MAY 13, 2015
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Closing the Racial Wealth Gap

john a. powell at the 2015 Color of Wealth Summit. Photo Credit: Jason Miccolo Johnson“There are a number of wealth gaps that are troubling. One is the gap between the very rich and everyone else. Another is the gap between people of color and their white counterparts. What needs to be explored is the relationship between the two,” said Haas Institute Director john a. powell during the recent Color of Wealth Summit in Washington DC. john spoke on a panel during the event which featured many members of Congress and community leaders working on wealth inequality. powell was also one of four 2015 recipients of the Asset Builders Champion (ABC) award given at the Summit. The award honors those who have helped make national progress toward addressing racial wealth disparities.
Photo Credit: Jason Miccolo Johnson

 Berkeley Faculty Meets with Pope

Nancy Scheper-Hughes Meets Pope Francis
UC Berkeley's Nancy Scheper-Hughes recently visited the Vatican to give two presentations to Pope Francis on human trafficking. Scheper-Hughes joined twenty other scholars, human rights activists, government, and UN officials as part of a series of meetings intended to inform the Pope on specific issues in advance of his address to the U.N. General Assembly in September. Scheper-Hughes is Medical Anthropology Professor at UC Berkeley and a member of the Haas Institute Disability Studies faculty cluster

Productivity and Access in Cities

Enrico Moretti HeadshotUC Berkeley professor Enrico Moretti recently co-authored "Why Do Cities Matter?" with Chang-Tai Hsieh of the University of Chicago. The paper, drawn from their new research, discusses how workers may not necessarily be able to live in or get to cities that have the most growth, and the cities with the most growth may not necessarily contribute more to national growth than smaller cities. "A limited number of American workers can have access to these very high-productivity cities,'' Moretti said in a recent interview. "A more efficient distribution would be a general benefit for the entire economy." Moretti is Professor of Economics at UC Berkeley and a member of the Haas Institute Economic Disparities faculty cluster member and author of the book The Geography of New Jobs

What Constitutes Racial Classification?

In a new law review article, "What Constitutes a Racial Classification?  Equal Protection Doctrine Scrutinized" for the Temple Political and Civil Rights Law Review, Haas Institute Assistant Director Stephen Menendian examines the growing number of anomalies within racial classification jurisprudence. Stephen argues that these anomalies will require either clarification from the Supreme Court or the development of an alternative equal protection paradigm. Useful for students, scholars, or constitutional advocates, this article clarifies a number of aspects of equal protection law and directs attention to critical indeterminacies and ambiguities that will become central to constitutional law arguments in the near future. 

Examining the Feeling of Powerlessness

Robert Reich HeadshotIn a recent blog post on the Korea Herald, Robert Reich posited why so many people in the United States feel powerless. "A large part of the reason is we have fewer choices than we used to have. In almost every area of our lives, it’s now take it or leave it. Companies are treating workers as disposable cogs because most working people have no choice. They need work and must take what they can get," said Reich. Robert Reich is the Chancellor's Professor of Public Policy at UC Berkeley and a member of the Haas Institute Economic Disparities faculty cluster. 

Othering & Belonging Logo

Many of our videos of keynotes and dialogues from the Othering & Belonging Conference are now available online. For those who attended, we would greatly appreciate your feedback—please fill out the short and simple conference evaluation or please share your thoughts on othering and belonging through our Connect page.
May 22

Pacific and Western Disability Studies Symposium: Connecting Disability Studies, Disability Justice, and Disability Arts

University of Washington, Seattle
Susan Schweik, co-leader of the Haas Institute's Disabilites Studies cluster, will give the keynote address at the Pacific and Western Disability Studies Symposium. Her talk, entitled "A Feather in a Hurricane and the Law of Falling Bodies: Disability Research and the Politics of Storytelling," is part of this event examining how disability studies can make connections to allies in other disciplines and across educational institutions, and with disability communities and cultural activism in disability justice. Contact for more information. Lunch will be provided to advanced registrations-see
May 27
Greece: Austerity, Debt, and the European Union Institutions
The Haas Institute will host a brown bag on "Greece: Austerity, Debt, and the European Union Institutions" from 12:00pm - 1:00pm at 460 Stephens Hall.

As austerity in the Euro-zone continues to cause regressive cuts to social programs and the privatization of public enterprises, many working and middle classes (especially in Europe’s peripheries) are experiencing increased unemployment, an erosion of wealth, and suicides. To engage these critical questions, Vassilis Popotas, financial expert, will reflect on the dilemma of the European elite and the European debt crisis. He will address: how the crisis affected Greece; how we can better understand the debt deflation phenomenon; and, the potential outcome of the European crisis.

Call for Submissions for Poster Presentations

On May 29, UC Berkeley Economics Professor Hilary Hoynes is hosting a day-long workshop on “The Future of SNAP? Improving Nutrition Policy to Ensure Health and Food Equity.” This interdisciplinary workshop will summarize research findings on SNAP, identify challenges of current delivery approaches, and address recommended actions relevant for the future of SNAP.Graduate students working in the area of SNAP are invited to submit a paper for the poster session. If selected, you will also be asked to help take notes during the break-out sessions. Applications are due May 15, 2015. To apply, submit a cover letter, CV, and a draft of the paper that will form the basis of the poster (an extended abstract is acceptable if no paper is yet complete) to

Research Assistant in Economic Policy
The Haas Institute is seeking a part-time graduate level research assistant for the summer of 2015 to conduct data analysis of industries, wages, and regional economic structures in California. The RA will work on research related to structure of sectors, industries, and wages at the local, regional, and state level in California. This may include research on regional trends in wage and industrial organization, industry supply chains, Earned Income Tax Credit policy, and minimum wage policy. In addition to research, the RA will also be brought into the planning and coordination of meetings and events involving policy makers, community organizers, and advocates.  Assignments may also include outreach, logistical support, and notetaking during the meetings. See the full job description. To Apply: Send resume, letter of interest (no more than two pages) to

Research Assistant: Law

Berkeley Law professor john a. powell, also Director of the Haas Institute, is seeking to hire two law student research assistants. RAs may work on research regarding: civil rights and human rights, racial and economic segregation, sexual orientation, religion, disability, gender, housing law, questions pertaining to the 14th Amendment, immigration and citizenship. RAs may assist in legal analysis, legal research, preparation of presentations, conferences and other engagements, writing projects including book chapters, journal articles, and bibliographic reviews. Full job description can be found here. To Apply: Send resume, letter of interest (no more than two pages), and writing sample to Alyson Reimer at
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