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OBI in the Media

When the press and public highlight our work, it tells us that our research resonates with a wide audience and has the potential to impact the landscape outside the institute. Making waves in the media means that we're able to shape conversations around policy, society, and daily practice in crucial ways.

Below are just a few of the pieces that made headlines across the country and world, and a small sample of our media growth in 2021.


Instagram engagement


Twitter followers


YouTube video views

2020 Inclusiveness Index

For five years, the authors of the Inclusiveness Index have identified and captured the degree of group-based inclusion and marginality experienced across the world and within the United States. In the 2020 edition, the report responded to an unprecedented pandemic by building an index to rate state and country policy responses to the COVID-19 pandemic. This index ranked country performance along three key factors, including 1) number of infections, 2) COVID-19 deaths, and 3) COVID-19 testing — all measures of the efficacy of public health measures.

Published just over a year into the pandemic, newsrooms picked up the report widely — both for its coverage of global inclusiveness, and its incisive coverage of COVID responses.

cover of the inclusiveness index report; masses of people form a map of the earth

Islamophobia through the Eyes of Muslims

In 2021, we expanded our existing work on Islamophobia to encompass the everyday experiences of Muslims in America. The authors of this report developed and administered a national survey to hear from those who bear the brunt of Islamophobia. The study also sought to account for the diversity of U.S. Muslims and assess their societal engagement, worldviews, and belonging as they navigate their lives.

The report received much attention, twenty years after 9/11 and in the wake of anti-Muslim vitriol from the Trump presidency. In particular, the study was noted for its focus on women's experiences of racism and anti-Muslim sentiment.

cover of 'Islamophobia through the eyes of Muslims' report, featuring an illustration of a hijabi woman raising her fist'

The Roots of Structural Racism

This report is among the most ambitious studies of structural racism in the United States — and, in particular, its roots in racial residential segregation — done to date. It consists of narrative on the intensification of racial residential segregation; an interactive mapping tool illustrating segregation (and integration) across the country; lists of cities and metropolitan regions by various measures of segregation and political polarization; and much more. The report was updated later in the year to incorporate recently released 2020 census data.

During a year dubbed by many media outlets and academics as a "year of racial reckoning," the authors of this report offered a much-needed intervention in the conversation: a turn to racial residential segregation as the “lynchpin” that sustains systemic racial inequality.

Skyline of residential Oakland with HOLC map in background

john a. powell on "Last Week Tonight with John Oliver"

As attention turned to racial segregation, OBI also made it onto the television airwaves. "Last Week Tonight," a show hosted by comedian and political commentator John Oliver, produced a major segment on housing segregation and reparations in which OBI director john a. powell was included. The show featured an interview powell did in a 2011 documentary, Hiding in Plain Sight: The Walls That Divide Us.

Watch the whole segment here or click below.

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