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Mourning the loss of Saba Mahmood

UC Berkeley over the weekend lost one of its most brilliant, popular, and beloved scholars, Saba Mahmood, who was a professor of Sociocultural Anthropology. Professor Mahmood was also a member of the Haas Institute's Religious Diversity cluster. “Life is often too short and wonderful people too few. Thank you Saba for sharing so much while you were here,” Haas Institute Director john a. powell said in our statement on Saba's passing. The Anthropology Department has published an obituary with details on Saba's groundbreaking scholarship and her remarkable life here, and The Daily Cal has a touching story with remarks from her former colleagues and students here.

You will be missed, Saba.

Kerner Commission Conference is a wrap

Our Race and Inequality in America: the Kerner Commission at 50 Conference, held from February 27 to March 1, proved to be a major success, with registration nearing 1,000 people between our two venues at UC Berkeley and the Lewis Museum in Baltimore! We are collecting proceeds from the conference on our website here, which will soon include videos of all eight panels, in addition to the welcome speeches, keynote addresses, art performances, and closing speech. You can also find snapshots from the conference on this Facebook photo album, a collection of tweets by Haas Institute staff and conference attendees here, and several news articles, radio interviews, and opinions pieces about the conference here, including this important perspective in the New York Times by former Senator Fred Harris, the only surviving member of the 11-member Commission, who was one of the keynote speakers at #Kerner50.

Haas Institute co-sponsors screenings of Black Panther and  A Wrinkle in Time

The Haas Institute co-sponsored the Bay Area premiere of Ava DuVernay's A Wrinkle in Time at Oakland's Grand Lake Theater on March 7, as well as a February 19 screening of Ryan Coogler's film Black Panther. Both events included panel discussions with community members on the significance of the films. Read more about the films on this page, where you will also find a collection of photos from both events, as well as video recordings of the panel discussions.

Efforts to improve on-campus disability services

Several members of our Disability Studies cluster published a joint op-ed in The Daily Cal last month, titled "UC Berkeley’s Disabled Students’ Program is always working to improve" which talks about the work done over time on campus to make it more accessible and inclusive for people with disabilities, and the plans to expand those efforts with two new committees to oversee services for students and employees. The op-ed explains that the strides made in access, such as wheelchair ramps, captioning in videos and other assistive technologies, can be beneficial to all people, not just those with disabilities. Read the op-ed, co-written by Disability Studies cluster chair Karen Nakamura, cluster member Georgina Kleege, who is also the president of the Faculty Coalition for Disability Rights at UC Berkeley, and several others, here.

New videos of recent talks and events

We have uploaded four video recordings of recent Haas Institute-sponsored talks from last month, including:

Victor Rios on 'the Mis-Education and Criminalization of Black and Latino Boys'
Gordon Whitman of PICO in conversation with Haas Institute's john a. powell
Gordon Whitman of PICO in conversation with Haas Institute Director john powell
Mary Pattillo & Jordan Conwell on 'Race, College Quality, and Intergenerational Mobility'
Mary Pattillo & Jordan Conwell on 'Race, College Quality, and Intergenerational Mobility'
Karen Nakamura speaks on Disability Studies and Race
Karen Nakamura speaks on Disability Studies and Race

In the Media

Hilary Hoynes, a member of the Institute's Economic Disparities cluster, was cited in a New York Times article published last month, titled "Come the Recession, Don't Count on The Safety Net." The article quotes a paper co-authored by Hoynes and UC Davis economist Marianne Bitler that shows how low-income families can no longer count on a safety net if they find themselves unemployed, as was the case during the Great Recession of 2008. Read that article here.

The Center for American Progress published a report last month, titled "Systematic Inequality: How America's Structural Racism Helped Create the Black-White Wealth Gap," which cites the Institute's "Targeted Universalism" framework, and recommends that policymakers use it to close the Black-white wealth gap. Read the report here, and an article in the Nonprofit Quarterly about the report, here.


Friday, April 13: Professor Cathy Cohen of the University of Chicago is set to speak on "Reimagining Political Knowledge: Race and the Carceral State," as part of Research to Impact. More info here.


See our Events page for latest details on all our upcoming events.
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