Robert Chao Romero is an Associate Professor of Chicana/o Studies and Asian American Studies at UCLA. His wife Erica served on staff with Here’s Life Inner City (now Cru Urban) for 15 years, and served on the founding team for the S.A.Y. Yes! Centers for Youth Development. Romero received his Ph.D. in Latin American history from UCLA in 2003 and his Juris Doctor from U.C. Berkeley in 1998. As an ordained minister, he has also received theological training from Fuller Theological Seminary. He is a former Ford Foundation and U.C. President’s Postdoctoral Fellow.
Drawing from his multicultural Asian-Latino background, Romero has published widely on issues of race, immigration, and culture in the United States and Mexico. His first book, The Chinese in Mexico, 1882-1940 (2010), tells the forgotten history of the Chinese community in Mexico. The Chinese in Mexico received the Latina/o Studies Section Book Award from the Latin American Studies Association.
Drawing upon his background as attorney, Romero’s second area of research examines the legal history of Chicano/Latino segregation as well as immigration law and policy. Romero is an active immigration attorney and serves on the advisory boards of World Relief Garden Grove and the Immigration Resource Center of the San Gabriel Valley. His most recent book project, titled Brown Theology, examines the 500-year history of Latino social justice theology in Latin America and the United States. Romero serves on the advisory board of The Theological Engagement with California’s Culture (TECC) Project, a collaborative academic venture endeavoring to engage the most pressing issues in California’s recent history and providing interdisciplinary theological engagement in addressing its research questions.
An evangelical pastor, Romero has ministered to activist Latino, African American, White, and Asian American students for the past decade. His ministry, Jesus for Revolutionaries, shares the Gospel of Jesus Christ with secular activist students who believe that Christianity is a racist, classist, and sexist religion. Romero has given numerous talks and trainings for Campus Crusade for Christ and its Destino, EPIC, and Faculty Commons ministries, Biola University, Azusa Pacific University, as well as the undergrad, grad, and faculty ministries of InterVarsity. Romero has also served as UCLA faculty advisor for InterVarsity.
Together with his wife Erica, he has also hosted many training, outreach, and mentorship activities with students in South Los Angeles, Downtown Los Angeles, Compton, and the San Gabriel Valley. Romero is also the author of Jesus for Revolutionaries: An Introduction to Race, Social Justice, and Christianity. The Jesus for Revolutionaries book and blog share the Gospel of Christ with secular activists and have developed a wide national and international audience. Jesus for Revolutionaries has been discussed by Christena Cleveland as part of “Reconciliation Books to Read” and “People of Color Blog Too,” and also featured in The Christian Post.