JULY 23, 2015
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Creative Commons, picture by Daniel Arauz

Viewing BlackLivesMatter through the Lens of Targeted Universalism

In his article, When We Fully Claim Black Lives Matter, We Move Closer to All Lives Matter, Haas Institute Director john a. powell explains how the concept of targeted universalism helps us develop strategies that take into account where we are "situated in our structures, our cultures and our environment.” In an illustration of how targeted universalism works, he asks us to “consider the universal goal of getting everyone out of New Orleans as the levees broke after Hurricane Katrina. The strategy was: get in your vehicle and drive to safety. But as it turned out many people, a disproportionate many of whom were African American, did not have cars. The universal strategy—safety for all—turned out to not be attainable for many.”

Targeted universalism is an important principle to understand how the same policies can affect groups differently. In order to achieve a universal goal we must understand that each group requires its own unique path and strategy. Read the Huffington Post piece.

Realizing the Possibilities of a Connected Economy

Cover of "Realizing Possibilities of the Connected Economy"Mark Gomez from the Leap Forward project at the Haas Institute recently authored a “hopeful and speculative” essay arguing that Americans are poised to enter a new era of enduring prosperity led by those who previously have been held back.

The new piece, entitled Realizing Possibilities of the Connected Economy, looks at the opportunity presented by our remarkable prosperous economy and our current “formative political” period. Gomez argues that a generation of tinkering by activists sparked significant gains for a modest number of workers—from industry union organizing to the San Francisco and Los Angeles $15 wage standard campaigns—that can now be taken to scale, thereby assuring low-paid workers economic security and strengthening an embattled middle class. Read and download the essay.

Related Link: Read Mark Gomez's op-ed Why the Economy and the MLB Need a Second Half Comeback in this week's Huffington Post.

Na'ilah Nasir clip from faculty cluster video

Haas Institute Cluster Chair Named as Next Vice Chancellor of Equity & Inclusion at UC Berkeley

Today the Chair of the Haas Institute Race and Educational Policy Cluster Na'ilah Nasir was named as the new Vice Chancellor of Equity & Inclusion at UC Berkeley. Nasir, who is a professor in the School of Education and Dept. of African American Studies at UC Berkeley, will begin her post in November 2015. Known to many for her commitment to social justice and her advocacy for scholarship that advances more inclusive policies, Nasir said in a Q&A with Berkeley News that she will bring a "deep commitment to creating spaces where people can contribute effectively," as her passion is "helping people get what they need out of institutions, to make institutions more humane places." Read the announcement here.

Racial Discrimination and Post Traumatic Stress Disorder 

Amani Nuru-Jeter headshotPsychologists and researchers are looking into how both direct and indirect racial discrimination impacts the mind and body.  In an interview with NPR, Haas Institute Diversity and Health Disparities faculty cluster member Amani Nuru-Jeter explains that studies suggest that experiencing racism negatively impacts people’s health outcomes. Subtle racial discrimination, such as black people being followed around in stores, can also have long-term traumatic effects. Jeter, a professor of public health at UC Berkeley, recalls the story of Eric Garner as an explicit example, “Before he passed, he said, 'I'm tired of you all. I'm tired of you harassing me. I'm tired of you messing with me every day'" Listen to "Coping While Black: A Season Of Traumatic News Takes A Psychological Toll." 

Percentage non-Whites in 2012 and LIHTC Map, Dallas County

The map above, developed by the Haas Institute for an amicus brief submitted to the Supreme Court in the recent Fair Housing case, shows non-white percentages of Dallas area census tracts. A series of maps showing ongoing segregation due to federal, state and local policies was included in the amicus brief. 

Battling Segregation

Prof. Robert Reich, UC Berkeley professor and a faculty cluster member of the Haas Institute Economic Disparities, was one of many who weighed in on the recent historic decision from the Supreme Court regarding the Fair Housing Act and disparate impact. In this articleProf Reich writes that this “decision is important in the fight against economic apartheid in America—racial segregation on a much larger geographic scale than ever before.” Reich explores the cause and effect relationship of racial segregation and housing discrimination and believes that this decision, "is likely to affect everything from bank lending practices whose effect is to harm low-income non-white borrowers, to zoning laws that favor higher-income white home buyers." Read Prof. Reich's piece here.

Related Links
• Director john a. powell is featured on this documentary video about the legacy of discriminatory housing policies.
"How Redlining Maps Encouraged Segregation in California’s Cities" - The sidebar includes a lesson plan on teaching the history of housing segregation developed in partnership with UC Berkeley's History-Social Science Project

Emotions and Inside Out 

Inside Out is a new animated film from Pixar that explores the memories, emotions, and experiences of 11-year-old Riley Anderson during her transition from her home in Minnesota to her new life on West Coast. In order to gain scientific credibility for this film, Pixar filmmakers regularly checked in with emotion expert Prof. Dacher Keltner. Keltner, co-director of UC Berkeley’s Greater Good Science Center, has explored and completed extensive research about the functions of human emotions, processing and social interactions. In an interview with NPR, UC Berkeley Prof. Dacher Keltner said, “I think they really nailed it.” NPR’s science correspondent Jon Hamilton reports that Keltner believes the open dialogue between him and the filmmakers “helped create a movie that’s true to the underlying science.. on how emotions tend to color Riley’s perceptions of the world.” Keltner is a member of the Haas Institute Religious Diversity faculty cluster.

Research Assistants: Law

The Haas Institute is seeking to hire two law students to serve as research assistants for Berkeley Law professor john a. powell. RAs may work on research regarding: civil rights and human rights, racial and economic segregation, sexual orientation, religion, disability, gender, housing law, questions pertaining to the 14th Amendment, immigration and citizenship. RAs may assist in legal analysis, legal research, preparation of presentations, conferences and other engagements, writing projects including book chapters, journal articles, and bibliographic reviews. Full job description can be found here. To apply: Send resume, letter of interest (no more than two pages), and writing sample to Alyson Reimer at
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