Today I am honored to share our new impact report, Expanding the Circle of Human Concern, which looks back at our first seven years as a center of research, advocacy, and change.
You can see the report here: https://belonging.berkeley.edu/impactreport
First as the Haas Institute for a Fair and Inclusive Society, and now under our new identity of the Othering & Belonging Institute, we have anchored our work around the central framework of belonging.
We believe belonging has a special power to transform the social change ecosystem in new and vibrant ways. We continue to push for belonging by bridging and working closely with partners in communities, government, advocacy groups and more.
As we showcase in this impact report, belonging is a seemingly simple but profoundly deep, multi-faceted framework for visionary change. Our reflection and evaluation of this first major chapter in our history informs how we move forward in advancing our vision.
While the findings in this report reflect our efforts through the end of 2019, our approach at the Institute has enabled us to mount effective initiatives to meet the needs of the moment.
As we were preparing for release in February, the COVID-19 pandemic hit, and we were able to support policymakers, funders and community organizers with critical analysis, research, and mapping tools, while conducting countless media interviews and public conversations. All of this has drawn from our last seven years of relationship-building and deep work on structural inequality, who belongs, who benefits, who decides, and much more.
The same can be said of the historic wave of protests that followed the police killing of George Floyd, which has revealed the profound collective trauma over racism our nation still faces, as well as the glimmers of hope reflected in the response.
As we move forward, our work on belonging will be expanding into Europe, but we will continue to build on the same areas of impact detailed in the report: Responsive Research, Shifting Public Discourse, Policy and Practice, Campus Climate, and Building an Ecosystem of Belonging.
The global pandemics of COVID-19 and structural racism have only underscored our commitment to doing this work with added urgency.
Finally, any progress we have made is interconnected and indivisible from the wonderful team that makes up the institute and the important relationships we have with all of you. We hope this report will deepen existing relationships, inspire new ones, and open critical lines of inquiry that continue to make belonging a reality.
Click here to access the report in web and PDF format.
john a. powell
Director, Othering & Belonging Institute
Professor of Law, African-American, & Ethnic Studies, UC Berkeley