April 30, 2020  /  View this email in your browser
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Two black people wearing masks and disposable gloves walking down a sidewalk holding plastic bags filled with either groceries or something else

Coronavirus is not the ‘great equalizer’ but it's also not a contest over who is worse off

In an op-ed published earlier this month, Director john a. powell makes the case for using a Targeted Universalism policy approach in response to the current pandemic. The op-ed notes that the disparate impacts of the virus on different population makes it clear the virus is not a "great equalizer" as dubbed by some officials, but it also wasn't a time to compete over who is worse off. What we need is to gather data on how different populations are experiencing the pandemic to create tailored policies that improve the conditions for everyone, including those who are better off.

He writes: "To focus exclusively on the most at-risk groups and neglect everyone else misses the point. Everyone is affected by the coronavirus, but in dramatically different ways. The response to this crisis must therefore take an approach in the form of targeted universalism. This approach accounts for nuances of how different groups are being affected by the pandemic to create policy that targets each group based on their particular needs, while also remembering that we’re all in this together."

Check out the op-ed here, and learn more about Targeted Universalism here.
image grab from a covid-19 health disparities panel

Video: Public health experts investigate disparate impacts of COVID-19 on communities of color

Last week a number of public health scholars offered a critical look at the disparate impacts of the coronavirus on communities of color to explain why Black and Brown people were dying at far higher rates compared to the general population, while also countering narratives that these deaths were biologically-based, or that individual behavior is to blame. The panelists examined the larger structures, including the legacies of slavery, the role of residential segregation, and even the public health field, as causes or contributors of the disparate impacts experienced by those populations. The panel was moderated by our Associate Director Denise Herd, and included participants Amani Allen, Jason Corburn, Cassie Marshall, Mahasin Mujahid and Osagie Obasogie, all faculty from the School of Public Health, and all members of our Health Disparities research cluster.

For a write-up and video of the panel discussion visit this page. Also see coverage of the event in the Daily Cal.
image of the audio player sound bar from the racism in covid 19 podcast episode

Racism and COVID-19: A look at the historical, political, and social contexts

The latest episode of our Who Belongs? podcast released this week features a three-guest panel of Berkeley faculty who provide various perspectives on the different forms of racism we’ve been witnessing since the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic. We hear about the experiences of Asian Americans who are facing a surge in hate crimes, the disparate impacts on Black and Brown communities in terms of the rates of death, and about how politicians are using the crisis to engage in racial fear mongering. The panelists examine these issues by placing them in historical, social, and political contexts so we can think about how to respond to the crisis in ways that doesn’t reinforce the structures that set the stage for what we’re currently experiencing.

The guests are Catherine Ceniza Choy, who is a Professor of Asian American and Asian Diaspora Studies, and Comparative Ethnic Studies; Ian Haney López, who is a Professor of Law and Director of the Racial Politics Project, and the author of Dog-Whistle Politics, and the more recent book Merge Left; and Osagie K. Obasogie, who is a Professor of Bioethics and chair of our Institute’s Health Disparities research cluster. Have a listen here.

How the pandemic magnifies inequities in access to food

food bank soundbar preview In this episode of Who Belongs? released last week we hear from Alex Boskovich, who is the Government Relations Officer at the Alameda County Community Food Bank based in Oakland, which collects and distributes food and other resources to about 300 partner organizations throughout Alameda County, including food pantries, churches, senior centers, schools, and other organizations. Alex explains what the sudden and very powerful impact of the pandemic has meant for her food bank in terms of a surge in demand, as well as how the crisis has magnified the gross inequities in society in how different populations are experiencing the pandemic when it comes to access to food. Listen to this episode here.

Our COVID-19 interactive map now includes measures on unemployment risks and uninsured people

Several weeks ago we released an interactive map with multiple layers and metrics that identify regions in California that may face increased risks associated with the COVID-19 pandemic which we announced in our previous newsletter. Since then we've made several updates including adding new measures that show areas facing increased risk of unemployment, as well as those whose residents have lower rates of health insurance. Continue to find updates to our interactive map and other resources we've created including COVID-19 infographics on this page.

