What is the Othering & Belonging Conference?

The Othering & Belonging Conferences are unique gatherings of people who share a commitment to advancing more fair and inclusive societies. The conference provides a focused space to forge stronger connections and build alignment for the ideas, structures, and policies that we need to create change at scale and with the urgency that all of our work, and our living planet, demands. 

Who organizes the O&B conferences?

The conference is organized by the Othering & Belonging Institute (OBI) at the University of California, Berkeley. 

OBI is a social science research institute with more than 75 affiliated scholars engaged in rigorous research on topics related to marginality, including race, poverty, disability, education, religious pluralism, democracy, public health, and other dynamics that either prohibit or advance inclusion and opportunity. 

OBI has a robust staff of in-house researchers, strategic communicators, visiting scholars, and students who work under the leadership of john a. powell, its founding director. Formerly the Haas Institute for a Fair and Inclusive Society, the Institute was renamed in 2019 to reflect its vision of othering and belonging as a central framework that influences and guides our work.

OBI’s work to address systemic inclusion and exclusion is based upon a deep and long-term understanding of the socio, economic, political, and ontological forces shaping the contours of societies. This work is informed by research, analysis, policy, strategic communications, and community and government work.

Who attends the O&B conferences?

Participants are drawn from a wide variety of sectors, disciplines, and geographies, including researchers and academics, educators, policymakers, community and youth activists, social movement leaders, grantmakers, artists, faith leaders, and community members interested in exploring belonging as a lens from which to catalyze their work, and connecting with others in the larger social change ecosystem.

What is the cost to attend?

The registration levels were developed to make the conference as accessible as possible to a wide range of attendees. OBI does significant fundraising to provide different fee levels as well as full scholarships. 

Please select the highest level that your organization or you are able to afford.  In this way, we are able to stretch our conference funding further and provide additional high quality content and more scholarships to those who would otherwise not be able to attend. 

Belonging Champion: $2,425*
You are an organization or individual who wants to spread Belonging to as many people as possible by supporting those who are not able to afford the full conference registration fee. This registration level will support yourself and two scholarship applicants to attend the Conference. Register here.

Pay It Forward Foundations and Businesses: $1225*
You work for a foundation or business that has a budget for conferences or are an individual with the means to cover the actual per person cost of the conference plus supporting one other attendee at the subsidized Co-Creator rate. Register here.

Architect of Belonging: $825*
You work for a medium to large non-profit, government, or educational institution, and your organization is paying for the cost of your registration. By registering at this level, you are paying the actual per person cost to attend the conference. Register here.

Co-Creator: $425*
This subsidized registration level is for those who cannot afford the actual per person cost of the conference. This rate may be appropriate for UC staff and faculty, employees from organizations/ institutions that do not have sufficient conference or professional development budgets, or individuals who are covering the registration cost out of their own funds and who cannot afford the Architect of Belonging rate. Register here.

Bridge Builder: $195* (Limited availability)
This highly subsidized registration option is for individuals who are unable to pay the Co-Creator rate such as staff of nonprofits with very small budgets and underemployed/low-paid individuals who are covering the cost out of their own funds. Please only select this level if you do not have the capacity to pay the Co-Creator rate. Register here.

*There will be a 3.5-7% credit card processing fee charged on top of all registration fees listed above. 

**If you registered you should receive a confirmation email within a few minutes of completing registration and payment. If you did not, be sure to check your spam or junk folder of the email you registered under. 

Group Registration
If you are registering/paying for a group, you must register yourself first (or choose one group member to serve as the primary registrant) and then you will be prompted to add additional members to the registration prior to payment. If members of your group are paying individually (for example, with different credit cards), each member must register separately. Register here.

Group Registration Rate/Discount
If you work for a medium to large non-profit, government, or educational institution, and your organization is paying for the cost of your registration, register your group under the Architect of Belonging rate. For groups that cannot afford the Architect of Belonging rate, register under the Co-Creator rate. These are the discounted group rate options.

A note on Day Rates
The conference is meant to be experienced as a whole and as such, we are not extending day rates as a registration option.  Attendees can of course attend only one day or any length of time, at any of the selected registration levels.  

Cancellation and Substitutions Policy
Please email cancellation or substitution requests to obconf@berkeley.edu.

Cancellations requested before February 29, 2024 are eligible for a refund minus a $50 cancellation fee for each registration. After March 1, 2024 cancellations will be refunded at 50% of the registration fee. No refunds will be issued after April 12, 2024. Failure to appear at the conference will result in forfeiture of the full registration fee. Requests to substitute registrations can be processed until April 12.

If you are unable to attend the conference after receiving a scholarship, please let us know so we can offer the scholarship to the next applicant.  Scholarship recipients will be responsible for coordinating their own travel to and lodging during the conference.  

After completing this form, you will receive a response from a member of our team within 2-3 weeks about your application and instructions on how to register.

