End of Life Options

Last year, California became the fifth and largest state to enact the End of Life Option Act, which allows doctors to prescribe aid-in-dying medication. Compassion & Choices president Barbara Coombs Lee, professor of Health Policy and Management in the Fielding School of Public Health Cindy Cain, author and physician Dr. Haider Warraich, and Dan Diaz, husband of the late death-with-dignity advocate Brittany Maynard, discuss the legal, social, and medical ramifications of physician-assisted death. Moderated by Ian Masters.

Who is Leading the Resistance?

With Republicans in control of the White House and Congress, Democrats look ahead to 2018 and 2020 to take back power. From the streets to the internet, from town halls to the National Mall, progressive movements are taking fascinating new directions. Larry Cohen, chair of Bernie Sanders’s Our Revolution, joins activist Erin Schrode and Indivisible organizer Zacharie Boisvert to discuss alternative visions and creative strategies fueling opposition movements. Moderated by Ian Masters.

What Would a Pence Presidency Look Like?

As investigations, infighting, and controversy continue to plague the Trump administration, a Mike Pence presidency lurches into consideration. Political scientist Marjorie Hershey, publisher of Religion Dispatches and USC Annenberg Knight Chair in Media and Religion Diane Winston, and executive director of the Center for Media and Democracy Lisa Graves examine Pence’s policy history in Indiana, his views, and his relationship with powerful patrons like the Koch brothers. Moderated by Ian Masters.

Keeping the Dream Alive

The United States is home to nearly two million DREAMers, undocumented immigrants under the age of 35 who arrived as children, seeking a pathway to citizenship. While Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA), signed by President Obama, grants legal recognition and amnesty to some, their future is tenuous under the Trump administration.

Dr. Angela Chuan-Ru Chen is former director of the Undocumented Student Program at UCLA and current director of Pre-Health Dreamers, which supports undocumented students interested in health care careers, and Marielena Hincapié is the Executive Director of the National Immigration Law Center. Dr. Chen, Hincapié, DREAMer activist Yahaira Carrillo Rosales, and moderator Ian Masters discuss ways to navigate the current immigration landscape, particularly how to advocate for support programs and undocumented student policies.

Standing Tall for Tribal Rights

Last year, the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe and thousands of allies began gathering for one of the largest Native American protests in history. Blocking the development of the Dakota Access Pipeline, the activists known as “water protectors” call attention to environmental policy and sacred sites, but also to a longer history of the dispossession of Native American land.

UCLA law professors Carole Goldberg and Angela R. Riley discuss with scholar and activist Melanie K. Yazzie what tribal sovereignty and Indian rights look like in today’s United States as well as in activism more broadly. Moderated by Ian Masters, journalist, documentary filmmaker, and KPFK 90.7 FM radio host.

Election Postmortem

Reflecting on the 2016 presidential election, UCLA political scientist Lynn Vavreck looks at the effectiveness of campaign ads, public policy scholar Theodore R. Johnsondiscusses the changing role of the black electorate, and University of California, Irvine, political scientist Michael Tesler examines the connection between economic anxiety and racial resentment. Moderated by Ian Masters, journalist, documentary filmmaker, and KPFK 90.7 FM radio host.

Is the Electoral College Obsolete?

Despite its prevalent role in the presidential election, the Electoral College system remains confusing and contentious. Robert Alexander, Chair of the Department of History, Politics, and Justice at Ohio Northern University and author of Presidential Electors and the Electoral College, and journalist Ari Berman, author of Give Us the Ballot: The Modern Struggle for Voting Rights in America, consider the relevance of the Electoral College today. Moderated by Ian Masters, journalist, documentary filmmaker, and KPFK 90.7 FM radio host.

Turkey’s Future: Democracy or Autocracy?