Also: Check out the latest coverage of the mapping project featured in a Daily Cal story.

New summer institute for teachers on race and housing in the Bay Area

illusration of the bay area We're accepting applications for our inaugural "Summer Institute for Teachers on Race and Housing in the Bay Area."  This teacher institute will examine the region’s histories of racial dispossession and housing, the geographies they have created, and current policy work around housing justice. We invite K-12 teachers to join us as we delve into resources and materials developed by the Othering & Belonging Institute and others, hear from prominent local activists and community leaders, and exchange ideas around crafting meaningful curriculum to facilitate students’ understanding of these issues and engagement with how their communities fit into the broader regional and national picture. Application deadline is May 10. Learn more about the program here.

News & Media

Faculty scholar Colette Auerswald co-authored a new report with the School of Public Health that seeks to address the needs of unhoused people during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Associate Director Denise Herd was quoted in a number of articles exploring why COVID-19 appears twice as deadly for Blacks as for whites, including in the San Francisco Chronicle and in Patch.
Faculty scholar Jesse Rothstein was featured in an LA Times article, "UC experts offer new ammunition against the SAT and ACT as an admissions requirement," explaining why these standardized tests harm disadvantaged students.

Also: Rothstein has launched a new research project with colleagues at the University of Chicago exploring how much the coronavirus pandemic is impacting hourly workers.
Senior Fellow Richard Rothstein was quoted in an article examining why the stimulus package could heighten racial economic inequality.
A blog by faculty scholar Henry Brady was featured in a New York Times article, "Is California a Nation-State?"
Faculty scholar Michael Reich was quoted in a article, "History Explains Why Trump Wants To Reopen The Economy Sooner Than Later."
Faculty Scholar Kris Gutiérrez has been elected to the American Academy of Arts and Sciences (AAAS), a 240-year-old organization honoring the country’s most accomplished artists, scholars, scientists and leaders.

Upcoming Events

TODAY: Superfest Disability Film Festival Short Films ScreeningThis showcase, presented by the Asian Art Museum in partnership with the Paul K. Longmore Institute on Disability, highlights some short films from previous Superfest festivals that explore the intersection of disability and Asian or Asian American identity. 
TOMORROW (May 1): Conversations with Nancy Krieger on: Structural Racism, Social Justice, and COVID19. Professor Nancy Krieger (Harvard, UCB Alum) along with Professors Mahasin Mujahid and Corinne Ridell (UCB) will engage in conversation about the impact of slavery and racial discrimination, poverty, the "isms' and place on the excess disease and death rates from COVID-19 among African American and other communities of color.  
May 13: Toward the Abolition of Biological Race in Medicine webinar. Join medical scholars Noor Chadha, Madeleine Kane, Bernadette Lim, and Brenly Rowland for community & dialogue as they reveal their report “Towards the Abolition of Biological Race in Medicine: Transforming Clinical Education, Research, and Practice” and celebrate the launch of the Institute for Healing and Justice in Medicine.
Conference announcement: The Othering & Belonging Institute has been working with a set of European partners—Queen Mary University of London, Sciences Po in Paris, and More in Common—to organize our first Othering & Belonging conference in Europe. Due to the ongoing coronavirus crisis, we have jointly determined we will not be able to hold our London conference on June 15-17, 2020. Once we have decided how to move forward with a future conference in Europe, we will communicate that on our conference site and through our social media channels.
Visit this page to see all our upcoming events.

Positions at the Institute

B4B/Network Field Coordinator
The Institute’s Blueprint for Belonging (B4B) project is focused on analyzing and informing the development of strategic narrative infrastructure in California. The Field Coordinator will liaise with community partners, manage events and projects, and carry out qualitative research and data analysis or digital strategies. Learn more about this position.

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