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Simple, graphic map showing the legislation across the country that target Muslims

New Database Exposes and Tracks anti-Muslim Legislation Across the US

Last week we released a new searchable, public database of anti-Muslim bills designed to institutionalize the exclusion of Muslims from society, and the state legislators across the country who supported the bills. The release of our United States of Islamophobia Database comes as the Islamophobia movement receives further momentum with President Donald Trump’s recent picks of figures noted for their anti-Muslim views for high-level posts, and as the Supreme Court signalled it may rule in favor of Trump’s travel ban mostly targeting Muslim-majority countries, widely known as the “Muslim Ban.”

The database includes detailed information on 216 bills introduced in 43 state legislatures since 2010 that sought to ban “Sharia law,” or a set of guiding principles, from being considered in US courts. In many of the states where anti-Sharia bills were introduced, such as Mississippi, which alone introduced 20 bills, Muslims only account for a fraction of a percent of the population. 

Our analysis shows that the bills were put forth with the intention to exacerbate an already-hostile climate of fear of Muslims and to further institutionalize and legalize their exclusion from society. These findings were documented in the Haas Institute’s “Legalizing Othering: The United States of Islamophobia” report published last September.

"The scrutiny of US state legislation intentionally targeting Muslims—whether introduced, failed, or enacted—is vitally important to understanding a new wave of Islamophobia sweeping the country,” lead researcher and Legalizing Othering co-author Elsadig Elsheikh noted. “Our research finds that this effort is well-financed and highly organized,” added Elsheikh, who heads our Global Justice Program.

Explore the database here and read the full press release here.

Exposing racially-disparate impacts of prison drug treatment programs

Erin M. Kerrison, an affiliated faculty member from our Diversity and Health Disparities research cluster, wrote a new piece for on how prison drug treatment programs too often fail inmates of color. The piece highlights the role of “Therapeutic Communities”  in prison drug addiction treatment, whose success, Kerrison argues, “seems to depend on the race of the participants.” While her research found that these programs seemed to have positive impacts for white inmates—including a certificate of rehabilitation that could be shown to future employers or landlords—the same was not true for Black inmates. “For white graduates, the certificate served as a badge,” Kerrison writes. “For Black graduates, the certificate lingered as a foul stain.” To underscore this point, Kerrison highlights the difference in empathy afforded to white opioid users versus that which was offered to Black users in prior decades.

Also: Watch Erin Kerrison talk as part of our Research to Impact where she discusses similar themes.

Awards and Accolades

Our Senior Fellow Richard Rothstein has been named the winner of the 2018 Prize for Book Journalism in Service of the Common Good from the Sidney Hillman Foundation for his groundbreaking book, The Color of Law: A Forgotten History of How Our Government Segregated America. Rothstein is a nationally-renowned scholar on segregation, specifically as it relates to education and housing. The Color of Law rigorously dismantles the myth that segregation in the US is the result of individual prejudices as Rothstein demonstrates that policies at the local, state, and federal levels intentionally created the racialized geographic boundaries US cities still struggle with today.

Congratulations to two of our Fellows, one current and one former, who are recipients of the prestigious 2018 Paul & Daisy Soros Fellowship for New Americans. Joel Sati, a law student at UC Berkeley, and Natalia Reyes, a current MFA candidate at the University of Iowa and former communications fellow with the Haas Institute, are just two of the 30 “New Americans”—immigrants and children of immigrants—selected for the fellowship. Read more.

Blueprint for a California Where All Belong

In case you missed it, we've launched a new web hub for the Blueprint for Belonging project in California—explore some of the content below or browse the site to find more.
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Media & More

Hilary Hoynes, Distinguished Chair of the Haas Institute’s Economic Disparities research cluster, won a “Best Paper” award from the American Economic Association. In “Income, the Earned Income Tax Credit, and Infant Health,” Hoynes and co-authors Doug Miller and David Simon evaluate the impact of the Earned Income Tax Credit on infant health outcomes.The authors argue that the health benefits of non-health programs, such as this tax credit, should be taken into account when discussing US social safety net programs.

Researcher Eli Moore from our California Community Partnerships program was a recent guest on on the podcast “Let Me Clear My Throat” discussing his research on the national affordable housing crisis. More locally, he discussed the housing issues facing Richmond, California and shed light on the perils of unequal growth in communities and how those committed to the values of a more inclusive society can take action to affect change. Listen here.

Haas Institute director john a. powell sat down for a conversation with PolicyLink CEO Angela Glover Blackwell at the recent closing session of PolicyLink's Equity Summit 2018 in Chicago. Asked about the meaning of solidarity, john discussed what true solidarity means from his perspective, along with the role of unconscious biases in our decisions that may affect our actions in that regards. Using a poignant story about his sister and father, john said that true solidarity means taking action not for another person—”for you”—but for the collective—“for us.” Watch a video of their talk.

Upcoming Events

TOMORROW!  Thurs, May 3: The US Partnership on Mobility from Poverty will be hosting a day-long conference, called "Dramatically Increasing Mobility from Poverty," which will include a keynote by Haas Institute Director john a. powell, and talks by Ai-jen Poo, Raj Chetty, and more. Read more here.

May 21-23: Staying Power fellow Sasha Graham and Eli Moore, Program Manager of the Haas Institute’s California Community Partnerships, will be leading two workshops on narrative and policy strategies for equitable housing at the ArtPlace Annual Summit in Louisville, KY. 

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