalition for Humane Human Rights of Los Angeles, and the Binational Front of Indigenous Organizations. He has extensive experience as an independent consultant on transnational migration, race and ethnic relations, and diversity trainings for large organizations.

His most recent publications include the edited volume (with J. Fox) Indigenous Mexican Migration in the United States (University of California, San Diego, 2005); and the upcoming edited volume (with E. Telles, and M. Sawyer) Just Neighbors?: Research on African American and Latino Relations in the United States (Russell Sage Foundation Press).


Janna Shadduck-HernandezJanna Shadduck-Hernández
Project Director
Labor Center
(213) 480-4155 x211

Areas of Expertise: Labor and workplace education, community-based education and training (popular education), community service-learning, gender Issues, undocumented migration and undocumented students, low-wage working families and K-12 education in Los Angeles, qualitative research methods and labor and workplace studies field research, arts activism related to labor, immigration, sexuality and LGBTQ issues, Latino community Issues--specifically education, higher education, community development


Janna Shadduck-Hernández’s interests lie in the intersections between labor, immigration, student and community activism, and the arts. Presently she is a project director at the UCLA Center for Labor Research and Education. She is also a lecturer teaching in UCLA’s Department of World Arts and Cultures, César E. Chávez Chicano/a Studies Department, and the Labor and Workplace Studies Minor. She teaches Arts in Community; Labor, Social Justice, and the Arts; Immigration and the Visual Arts; Taking Action: Art and Community Change; Field Research Methods in Labor and Workplace Studies; Immigration, Labor, and Higher Education; Social Movements and Labor in Los Angeles; along with other special topics courses.

For the UCLA Labor and Workplace Studies Minor course, Immigrant Rights, Labor and Higher Education, she co-edited the first student-authored publication about the experiences of undocumented students in higher education, Underground Undergrads: UCLA Undocumented Students Speak Out (2008).

Janna received her doctorate from the University of Massachusetts Amherst’s School of Education within the Center of International Education in 2005. Her dissertation, Here I am Now! Community Service-Learning with Immigrant and Refugee Undergraduate Students and Youth: The Use of Critical Pedagogy, Situated Learning and Funds of Knowledge, examines the experiences of  immigrant and refugee undergraduate students involved in a community service-learning program that incorporated critical and culturally relevant curriculum, peer-learning approaches, and creative and artistic exploration as ways to develop alternative educational models across similar ethnocultural communities. She has published various articles on the subject including articles in Labor Studies and Ethnography and Education.

Janna has also been the codirector for the UCLA Global Learning Institute Summer Session in Guanajuato, Mexico (2006, 2007, 2008) through the UCLA International Institute-Global Studies (IDP). In partnership with the Universidad de Guanajuato, she teaches a qualitative research seminar titled Globalization in Context: Research Seminar GS110A and coordinates all programmatic aspects of this five-week summer session with 20-25 UCLA students in Mexico.


LolaLola Smallwood Cuevas
Project Director, Labor Center
Director, LA Black Worker Center
(213) 480-4155 x210

Areas of Expertise: African American worker organizing in Los Angeles, strategic labor and community alliances, black work and the shaping of Los Angeles


A project director at the UCLA Labor Center, Lola Smallwood Cuevas’s work has focused on exploring the role of unions, empowering African American workers in Los Angeles, and strengthening the position of the black working class. She currently directs the Los Angeles Black Worker Center (BWC), a project of the UCLA Labor Center and the first worker center in California focused on solving the black job crisis. The BWC aims to build power among black workers to create greater access to quality jobs, address employment discrimination, and transform industries that employ black workers. The BWC grew out of Lola’s work coordinating the UCLA African American Leadership School (AALS). Begun in 2002, the AALS focused on developing the next generation of workplace leaders through popular education.

Before joining the Labor Center, Lola worked as political and community coordinator for the SEIU Local 1877 Security Organizing Campaign. She has a background in journalism, working as a daily beat writer for the Chicago Tribune, Long Beach Press Telegram, and the Oakland Tribune, where she was introduced to organizing as a member of the East Bay Newspaper Guild. In addition to conducting worker research, training, and education, Lola is co-editor of the UCLA Labor Center publication Women’s Work: Los Angeles Homecare Workers Revitalize the Labor Movement (2009) and co-author of “Common Cause,” a chapter on LA’s black community and labor in the UCLA Bunche Center publication Black Los Angeles: American Dreams and Racial Realities (NY University Press, 2010).


Chris TillyChris Tilly
(310) 794-4959

BA, Biochemistry, Harvard College, 1976
PhD, Economics and Urban Studies and Planning, MIT, 1989

Chris Tilly, director of UCLA’s Institute for Research on Labor and Employment and professor in the Urban Planning Department, studies labor markets, inequality, urban development, and public policies directed toward better jobs. He is particularly interested in understanding how combinations of institutions and markets generate unequal labor outcomes and in how public policy and collective action can successfully be directed toward improving and equalizing such outcomes. Within this framework, Chris has examined part-time and contingent work, gender and racial disparities, job mobility, and other issues. Although most of his research has been focused on the United States, he has traveled frequently to Latin America and the Caribbean over the past thirty years and has written about development issues and social movements in Argentina, Brazil, Cuba, Haiti, Mexico, and Central America. He has recently broadened his research agenda to include a new emphasis on jobs in Mexico and is undertaking comparative analyses with European colleagues.

In addition to conducting scholarly research, Chris served for twenty years (1986-2006) as editor of Dollars and Sense, a popular economics magazine, and frequently conducts research for advocacy groups, community organizations, and labor unions. He served on the program committee and later the board of directors of Grassroots International (1991-2003), ending that time as the chair of the board. Before becoming an academic, he spent eight years doing community and labor organizing.


Kent WongKent Wong
Labor Center
(213) 480-4155 x204

Areas of Expertise:  Immigrant workers, undocumented students, Asian American workers, contemporary labor issues


Kent Wong is the director of the UCLA Labor Center, where he teaches courses in labor studies and Asian American studies.  He previously served as staff attorney for the Service Employees International Union. He was the founding president of the Asian Pacific American Labor Alliance, the founding president of the United Association for Labor Education, and currently is vice president of the California Federation of Teachers.