August 9, 2017
View this email in your browser
The cover of The Color of Law NEW BOOK 

A painful reminder of the government’s legacy of segregation

Haas Institute senior fellow Richard Rothstein’s recently published book, The Color of Law: A Forgotten History of How Our Government Segregated America, has received much critical acclaim and been widely covered in media outlets. The book, which outlines how the US government in the mid-20th century adopted policies to segregate white and Black residents through federal public housing projects, was described by The New York Times as “powerful and disturbing,” while Washington Post contributor Jared Bernstein lauds Rothstein’s “meticulous” research. In his conversation with Bernstein, Rothstein explains that because segregation was the result of explicit government actions and not merely an “accident,” the government must be compelled to remedy its past policies. Rothstein says: “If segregation happened by accident, then it is convenient to believe it only can be remedied indirectly, or by accident. But if we understand it is a government creation, then we are forced to confront the imperative for remedial action. As I wrote, letting bygones be bygones is not a policy worthy of a constitutional democracy.” The book also received long reviews in The American Prospect and Slate, and a recorded interview with Rothstein discussing The Color of Law can be found on NPR’s website. He was also interviewed by more than 30 other media outlets in recent months about the book. Read more about the book here.

Rothstein is also co-organizing the upcoming Haas Institute Kerner Commission at 50 conference which will be exploring many of the same themes his book and scholarship examines. 


Will Google’s San Jose campus benefit or burden locals?

The recent news of Google’s planned mega-complex to be built in San Jose has been met with mixed reactions: Its proponents are excited about the thousands of new jobs it will reportedly create, while fears are present that it might lead to skyrocketing rent, the displacement of lower-income residents, increased traffic congestion, and other issues that have plagued Bay Area cities where lucrative tech firms have set up shop. In a recent San Jose Mercury News article, Malo Hutson, who is a member of the Haas Institute Diversity and Health Disparities cluster, urges Google to keep the interests of the public in mind in its planning for the complex. “The amount of wealth [Google has] been able to create is just unprecedented in the history of our country,” Hutson, an Associate Professor in the Department of City and Regional Planning at UC Berkeley, told the paper. “Their obligation, really, is to the citizens, the young people, the people who are concerned about traffic, the environment.” He recommends Google invest in local public education, including in community colleges and universities, and to construct houses.

Immigration attitudes

In a detailed explainer on immigration and integration in News Deeply, Berkeley sociology Professor Irene Bloemraad, who is a member of our Diversity and Democracy cluster, provides insight on immigration policies and perspectives of Canada. Bloemraad, who recently helped launch Berkeley's new Interdisciplinary Migration Initiative, notes that Canadians in general have more positive views towards immigration compared to Americans and Europeans, in large part because of the country’s high rates of naturalization. “Part of Canada’s success is its policies of integration, multiculturalism and support for citizenship, including high levels of citizenship among the immigrant population,” Bloemraad says. “In Canada, there’s been this feedback loop that as citizenship has been promoted and immigrants become citizens, it makes it much harder for politicians to adopt a very crude or simplistic anti-immigrant discourse.” Read the The Debate Over Integration: An Explainer.

Deconstructing Race, new book on Multicultural Education Beyond the Color-Bind 

Cover of Mahiri's new Deconstructing RaceJabari Mahiri, affiliated faculty from our Race, Diversity, and Educational Policy cluster, has a new book out. In Deconstructing Race, which examines how socially constructed concepts of race dominate and limit understandings and practices of multicultural education, Mahiri argues that education needs to move beyond racial categories defined and sustained by the ideological, social, political, and economic forces of white supremacy. Exploring contemporary and historical scholarship on race, the emergence of multiculturalism, and the rise of the digital age, the author investigates micro-cultural practices and provides a compelling framework for understanding the diversity of individuals and groups. Mahiri is a professor of education at UC Berkeley, faculty director of the Multicultural Urban Secondary English Program, faculty director of the Bay Area Writing Project, and a board member of the National Writing Project. Find out more about Mahiri's new book here.

Image grab from PBS interview showing Georgina Kleege

 “I hated Helen Keller”

In a new video interview with PBS, Georgina Kleege, a member of the Haas Institute Disability Studies cluster, talks about growing up after losing her vision at age 11. Speaking as part of the Newshour program’s Brief But Spectacular series, Kleege explains why as a child she hated Helen Keller, the iconic American political activist and educator who was both deaf and blind. “...She was always cheerful and she did well in school and you never heard her complain. I took this very personally. I took this as a reproach towards me,” Kleege said. But her attitude towards Keller evolved over time, and eventually Kleege even wrote a book about her, Blind Rage: Letters to Helen Keller, which she describes as "basically me asking questions about different moments in her life and calling her out and asking her to explain herself. And so, it was a way for me to enter her life imaginatively.”

In the interview, Kleege also offers some insight into the everyday obstacles facing the blind. “I am always bumping into people who are texting while walking. And then they make themselves a hazard to blind people, because I am counting on all the other pedestrians to pay attention, to see me coming and to get out of my way.” And despite the availability of technologies to help blind people access electronic media through captioning and audio description, very few websites enable those tools, she says, attributing their absence to discrimination. Watch the interview here and read more about Kleege and her work here.

