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Our new research brief on voting suppression argues that an affirmative vision of voting rights must recognize factors currently treated as “background conditions” of voter suppression instead as causes on par with suppressive laws themselves.

The Haas Institute released a new research brief today that explores avenues to fight back against the aggressive push taking place in several states across the country to enact voting policies designed to disenfranchise large segments of the US population. "Widening the Lens on Voter Suppression: From Calculating Lost Votes to Fighting For Effective Voting Rights,” authored by the Institute's Senior Fellow Josh Clark, argues that voter suppression efforts must be countered using a multi-faceted approach that includes comprehensive voter education, building outreach infrastructure, addressing voter ambivalence, and other steps that focus on direct engagement with groups targeted by restrictive voting laws. While acknowledging that challenging voter suppression laws in court remains important, the author advocates that relying on litigation alone misses crucial social factors that keep people from voting, and must be coupled with on-the-ground work to reach out to affected communities. Read our press release on this important new publication.

The report is the second in a multi-year series by the Haas Institute to study voting trends, civic engagement and disaffection, and structures of democratic inclusion. The first report in the series, jointly published with the Tides Foundation, analyzed the events and conditions that led to the unexpected outcome of the 2016 US presidential election. Find that report here

"We have to share the world with everyone"

john powell on new Arthur Brooks podcast

Haas Institute Director john a. powell was a guest on a new podcast earlier this month hosted by Arthur Brooks, the head of the conservative American Enterprise Institute. In the interview, the two discuss their working collaborations that attempt to demonstrate how people can overcome political and ideological differences and have dialogue that creates bridges to build a better society. "I think people are not building bridges anymore. I think they're blowing them up and then taking hard stances. ... We can't keep the world just for 'my tribe.' We have to share the world with everyone, and with the world itself," powell said in the interview. Both powell and Brooks were chosen to be part of the US Partnership on Mobility from Poverty, a Gates Foundation initiative comprised of 24 thought leaders of different political, academic, and religious affiliations. In May, Brooks and powell gave a joint talk in Washington, DC about the need to address poverty, and last year co-authored a similarly-themed article, which can be found here

Announcing the Haas Institute inaugural Artist in Residence program

The Haas Institute is pleased to announce an open call for its first Artist in Residence program, a new position that will advance the Institute's focus on arts and culture as a primary way to further our collective vision of inclusion and belonging. The first Artist in Residence will be selected by a diverse group of public artists, advocates, and partners from the Haas Institute and its network. The work of the selected Artist in Residence should seek to advance and expand our concept of belonging at the nexus of being human and the systems and structures that operationalize structural inclusion. The chosen artist’s project and process will illuminate our understanding of belonging in new and complex ways. In particular, we are interested in works that explore practices of dialogue. The work will be presented at the Institute’s bi-annual  Othering & Belonging conference in 2019, but should engage a broader audience through process and/or outcomes.

To apply or learn more visit this page. And learn more about our Arts and Culture work here.

New Staff

Join us in welcoming two new members to the Haas Institute family.

Evan Bissell, a public artist and researcher, is our new Arts and Cultural Strategy Coordinator, a new position where he will help develop and implement an integrated cultural strategy for the Haas Institute’s programs, communication efforts, special events, and faculty research by: deepening and expanding the Institute’s work related to artist and cultural practices; developing training and learning materials for the Institute around cultural strategy; developing content related to cultural strategy as part of the Institute’s public contribution to growing field of work; and helping define principles, best practices, and an Institute definition of cultural strategy tailored to the Haas Institute’s portfolio of work. Evan previously piloted this work at the Institute in the spring of 2018 and has contributed artistic direction to a variety of Institute projects and initiatives including the Staying Power Fellowship, the Kerner Commission conference, and other work. Check out Evan's full biography here.

Ayketa Iverson is our new project coordinator for our national Civic Engagement Narrative Change work. Ayketa has managed programs, operations, and campaigns in government and labor. She worked for the AFL-CIO for 14 years, advancing progressively in roles that include (most recently) National Recruitment Coordinator for the Organizing Institute. Since last October she has worked for the Minority Caucus Whip of the Georgia state House of Representatives.

Atlantic Philanthropies names global cohort of fellows

The Atlantic Fellows program, in which the Haas Institute is a partner, announced the names of 275 fellows last week who are participating in seven programs operating across five continents in an effort to advance fairer, healthier and more inclusive societies. This first full global cohort of changemakers includes advocates, lawyers, artists, business professionals, health practitioners, government officials, academics and researchers. “The Atlantic Fellows are energetic, diverse, international leaders who are acting on the world’s urgent needs and collaborating to build healthy and equitable societies,” Christopher G. Oechsli, president and CEO of The Atlantic Philanthropies, said. Read more about this program here

Media and Updates

Director john powell was quoted in the San Francisco Chronicle last week commenting on the recent killing of Black teenager Nia Wilson and the wounding of her sister at a train station in Oakland. “It’s a white guy, it’s a black woman... he changed his clothes. In other words, it didn’t seem just like a deranged person to me, it seemed more sophisticated,” powell was quoted as saying. Read the story here.
Russell Robinson, the chair of the Haas Institute's LGBTQ Citizenship cluster, was quoted in a recent article on ABC News about what the retirement of Justice Kennedy could mean for the rights of LGBTQ people in the US. Read the story here.
Taeku Lee, a former associate director and current member of the Institute's Diversity and Democracy research cluster, is cited in a Washington Post article about national identity in Taiwan. The story explains how a survey was conducted using a method developed by Lee to gauge the feelings of Taiwanese about their national identities. Read the story here
Victor Pineda, a Haas Institute research fellow, recently led a discussion during the Conference of the States Parties to the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (CRPD) in New York. The workshop looked at how artificial intelligence could help make life more inclusive for people with disabilities. Read a news article about the event here.
Nancy Scheper-Hughes, who is a member of the Haas Institute's Religious Diversity cluster, recently authored a piece for the Boston Review called "The Conversion of Pope Francis" where she looks at shifts in Pope Francis' thinking ahead of his visit to Ireland, which recently passed a law legalizing abortion up to 12 weeks into a pregnancy, an event about which the Pope has yet to comment, but will inevitably have to address. Read Scheper-Hughes thoughts here.

Job opportunities

The Haas Institute is looking to fill several student and staff positions. Check out the links below for job descriptions:
  • Part-time law research assistants
  • Travel and Reimbursement Administrative Assistant (student position)
  • General Administrative Assistant (student position)
  • Undergraduate Student Website Assistant
  • Housing and Social Equity Student Researcher (graduate student position)
Find all our job openings posted on this page.

​​The next Othering & Belonging conference will be held April 8–10, 2019 in Oakland. Visit the conference website for updates on registration, scholarships, speakers, and all info related to the conference.

Find out more about the experience of the Othering & Belonging conference in this video montage of last year's event (video by Lea Bruno Productions).
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