LucasLucas Díaz


B.A. and MFA in Creative Writing


Research Interests

Civic Engagement, Democracy, Social Movements, Racialized Politics, State Making





Since 2000, Lucas has worked in the non-profit and public sectors. He holds an MFA in creative writing from the University of New Orleans and a BA in English for Loyola University.

His professional development includes fundraising and community development. Between 2000-2007, Lucas worked as a professional fundraiser for various institutions; including Dillard University, the Orleans Parish Juvenile Court, the African American Museum of Art, Loyola University New Orleans, and the New Orleans Jazz Orchestra.

He co-founded Puentes New Orleans in 2007, serving as the founding executive director through 2011, during which time he developed community-based initiatives and coordinated advocacy-based strategic planning and action work that addressed Latino social justice issues in the Greater New Orleans area. Programs he designed and implemented focused on home ownership, voter registration, pro-immigrant advocacy training, community organizing, cultural trainings, and more.

In 2011, Lucas joined Mayor Mitchell J. Landrieu's team, serving as the first director of the Mayor's Neighborhood Engagement Office for the City of New Orleans. While in City Hall, from 2011-2013, Lucas helped establish the City's first-ever public participation office. He developed a city-wide public participation policy and implemented new public participation initiatives within various city agencies.

As a Tulane CCC doctoral fellow, Lucas is exploring the connections between academia and practice in civic life, with research interests that focus on state-building processes, inclusionary and exclusionary political practices, urban and national political participation activities, democratic structures, identity-based social movements and outcomes, and civic engagement practices and outcomes.

Area Exams

Cultural Perspectives on the Racialized Democratic State, Understanding Social Movement Outcomes

Selected Publications

- "Latinos in Metro New Orleans: Progress, Problems and Potential" in The New Orleans Index at Ten Collection, The Data Center,, 2015. Co-authored article with Dr. Elizabeth Fussell.