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As a non-partisan public policy center at California State University, Dominguez Hills, the Mervyn M. Dymally African American Political and Economic Institute (MDAAPEI), was the brainchild of Assembly Member Mervyn M. Dymally.

Mervyn M. Dymally was a California Democratic politician.  He served in the California State Assembly (1963-1966) and the California State Senate (1967-1975).  He was also the 41st Lieutenant Governor for California (1975-1979), U.S. House of Representatives (1981-1993), and again served the California State Assembly (2003-2008).

Representative Dymally embodied a strong commitment to the political and economic development of students, faculty, and members in the surrounding community with a focus on social equity and civic engagement to enhance the lives of all people.


The vision of the Mervyn M. Dymally African American Political and Economic Institute is to be the leader in scholarly research, public policy engagement, and academic programs and projects for California’s African American communities.


The mission of the Mervyn  M. Dymally African American Political and Economic Institute is to influence public policy debates through on-going academic and community research dealing with African American political and economic development concerns and impacts in California.

Through the development of a rich oral history project, MDAAPEI explores and documents the professional lives and achievements of African American public-elected officials, business leaders, and policy makers as well as the impact of their efforts on the political, social, and economic development in the African American communities and other disadvantaged communities.

MDAAPEI will provide training programs for current and future leaders such as the African American Leadership Training program for high school students and entrepreneurial directed training for local businesses.


The Mervyn M. Dymally African American Political and Economic Institute’s goals are:

  1. To provide enrichment opportunities for youth in our region to learn how to serve as catalysts for change in their personal lives and the communities in which they live. This goal will be facilitated through partnerships with distinguished scholars, government officials, trade unionists and business professionals vis-a-vis the African American Leaders for Tomorrow (AALT) program.  
  2. To serve as a nexus in collaboration with local Workforce Development agencies to educate and improve the viability of small businesses and nonprofit organizations  through the facilitation of urban and economic community roundtable forums and workshops. Small business and non-profit leaders will provide their expertise, guidance, and mentoring to participants through the initial business plan development, potential funding resources and workforce staffing opportunities.  The forums and workshops will be held in each semester of the academic year.
  3. To research, examine, and recognize the past and present lives of African American political and economic leaders and to share their impact on the communities they serve. This will include an e-Encyclopedia of facts including biographies of these leaders, key legislation initiated by them, major political/economic issues, and critical analysis of public policy.  This information will be accessible to students and faculty for research driven projects and academic scholarship.
  4. To build and foster support for internal university initiatives and activities across academic disciplines and student organizations with a focus on African American political and economic issues. The institute will provide grants for the development of interdisciplinary community engagement projects; research and practicum based solutions to solve economic concerns; a collaborative integrated curriculum and a cross-disciplined quarterly speaker’s series for the campus community and general public (i.e., Political Science and Africana studies disciplines).