Manuel Pastor is currently is a Professor of Geography and American Studies & Ethnicity at the University of Southern California, where he directs the Program for Environmental and Regional Equity (PERE).
He served as a member of the Commission on Regions appointed by California's Speaker of the State Assembly, and in January 2002 was awarded a Civic Entrepreneur of the Year award from the California Center for Regional Leadership. 
Mark Ridley-Thomas, executive director of the Southern Christian Leadership Conference of Greater Los Angeles; Manuel Pastor, an assistant professor of economics at Occidental College, and Stewart Kwoh, executive director of the Asian Pacific American Legal Center of Southern California, co-wrote an article for the LA Times, Oct. 12, 1989 "The 'New Majority' Wants Its Share : Los Angeles: Putting aside their differences could mean prosperity for the African American, Latino and Asian communities. But can they meet the challenge?".
- A prosperous and peaceful future for Los Angeles depends on reversing this polarization and incorporating all of our people into the economic development process. This can be done only if the new majority communities fashion their own vision of prosperity and seek the political and economic power to implement it.
- What little has been written about the new majority has tended to focus on inter-community problems: tensions between Korean immigrants and African Americans in South-Central Los Angeles, or conflicts between Latinos and blacks over public employment. What the press has generally missed, however, is a number of initiatives--the Latino-Black Roundtable, the Black-Korean Alliance, the Hispanic-Asian Dialogue, the Federation of Minority Business Assns. and others--that are seeking to establish dialogue.
- Our own efforts have started from the premise that the root cause of many of the current inter-ethnic conflicts is a sense that others are gaining larger shares of smaller and smaller development leftovers. We have therefore sought common ground on economic development models and policies that could meet the challenges of the 1990s.
- First, community organizations should become actively involved in creating development plans and implementing projects; a positive example is the effort by the Los Angeles Jobs With Peace Campaign to redefine how the Los Angeles Community Redevelopment Agency's policies can positively affect the failing infrastructure of South-Central Los Angeles. Second, the city should extend the linkage concept, requiring downtown builders to simultaneously develop parcels in new-majority areas or contribute to a fund for housing and job training in poor neighborhoods. Third, the city should encourage downtown businesses to pursue fair-share policies, such as hiring new majority residents and subcontracting to small new majority businesses. Fourth, business should develop joint ventures with community groups, using them, for example, to provide potential employees.
- Finally, the African American, Latino and Asian American communities that comprise the new majority should pursue joint ventures: agreements to work together politically, pool capital resources, organize workers across ethnic lines and support community development efforts in each other's neighborhoods.
Economic Policy Institute
Liberty Hill Foundation
As at 2009, Manuel Pastor was a member of the Advisory Board of the Liberty Hill Foundation, a Los Angeles based organization seeking to advance movements for social change through a combination of grants, leadership training and alliance-building.
Center for Community Change board
In 2009 Manuel Pastor, Jr., Professor, Geography and American Studies & Equity Director, Program for Environmental and Regional Equity USC Department of Geography Los Angeles, CA served on the board of Center for Community Change.
Right to the City
SCOPE 20th Anniversary
“When we started AGENDA back in 1993, we characterized it as an experiment. Because we kind of knew where we wanted to go, but how to get there was less clear to us. This is still true today as we continue to build the movement for social justice.”
These are the words of Anthony Thigpenn, founder of SCOPE, and one of our respected honorees at a March 2014 celebration of SCOPE’s 20th anniversary. In his address to a room of over 300 allies and friends, Anthony reminded us that we didn’t have all of the answers when we first came together. But for SCOPE, “having the answers” was never the driving force behind our vision for change. Instead, we set out to empower the residents of our community to think for themselves, to design their own solutions, and to speak out on issues that affect the quality of their lives. Our founders believed that our community had the answers to the problems plaguing South LA—and from looking around the room last Thursday, it’s clear that they were right.
Attendees included Manuel Chavez, Gloria Walton, Lynette Steele, Patricia Livingston, Clementina Lopez, Latrece Jackson, Sherri Wallace, Anthony Thigpenn, Jennifer Speck, Chante Harriel, Maria Virginia Otero, Mari Mercado, and Juan Canto, Congress member Karen Bass, Shay Salter, Chris Nixon, Kevin de Leon, Antonio Villaraigosa, Manuel Pastor, Soloman Rivera, Manuel Hernandez, Veronica Carrizales and Maria Elena Durazo.
Many of SCOPE's members standing alongside activists, community organizers, elected officials, union leaders, academics, and educators attended. Proof that South LA’s progressive community is strong, thriving and growing.