JUNE 16, 2016
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Single lit candle/Creative Commons LicenseThe news that our brothers and sisters in the LGBTQ community were singled out and targeted for a hate crime of unimaginable proportions fills us with deep heartbreak. We are hurting, we are struggling, and we are filled with an intense sadness. We are grieving, we are mourning, and we are soul searching. Read our full statement here. Read Director john a. powell's reflection on the Huffington Post. 
Juana María Rodríguez, an LGBTQ Citizenship faculty cluster member penned this essay on NBC. Rodríguez said, "In this moment of grief, let us remember the dead, but let us love and honor them for who they were. Let us attack hate, and its enabler, indifference, everywhere it lives and thrives, in the intimate spaces of our families and places of worship, and in the public spaces of political discourse and government policies. Let this be a moment to affirm queer latinidad in all of its glittery fabulousness and political complexity, to mourn, to party, to agitate, to act in the hope of another world of possibilities. Let that moment be now." Read the entire essay

Building and Preserving Adequate, Affordable Housing Options in Richmond

View of Point Richmond and the Chevron Refinery via Audiohifi (Creative Commons License)
In a recent article in the San Francisco Chronicle about the battle to build affordable housing in Richmond, California, Program Manager Eli Moore was interviewed regarding the significant housing challenges in the Bay Area and what new building developments, like what is needed in Richmond, could mean from an urban development standpoint. An original plan from the City of Richmond intended to build housing units in an area called Marina Bay that would fit as many as 600 individuals, but that plan is now in limbo due to a proposal to build 59 single-family homes instead. Moore noted that the "project goes against all the thinking in urban plan work for the last 30 years. If you look at it from any angle—job creation, greenhouse gas emissions, quality of life, economic vibrancy of the neighborhood— [a] higher density (building) is much more beneficial in a location like that, so close to the region's core." Moore co-authored Belonging and Community Health, a report analyzing housing and demographic changes in Richmond over a period of 10+ years. Read the San Francisco Chronicle piece about the Richmond housing debate and what it could mean for the future of the city.  

Hollywood and Pervasive, Damaging Stereotypes in Film

Students holding up letters spelling out "stereotypes." Creative Commons Attribution License/University of Washington DO IT programThe new movie Me Before You has set off wide protests due to its one-dimensional portrayal of a man who finds that life with a new disability is one not worth living, so he decides to end his own life instead. In particular, the reinforcement of negative stereotypes about people living with disabilities is most damaging. In an article published by the Daily Californian, our Disability Studies faculty member Georgina Kleege, notes that this is neither a respectful nor accurate depiction of people with disabilities. Kleege, who is a professor of English at UC Berkeley, said "When I was a student, which was before the Americans with Disabilities Act, living with a disability was harder because we didn’t have civil rights, essentially." She went on to mention how frustrating it is in 2016 to see the same message being perpetuated in Hollywood. The article quotes others who point out that the movie pushes the idea that a person with disabilities cannot lead a bold life on their own terms, and that roles in the movies went to able-bodies actors when actors with disabilities could have been tapped for those roles instead. Read the article

We Too Count: Highlighting the Perspectives of Asian Americans in the US

Taeku Lee

Taeku Lee, a Diversity and Democracy faculty cluster member, and his research team were recently awarded a half-million dollar grant from the National Science Foundation for a study on Asian Americans. As the fastest-growing and most socioeconomically diverse racial group in the United States, their perspectives and input are critical to how we progress forward as a society. 

The research expands upon the National Asian American Survey, and will be conducted this year and published in 2017. The survey will cover more than 3,500 participants spanning several ethnicities. Read more about this research initiative.  

How We Can Better Connect Racial Anxiety and Class Issues

Ian Haney LopezIan Haney López, Director of the Racial Politics Project, is featured in a new video in conjunction with Demos and Inequality Media. The video asks the question "What is Trump doing right?" and explores how the narrative that Trump supporters follow connects class and racial anxiety. By use of dog whistle politics, politicians play on a fear of the Other, and uses that to sway white voters to use their vote in a way that is a strike against people of color and society as a whole. The video also talks about how Democrats have not talked about how class and racial anxiety are connected, and what we can do to re-write the story. Watch the video.

Dismantling Racism in the Food System

Elsadig Elsheikh, our Global Justice Director, recently wrote an article that appeared in a Food First publication. "Dismantling Racism in the Food System" was part of a special multi-authored series on racism and liberation in the food system. Drawing on much of the research from the Haas Institute's US Farm Bill report, which he co-authored with Hossein Ayazi, Elsheikh summarized the challenges that we face in the food system, and how we can start to build a food sovereignty movement. Read the publication.
We Too Belong Cover
We Too Belong: A Resource Guide of Inclusive Practices in Immigration and Incarceration Law and Policy, is a new menu of inclusive practices that promote the civic participation and provision of public services to immigrant, incarcerated, and formerly incarcerated individuals and communities. Download the report.
Food Policy Paper Cover
Food Justice and Community Health in Richmond explores strategies to facilitate more deeply-engaged partnerships between UC Berkeley and the Richmond community. Download the report.

Special Screening: Land Grabbing

JUN 28,
7:00 pm – 9:00 pm

The New Parkway Theater, Oakland, CA

A new film on land grabs and their impact on farmers around the globe looks into the world of investors in international agro-business. It follows case studies from a Buddhist monk fighting for land rights in Cambodia, to exploitative agricultural conditions in Ethiopia, to large-scale land investments in Romania and Sierra Leone. Watch the trailer here.


Redefining Latinx Success: What it Means for the Community and Ourselves

"I don’t know who came up with the idea that one can be successful while our brothers and sisters (here and abroad) are being killed, deported, locked up, and dehumanized. But that is not my definition of success," wrote Stephanie Llanes in a recent blog post. Llanes, a recent graduate of Berkeley Law, who was a Haas Institute research assistant for several years, lifts up ideas on how success for the Latinx community can be redefined based on its own priorities and needs.  Read the blog post.

What Puerto Rico Needs: Our Collective Concern and Alternative Solutions

Puerto Rico is in a unique position in the midst of a financial crisis due to its political status with the United States. "For decades, places experiencing economic crises face punitive austerity measures; Puerto Rico is no different. There are countless historical examples of austerity—a solution for economic growth based on a calculus lacking human concern—that demonstrate the harm of this policy and its inability to generate fair economic outcomes. Austerity is the orthodox solution, but there is an urgency to implement unorthodox strategies that promise to build equity and create an economic growth that benefits people," wrote Wendy Ake, Director of the Just Public Finance program. Read the blog post


Janetta Johnson Perspective in Belonging
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