June 7, 2017
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US Refugee Report cover

A Pivotal Moment for the US Refugee Resettlement Program

Our new report on the US Refugee Resettlement Program highlights the need for increased support during an era of mass forced migration caused by widespread violence, poverty, climate change, and other devastating emergencies. At a time when nearly one out of every 100 people in the world is displaced from their homes—the highest proportion since the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees began collecting data on displaced persons in 1951—the US has a unique capacity to support and assist refugees. The report, authored by our graduate research assistant Keith Welch, provides an overview of how the US refugee resettlement program fits within the international refugee protection system, analyzes the tensions facing the US resettlement program—especially those under the current Trump administration—and discusses how the US can and should reaffirm its commitment to refugee protection during a pivotal juncture for refugee protection. The report reaffirms that the US can and should play a stronger and more inclusive role in protecting and welcoming refugees. Download the report here.

Hilary Hoynes photo

Berkeley economist on the importance of poverty research

Hilary Hoynes, the Haas Institute Economic Disparities chair, Berkeley professor, and renowned economist, was the subject of a recent in-depth interview with the Minneapolis Federal Reserve on her research studying programs and policies that help, or hinder, the lives and opportunities of the poor and marginalized in America. As the introduction notes, "With careful technique, cutting-edge methods and ingenious use of natural experiments and big data, Hoynes has examined government nutrition programs, cash assistance policies, education efforts, work incentives and health care initiatives. She studies multiple angles of the same program or policy—demographic differentials, effects on housing and family structure, impacts on human capital accumulation, health and labor supply."

When asked ultimately why poverty research matters, Hilary noted, "Good question! Well, in my view—and as others have said, of course—a society should be judged, in part, by how it takes care of its most disadvantaged, its most vulnerable. To do a good job of that, we need to know what influences poverty. Most of my research looks at that question. But I also want to understand what poverty generates. What does it mean to grow up poor? What does childhood poverty mean for a child’s life trajectory? To what extent are we in a world with an even playing field, with equal opportunity?"

Read the interview with Hilary Hoynes.

Othering & Belonging Issue Two Cover imageNEW JOURNAL
Othering & Belonging Issue Two

Much has happened in the months since we published the inaugural issue of our new multimedia site and print journal Othering & Belonging.

Donald Trump won an unexpected victory as US president just as a peace agreement ended Latin America’s longest conflict in Colombia. Brazilians and South Koreans impeached their presidents, while President Erdoğan of Turkey accelerated his authoritarian rule, launching a massive purge targeting his critics. Beach resorts in France made news worldwide when they banned the burkini, and 2016 registered as the hottest year on record. President Trump proposed deep cuts to US foreign aid that, if enacted, promise to exacerbate conflict-driven famines in Nigeria, Somalia, and South Sudan, arguably the world’s most serious humanitarian crises in seventy years. The Zika virus spread to more than seventy-five countries, including the United States, and Prime Minister Theresa May triggered the process by which Great Britain will exit the European Union.

These developments, and so many others across the globe, are rife with the dynamics of Othering, whether along markers of race, ethnicity, class, gender, religion, immigration status, nationality, geography, or a combination of these and other dimensions of personal and group identity.

In the responses to these developments, we also find strains of Belonging—enough, perhaps, to ground our hopes for a more inclusive future. If there is a theme to this, the second issue of Othering & Belonging, it might be hope. Hope built not only on the aspirations articulated by groups around the world, but also on the emergence of new organizational formations whose practices are meant to enact inclusiveness and belonging. (Excerpted from Editors' Introduction of Othering & Belonging Issue Two)

Read and explore Issue Two of our Othering & Belonging Journal with new articles, more interviews, and powerful art and cultural offerings of Belonging. 

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Othering & Belonging Videos

Videos from our recent Othering & Belonging Conference are now live on our YouTube channel! Explore these phenomenal conversations on advancing Belonging, ranging from culture and arts strategies to academic and policy research to power-building grassroots activism work to narratives that build a more inclusive "We." Videos now online include: Stay tuned for more videos of performances and additional content from the conference including written updates of breakout sessions, keynotes, and slides that have been shared from conference presenters.

From Domination to Prosperity: How Do We Get There?

Guest author Jordan Luftig of the Foundation for Sustainable Development attended our most recent Thinking Ahead event and penned this piece outlining his perspective and takeaways from our May panel discussion and social event. The event hosted author Sabeel Rahman to speak about his new book "Democracy Against Domination" followed by a panel discussion with Rahman, community organizers and policy advocates Christina Livingston and Kate O'Hare, UC Berkeley professor Paul Pierson, which was moderated by our director john a. powell. Read Jordan's blog post with his synthesis and future-facing thoughts about the topicsx raised in this important public conversation. Jordan works as an educator, coach, conference organizer, and grantmaker to quicken the emergence of inclusive, integrative futures. Read the blog post here.

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A Wider Type of Freedom: Reimagining Racial Justice  

In our next Thinking Ahead discussion series, come hear political scientist Daniel Martinez HoSang discuss how transformative racial movements have redefined "freedom". Daniel is Associate Professor at the University of Oregon and Department Head in Ethnic Studies. He is the author of Racial Propositions: Ballot Initiatives and the Making of Postwar California and co-editor of Racial Formation in the 21st Century. He worked with the Center for Third World Organizing and PUEBLO. Free, wheelchair accessible, and open to the public, but please RSVP in advance. June 13 at 12:15 pm at Citizen Engagement Laboratory in downtown Oakland. Includes lunch. 

Digital Divide cover

AT&T's Digital Divide in California

Our recent report, the first-ever analysis of AT&T’s fiber-to-the-home service in California, shows that the early deployment of the company’s “gigapower” all-fiber service is concentrated in wealthier communities, relegating lower-income neighborhoods to less advanced technologies that offer markedly slower speeds. The findings suggest AT&T’s fiber deployment will exacerbate the “digital divide” in California.“Now more than ever, access to high-speed internet is a necessity for all Americans, shaping how we work and learn and giving us the tools we need to get ahead in today’s economy,” said our program manager Eli Moore, co-author of the report. The Communications Workers of America District 9 commissioned the report. 

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