Lydia Chavez

Professor and Robert A. Peck Chair in Journalism  |   510-642-9235  |   E-Mail

Lydia Chavez started as a reporter for The Albuquerque Tribune, later moving on to Time magazine, the Los Angeles Times and The New York Times, where she served as El Salvador and South American bureau chief. In 2005, Chávez and her students collaborated to publish “Capitalism, God and A Good Cigar: Cuba Enters the Twenty-First Century” (Duke University Press). And in 1998, Chávez published, “The Color Bind: California’s Battle Against Affirmative Action,” which won the Leonard Silk Award (UC Press). She has also written op-ed pieces for The New York Times, the Los Angeles Times and the San Francisco Examiner and magazine pieces for the Los Angeles Times and New York Times Sunday Magazines and George Magazine. She holds a bachelor’s degree in comparative literature from the University of California at Berkeley and a master’s degree from Columbia University’s Graduate School of Journalism.

Published Stories & Highlights:

Chavez's J200 Final Project--A Look at the Millions Spent on Tutoring
East Bay Express

For our final project in J200, students dug deep to undercover how millions of federal tutoring dollars in No Child Left Behind are poorly administered by California's State Education Department. The reporters read applications in Sacramento, looked at court files and interviewed parents, teachers and administrators to complete the project. They wrote the stories , developed the graphics and then worked on the project again once it was sold to the East Bay Express.

Daniel Ortega's New Best Friend

For Salon, Professor Lydia Chavez looks at Nicaragua, the return of Daniel Ortega and how his Venezuelan friend, President Hugo Chavez,offers the region its first alternative to Washington-style democracy since the 1980s.

Out Of The Shadows

The undocumented and their allies who took to the streets, writes Professor Lydia Chavez for Salon.com, come from a group rarely seen at protests: The working poor. Is this the sound of a new labor movement?

Si Se Puede! Illegal Immigrants Speak Up
New America Media

For New America Media, Professor Lydia Chavez considers the massive immigrant demonstrations and their impact on the debate in Congress.

Rebuilding the Nation of Immigrants
Los Angeles Times

In the final part of an OpEd Series for the Los Angeles Times, Professor Lydia Chavez writes on the need for policy makers to consider the benefits of offering citizenship to 11 million undocumented immigrants.

The Quiet Assimilation of the Undocumented
Los Angeles Times

In Part II of an OpEd series for the Los Angeles Times, Professor Lydia Chavez writes about how the undocumented are accommodated.

Caught in the Overlap of Two Societies
Los Angeles Times

Lydia Chavez offers a look at immigrantion in a three part Los Angeles Times OpEd series. Part 1: Washington fails to deal with the realidad of insourcing.

Capitalism, God, and a Good Cigar
Duke University Press

The Library Journal said, "Without question, this is the most revealing book available on Cuba today." With photographs by Mimi Chakarova and contributions from Ana Campoy, Olga Rodriguez, Julian Foley, Juliana Barbassa and others, the book can be ordered at Amazon or through Duke University Press.

What are Bay Area Republicans Thinking?
Oakland Tribune

While the Republican Party may have conceded California, at least 11 Bay Area communities supported George W. Bush in 2000. For an article in the Oakland Tribune, Students from Lydia Chavez's J200 class visited some of them during the Republican Convention.

Muslim World
San Francisco Chronicle

For San Francisco Chronicle, Professor Lydia Chavez covers a trip she took to India with a group of J-School students, and the insights gained into the thinking of Muslim youth in Kashmir.

Back to Chile

For Oxygen, Professor Lydia Chavez writes about taking her two adopted daughters on a trip back to their native Chile.

Offensive Song Lyrics
George Magazine

For George Magazine, Professor Lydia Chavez writes about the failed crusade against offensive song lyrics and why the presidential candidates are avoiding the issue.

Other Works:

Professor Chavez wins tenure.