Jorge D. Mancillas

Jorge D. Mancillas

Graduate Student

Office: 111 Haines Hall


Personal Website

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I am interested in research on street gangs and its impact on public policy as well as research into the social and class dynamics that fuel urban violence and material scarcity in marginilized communities. In addition to my academic endeavors, I work closely with the Underground Scholars Initiative, a UC-wide student organization for formerly incarcerated and criminal [in]justice system impacted students. Through recruitment, retention, and advocacy, our mission is to directly challenge the stigmatization and scapegoating of formerly incarcerated and sytem-impacted individuals. We aim to reverse the proverbial “School-to-Prison Pipeline” by helping build a “Prison-to-School Pipeline” that strenghthens an academic network of students and helps them reclaim their stories.


Description of Previous and Ongoing Research Projects

  • The Formation of Cosmologies on Death and Dying in Gang Members (2017)
  • The Construction of the Crenshaw/LAX Transit Project and Gentrification in the Crenshaw District (2017) – RESEARCH ASSISTANTSHIP, DR. KARIDA BROWN
  • The Effectiveness of Homeless Court Programs in Los Angeles (2017-2018) – RESEARCH ASSISTANTSHIP, DR. YEHESKEL “ZEKE” HASENFELD, (REST IN PEACE, ZEKE)
  • The Contributions of Joan Moore to the Development of Critical Gang Studies and Reflexive Research Methodology (2019) – COLLABORATION WITH DR. ROBERT WEIDE
  • Traumatic Loss and Social Reproductions of Urban Violence in L.A. (ongoing)
  • Income Generation Strategies, Job Seeking and Employment for Gang Members in a Gentrifying Los Angeles (ongoing)


  • B.A. Sociology, University of California, Berkeley, 2017.
  • M.A. Sociology, University of California, Los Angeles, 2019.

Fields of Study

Critical Gang Studies; Material Scarcity; Social Violence; Hyper-Incarceration; Ethnography; Theory


  • “‘Live Life, Get Life, Or Die Trying’: The Cosmology of Death and Dying Amongst L.A. Gangs”

Berkeley McNair Journal (2017)

Ronald E. McNair Symposium Journal (2017)

  • “The Legacy of Joan Moore: A Revolution in Gang Research” (Mancillas and Weide, 2019)

in David Brotherton’s forthcoming book, Critical Gang Studies. Co-editor: Rafael Gude

Awards & Grants

  • Ronald E. McNair Scholar (2015-2016)
  • Haas Scholar (2016-2017)
  • Office of the President, UC Undergraduate Research Ambassador (2017)
  • Eugene V. CotaRobles Fellowship (2017-2022)
  • Graduate Summer Research Mentorship Award (2019)
  • Graduate Research Mentorship Award (2019-2020)

Conference Presentations

  • 24th Annual National Ronald E. McNair Scholars Symposium, Berkeley, CA, August 6, 2016

Spiritual Components of The Strength Based Approach: How religious/spiritual intervention transforms former gang-members’ perception of themselves and society in relation to death

  • 25th Annual National Ronald E. McNair Research Conference and Graduate Fair, Delavan, WI, October 29, 2016

Death Around the Corner: How LA Gangs Conceptualize Life and Death

  • Haas Scholars Undergraduate Research Conference, Berkeley, CA, January, 2017

Dying to Survive: Negotiating With Early Death and The Social Reproduction of Gang Violence

  • UC Undergraduate Research Ambassadors Showcase, Los Angeles, CA, April 20, 2017

The Cosmology of Death Among Gang-Affiliated Youth

  • Cal State LA Critical Gang Studies Symposium, Los Angeles, CA, April 25, 2019

The Normalization of Violence in Everyday Life:  Traumatic Loss in Los Angeles Gang Culture


  • Gail Kligman
  • Philippe Bourgois