animated gif showing a large animated "we" lighting up over collage of many different social movements
Dear friends,  

On behalf of our Haas Institute staff and faculty, we are sending you wishes of well-being and a productive year full of possibilities.

People ask me if I'm an optimist or a pessimist. What I am is a possibilist. There are various possible futures and the one we are working towards is one that advances a diverse, pluralistic society built on the belief of a fully inclusive “we.” Building that possible future means being rooted in a vision of belonging and inclusion where different forms of identity—whether race, religion, disability, sexual orientation, gender, among others—are not dehumanized nor are they subsumed, but instead are celebrated and included in our community. 

We also knows it's not enough to just want this future—we must be committed to building movements and advancing ideas that reject a politics of breaking and exclusion and instead build "bridging" practices that are grounded in an ethics of care for each other and our living earth.

In early April we are having our third Othering & Belonging conference where we will highlight models and visions of bridging and prioritize an examination of how to make belonging real. Registration is now open— and is already filling up fast so we hope you register soon. 

Along with our upcoming conference, this year will also see us continue to advance a significant amount of new research. Some work coming up in just the next few months includes a major report on developing policies that use a Targeted Universalism framework; new installments of our work on residential segregation in the Bay Area; a "then-and-now" report looking at housing and criminal justice more than 50 years after the publication of the Kerner Commission report; a comprehensive new study on water equity and security in Detroit; and much more. 

As the critical election year of 2020 approaches, we will also be expanding our work on civic engagement, narrative, and electoral and political participation research (through surveys and other means). Look for new work from our Civic Engagement Narrative Change team and national partners in the next few months. 

Across the globe, we know that the future we are actively working for is under profound threat. But our vision of a possible future means we continue to insist on a set of values and practices that rejects that there is a "them" and moves us towards a future where there is instead a new "us."

john a. powell

New Podcast Episode: Renowned economist Hilary Hoynes Discusses Government Programs to Reduce Poverty

We recently released episode five of our podcast Who Belongs?, featuring an interview with economist Hilary Hoynes about government assistance programs, including nutrition programs like SNAP, which is also known as food stamps, in addressing poverty and hunger in the United States. In the interview, Hoynes, who teaches economics and public policy at UC Berkeley's Goldman School of Public Policy, discusses the implications of proposals by the Trump administration to change eligibility requirements for SNAP benefits. Have a listen (or read a transcript).

Haas Institute Affiliated Faculty Receive Prestigious Awards

Rachel Morello-Frosch pictured smiling in this headshotRachel Morello-Frosch, Professor of Environmental Science, Policy & Management and member of our Diversity and Health Disparities faculty cluster, was named last month as the winner of the 2018 Chancellor’s Award for Advancing Institutional Excellence and Equity, which is given to UC Berkeley faculty members who have "an extraordinary record of accomplishment in advancing equity, inclusion and diversity through their scholarship, research, teaching, and public or university service." Morello-Frosch's scholarship seeks to address the double jeopardy faced by communities of color and the poor who experience high exposures to environmental hazards and who are more vulnerable to the toxic effects of pollution due to poverty, malnutrition, discrimination, and underlying health conditions. Learn more.

Eric Stanley is pictured giving a talk at UC Berkeley in 2018Meanwhile Eric Stanley, an assistant professor in the Department of Gender and Women’s Studies who recently joined the Haas Institute's LGBTQ Citizenship Cluster, has just been named the Michael Lynch Service Award winner for 2016 by the Gay and Lesbian Quarterly Caucus of the Modern Language Association (GLQCML). The caucus says the award goes to those who "publicize and celebrate—and as widely as possible—the range, the forms, the energy, and the history of queer activism by academics." Additionally, Stanley also received an honorable mention for Trap Door: Trans Cultural Production and the Politics of Visibility, a co-edited volume, for the Alan Bray Book Prize which is also awarded by the GLQCML. Learn more about Stanley's achievements here.

Obama Names Book by Cluster Member as One of his Favorites

Cover of "The New Geography of Jobs by Enrico MorettiFormer President Barack Obama listed The New Geography of Jobs by UC Berkeley Economist Enrico Moretti, as one of the best books he read in 2018. First published in 2012, the book looks at the divergence of "three Americas"—one which flourishes as urban centers of technology and innovation, one collapses under a "brain drain," of jobs and residents, and a third which could go either way. Moretti is a member of our Economic Disparities faculty research cluster whose research covers the fields of labor economics, urban economics and regional economics. Check out a review of the book here.

In The News

CNN published an article about our 2018 Inclusiveness Index, which found that the US has become significantly less inclusive since we first started measuring inclusiveness in 2016. "The biggest reason the US is consistently ranked as less inclusive than countries like the Netherlands, Sweden and the United Kingdom is the number of people in the US held in prisons and jails," the article explains, citing Haas Institute assistant director Stephen Menendian. Read the full piece.

Findings from our research on anti-Sharia legislation were featured last month in a PBS segment about California’s first Muslim judge. "Indeed, there is a persistent anti-Sharia movement afoot. Since 2010, over 200 bills have been introduced in 43 different state legislatures with the intent to ban Sharia Law from being invoked in any court. Thirteen states have passed these bills into law," the report said.
A report authored by Jason Corburn, member of our Diversity and Health Disparities research cluster, was covered in an East Bay Times article about the effects of closing Alta Bates hospital in Oakland on people of color and the poor. "UC Berkeley’s Institute of Urban & Regional Development’s Jason Corburn, who wrote the report, took into account scientific literature, provider data and interviews with healthcare professionals to estimate the impacts of the closure," the article reads.
Research by Emmanuel Saez, member of our Economic Disparities research cluster, was cited in a New York Times opinion piece about optimal tax rates on the wealthy. "To be more specific, Diamond, in work with Emmanuel Saez—one of our leading experts on inequality—estimated the optimal top tax rate to be 73 percent," writes the author, economist Paul Krugman.
Janelle Scott, co-chair of our Race, Diversity and Educational Policy research cluster, was quoted in an East Bay Express article entitled, "Should Oakland Schools Finally Try to Integrate?" "We didn’t create the segregation that we live with. It has a deep history that has multiple tentacles and roots and requires multiple interventions," Scott is quoted as saying.
Haas Institute Director john a. powell was quoted in a San Francisco Chronicle piece entitled "Oscar Grant’s legacy: A viral video and a movement that continues today." "Social media is the megaphone for modern activism, the cell phone a matchless tool," the author writes, quoting john as saying that, “It’s created a much different platform where the community itself now plays a role.”

Announcements & Events

The Haas Institute currently has the following positions open: Find all our job openings posted on this page.
An image shows the date for the next othering and belonging conference in Oakland, on April 8-10, 2019
The next Othering & Belonging Conference will be held April 8–10, 2019 in Oakland. Registration is now open! 

See all upcoming and past events here.
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