Every year the Urban Affairs Association (UAA) hosts a conference to bring scholars from around the world to Los Angeles, CA. Our very own Aabiya Noman Baqai and David Weinreich were there and came back with all of the details to share with our team – and you.
The annual UAA conference is held for three days, this year from April 24 through April 27. The conference hosts hundreds of speakers and guests from all across the world for the weekend to give everyone exposure to the latest research in Urban Affairs. Attendees are given time to attend two sessions early in the morning, are then served lunch, and after given time to choose two other sessions before a dinner networking event.
This year’s UAA conference was Aabiya’s first. Aabiya says that the conference was useful and empowering. She says it was interesting to see similar research topics being tackled from different perspectives. Aabiya’s research focuses on Grassroot organizations. Grassroots organizations are activist organization seeking to politically change their local communities to later impact government at a regional, national, and international level. Aabiya got to sit through a session by “Theodore Vee”, where he discussed his work in Asian immigrant communities, like Chinatowns. He presented information by the people in the Asian communities, he preserved their stories and portrayed their living conditions, the truth and not what the media paints it to be. He stated that the community he was researching in East London, has now been torn down. Sessions like this one helped create the perfect contacts for Aabiya. “It was good, I got to learn more about my thesis, how to grow and improve my methodology,” she says.
This year was David Weinreich’s fourth in attendance. David’s research focuses on the fragmentation in two of the largest metro regions in the U.S., and how to improve the different structures to provide better-integrated services in those areas. For example, a more formal structure for funding, government board membership sitting in more than one board, or interlocal agreements within transit agencies. David says he attends yearly because its a good way to collaborate. David mentioned that he has collaborated with Thomas Skuzinski, Virginia Tech and they get to discuss and share their research at UAA conference.
If you haven’t made it out to a conference, we encourage you to do so! You never know who you will meet, or what you might discover. Get more information on UAA’s website, and even how to become a member.