Cosponsored by the UCLA Center for Near Eastern Studies

Turkey’s recent failed military coup and President Erdogan’s subsequent crackdown have threatened the country’s democracy. Asli Bâli, director of the Center for Near Eastern Studies at UCLA, Max Hoffman, associate director for the National Security and International Policy team at the Center for American Progress, and Aaron Stein, senior fellow at the Atlantic Council’s Rafik Hariri Center for the Middle East, discuss the political and global fallout from July’s tumultuous events. Moderated by Ian Masters, journalist, documentary filmmaker, and KPFK 90.7 FM radio host.

The Politics of Race in the 2016 Election

Kristen Clarke, executive director of the Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights Under Law, and Ian Haney López, professor of law at UC Berkeley and author of Dog Whistle Politics: How Coded Racial Appeals Have Reinvented Racism and Wrecked the Middle Class, discuss the disenfranchisement of potential voters in November’s racially charged election. Moderated by Ian Masters, journalist, documentary filmmaker, and KPFK 90.7 FM radio host.

The New Movement to End Gun Violence

With Americans demanding increased action in the wake of multiple mass shootings, we explore a growing movement that challenges the gun lobby’s tight grip on Congress. Joshua Horwitz, executive director of the Coalition to Stop Gun Violence, joins Saul Cornell, Second Amendment specialist and professor of American history at Fordham University, and Tom Diaz, author of The Last Gun: How Changes in the Gun Industry Are Killing Americans and What It Will Take to Stop It. Moderated by Ian Masters, journalist, documentary filmmaker, and KPFK 90.7 FM radio host.

Predicting the Unpredictable: The 2016 Elections

As we approach the home stretch of the 2016 elections, two experts join us to assess the likely outcome of November’s vote: UCLA political science professor Lynn Vavreck—an expert on campaigns, elections, and political advertising—and American University political historian Allan Lichtman, who has correctly predicted every presidential winner since 1984. Moderated by Ian Masters, journalist, documentary filmmaker, and KPFK 90.7 FM radio host.

As we approach the 2016 presidential election, the Hammer Museum offers a variety of election-themed talks and screenings. Learn more about our Election Fever programming.

Justice in the Balance

Amid gridlock over a replacement for Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia, we examine recent decisions from an evenly divided court with Linda Greenhouse, lecturer at Yale Law School, contributing columnist for the New York Times, and coauthor of the recently published The Burger Court and the Rise of the Judicial Right. Moderated by Ian Masters, journalist, documentary filmmaker, and KPFK 90.7 FM radio host.

Police and People with Mental Illness: Avoiding Tragedy, Achieving Solutions

Most American police officers are not trained as social workers, so when they encounter perpetrators and victims with mental illness, the consequences can be tragic.

We examine mental health, crime, and law enforcement with a panel of experts: Linda Boyd,
creator of the collaborative SMART team, which pairs law enforcement officers with mental health clinicians; Mollie Lowery, supportive housing pioneer and founder of the Lamp Community; and Detective Paul Scire, officer in charge, Mental Evaluation Unit, Case Assessment Management Program of the Los Angeles Police Department. Moderated by Jorja Leap, executive director of the UCLA Health and Social Justice Partnership.


Founded in 1985 on Los Angeles’s Skid Row by the performance artist, director, and activist John Malpede, Los Angeles Poverty Department is made up principally of homeless or formerly homeless people and has been an uncompromising force in performance and activism for almost 30 years. LAPD makes artistic work to change the narrative about people living in poverty, aiming to create a community of compassion and inspire the next generation of artists.

Believing change is about exchange, LAPD blurs categories and confounds expectations, bringing together arts organizations, social services, activists, and homeless people to speak out on issues such as housing, mental illness, the war on drugs, and mass incarceration.

Populism Past and Present

The 2016 presidential election has been marked by populist surges on the right and on the left. We look at past populist movements with Georgetown University historian Michael Kazin, editor of Dissent magazine and author of The Populist Persuasion: An American History, and Michael Lind, the cofounder of the New America Foundation and author of Land of Promise: An Economic History of the United States. Moderated by Ian Masters, journalist, documentary filmmaker, and KPFK 90.7 FM radio host.

As we approach the 2016 presidential election, the Hammer Museum offers a variety of election-themed talks and screenings.

