Inland Empire Environmental Justice Bus Tour

Cathy Gudis

Speaker Bio


Cathy Gudis is a professor of History and director of Public History at University of California, Riverside, where she holds a Pollitt Endowed Term Chair for Interdisciplinary Research and Learning.

She also serves as scholar-in-residence at LA Poverty Department’s Skid Row History Museum & Archive, and member of. Cathy’s publications and projects explore how public space is privatized, landscapes racialized, and inequalities of access challenged, with a geographical focus on Southern California. Over the last dozen years, she has engaged in large-scale, multi-city and multiplatform projects with cultural heritage and community-based organizations aimed to connect people and place and to galvanize civic engagement and advocacy. These include her work with the Skid Row Now & 2040 Coalition and founding in 2020 of the community-based digital archive and mapping platform A People’s History of the Inland Empire, which will launch a multi-site, multimedia public art project in late spring entitled “Live from the Frontline: Art, Memory, and Environmental Justice in the I.E.” She collaborates on “Bridges That Carried Us Over Project: Documenting Black History in the I.E.” and with the Civil Rights Institute of Inland Southern California. Her additional public humanities projects have included Project 51’s Play the LA River, which urged Angelinos to advocate for equitable reclamation of the L.A. River as public space; exhibits and programs with the Humanities Action Lab on “Climates of Inequality: Stories of Environmental Justice” and “States of Incarceration”; and, with Ann Kaneko and KCET, the award-winning digital series Empire of Logistics: Goods Movement in Southern California.

Cathy is working on a book project, Framing History: Public Art and the Performance of Place in Southern California. She is a gubernatorial appointee to the California Cultural and Historical Endowment, was on the City of L.A.’s Civic Memory Working Group, and served on the steering committee for the County of LA’s Master Plan for the Los Angeles River. She has been awarded grants and fellowships from Creative Corps of Inland Southern California; Social Science Research Council-National Endowment for the Humanities; ACLS-Mellon Foundation; Huntington Library; Haynes Foundation; Harvard’s Warren Center; and Getty Research Institute, among others. She holds a PhD from Yale University in American Studies.