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Last chance to register for next week's Kerner @ 50 Conference!

Reserve your seat at next week's "Race & Inequality in America: the Kerner Commission at 50" conference before spots run out! The conference has been months in the making, and will feature dozens of experts from around the country on panels that will cover a range of topics, including: 

  • Racial Justice and the Politics of Resentment
  • History, Origins, and Legacy of Kerner Commission
  • Black Lives Matter & Criminal Justice Reform
  • Housing & Neighborhoods
  • Employment, Jobs and Transportation
  • Health and Race
  • Education, Achievement, and Performance
  • Remedies, Big and Small

The conference is set to examine the history, legacy, successes and failures of the Kerner Commission of 1968 and envision what a contemporary Kerner Commission report might look like for our efforts at advancing racial equality and justice. Speakers will include:

  • Shaun Donovan, former Secretary of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) under President Obama
  • Former Senator Fred Harris, the only surviving member of the Kerner Commission
  • Sherrilyn Ifill, the president and director-counsel of the NAACP Legal Defense and Educational Fund
  • Mitch Landrieu, mayor of New Orleans
  • And more than 30 others!
In addition to the policy experts, the conference will also feature a major artistic component that illustrates the modern social landscape around race in America. Many of the pieces have been commissioned specifically for the conference, including work by poet Chinaka Hodge, St. Louis-based artist Damon Davis, San Francisco performance collective Campo Santo, and Bay Area artist Evan Bissell. Oakland artist Sadie Barnette’s piece Dear 1968 will also be featured. A special student art collaborative exhibit will be premiered at the Berkeley venue and a screening of the documentary Whose Streets? will take place on February 28 with a discussion by co-director Sabaah Folayan.

Haas Institute Director john a. powell was interviewed on KPFA's UpFront program this week about the upcoming conference, during which he describes the conditions of the Black community 50 years ago, and how the findings of the Kerner Report still ring true today. Listen to that interview here. Assistant Director Stephen Menendian has penned an op-ed published in the East Bay Times that offers context for the conference and demonstrates the consequences over the past five decades of the failure to implement the Kerner Commission's recommendations. Read that piece here. The Daily Cal has also published a story on the upcoming conference that quotes Steven Pitts, Associate Chair of the UC Berkeley Labor Center, who will participate on the panel on jobs and employment.

The conference hashtag is #Kerner50. We will be posting live updates throughout the conference from Twitter and Instagram.
Conference free for UC Berkeley students, aside from a $4 processing fee.
Must register.

A case to focus on schools

Victor Rios, a professor of Sociology at UC Santa Barbara, presented a talk on February 2 titled "the Mis-Education and Criminalization of Black and Latino Boys" as part of the Haas Institute's Research to Impact speaker series. His work analyzes the role of social control and education in determining the well-being of young people living in urban marginality, and tracks the social consequences of the punitive state and punitive social control across institutional settings. His talk looked at how instruments of the criminal justice system have been imported into schools, such as the "zero-tolerance policy," that prime marginalized students for prison, rather than for careers or higher education. A video and transcript of the talk will soon be posted on this page.

Inside cover pages of the Housing & Belonging in Richmond report

Community organizing 101

Gordon Whitman, the deputy director of the PICO National Network, presented some ideas from his recently published book, Stand Up! How to Get Involved, Speak Out, and Win in a World on Fire, at a February 8 talk with Haas Institute director john powell. powell opened the conversation with a critique of the book, praising certain elements such as the emphasis Whitman puts on spirituality and using personal anecdotes to illustrate his ideas, while noting that other, perhaps more potent, models for organizing exist that are not mentioned. Whitman explained that the book was written for practical purposes to wrest control of the country back from the corporations and elite. The talk was co-sponsored by the Haas Institute and the Institute of Governmental Studies. A video and transcript of the event will be made available here.

An image which reads: The goal of the Inclusiveness Index is to identify policies, interventions, and other levers that have proven effective at ameliorating marginality and promoting inclusivity and equity.

Race, education, and economic mobility

Mary Pattillo, a professor of Sociology and African American Studies at Northwestern University, and Jordan Conwell, an assistant professor of Sociology and Educational Policy Studies at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, presented their research on “Race, College Quality, and Intergenerational Mobility” during a February 9 event as part of the Research to Impact speaker series. In the talk, they used qualitative and quantitative data to show how Black and Latino people are significantly less likely to attend university, and how among those that do attend university, they attend less competitive colleges compared to whites. The researchers showed the implications of those education gaps for families over different generations. A video and transcript of the talk will be made available at a future date on this page.

How disability studies ignores race

Karen Nakamura, a cultural anthropologist and chair of the Haas Institute's Disability Studies cluster, gave a talk on February 16 that examined how academics approach the field of disability studies. The talk, titled "Disability Studies as White Disability Studies / Disability Studies as Intersectional Disability Studies," opened with a demonstration of how films, books, conferences, and research are exclusionary of non-white people with disabilities. Her research looked at journals on disability studies and found very few examples of articles that take race into account. A video and transcript of this talk will be made available here.


Gattaca at 20: Looking Back, Looking Ahead…

Join us as we revisit the film Gattaca and its vision of a vastly unequal future based on human genetic technologies. How does Gattaca continue to shape our imaginations 20 years after its release? How does it help us answer the urgent questions we face today, as discrimination against people with disabilities continues at the same time that genetic modification of future generations becomes technically possible?

Screenings will take place March 6 in Berkeley, and March 8 in San Francisco. The events are being co-sponsored by the Haas Institute and the Center for Genetics and Society. Get all the details here.

Friday, Feb. 23: The award-winning investigative podcast Life of the Law is going live to raise funds to produce upcoming reports. The night -- LIVE LAW: Initial Public Offering -- presents one-off stories by people who are taking on the challenges of living with seismic shifts in tech and the law. Register here.
Tuesday, March 6: In celebrating the International Women’s Day, the Haas Institute invites you to join us engaging with Kathryn Moeller, the author of the recently published book The Gender Effect: Capitalism, Feminism, and the Corporate Politics of Development. Details here.


Friday, March 16: Anne Case of Princeton University is set to speak on “Morbidity and Mortality in Working Class America” as part of Research to Impact. Details here.

See our Events page for latest details on all our upcoming events.
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