Blog: Facing November 3, and the Counting of the Votes
Today is what used to be called “Election Day,” but is better known this year as the last day to vote. Under conditions more inimical to voting than the country has seen in generations, voters have shown their resilience and determination to cast...
Blog: The past, present and future of affirmative action in California
In the wake of the uprisings this past summer, public surveys show that Americans have a greater appreciation of the reality and extent of what is sometimes called “systemic racism,” or the ways in which institutional arrangements and societal...
Blog: How to protect yourself against the threats to protesting
By Emnet Almedom and Eli MooreSept. 30, 2020 This blog post is accompanied by a set of safety and guidance resources at the bottom of the page for protestors mobilizing both in-person and online.Since May of this year, people have taken to the...
Blog: After Covid-19: Five Simple, Transactional Changes for a Better Society
By Stephen MenendianSept. 16, 2020Author's Note: I composed the first draft of this blog in early April and was working on revisions at the time George Floyd was murdered, at which point I shelved it. Revisiting it as the school year began, I was...
Blog: Turkey thrusts toward religious nationalism with Hagia Sophia conversion
July 27, 2020By Karen BarkeyEarlier this month, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan made the momentous decision to convert the Hagia Sophia Museum into a mosque. The Hagia Sophia was built in the time of Justinian, the sixth century Byzantine...
Blog: We only became half free on Juneteenth. Our fight for full freedom requires that we persist
June 19, 2020By john a. powellToday we're observing the anniversary of Juneteenth—the day in 1865 when enslaved Africans in Texas learned that their enslavement was formally over. Yet they would exist in a world not quite enslaved, and not quite free...
Blog: All lives can't matter until Black lives matter too
I’ve lived in and traveled to all corners of the country talking to people about race for many years. One question that many people new to understanding racism are asking is, “What’s wrong with saying all lives matter?” Sometimes the question is...
Blog: Moving beyond police reform to addressing structural racism
A global protest movement focused on racial inequality has opened the window of opportunity to address systemic and structural racial inequality, and the aperture seems wider than at any point since perhaps Reconstruction. Already the protest...
Poem: Once Again
Once again, a brother lies dead in the street Once again, he screams, “I can’t breathe” with no relief Once again, policemen stand idly by Once again, a man in blue condemns a Black man to die Once again, Black lives really don’t matter Once again, a...
We're in a moment of collective trauma. But there are glimmers of hope
June 2, 2020By john a. powellI’m writing firstly to express my sincere condolences to the families of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, Ahmaud Arbery, and the many others who have been killed in recent months at the hands of police and related violence...
On George Floyd and the struggle to belong
Like you, I've been inundated these last few days with painful images of police abuse, heartbroken families, and growing protests. This is our national ritual—a black American like George Floyd, Tamir Rice or Breonna Taylor is killed at the hands of...
Blog: What if we grounded our societies in love?
Many of the problems we live with today can be distilled down to a lack of belonging. And at the center of a lack of belonging sits a failure to build society from a place of love.
Blog: Bakersfield region may face heightened risk from COVID-19
April 10, 2020Click for a full-size mapNew data revealing a correlation between air pollution and death from the coronavirus means that California's San Joaquin Valley which includes Fresno and Bakersfield may be at particular risk. The Harvard...
Blog: COVID-19 Has Changed Everything
April 8, 2020By Gerald LenoirThe ongoing coronavirus pandemic poses a serious challenge not only to our health and economic well-being, but also to our society's basic structures of social cohesion and even our democracy. But the pandemic alone is...
Blog: 'Can You See It?' New digital short invites young voters of color to envision more for their communities
Feb. 28, 2020By Sara GrossmanWe know it better than anyone: Californians of all backgrounds and communities are doing extraordinary things with even the barest of resources. But can you imagine what our neighborhoods could look like with all the...

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Animated Explainer Video Series
Our animated explainer videos break down some of the key principles that guide our work at the Othering & Belonging Institute. Follow the links below to view the videos, to read transcripts of the audio, and to learn more about each concept.
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White Space, Black Hood: Opportunity Hoarding and Segregation in the Age of Inequality

Join author Sheryll Cashin for a book talk about her recently-released White Space, Black Hood: Opportunity Hoarding and Segregation in the Age of Inequality, followed by a conversation with john a.

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An Archive of past issues of our bi-weekly newsletter.