August 23, 2017
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Resisting the Rise of White Nationalism

Haas Institute staff made several public responses to the events that unfolded in Charlottesville, Virginia almost two weeks ago that showed the world the public face of an emboldened white nationalist movement in America and resulted in the death of a young activist, Heather Heyer, the deaths of two police officers, and serious injury to many more. 
  • In a widely-shared statement Haas Institute director john a. powell penned following the Aug. 11–12 events, he expounded on the legacy of the Republicans' Southern Strategy of playing on racial bias to woo white voters, to its current shift: "What were once coded messages are now explicit, loud, and clear, and are coming from those in the highest positions of political power." Read powell’s blog post here.
  • powell was on a podcast interview with the Washington Post's "Can He Do That?" program, where he elaborated on the historical appeals of politicians to white voters. Listen to the episode here.
  • In a long-form radio discussion with KPFA’s "Letters and Politics" program, powell discusses racial politics in the US, the events in Charlottesville, the current battles over free speech, and his thoughts on who gets to narrate and control the public stories about US history. Listen to the KPFA interview here.
  • An article in Yes! Magazine following Charlottesville examining the origins of white supremacy cites powell's book, Racing to Justice, which "describes the origins of the American psyche as that of an isolated White self, born of the twin parentage of the European Enlightenment and institutions of chattel slavery." The author Peter Hammer examines how the country created a structure that allows for the ongoing displays of racism and hatred, writing that "what happened in Charlottesville shows how much American racism is grounded in American history." Read the Yes! piece here.
  • The Haas Institute's Gerald Lenoir wrote a perspective piece challenging all Americans to declare with which side they stand: with torch-bearing neo-Nazis or with the multi-racial crowds marching for social justice. Likening the attacks on the counter protesters in Charlottesville to scenes from Birmingham during 1963 when police unleashed attack dogs and fired water cannons on peaceful demonstrators, Lenoir writes that now is the time to finish what the Civil Rights movement started. "This is a watershed moment to take stock of the unfinished business of the Civil Rights revolution and to resist the return of a mass fascist movement in the US." Read Gerald's piece here.
Ultimately, powell asks us to view the scenes of people pouring onto the streets across the country to protest hate and racism and white supremacy as a sign of hope. "This hope comes from cities who challenge some of the worst aspects of Trump’s immigration policies. This hope comes from organizers who insist on defending the best American values. This hope comes from all who believe in these values and are willing to fight for them. We must continue to organize and participate and do more in the face of organized hate...We must protect the protestors who take a stand against hate. These are people helping America be its best self."

Unfair Shares: Racial Disparities in Allocation of Bay Area Housing 

cover image of Unfair Shares reportThe Haas Institute published a new report this week showing disparities in the allocation of low- and moderate-income housing in Bay Area cities that are mostly white versus those that are more racially diverse. The report, titled, “Unfair Shares” authored by Haas Institute researchers Heather Bromfield and Eli Moore, finds a clear correlation between housing allocations and cities’ racial makeup based on an analysis of housing data from 1999 through 2017. Overall, local municipalities in the Bay Area are failing to meet the demands for low- and moderate-income housing, with the less-diverse cities falling significantly short in reaching housing allocation targets. Read and download the Unfair Shares report.

In an exclusive LA Times news article on our study, California Assemblyman Miguel Santiago said the Haas Institute's findings support his call for legislation to undo the decades of government policy that led to residential segregation across the country. “It’s not enough to not discriminate,” Santiago said. “We have to work at unwinding systematic discrimination that we’ve seen in urban planning over decades.”

Read the LA Times piece on the Unfair Shares report here. Read the press release about the report here


Mapping tool illustrates potential for opportunity in California

Map of LA CountyA major housing program in California may see new changes to provide better opportunities for families as a result of collaboration between the Haas Institute and a housing task force convened by two state agencies. The California Tax Credit Allocation Committee (TCAC) and the California Department of Housing and Community Development (HCD) brought together the task force in February to identify an appropriate data-driven tool for measuring and mapping opportunity within the state.

TCAC is soliciting public comments on these maps, which will influence how these maps will affect the Qualified Allocation Plan (QAP) regulation changes for 2018. During the public comment period, the Haas Institute is issuing an open call to fair housing advocates, researchers, community groups, and organizations to support TCAC’s efforts to incentivize more housing development in higher-resource areas.

Read the full press release about this program here, or view more maps on the TCAC website here.

