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Othering & Belonging 2019:
Takeaways, Testimonials, Goals and Impact

Cover image of a report entitled "Othering & Belonging Post Conference Report"Three months ago today we concluded our Othering and Belonging 2019 conference. Since then we have done a thorough analysis of the multitude of feedback we received through direct follow-ups, attendee surveys, and media write-ups, and are pleased to present a post-conference report that gives a detailed summary of highlights, reflections, and key takeaways. Download the post-conference report, or revisit the conference through our new 5-minute recap video.

School busing highlights deepening racial segregation

Senior Fellow Richard Rothstein published a new article this week offering background on the issue of busing and school segregation that has been spotlighted in the news recently. In his piece, Rothstein reviews work by Haas Institute faculty member Rucker Johnson and others showing the overall positive effects of mandatory school integration on African Americans later in their lives in terms of career success and other measures. Check out the blog piece.

Related: Research by faculty cluster member Rucker Johnson was highlighted in a article about whether school busing was a success for integration. “Court-ordered desegregation that led to larger improvements in school quality resulted in more beneficial educational, economic, and health outcomes in adulthood for blacks who grew up in those court-ordered desegregation districts,” Johnson is quoted as saying.

Save the Date: 400 years of African American history to be commemorated at major event on August 30

Staff from the Haas Institute are working with several faculty members at UC Berkeley to lead the development of a year long commemoration of the 400-year anniversary of the beginning of slavery in the US. As part of this effort, a major daylong symposium will be held on August 30 at UC Berkeley. Panel discussions will highlight topics such as slavery, memory and afterlife, and power and resistance, as well as dance, poetry, and spoken word performances. Speakers will include Leslie Harris of Northwestern University; Dennis R. Childs of UC San Diego; Charles P. Henry, Professor Emeritus of African American Studies at UC Berkeley; Charlene Carruthers, founding national director of BYP100 (Black Youth Project 100); and many others. Mark your calendars for this event on August 30 at UC Berkeley. Learn more here.

Applications Open for our Next Artist in Residence

We are seeking our Artist in Residence for 2019/2020. This annual program seeks to further our work in belonging and integrates with our focus on arts and cultural strategy as a primary way to advance inclusion. Applications are due on August 9. Details can be found here.

Municipal Banking Made Easy

This week we published a research brief produced by our Just Public Finance program on the role of Municipal Finance Agencies that invest peoples' funds back into local initiatives as more socially-responsible alternatives to the investment models used by big banks. The brief, authored by researcher Tom Sgouros, explains how MFAs offer governments a greater degree of control over where their money is invested. "There is ample data to show that small local banks are far more likely to put their funds into locally productive investments than the big money-center banks," the brief notes.

In the Media 

"Whiteness as identity is also built on enlightenment notions of individualism, innocence and purity, and universality," writes Institute researcher EJ Toppin in a new blog. "The failure to see how systems impact social conditions leads people to make the argument that no one alive today is responsible for slavery and so should not be punished for it. Notions of universality allow people to believe everyone is similarly situated, making formal equality easier to adopt."
Jesse Rothstein, member of our Economic Disparities faculty research cluster, was cited in a Daily Cal article on a newly proposed bill for free college tuition and an end to student debt. “Every effort we’ve made to try to make (the pricing system) clearer hasn’t worked, so we’ve got to be more aggressive,” Rothstein is quoted as saying. “Free is about as clear as you can get, so I think that’s good.”
Haas Institute researcher Samir Gambhir was quoted in a Mercury News article entitled, "Asians are now largest group in these two Bay Area counties, new data shows." “The plurality of Asians within the region is not surprising given the trajectory of rate of growth of this racial group,” Gambhir is quoted as saying. Between 1980 and 2010, he said, the Asian population in the Bay Area increased by 300 percent.
New research by Paul Pierson, member of our Economic Disparities faculty research cluster, was featured in an article by UC Berkeley News entitled, "Why is America’s government broken, a new paper asks." “There’s a lot of evidence that these kinds of forces within the Republican Party become more powerful when they have a good target to aim at like (former presidents) Bill Clinton or Barack Obama,” Pierson is quoted as saying.

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