Taeku Lee on social movements 

A recent article in Nonprofit Quarterly cites work from Haas Institute’s associate director, Taeku Lee, who is also a Professor of Political Science and Law at UC Berkeley. A Media Theory of Movement Power, published in the Quarterly’s Summer 2017 edition, describes the evolution of the relationship between social movements and different forms of media in recent US history. The passage cited from Lee’s book Mobilizing Public Opinion illustrates how broadcast media during the 1965 Bloody Sunday march in Selma, Alabama helped to galvanize support for the civil rights struggle. The article goes on to explain how the public reaction to the event may have differed if it took place in the age of digital and social media, arguing that news of the attack would largely be filtered to reach a niche audience interested in social movement struggles through hashtags and shares. Read the article here. Read more about Lee in this profile, "Taeku Lee on Racial Politics, Voting Patterns for People of Color, and Intersections of Scholarship and Social Change."


Poverty is about a lack of power

The US Partnership on Mobility from Poverty, a Gates Foundation-funded initiative of "24 leading voices representing academia, practice, the faith community, philanthropy, and the private sector" that includes Haas Institute director john a. powell along with other scholars and advocates such as Stanford's Raj Chetty and labor leader Ai-jen Poo, recently published a piece summarizing the Partnership's developing strategy around its core mission to think creatively about the question What would it take to substantially increase mobility from poverty? The new perspective piece describes how the group's conversation substantially shifted in response to a comment from john powell that “immediately resonated” with the group, when powell remarked that “Poverty is not just about a lack of money. It’s about a lack of power." The article goes on to say “We began to riff off this and our thinking began to coalesce around another dimension of mobility: being valued in community." With these concepts in mind, the Partnership’s newly-outlined measures of success include building a narrative about poverty focused on “all of us” as opposed to “us vs. them,” and the need for a new social compact that is dedicated to the success and dignity of all. Read the piece Poverty is not just a lack of money.

Video screenshot of Othering & Belonging conference showing Melissa Harris-Perry talking

"How do we produce, offer, and narrate an alternative vision all across the world? That's what this conference is about."

Take a look at our new video recap of the recent Othering & Belonging Conference that captures the essence of this gathering of over 1,200 people and more than two dozen speakers and artists who came together in Oakland April 30–May 2. "This conference has really pushed me to think about what loving your neighbor really means," one participant explains in the video, saying she has to really confront the question of how "to see the humanity even in those who don't see your humanity." In the video john powell frames the concept of Othering as a universal problem of our time, but also adds that "It's extremely important to not just ‘oppose,’ but to say we affirmatively embrace the notion that all life is of value, and we're going to organize our cities, our counties, our schools, our books, and our stories to reflect that." Watch the video here. Read more about the Othering & Belonging conference, including write-ups of many of the keynote sessions and workshops. 

Video shot and edited by Lea Bruno Productions.


Symposium for an inclusive Richmond, California

Image of people at the Richmond symposium
Dozens of local community members and advocates gathered on June 3 for a symposium organized by the Haas Institute to share ideas on making the city of Richmond, California more affordable and inclusive. Local leaders and experts led workshops focused on strategies to address the housing crisis, including a discussion about permanent real estate cooperatives in the Bay Area led by the People of Color Sustainable Housing Network. The Richmond Neighborhood Housing Services also participated in the forum, educating residents about a program for Section 8 holders to buy a house and use their housing subsidy to make mortgage payments. Also present were the East Bay Housing Organizations and the Richmond Progressive alliance which hosted a session on Affordable Housing Bonds. Read the detailed write-up of the event by Derrick Duren who attended and helped organize the event as part of his research work in the Haas Institute's Summer Fellowship program. 

Cover image of Moving Targets report
The Dynamics of Global Forced Migration: War, famine, extreme inequality, and the climate crisis have all fueled the mass displacement of an enormous number of people across the globe. Moving Targets: An Analysis of Global Forced Migration, a new 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.  Read and download Moving Targets.

Cover of Race Education policy brief

Responding to Educational Inequality, a new policy brief featuring scholarship from faculty of the Race, Diversity, and Educational Policy cluster of the Haas Institute, addresses the continuing reproduction of educational inequality in relation to race and social class. The authors include a set of recommendations for policymakers, practitioners, educators, and advocates. Download and read Responding to Educational Inequality.


Image of the Flyer for the Kerner Commission at 50 conference
The Kerner Commission at 50

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 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 50a conference that will explore race, segregation, and inequality fifty years after the release of the historic Kerner Commission Report. Save the date and follow the conference webpage for all announcements on speakers, registration, and other details. The event will take place on the UC Berkeley campus.
Sign up for our mailing list
Haas Institute LogoFacebook IconTwitter IconMedium IconInstagram Icon Soundcloud IconLinkedIn IconYoutube Icon
University of California, Berkeley word logo.
Copyright © 2017 Haas Institute for a Fair & Inclusive Society, All rights reserved.

Our mailing address is:
University of California, Berkeley
460 Stephens Hall
Berkeley, CA 94720-2330
Tel: 510-642-3326

Unsubscribe from this list