Screen grab of john powell talking

On Othering and Inequality: A Talk at the London School of Economics

In June Haas Institute director john a. powell presented on the topic of Othering and Belonging at the London School of Economic's International Inequalities Annual Conference 2017. The theme of this year's conference was “Challenging Inequalities: developing a global response.” powell was on a keynote panel with Ruth Lister, Baroness of Burtersett, and Liz Sayce of Disability Rights UK; their conversation explored how the concept of Othering affects debates around race and ethnicity, poverty and disability. The video of the presentation can be viewed here

A public option for jobs

Can we end racial disparities in the labor market and dramatically reduce or eliminate unemployment in this country? Yes, argues economist William “Sandy” Darity Jr., and it may not be as hard as we think. The Haas Institute invited Darity to speak via video as part of its Thinking Ahead series on August 8 where he laid out his proposal for a federal job guarantee he believes may be the solution to the country’s employment problems. Darity, from Duke University’s Sanford School of Public Policy, suggested creating a jobs bank which includes work demanded by states and municipalities, such as the repair and maintenance of the nation’s infrastructure, revamping the postal system, and providing universal child care. “The premise here is that every American citizen should have the capacity to find work at decent pay,” Darity explained in the talk.

Read a write-up about Darity's Thinking Ahead talk here, or watch a video from the event here.

Haas Institute joins groups in urging against the pardoning of extremist Arizona sheriff

The Haas Institute joined 11 other civil rights and racial justice organizations this week urging President Donald Trump not to pardon former sheriff for Arizona's Maricopa County Joe Arpaio known throughout the country for his egregious violations in the treatment of prisoners and undocumented immigrants. A joint statement signed by the Haas Institute notes that over Arpaio's two decades as sheriff, he turned Maricopa County "into a breeding ground of humiliation, intimidation and racial profiling." "His jails became inhumane facilities operating under a culture of cruelty. Communities were terrified by his illegal and mismanaged immigration enforcement, inmates died in his jails, and he used his leverage as a 'law and order' proponent to become a heavy hitter in federal politics and raise vast sums for his reelection campaigns," the statement added. Read the joint statement here.
graphic: 24 people every minute are forced to flee their home

Moving Targets: An Analysis of Global Forced Migration, a recent report from the Haas Institute, investigates the historic and contemporary causes of global forced migration as well as the challenges and capacities of national and international refugee protections and resettlement efforts.  War, famine, extreme inequality, and the climate crisis have all fueled the mass displacement of an enormous number of people across the globe. Read and download Moving Targets.

On Segregation in Los Angeles 

Haas Institute senior fellow Richard Rothstein, an authority on segregation in America, penned an opinion piece in the LA Times this week detailing how the federal government created separate housing projects for African Americans during WWII in Los Angeles, and why the city still remains segregated. Rothstein, who recently published the book The Color of Law, explains that companies in Los Angeles, as in many other parts of the country, relied on an African American labor force for war production, so thousands moved to the area where they were employed in factories, but kept residentially separate from whites. Government policies in the years following the war exacerbated segregation through suburbanization by granting loans to developers of white-only neighborhoods. Read more about the issue in Rothstein's LA Times piece here.

Words of Wisdom from Leading Feminists

Ms. Magazine recently published a piece on “Building a Transformational Women's Movement: Feminism at Crossroads,” a workshop held during the Haas Institute’s 2017 Othering & Belonging Conference. The piece covered advice each panelist had for their younger selves. Malika Redmond, the co-founder and executive director of Women Engaged, said she encouraged women not to dwell on their mistakes, but rather to harness their energy to move forward. Vanessa Daniel, the executive director of Groundswell Fund, saw it necessary for women to be more assertive and to speak up to play a larger part in society. Kathleen Cruz Gutierrez, a PhD candidate at UC Berkeley, challenged women not to participate in the casual, everyday acts like gossip that denigrate other women for self-indulgence. Kim Tran, another PhD candidate at UC Berkeley, told the conference audience that their work should be aimed towards making the world more just, but cautioned them to not be consumed by their critiques. Read the piece here. Watch a video recap of the conference here.

graphic for Kerner Commission at 50 conference

From #BlackLivesMatter to Supreme Court decisions, issues of race, segregation, inequality, the legacy of slavery, and who belongs to America and who America belongs to, is just as salient today as it was 50 years ago. On February 27–March 1, 2018, the Haas Institute is organizing and hosting The Kerner Commission at 50, a conference that will explore race, segregation, and inequality fifty years after the release of the historic Kerner Commission Report. Follow the conference webpage for all announcements on speakers, registration, and other details. The event will take place on the UC Berkeley campus.

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