The Othering & Belonging conferences are organized by the Othering & Belonging Institute (OBI) at UC Berkeley. A research and action center housed at the University of California, Berkeley, the Othering & Belonging Institute is a global network that brings together researchers, community leaders, policymakers, culturemakers, and communicators to identify and challenge the barriers to an inclusive, just, and sustainable society in order to create transformative change. 

These dynamic and uniquely curated events aim to elevate work in "othering and belonging," a critical lens developed by the Institute under the leadership of Professor john a. powell. This framework for defining structural exclusion and inclusion in an analytical and applied framework can be used to design and advance institutions, narratives, and policies that support a more fully inclusive “we.”  

The Othering & Belonging conferences use evidence, narrative, and cultural-based approaches while prioritizing relationship-building that can spark new and innovative collaborations.

The belonging framework helps us cut across discipline, identity, issue-area, and national borders to propel more transformative and sustainable ideas and work.

The conferences provide a focused space where we can gather together to illuminate our understanding of structural exclusion and learn from each other more about the work, narratives, and visions that can advance systemic inclusion, or belonging.

The Othering & Belonging conferences illustrate the Institute’s deep commitment to public and community engagement. They serve as dynamic and highly interactive feedback loops where we can deepen and challenge our thinking, sharpen our strategies, strengthen our relationships, and orient our thinking and visioning in new ways to that build more fair and more just societies.

Our conference curation is organized around programming which helps us grapple with some of the following questions:

  • How can we create structures that support a large, diverse society, with people who are connected across cultures, religions, race, and other lines of group difference?
  • What models and systems already exist and how can we strengthen them? What new or re-calibrated institutions are needed to realize a diverse and inclusive society?
  • How do we form and sustain relationships, advance narratives, and build movements that truly support a larger more inclusive “we”?
  • How do we respond to breaking and how can we activate bridging? How does understanding both help inform our work?
  • How do we make clear connections between global models, struggles, tools, and strategies for expanding belonging? How can we prioritize and tend to our local concerns while connecting our work to global struggles and systems, in order that we may build a truly international movement of belonging?