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Staff News & Updates
Haas Institute welcomes new associate director, summer fellows, and housing analyst 

Renowned Public Health scholar Denise Herd began her post as the Haas Institute's new associate director this month, pledging to bolster collaboration among the Institute's faculty clusters to make their work towards equity even more impactful. A professor of Health and Social Behavior at UC Berkeley’s School of Public Health and a longtime member of the Haas Institute’s Diversity and Health Disparities research cluster, Herd's scholarship centers on racialized disparities in health outcomes. Her work spans topics as varied as images of drugs and violence in rap music, drinking and drug use patterns, social movements, and the impact of corporate targeting and marketing on popular culture among African American youth. Read more about Herd's background and plans for the Haas Institute here.

Also this month, Nicole Montojo joined the Haas Institute's California Community Partnerships program as a housing research analyst. Originally from Southern California, Nicole first got involved in social justice work during the grassroots organizing in LA’s movements for immigrant rights and racial justice. She holds a master’s degree in City Planning from UC Berkeley and a bachelor’s degree in Sociology and Urban Studies from Scripps College. As part of her job, Nicole is collaborating on research projects that examine the legacy of exclusionary housing policies while exploring ways to turn that around. Read Nicole's longer bio on this page.

We also recently welcomed our newest Summer Fellowship cohort. Eight new summer fellows arrived at UC Berkeley from far and near to take part in the 14-week fellowship to work across a range issues with the Haas Institute. The fellows include Anetra Brown, from the University of Oregon; Evan Yoshimoto, a recent graduate of UC Berkeley; Teofanny Saragi, a recent graduate of Pomona College; Miranda Simes, an incoming junior at Columbia University; Michael Xu of the University of Michigan Law School; Onisha Etkins of the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health; Adiba Hasan, a recent graduate of Augustana College in Illinois; and Taliah Mirmalek, a community researcher-organizer from Oakland.

Read their full bios and learn more about the Summer Fellowship on this page.

Racial Equity Here

Along with the Government Alliance on Race and Equity and Race Forward, the Haas Institute is a partner of the new project Racial Equity Here, a national movement to advance racial equity by dismantling structural racism, city by city, town by town. The project, comprised of over 200 community organizations, local governments, foundations, schools, and businesses, seeks to create a vibrant democracy and make shifts within organizations towards better outcomes for people of color and stronger, more inclusive communities for all. Racial Equity Here calls on individuals to:

  • Learn about race, racism and racial equity
  • Act to advance racial equity by using a simple racial equity tool
  • Partner locally and across the country to drive a common agenda

To learn more and to join the Racial Equity Here effort, visit the new website here.

New Video
Breaking down community-engaged research

In a new video released by the Haas Institute this week, researchers Nadia Barhoum and Eli Moore explain their approach to community-engaged research, or the process of working with local residents to understand their needs and help them pursue policy changes for the betterment of their communities. In the video, Nadia and Eli explain that this approach to research helps improve research by creating findings that are more nuanced and relevant to community members, while simultaneously building the power and capacity of those members to participate in policy decision-making processes.

Perspectives from Kerner Conference speakers

Six new articles authored by speakers who participated in our "Race and Inequality in America: The Kerner Commission at 50 Conference" earlier this year have appeared in the latest edition of the Poverty & Race Research Action Council newsletter, excerpts of which can be viewed on our website here.

The newsletter also includes excerpts from the keynote addresses provided by Sherrilyn Ifill, the president of the NAACP Legal Defense Fund; Robert Sampson of Harvard University; and Shaun Donovan, who served as President Obama's housing secretary.

The new pieces include:

  • An intro co-authored by Assistant Director Stephen Menendian and Senior Fellow Richard Rothstein
  • A piece by Sandra Susan Smith, UC Berkeley sociology professor who served on the criminal justice reform panel
  • An article by Dr. Leana S. Wen, the health commissioner of Baltimore who served on the health panel
  • An article by John Boger, former Dean of the University of North Carolina’s law school who served on the remedies panel
  • A personal account by Senator Fred Harris, the only surviving member of the Kerner Commission
  • A reflection by John Koskinen, who served as an aide to the Deputy Executive Director of the Kerner Commission
Read more here

The state's evolving racial classifications

Michael Omi, an associate professor of Asian American and Asian Diaspora Studies, presented a talk earlier this month to the Haas Institute's Summer Fellows that looked historically at the notion of racial formations and the government's designation of racial categories. He noted that state-based racial classifications have never been stable or consistent, and that no two census years have ever used identical categories, as classifications continue to expand and evolve. "Racial and ethnic categories in the United States have historically been shaped by the political and social agendas of particular times," Omi said in his June 6 talk. You can watch a recording and find a transcript of Omi's talk on this page.

Media and Updates

Director john a. powell was quoted in a Christian Science Monitor story published last week about city proposals to charge large corporations taxes to go towards solutions to the housing equity crisis. “Whether at the city level, the state level, or the federal level, or all of the above, there has to be some mechanism for making sure society is not just for the rich,” powell is quoted in the article as saying. Read the story here.

Upcoming events

Monday, July 9: UC Berkeley's Institute for Research on Labor and Employment will be hosting a seminar on Inclusive Economies for Cities and Regions featuring Chris Benner who is a professor of Environmental Studies and Sociology at UC Santa Cruz, and Andy Pike, who is a professor of Regional Development Studies at the Centre for Urban and Regional Development Studies at Newcastle University in the UK. Learn more about this seminar here.

See all our upcoming and past events 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)
  • Targeted Universalism & Strategic Philanthropy Student Researcher
  • General Administrative Assistant (student position)
  • Undergraduate Student Website Assistant
  • National Civic Engagement Coordinator
  • Housing and Social Equity Student Researcher (graduate student position)
Find all our job openings posted on this page.
Save the date!

​​The next Othering & Belonging conference will be held April 8–10, 2019 in Oakland. Visit for updates and to sign up for our conference mailing list.
Find out more about the experience of the Othering & Belonging conference in this video montage of last year's event
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