January 18, 2018
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Dear friends,

On behalf of our staff and faculty, I send you warm regards for this upcoming year, hoping that 2018 will be fulfilling and meaningful. I ended 2017 with a perspective about where last year took us as a society. Not all was bad, and there was much that was deeply heartening—most notably the many examples where communities who have the most at stake are garnering victories that move us all towards a more just and sustainable future. At the same time, we also recognize there is much that is of profound concern to us across our political, environmental, and social landscapes.

I believe that we are, together, up to the task of addressing the challenges we face. 

A good place to start is actively working on bridging. Bridging is a crucial response to help mitigate the extreme polarization of our society. Our world is undergoing some profound shifts, which is causing a lot of anxiety. Anxiety is a natural human response to change, but how we respond to that anxiety is social, and we need stories and leadership that help us make sense of these changes. Leadership and narrative play a crucial role in helping us create the conditions in which we can embrace our connection and shared humanity. The stories we hear and tell can attempt to create fear and division, or they can be connective and compassionate, helping us recognize the essential humanity in one another. 

I wrote in The Guardian recently, "If we are to combat the rising tide of extremism across the globe, we must actively create bridges across difference, and resist strategic exploitation of our collective anxiety. For when we bridge, we not only open up to others, we also open up to change in ourselves."

In what is sure to be another intense year, we will continue our work at the Haas Institute of examining and making visible the systems and structures that define, and in too many cases, dictate, our lives. We place a special emphasis on where and when those structures exploit or marginalize people who are already vulnerable, displaced, or barred from opportunity and access. We are guided by our vision of working towards a world where our circle of human concern includes all people, where those people are more important than profits, and where care and belonging are prioritized.

I am pleased to begin the first part of 2018 with news of some of our latest work and new initiatives. We look forward to growing and learning and connecting with you. If you have ideas or feedback about any of our efforts or ways we can connect more closely together, please reach out to us. We welcome your feedback and collaboration.

Warm regards,
john a. powell, Director

The header photo is of the Staying Power mural in Richmond, California. The mural was created with the Richmond community as part of our Staying Power project.

Fifty years ago next month the historic Kerner Commission report was released. In what would become its most famous statement, the report concluded that America "is moving toward 2 societies, one black, one white—separate and unequal."

In commemoration of the report, the Haas Institute, along with the Economic Policy Institute and the 21st Century Cities Initiative at Johns Hopkins University, is organizing "Race & Inequality in America: the Kerner Commission at 50," a national conference and conversation around segregation, race, and inequality in every major aspect of American life: housing, education, healthcare, voting, policing, and more. 

We hope you will join us and a wide-ranging group of scholars, activists, former officials, artists, students, and community members from Feb. 27 to March 1. Some of our speakers 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; Richard Rothstein, author of National Book Award-nominated work The Color of Law: A Forgotten Story of How the Government Segregated America, Alicia Garza, organizer and co-founder of #BlackLivesMatter; and many more. See a full list of speakers and register for the conference here.

The conference will be held at UC Berkeley, with a satellite location at Johns Hopkins University. 

See our video invitation from john powell about the conference. 
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.
The Haas Institute has released its second annual Inclusiveness Index, which ranks nations based on their levels of inclusion and group-based marginality. The Netherlands, Sweden, and Norway took the top three spots in both our 2016 and 2017 reports, while the United States fell from the most inclusive group of nations in 2016 to the middle group of the 120 countries included in the 2017 report. The ranking system uses six indicators—Outgroup Violence; Political Representation; Income Inequality; Anti-Discrimination Laws; Rates of Incarceration; and Immigration/Asylum Policies—to determine a nation's level of inclusivity.

Read the press release for the 2017 Inclusiveness Index here, and download the report on this page.

California housing bill cites Haas Institute report

California State Senator Scott Wiener cited a major housing study published by the Haas Institute last year in a recent perspective about three bills he is introducing to the legislature that would make housing more equitable. One of the bills, SB 828, which Wiener writes would "create a more data-driven and less political Regional Housing Needs Assessment process," appeared at least partially inspired by the Haas Institute's "Unfair Shares" report co-authored by Heather Bromfield and Eli Moore, which shows disparities in the allocation of low-income housing developments between mostly-white and more diverse Bay Area cities.

Read more on the proposed bill SB 828 here.
The Haas Institute's Unfair Shares report can be found here.

In the Media

Elsadig Elsheikh of the Haas Institute's Global Justice program, was quoted in The Guardian last month talking about the "Legalizing Othering" report the Institute published in September.

Elsadig Elsheikh was also interviewed this month on KPFA's Sunday Show, about his report, “Moving Targets: An Analysis of Global Forced Migration.” Listen to that interview here.

Saturday, Jan. 20: Achieving a Richmond Where Everyone BelongsJoin us for the public release of a community research report, art, and original poetry by Richmond residents exploring what it will take to achieve a city where everyone belongs. Richmond, California. More info here.
Thursday, Jan. 25: People on the Move: visual performance and community conversations on global forced migration at the Washington Inn Hotel in Oakland. Co-hosted by the Haas Institute and Priority Africa Network. More details here.
Friday, Jan. 26: Richard Reeves, a senior fellow at the Brookings Institute, will speak at UC Berkeley as part of the Haas Institute faculty-curated series Research to Impact. Reeves will discuss his new book Dream Hoarders: How the American Middle Class is Leaving Everyone Else in the Dust, Why That is a Problem, and What to Do About It. Info here.
Friday, Feb. 2: ​Victor Rios of UC Santa Barbara is set to speak on "The Mis-Education and Criminalization of Black and Latino Boys: The Role of Race, Culture and Resistance in the School-to-Prison Pipeline" as part of the Haas Institute's Research to Impact colloquium series. More info here.
Friday, Feb. 9: Mary Patillo from Northwestern University and Jordan Conwell from the University of Wisconsin-Madison will speak on “Race, College Quality, and Intergenerational Mobility” at a Research to Impact event. Learn more 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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