April 13, 2017
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Upcoming Conference:
Updates & Announcements

Our second Othering & Belonging Conference is just a little over two weeks away! We have a number of newly confirmed speakers and sessions—please check out our updated agenda page, breakout sessions, and speakers page for more information. If you haven't already, register soon

Jeffrey Sachs photo

Renowned economist Jeffrey D. Sachs will be part of a special Othering an Belonging event on the evening of Sunday, April 30. Sachs is a world-renowned professor of economics and leader in sustainable development who has twice been named among Time Magazine’s 100 most influential world leaders, and was called by the New York Times “probably the most important economist in the world." Sachs serves as the Director of The Earth Institute at Columbia University and is, among many other positions, Special Advisor to United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon. His most recent book is Building the New American Economy: Smart, Fair, and Sustainable, which he will discuss on April 30. All conference registrants will receive free attendance to this event and there will be a limited number of community tickets available for sale. Professor Sachs will also do a book signing following his talk. Contact Rachelle for more info.

Melissa Harris-Perry will be the closing keynote at #OtheringandBelonging on Tuesday, April 2. Harris-Perry is the Maya Angelou Presidential Chair at Wake Forest University, where is also Executive Director of the Pro Humanitate Institute and founding director of the Anna Julia Cooper Center. Now Editor-at-Large at, Harris-Perry hosted the award winning television show “Melissa Harris-Perry” from 2012-2016 on MSNBC. 

Marshall Ganz will speak on a keynote panel on Monday, May 1, giving a post-2016 election analysis on building power, civic participation, and scholarship, organizing, and narratives that advance progressive political movements. Ganz, now at the Harvard Kennedy School of Government, found his "calling” as an organizer for the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee, and, in the fall of 1965, joined Cesar Chavez in his effort to unionize California farm workers, where he spent 16 years with the United Farm Workers. 

Register here for the 2017 Othering & Belonging Conference.

Cover image of new Low Income Housing Tax Credit report New Report
Doubly Bound: Cost of Credit Ratings

The Haas Institute published a new report analyzing how municipalities are assigned credit ratings. The paper uses an alternative model, with greater accuracy of past performance and risk, and measures costs that are incurred due to the harsher credit rating. Increased cost to municipalities included in the study is measured to be $2 billion annually.  

The paper considers multiple additional costs associated with lower credit ratings—increased interest costs, insurance wrappers, and rating fees. Interests costs are also known as the “cost of borrowing” as they represent the amount that must be paid in addition to the amount borrowed. Insurance wrappers can be used to “wrap” around a municipal bond with a low credit rating. This cost can enable a city with a lower credit rating to access the municipal bond market on the interest rate of the wrapper. This also represents another opportunity for cities to increase the cost of issuing bonds and are another place where the financial industry can profit from municipal distress.

Read Doubly Bound: The Cost of Credit Ratings. 
Read our press release about this report.

Cover image of new Low Income Housing Tax Credit report Low Income Housing Tax Credit in Bay Area Development

A recent report released by the Haas Institute comprehensively analyzes the administration of the Low Income Housing Tax Credit (LIHTC) program in California by examining LIHTC developments in the San Francisco Bay Area. The largest federal housing program in the United States, LIHTC redirects hundreds of millions of dollars per year in federal funds towards the creation and sustainability of affordable housing. States enjoy enormous discretion in administering the program and also establish the criteria for awarding the tax credit.

This report is the Haas Institute’s first publication on the LIHTC program in California and its second analysis of the LIHTC’s outcomes. The findings in this new report can be used by policymakers and other stakeholders to advocate for changes to California’s procedures for allocating tax credits. 

Read more about the report here. 

Invitation for Voice of the People

Voice of the People:
Athletics, Race & Activism in Our Changing Times

Thursday, April 13, 5 - 7 PM 
Booth Auditorium, Boalt Hall, UC Berkeley 

Please join Vice Chancellor Na'ilah Nasir for a special discussion today. Historically, athletes have often been on the front lines of calls for racial and social justice, using their voices and platform to call attention to critical issues and causes. Standing for racial and social justice, however, has not been without costs. This panel will undertake a critical discussion of how this activist tradition is taking shape today. With:

  • Mahmoud Abdul-Rauf, NBA Denver Nuggets (retired)
  • Layshia Clarendon, WNBA, Atlanta Dream
  • Dr. Albert Bimper, Colorado State University and retired athlete
  • Special guest star and leading NFL athlete
Please email your RSVP to Villy Somthida (

Flyer for Thinking AheadFrom Domination to Prosperity: Building an Economy Where We All Belong

Unchecked corporate power is a danger to our way of life.  What would a political economy where we all belong look like? What values, institutions, and movement strategies must we develop to achieve this vision in an era of growing inequality and resurgent right-wing populism? On May 15, join us for the latest in our Thinking Ahead discussion series, featuring a discussion on Sabeel Rahman's new book, Democracy Against Domination. The evening will be moderated by john a powell and feature a discussion with Rahman, community organizer Christina Livingston, and UC Berkeley political scientist Paul Pierson. Taeku Lee will be the emcee for the evening. The event is organized with New America California and the UC Berkeley Labor Center. Free, wheelchair accessible, and open to the public, but please RSVP in advance. May 15, 5:30 pm, Boalt Hall, UC Berkeley.

April 19
Building Equitable and Inclusive Food Systems at UC Berkeley will unveil a new interactive, participatory UC Berkeley Foodscape Map that provides a snapshot of all food-related initiatives on campus. More info here.

April 21
Anxious Democracy: The First 100 Days of the Trump Presidency
A full-day symposium focusing on the first hundred days of the presidency of Donald Trump in order to begin academic conversations and develop analyses centered on the Trump administration and how it relates to politics and society in the US and world. Scholars from UC Berkeley and other Bay Area academic institutions will speak on implications and effects of the administration's foreign and domestic policies, as well as the legal questions surrounding its agenda. Sponsored by the Berkeley Center for Right-Wing Studies, co-sponsored by the Institute of Governmental Studies, the Townsend Center for the Humanities, the History Department, the Graduate School of Journalism, and the Haas Institute for a Fair & Inclusive Society, UC Berkeley.  RSVP to this free event through EventBrite

Islamophobia Poster imageApril 21–23
8th Annual Islamophobia Conference
Islamophobia Research and Documentation Project
Boalt Hall, Booth Auditorium, UC Berkeley 

There is a need for an approach to the study of Islamophobia, which explores the way in which it is being institutionalized by policies that promote and police a conception of Western societies that appears to be becoming increasingly exclusive and exclusionary.  This conference provides an interdisciplinary platform to reflect and respond to the crisis of post-Cold war liberal order by exploring the relationship between Islamophobia and the reshaping of Western societies. The conference addresses questions of the relationship between liberalism (and neo-liberalism) and Islamophobia. 
RSVP to the conference here

April 22
Science Talk at Cal—a daylong, student-organized conference that will center on the fields of water, food systems, and climate change. Fee and open to the public. Register.

Color of Law book coverApril 25
Author Meets Critics - The Color of Law: A Forgotten History of How Our Government Segregated America
Richard Rothstein, Haas Institute Senior Fellow and Research Associate at the Economic Policy Institute, will offer insights into how residential segregation in America — the incessant kind that continues to dog our major cities and has contributed to so much ongoing social strife — is the intended result of racially explicit government policies at the local, state, and federal levels. Richard will do a book signing of his new book "The Color of Law." Tuesday, April 25, 4:30 - 6:30 p.m., Morrison Reading Room, Doe Library.
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