MAR 9, 2016
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New Report on Trans-Pacific Partnership Trade Deal Raises Serious Concerns about Corporate Misalignment

Trans-Pacific Partnership Report Cover
Our new report, "Trans-Pacific Partnership: Corporations Before People and Democracy," finds that the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP), the mega-regional trade deal, raises serious concerns about how a world economy reregulated to suit corporate interests would undermine public accountability, transparency, and democratic participation. 

Co-authored by john a. powell, Elsadig Elsheikh, and Hossein Ayazi, the Haas Institute’s analysis underscores how the TPP would grant greater transnational corporate influence over the fate of one third of all world trade, with TPP signatory members producing 40 percent of all global economic output. 

If the TPP passes, there would be widespread global implications that affect the wellbeing of all people. Read the full press release and download the report

Scalia's Blind Spot

Supreme Court/Creative Commons License
In a new piece on the Huffington Post, following the death of Supreme Court Justice Scalia, Director john a. powell discussed the critical importance of Scalia's replacement as well as Scalia's legacy of "originalism" or "original intended meaning" of the Constitution as it applied to cases before the Supreme Court. powell explains how that influence has shaped Supreme Court decisions over a number of years, and what Scalia's replacement could mean for past and present court decisions. 

"If there is a Republican presidential win this November, a Republican appointee would cement the Court's current right wing configuration, especially when taking into account that the Court's eldest serving member is Ruth Bader Ginsburg, a Democratic nominee," wrote powell. He added, "If President Obama or a new Democratic President, however, were to nominate Scalia's replacement, then the Court would tip in a new direction that would potentially touch every major issue of our time." Read the entire post, which was also cross-posted on the Haas Institute blog.


Multiple Amicus Briefs Filed in Women's Reproductive Rights Supreme Court Case

Melissa MurrayMelissa Murray, a LGBTQ Citizenship research cluster member and Faculty Director of the Center on Reproductive Rights and Justice at UC Berkeley, was among several Berkeley Law scholars to file multiple amicus briefs for the upcoming US Supreme Court case, Whole Women's Health v. Cole. The outcome of the case will have a significant impact on the reproductive and abortion rights for women nationwide. Murray noted, "Laws that unduly target access to reproductive health services compromise the dignity of women and impair their ability to participate in society as equal citizens." Read the article

The Role of Racial Inequality in Election Season

Rodney Hero, member of our Diversity and Democracy research cluster, recently commented on the role of racial inequality in the US elections.

"Welfare policy is a policy that is not technically a racial policy but it has been racialized according to many scholars," said Hero. "The degree of race inequality does seem to have a real major impact in terms of public policy in the states."

Hero was an invited speaker at Drury University, where he talked about matters relating to race, inequality, and politics, particularly as they relate to the current presidential race. Read more

Hollywood and White Victimology

Russell Robinson, chair of the LGBTQ Citizenship research cluster, recently wrote a blog post featured on the Huffington Post that highlighted the disparity between the overrepresentation of white actors and actresses in Hollywood and the culture of white victimhood.

Robinson wrote, "The distress of actors like Rampling and Delpy is evidence of a broader shift in which some white people increasingly see themselves as the real victims of racial injustice. For these white people, any step toward equality by a person of color is treated as a swipe at whites. For example, if [Viola] Davis wins, white women lose. In their minds, racial equality or inclusion translates into anti-white racism." Read the blog post

Bringing Everyone's Voice and Influence to the Table

"How can politics solve the problem of economic inequality when so many Americans who do not command high salaries or higher education are left out of the political conversation?" That is the question that Henry E. Brady, Economics Disparities research cluster chair, and his co-author posed in a new blog post on The Hill. Brady notes his research on registered spending for organizations that were active in the nation's capital in 2011, and comments on the culture and system that leaves many voices unheard, and therefore propagating economic inequality. Similar issues were brought up in a recent article on Salon that examines the influence of money and power on American politics. Read the article

California's Tax Code Blocks its Climate Change Goals

Karen Chapple, a Haas Institute Economic Disparities research cluster member, wrote an article on how changes to California's tax code can help positively influence measures to support climate goals. According to Chapple, "Current tax policies encourage sprawl, increasing vehicle miles driven and threatening the goals to reduce greenhouse gas emissions." These policies work against measures to meet climate goals such as reducing gas emissions.

Chapple noted, "On average, about 20 percent of a locality’s revenue comes from sales and property taxes. But the state’s major cities and their surrounding suburbs have differing views of the development that produces those taxes. Suburbs prefer development that generates sales taxes, which provide coveted 'flexible revenue' with no strings attached. Not so with cities. Pressed to encourage infill development, they are forced to rely more on property taxes, and plenty of strings are attached." Chapple notes that while tax code changes won't significantly reduce greenhouse gas emissions, it can influence others through policy changes and innovations. Read the article
MAR. 14, 3:00 pm – 6:00 pm
The documentary "Where Is Hope: The Art of Murder" chronicles disabled victims murdered by police as well as the activists/artists who have fought and are fighting against police brutality against people with disabilities. 

This event is free, open to the public and wheelchair-accessible. Please refrain from wearing scented products so that people with chemical sensitivities can join us. If you need any other disability accommodations in order to attend, including communication services, please contact Susan Schweik at
Malo Hutson
MAR. 14
7:00 pm – 8:30 pm
Malo Hutson talks about his new book, The Urban Struggle for Economic, Environmental, and Social Justice: Deepening Their Roots
Environmental Design Library Atrium. 210 Wurster Hall
More information

APR. 4, 11:30 am – 1:00 pm
“Spoken Word(s): Presenting the Conference Paper,” a discussion on presentations and conferences with Michael Omi
This event is part of The Asian American & Asian Diaspora Studies Working Group's Spring 2016 Lunch Talks & Workshop Series. 
602 Barrows, UC Berkeley
More information.

APR. 4, 6:30 pm – 8:30 pm
Fighting Exclusion: Innovative Approaches to Fair Housing Law

A panel discussion featuring:
Stephen Menendian, Haas Institute Assistant Director and Director of Research
Kim Savage, Private practice land use and fair housing attorney
Paul E. Smith, Chief, Intake Branch, Region IX, Office of Fair Housing and Equal Opportunity, US Housing and Urban Development

Event information here.
APR. 20–22

Color of Wealth Summer 2016

The Haas Institute is proud to be a national partner again on the Color of Wealth Summit, which seeks to engage Members of Congress, Congressional staff, the media, and the public in a dialogue about the racial wealth gap, its effect on marginalized households, its impact on the US economy, and solutions for closing the gap.
APR. 21, 9:00 am – 1:00 pm
ACE Leadership Symposium: Advancing Multicultural Leadership
Culmination Luncheon Keynote Speaker: Professor john a. powell
TD Convention Center, Greenville, SC
More information.
APR. 22–23

7th Annual Islamophobia Conference

7th Annual Islamophobia Conference
The conference’s theme, Islamophobia: Has a tipping point been reached? is both a question for researchers and a statement reflecting the pervasiveness of bigoted discourses that problematize the category, Muslim and Islam in civil society.  More information.
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