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Photo of Erika Washington (left) and Quentin Savwoir (right) inside a recording room

What a survey of Black women voters in Nevada reveals

In the latest episode of the Institute's Who Belongs? podcast, Erika Washington and Quentin Savwoir from the civic engagement group Make it Work - Nevada discuss a recent survey they conducted of Black women in their state to learn about the issues that are most pressing to them and how they feel about the candidates running in the 2020 presidential election. Washington, the group's executive director, says: "[Candidates] don't come to Black women and talk about the economy and they don't talk about foreign policy, and we care about those things too. I think it's important that folks know that, and that their campaigns make time to acknowledge it."
Kwame Nimako (left) of University of Amsterdam and the Black European Summer School, with Professor Tania Singer of Max Plank Institute.

Moving towards belonging in Europe

On January 24, more than 30 academics, practitioners, cultural workers, and other thought leaders from across Europe gathered at Sciences Po in Paris for the Institute’s first Othering & Belonging event outside the US. The event, “Moving Forward Toward Belonging: A Symposium on Othering & Belonging,” was organized in partnership with More in Common, Queen Mary University of London, and Sciences Po Law School, and was aimed to inform a larger public conference to be held later this year in London.

Children at play at a low-income Dallas apartment complex in 2016. Credit: David Ryder for The New York Times

How a new federal housing proposal would make segregation worse

Writing in The New York Times last month, Senior Fellow Richard Rothstein examines the history of structural residential segregation in the US and how a recent federal proposal is seeking to reinterpret the principle of Affirmatively Furthering Fair Housing in a way that would lead to even more segregation than what currently exists. This matters, Rothstein writes, "because established racial segregation, not ongoing discrimination alone, underlies so many of our most serious social problems, including racial disparities in education, health, criminal justice and wealth that, by the time Congress passed the Fair Housing Act in 1968, had become entrenched nationwide, and persist to this day."

In a separate piece on the same topic, Assistant Director Stephen Menendian also warns of the threats the new housing proposal to fair housing. In his blog post, Menendian writes: "We must challenge and resist these efforts, but to do so, we first have to keep in mind that affordable housing and fair housing are not the same thing. Yes, we need affordable housing, but we also need fair housing. And we can’t achieve the latter by simply creating the former."

New essay on Sudan after the revolt

Elsadig Elsheikh, director of the Institute’s Global Justice program, published an essay in the Critical Times journal last week on the uprising in Sudan that overthrew longtime dictator Omar al-Bashir. In his essay, titled "Sudan after Revolt: Reimagining Society, Surviving Vengeance," Elsheikh looks at whether Sudanese civil society will be able to challenge the Transitional Military Council to lead the country out of autocracy and achieve genuine democratization, or if the military council will cut short such transformation to maintain the status quo.

Democracy and Charisma in India and the Philippines

Headshot of Walden Bello in suit speaking into micIn a new blog post for our website, renowned Filipino scholar and activist Walden Bello examines the parallels between, and attempts to explain a phenomenon in, the Philippines and India in which demagogic leaders appear to have overwhelming support of their citizens. Bello writes: "Charismatic legitimacy is hardly benign. ... It almost invariably ends up with a dangerous concentration of power in the hands of the charismatic individual ... accompanied by the imaginative creation of an other upon whom the ills, contradictions, and disharmony of society are projected."

News & Media

Institute researcher Arthur Gailes spoke with UC Berkeley News about the implications of the 2020 census for Black Californians. "Outcomes for Black people have been improving consistently for decades. ... At the same time, the gap in Black and white outcomes has remained nearly constant over the past half-century ... and we see very few neighborhoods that produce high upward mobility for Black people anywhere in the country."
Institute scholar Karen Chapple was interviewed on KPFA about her recent testimony to the House committee on gentrification and displacement. A lecture by Chapple on how data science is transforming the field of urban planning was also highlighted by the Berkeley Division of Data Science and Information.
Director john a. powell was referenced in a Seattle Times opinion piece, "How, as a Black man on the sidelines, I found grace at an Aryan Nations rally." "According to john a. powell ... nationwide we are witnessing increased anxiety, much of it related to an increase in a perceived 'other'."
Senior Fellow Richard Rothstein was quoted in an article about how racist housing practices from the twentieth century are linked to hotter neighborhoods today. "African Americans are restricted to neighborhoods because the other neighborhoods are now unaffordable to them, restricted to neighborhoods where there are fewer trees, where there is more heat," Rothstein is quoted as saying.

Upcoming Events

Feb. 7: Mental Health and Refugees: the Eritrean Case. Yohannes Ferdinando Drar, a Clinician/Social Worker Practitioner, will address the growing mental health problems of Eritreans in order to raise awareness and encourage faculty and students to play a leading role in resolving this crisis.

Feb. 18: Rodney Leon on Black Public Art. Rodney Leon is an American architect of Haitian descent and the founder of Rodney Leon Architects. Mr. Leon is the designer of the "The Ark of Return", the permanent United Nations memorial dedicated to victims of slavery and the transatlantic slave trade located at UN headquarters in New York City.  

Feb. 21: Medical Bondage: Race, Gender and the Origins of American Gynecology. This talk by Deirdre Cooper Owens, an award-winning historian and popular public speaker, and Associate Professor of History at Queens College, CUNY, will focus on her upcoming books that examines mental illness during the slavery era.

Feb. 24: Imagining an Ethnography of Pregnant Class-Privileged Women of Color. In this talk, Khiara M. Bridges, a professor of law at UC Berkeley, will draw from her previous work with poor, pregnant women of color to discuss how class and race interact with, and alter, one another in the lives of wealthier, pregnant women of color in the United States.

Mar. 6: Struggling for the Soul of Public Education: Although decades of research have found significant educational and social benefits of integration, public schools continue to be segregated due to the limitations of federal law and white resistance. Rutgers' Law Professor Elise Boddie will discuss the challenges of northern integration and the need for solutions that move beyond court-centered remedies.

Mar. 13: Jenifer Barclay: Barclay, associate editor for the Review of Disability Studies, will discuss her research on the lived experiences of enslaved people with disabilities as well as the metaphorical, ontological links that antebellum Americans forged between race, gender, and disability as a way to shore up tenuous racial categories and shifting gender relations in the decades prior to the Civil War. 

Click to see all our upcoming events.

Positions at the Institute

Communications Director
The Communications Director is a senior leadership position responsible for all aspects of Institute communications. The Communications Director will oversee a comprehensive strategic communications program to infuse the Institute’s body of research into ongoing public debate while advancing the strategic narratives developed by the Institute and partners. Learn more about this position.

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