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flier for the "Toward Belonging" series

Announcing "Toward Belonging," a new initiative and dialogue series

Today we're announcing the launch of a new initiative called "Toward Belonging" we've formed with our European partners, which will include a monthly online dialogue series. The partners include More in Common, Counterpoint UK, Sciences Po University in Paris, and Queen Mary University of London. For the past year, we've been working in Europe with these organizations and other social change advocates to connect work across geography and mount a challenge to rising authoritarianism, widening inequality, and a politics based on exclusion and division.

Our first of the monthly digital dialogue sessions will take place on Tuesday, June 16 between members of the Toward Belonging partnership and a Q&A with the audience. Join leading scholars and changemakers Catherine Fieschi, john a. powell, and Mathieu Lefevre to hear about possibilities of belonging in Europe and the US, how Covid-19 is shaping new community responses and dynamics, and where we can go from here—better, together, toward belonging. Learn more about this initiative.
Cover image of the Taking Count report

Study: Half the Bay Area unable to pay bills before Covid

Earlier this month we released the results of a year-long study on poverty in the Bay Area conducted in partnership with Tipping Point Community that revealed that 50 percent of residents were unable to pay bills over the course of a year, and that was before the pandemic hit. The results of the "Taking Count" study provide a comprehensive look at the scale of economic inequality, racial disparities, and the hardships millions face in the region. The study indicates that 17 percent of Bay Area residents are living in poverty, as opposed to the 10 percent calculated using the federal poverty line. Read "Taking Count" here, and see coverage of the study in the East Bay Times.

Blog: What if we grounded our societies in love?

What would our societies have looked like had we rooted them in love, rather than organized them around market logic where compassion, empathy and communal well-being are given a back seat? In a new blog post, staff researcher EJ Toppin links many of the problems in our society to a system that regards our relationships as economic transactions, and imagines another way forward. He writes: "If we are to construct a society where everyone’s equality is recognized – a society of true belonging – it will take the embracing of love as a practice. We can then build economic and political systems around this core." Read EJ's blog.
Headshots of the 10 summer fellows for 2020

Welcoming our 2020 summer fellows, and new researcher

Last week we welcomed a new cohort of 10 summer fellows who are now working (remotely) alongside Institute staff on a variety of projects over the 3-month duration of the program designed to help train and engage with the next generation of researchers and future community leaders committed to social and racial justice. Learn more about this year's cohort and their summer projects on this page.

Miriam's headshotAlso this month we welcomed Miriam Magaña Lopez as the newest member of the Institute's Network for Transformative Change. Miriam's work has primarily focused on understanding how economic, political and social structures impact the health of immigrant farm workers. She was recently featured on our podcast to discuss the situation in which immigrants face ICE raids despite the pandemic.

News & Media

Our recent research brief calling for rent and mortgage cancellation during the Covid-19 crisis was featured in a San Francisco Chronicle article entitled "When eviction protections are lifted, how will people afford to pay accumulated rent?"
Michigan Radio covered our research on racial disparities among those infected and dying of Covid-19. Michigan was ranked as the fourth most racially disparate state when it comes to virus deaths and sixth in racial disparities in infection rates.
Our bridging framework was mentioned in a recent Stanford Social Innovation Review article. "With species extinction, climate change-fueled weather catastrophes, and social and economic inequalities on the rise, the Global North is becoming increasingly practiced at turning away from each other...Yet there is a common antidote: turning toward, engaging across difference, and promoting true belonging through what john a. powell calls 'bridging.'"
Faculty scholar and medical historian Elena Conis co-authored an article in BusinessWorld, entitled, "What to expect when a coronavirus vaccine finally arrives."  
Faculty scholar Jason Corburn was quoted in a recent Wired article about how smart urban planning could slow future pandemics. Corburn recommends "placing cities’ highest budget, best designed, most beautiful new projects in the poorest, most neglected areas."
Faculty scholar Jesse Rothstein was quoted in an SF Chronicle article, "Californians who refuse work because of coronavirus may still get unemployment benefits."
Faculty scholar Tianna Paschel was quoted in the LA Times commenting on a new UC Berkeley poll finding that most Californians believe that Covid-19 is increasing inequality. "More surprising, she said, is that Latinos were the least likely to believe that blacks were disproportionately affected, with only 18% strongly agreeing, and 27% somewhat agreeing." 
Zainab Ramahi, a Coblentz fellow who works with the Institute's Global Justice Program, published an article in the California Law Review, called "The Muslim Ban Cases: A Lost Opportunity for the Court and a Lesson for the Future."

Upcoming Events

Tomorrow (May 28):
Narrative and Belonging: Conversations on Transformation. Please join us tomorrow for a discussion about Narrative and Belonging. This event is part of a series of curated conversations about different aspects of transformation: of ourselves (I), our societies (We), and our systems (World), to co-create a world where everyone belongs. This event features:
June 16: Toward Belonging: Digital Dialogues. Join us June 16 for the first in a series of digital conversations focused on how we can work together Toward Belonging to realize more fair and just societies, care for our planet, and societies where there is no “them,” only a new and bigger “we.”

Job Opportunities

The following positions are open to UC Berkeley graduate students: Visit this page to see all job openings
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