The Metropolitan and Policy Studies Network's (M.A.P.S.) mission is to link cutting-edge, applied scholarship with local on-the-ground community organizations, students, and social activists in order to encourage dialogue and solutions to an array of pressing urban social problems. M.A.P.S. also seeks to promote applied social scientific research and community-based research methods to the California State University, Long Beach student body and faculty. M.A.P.S. is based in the the Department of Sociology and receives support from the College of Liberal Arts.
Currently, M.A.P.S. is known for hosting well-attended public events/forums at CSULB each semester on a wide range of important social issues and problems. M.A.P.S. events have featured a number of distinguished speakers, experts, and social activists, on many different topics, including: "Building Healthy Communities", "Forging Community-Labor Partnerships: New Organizing Strategies for Southern California", "The Role of Faith in the Pursuit of Social Justice in Southern California", "Planting Seeds for Social Change: Community Gardens, Farms, and Alternative Economic Development in Urban Southern California", "Learning from Long Beach: Researching Cities for Social Change", "Labor and Environmental Coalitions in Long Beach" among other topics.
Future plans of M.A.P.S. includes establishing a more formalized M.A.P.S. research component, whereby CSULB students and faculty will collaborate on local applied research projects which promote social justice and solution-driven research.
Plans are also in works to establish M.A.P.S. as an outlet for graduate student research and development for the Department of Sociology's upcoming Master's of Applied Sociology graduate program.