The Militarization of America’s Police Forces

With the cop on the beat armed with military-grade hardware and the streets of America often resembling war zones, we look into what is driving the militarization of our police. Elizabeth Beavers, legislative associate for militarism and civil liberties at the Friends Committee on National Legislation, works to roll back the Pentagon’s massive giveaway of surplus military hardware to police forces. Former Seattle Police Chief Norm Stamper, who now openly regrets the use of military-style policing during the infamous WTO riots of 1999, is the author of Breaking Rank: A Top Cop’s Exposé of the Dark Side of American Policing.


This ongoing series of timely, thought-provoking events addresses current social and political issues.

Hammer Forum is moderated by Ian Masters, journalist, author, screenwriter, documentary filmmaker, and host of the radio programs Background Briefing, Sundays at 11AM, and The Daily Briefing, Monday through Thursday at 5PM, on KPFK 90.7 FM.

Women in Combat: Changes, Challenges, and True Experiences

Two hundred years of US military tradition changed when women fought in combat in Iraq and Afghanistan. Retired Marine Captain Anu Bhagwati, the former head of S.W.A.N. (Service Women’s Action Network), speaks about the new reality for the United States armed forces. She is joined by combat veteran and Purple Heart recipient Sergeant First Class Jennifer Hunt, who sued the army to overturn the ban on women in combat, and Sergeant Kayla Williams, who served as an Arab linguist with the 101st Airborne in Iraq. Moderated by Ian Masters, journalist, documentary filmmaker, and KPFK 90.7 FM radio host.

The Watts Rebellion: 50 Years Later

On the 50th anniversary of the 1965 Watts rebellion, we discuss the past and present of race relations in the United States with historians Gerald Horne, University of Houston, author of Fire This Time: The Watts Uprising and the 1960s; Brenda E. Stevenson, UCLA, author of The Contested Murder of Latasha Harlins: Justice, Gender, and the Origins of the LA Riots; and Johnie H. Scott, CSU Northridge, co-founder of the Watts Writers Workshop, the Sons of Watts, the Greater Watts Justice Center, the Studio Watts Workshop, and the Mafundi Institute.

Join the Hammer Museum for our monthly series of free public events.

Hammer Forum host, Ian Masters, is a BBC trained journalist and host of Background Briefing heard locally on KPFK 90.7 FM.

Terror in the Name of Islam

Violent extremism and counterterrorism expert Richard Barrett and former jihadi and author of Undercover Jihadi Mubin Shaikh provide insight into why young Muslims in the diaspora join jihadist movements. Barrett is a board member of the International Centre for Counter-Terrorism and the Center on Global Counterterrorism Cooperation. He led the UN Monitoring Team concerning al Qaida and the Taliban from 2004 to 2013. At age 19 Shaikh, a Canadian, became a supporter of the militant jihadi culture. The 9/11 attacks prompted him to travel to Syria and study Arabic and Islamic Studies but Shaikh eventually relinquished his violent interpretations of Islam and volunteered with the Canadian Security Intelligence Service to fight terrorism.

What Happened Last Night? Notes from the Presidential Primary and Other Political Races

The day after Super Tuesday, we’ll dig into the numbers, discern trends, and survey the political landscape ahead from Democratic, Republican, and independent POVs with three political analysts: Ed Kilgore, managing editor of the Democratic Strategist; Republican strategist John Thomas; and Sean Trende, senior elections analyst for RealClearPolitics. Moderated by Ian Masters, journalist, documentary filmmaker, and KPFK 90.7 FM radio host.

Greening the Gas Tank

Three experts who have proven their dedication to reducing our carbon footprint tackle the political, technological, economic, and manufacturing issues involved in getting more non-polluting vehicles on the road. Hear from Consumer Watchdog president Jamie Court, environmentalist Ed Begley Jr., and leading automotive journalist Paul Eisenstein. Moderated byIan Masters, journalist, documentary filmmaker, and KPFK 90.7 FM radio host.