Scholarships
Scholarships will be available on a first come basis; applications will be accepted on a rolling basis. See this link to the scholarship application. If your application is accepted, there will be a $35 processing fee that must be paid upon acceptance of the scholarship/registration. Scholarship recipients will be responsible for coordinating their own travel to and lodging during the conference. 

If you do not accept the scholarship by registering/paying the fee within 14 days, the scholarship may be made available to the next applicant. 

If you are unable to attend the conference after receiving a scholarship, please let us know so we can offer the scholarship to the next applicant.  Scholarship recipients will be responsible for coordinating their own travel to and lodging during the conference.  

After completing this form, you will receive a response from a member of our team within 2-3 weeks about your application and instructions on how to register.

Payment Methods

We accept all major credit cards, and credit card payments are strongly preferred

Select the “Invoice” payment option ONLY if your organization is paying your registration and they are not using a credit card. Upon selecting the Invoice option, you must print out your registration invoice and send it along with a check made payable to the "The Regents of the University of California". Please write “Othering & Belonging Conference" in the memo line and mail to:

Charlotte Taylor
Othering & Belonging Institute
460 Stephens Hall
Berkeley, CA 94720-2330

Your registration will be finalized upon receipt of your check. All checks must be received by April 15,2024 to activate your registration for the conference. Please contact obconf@berkeley.edu if you are unable to meet this deadline.

If you are a campus group in the UC system and are paying via chartstring, please contact Puanani Forbes.

What kind of sessions are offered?

In our first three conference we offered a mix of mainstage keynote talks, panel discussions, and performances, and concurrent breakout sessions. In addition, the conference hosts a popular book table and expo area which includes commissioned artist exhibits, screen printing workshops, and other unique offerings. 

What are the conference goals

Each year the conference planning team defines a set of goals to guide the curation of the programming. While each of those change according to current events and context, we measure the success of our conferences by a broader set of the following goals:

  • Form, strengthen, and sustain relationships that build movements which support a larger and more inclusive “we

  • Provide programming that responds to the question: How do we make belonging real?

  • Examine the institutions and structures that are needed to realize a diverse and inclusive society 

  • Examine global political and social phenomena, how they are in close interaction and relationship with US political and economic systems, and how the global rise of exclusionary, ethnic-nationalist, and authoritarian politics are informing and threatening our world today  

  • Highlight models and systems of belonging that already exist and work that can strengthen them

  • Provide interactive programming that provides an experiential sense of belonging by all, including making room for grief, loss, and joy.

Who has spoken at O&B?  

Past Othering & Belonging speakers include:bell hooks, Naomi Klein, Rev. William Barber III, Andrew Solomon, Tarrell Alvin McCraney, LaToya Ruby Frazier, Rachel Kaadzi Ghansah, Masha Gessen, Ai-jen Poo, Desmond Meade, Alexis McGill Johnson, Alicia Garza, Zephyr Teachout, Tara Houska, Rashad Robinson, Kumi Naidoo, Bertha Zúñiga Cáceres, Michael Bennett, Linda Sarsour, Marshall Ganz, Dorian Warren, Saskia Sassen, Jeffrey Sachs, Charles Blow, Melissa Harris-Perry, Haben Girma, Manuel Pastor, Angela Glover Blackwell, Jeff Chang, Saru Jayaraman, Casey Camp-Horinek, Guillermo Gómez-Peña, Supaman (Christian Takes Gun Parrish), Dawn-Lyen Gardner, Rt. Hon. Adrienne Clarkson, among dozens of others. In addition, our breakout and workshop sessions have been conducted by students,  scholars, artists, activists, and public intellectuals from a wide range of backgrounds and disciplines. 

Can I volunteer at the conference?

We do not have any volunteer positions open for the conference due to being able to tap into our many student volunteer resources at UC Berkeley.

What are the organizing principles of the conference?

The O&B conferences are rooted in the following core values and principles:

  • We have a fundamental belief that we are linked by our common humanity, that we are bound together in our work to secure a fair and inclusive democracy, and that we are united in our commitment to care for each other and the earth.

  • We will not allow the normalization of hate, exclusion, racism, misogyny, homophobia, xenophobia, transphobia or any kind of othering in our society. These forces betray our values and if remain unchecked will overwhelmingly harm all people, our living planet, our future generations, and democracy itself. 

  • We recognize that we may have different strategies for achieving our goals, but we are united by common values that guide our actions. These values are nonpartisan and reflect our grounding in a morality that recognizes the worth of all people.

What does othering & belonging mean?

OBI developed the framework of othering and belonging as a clarifying analysis that can better address the many expressions of prejudice against groups, what elements are made salient or manipulated relative to context and place, and which help to illuminate a set of common narratives, policies, and strategies that can mitigate inequality, hate, exclusion, and marginality.

However, the othering and belonging framework is not merely meant to be merely conceptual; rather, it is designed to be applied in a way that can inform policy, shift public discourse, strengthen our movements, influence pedagogy, and deliver a set of best practices and values for expanding our circle of human concern.

 

My question is not listed here. Whom do I contact?

Please email obconf@berkeley.edu for assistance.