Barbra Streisand funding namesake UCLA research institute focusing on social issues

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Barbra Streisand will soon have a school named after her — and it’s not for entertainment.

The superstar singer, actress, director and producer is funding a namesake UCLA research institute focused on solving societal challenges.

On Monday, the Los Angeles-based college’s officials announced the Barbra Streisand Institute will focus on four areas the Emmy, Grammy, Oscar and Tony Award recipient is most passionate about: truth in the public sphere, the impact of climate change, the dynamics of intimacy and power between women and men, and the impact of art on the culture.

“It is my great pleasure to be able to fund an institute at UCLA, one of the world’s premier universities. This will be a place where future scholars can discuss, engage and argue about the most important issues of the day; where innovators will speak truth to power, help save our planet, and make glass ceilings for women an anachronism; and in the process give us a chance to have a brighter, more promising future,” Streisand said in the release.

Ahead of the formal establishment of the institute, which will occur when the full gift amount is received, UCLA’s dean of social sciences Darnell Hunt said: “The future Barbra Streisand Institute will bring to bear the full range of UCLA’s social sciences expertise on the most pressing societal issues of the day, guiding policy and informing solutions to benefit all.”

UCLA has not disclosed the exact dollar amount of the gift for the program to be housed at the UCLA Center for the Study of Women, already renowned for research in areas including women’s empowerment, environmental sustainability, women’s health, public policy and politics, and arts, culture and narrative storytelling.

“While it’s easy to reflect on the past, I can’t stop thinking about the future and what it holds for our children, our planet and our society. The Barbra Streisand Institute at UCLA will be an exploration into vital issues that affect us all,” Streisand said in the release. “The fact that my father, Emanuel Streisand, was an educator makes this Institute even more meaningful to me.”

This isn’t the first time Streisand partnered with the school. In 1984, the original “Funny Girl” star established the Streisand Chair in Cardiology at UCLA, and in 2014, the Barbra Streisand Women’s Heart Health Program.

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