Juan Manuel Benitez, Ph.D.
California State University, Long Beach
Executive Director, CSULB Center for Community Engagement
Associate Professor Chicano & Latino Studies Dept.
1250 Bellflower Blvd.
Long Beach, CA 90840-1004
Tel. (562) 985-7131
Fax (562) 985-2129
Dr. Juan M. Benitez is the Executive Director for the Center for Community Engagement (CCE) and is an Associate Professor in the Department of Chicano and Latino Studies at California State University, Long Beach (CSULB). As Executive Director of the CCE, Dr. Benitez heads university-wide community engagement projects, programs, activities, and engagement initiatives; including but not limited to Community Service Learning, Community-based Participatory Research, and campus-community partnerships & collaborations.
His mother was born and raised in Tijuana, Mexico and his father is originally from Guadalajara, Mexico. He grew up on both sides of the U.S.-Mexico border in the surrounding areas of Tijuana, Baja California and San Diego, California. His parents migrated from Mexico to the U.S. in the 1970s. This background aroused his intense interest in Chicano/Latino studies subjects, which has won him notable recognition and publication. At the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA), Dr. Benitez received B.A. degrees in Political Science and in History. He also went on to receive his M.A. and Ph.D. from UCLA in Latin American History. His areas of specialization are: immigration, the U.S.-Mexico border, globalization and U.S.-Latin America affairs, Latino history, Latinos in the U.S., community development and the ethnic experience in the U.S.
Dr. Benitez is also a co-founder of a 501(c)3 non-profit community development corporation, ICON CDC (Initiating Change in Our Neighborhoods Community Development Corporation), which focuses on responsible community development in Los Angeles. He sits on the Board of Directors for the Long Beach Non-profit Partnership, and the Steering Committee for The California Endowment’s Building Healthy Communities 10-year initiative in central Long Beach on the social determinants of a healthy community.At the CCE is currently serving as part of the “host” team for the implementation phase of this multi-stake holder, collaborative initiative on policy and systems change.
His most recent publications include: Tsuchida, John N., Juan M. Benitez, Dean S. Toji, eds. Education, Youth, Leadership, Labor: Asian Pacific American and Latino Perspectives (Long Beach, CA: Center for Asian Pacific American Studies, 2007); Benitez, Juan M. “Economic Integration in the U.S.-Mexico Border in the Shaping of Border Identities: The Case of Tijuana-San Diego,” in John N. Tsuchida, Juan M. Benitez, and Dean S. Toji, eds. Education, Youth, Leadership, Labor: Asian Pacific American and Latino Perspectives (Long Beach, CA: Center for Asian Pacific American Studies, 2007); and, Benitez, Juan M. Economic Development Strategies in the Northeast San Fernando Valley (Initiating Change in Our Neighborhoods Community Development Corporation, 2005).