November 2, 2017
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How bridging humanizes others and creates conditions to solve problems

In this short, new video, our director john powell talks about the concept of bridging - engaging with people outside of our own familiar groups, including with those who hold opposing political views. powell believes that when people who don't share exactly the same political persuasions engage with each other, the tendency is to focus only on policy before looking more deeply to see if they actually share the same end goals. This often creates the perception that they want different things, when that is not always the case.

The interview focuses on powell's recent experience reaching across the aisle with Arthur Brooks, the head of the conservative American Enterprise Institute, to co-author an article featured in CityLab, in which they emphasize the limitations of addressing poverty in America. powell and Brooks are both members of the US Partnership on Mobility from Poverty, and both are sincere in their desire to end poverty. "We disagree on how to do that," powell says, "but I think both of us are interested in facts and science, so we can be convinced. It's not just an ideological position."  When you bridge you can create fertile ground to begin addressing the problems you want to solve, powell says. 

Watch the video or read a transcript of the interview here. Read the piece on poverty he co-authored with Arthur Brooks here.


Haas Institute staff bring belonging framework to Bioneers

john a. powell

Carrying his message of belonging to the 28th Bioneers Conference in San Rafael, California last month, Haas Institute Director john a. powell urged an audience of hundreds of people who packed into a large auditorium to focus on compassion, our shared humanity, and reshaping structures to create spaces in which no one is left out. In an October 22 keynote address on "Co-Creating Alternative Spaces to Heal" on the last day of the three-day gathering, powell laid out the challenge before us as one of moving "from an exclusionary society, to an integrated society, to an inclusive society, to a belonging society," an admittedly difficult task considering the tense political climate and deep-seated divisions in our country.

Read a write-up of powell's remarks here.

Sonali Sangeeta Balajee

Sonali Sangeeta Balajee, a Senior Fellow at the Haas Institute, shared some of her ideas on the intertwining of health, spirituality, and belonging as a participant on a panel at the Bioneers Conference on October 22 that looked at "Radical Organizing: Successful Strategies to Transform Institutions and Systems." There, she spoke about the 13 years she worked with the Government Alliance on Race and Equity in Portland, as well as her fellowship research with the Haas Institute. The panel examined ways of organizing that bring about deep, systemic change, as opposed to traditional forms of campaigning for singular issues or candidates.

Listen to an interview with Balajee after the panel where she discusses topics of her work on spirituality and belonging here.

Victor Pineda

Senior Fellow Victor Pineda, who heads the organization World Enabled, gave a keynote at the Bioneers Conference on "Radical Inclusion: Cities, Technology and the Power of Inclusive Thinking" on October 20. In his remarks, Pineda challenged the audience to work collaboratively to try to solve some of the most pressing problems in our society. "I think all of us can do more when we work together," he said. "I believe that there are no problems that are impossible if we have an imagination to look beyond what is apparent, and we imagine a new future." He participated in a panel discussion at the conference later in the day on "Digital Inclusivity and Urban Resilience in the Global South."

powell and Pineda were both honored at a Bioneers Awards dinner on October 21 for their work towards inclusion. Full-length video and/or audio recordings of powell, Balajee, and Pineda's keynotes and panel discussions will be available in the coming days, and will be posted on our website, here.


Yale professor opens Research to Impact series with talk on consent

In a provocative, inaugural talk to the Haas Institute's new "Research to Impact" colloquium series, Joseph Fischel, an associate professor of Women’s, Gender, & Sexuality Studies at Yale University, borrowed themes from his forthcoming book, to be titled, Screw Consent: Horses & Corpses, Kink & Cannibals, to critique traditional approaches and laws governing sex, pleasure, and harm. He began his October 19 talk by presenting legal cases involving atypical cases of sex involving bestiality, necrophilia, and cannibalism to probe the limits of consent as a sufficient standard for considering sexual justice. 

A video, write-up and full transcript of the talk are available here.

Race and rehab: Disparities in prison drug treatment programs

In the second installment of the Research to Impact series, Erin Kerrison from UC Berkeley's School of Social Welfare, presented on “The Costs and Benefits of an addiction Diagnosis: A Critical Look at Racial Disparities in Prison-Based Drug Treatment Rhetoric Buy-in.” Drawing from her research in legal epidemiology, and critical race and disabilities studies, Kerrison’s talk focused on how the legal system—its institutions, personnel, and treatment modalities—impact the lives of racial minorities in ways that are often harmful.

A summary, video, and transcript of the talk can be accessed here

The next Research to Impact series talks are:

Nov. 17 - Jovan Lewis of UC Berkeley
Dec. 1 - Paul Frymer of Princeton University
Dec. 8 -  Elizabeth Alexander of Columbia University

Read more about each event and speaker on the series page here.


Senior fellow Victor Pineda was interviewed last month by the magazine Cities Today, which looks at sustainable urban development and other issues around city planning. In the interview, Pineda talks about a new toolkit called "Smart cities for all" developed to help cities overcome the digital divide and be more accessible to those with disabilities, and older folks.

Check out the interview here.

A policy proposal co-authored by three UC Berkeley faculty members, including two members of the Haas Institute's Economic Disparities cluster, Hilary Hoynes and Jesse Rothstein, was featured in an article in Pacific Standard magazine, which focuses on social problems and remedies to them. The policy proposal makes the case for expanding Earned Income Tax Credit by 10 percent to help working-class Americans.

Read the article here, or view the policy proposal here.
Researchers Heather Bromfield and Eli Moore from the Haas Institute's California Community Partnerships program co-authored a piece in Medium last month on how municipality control of housing developments and lax enforcement of California's "fair share" legislation designed to mandate the construction of low income housing units across the state, including in affluent areas, is obstructing efforts to address the housing crisis. The article is based on a recent report Bromfield and Moore authored called "Unfair Shares."

Read their piece here, and the Unfair Shares report here.


Thursday, Nov. 9: Jonathan Smucker, organizer, sociologist, and author of Hegemony How-to: A Roadmap for Radicals, will speak at the next Thinking Ahead event in Oakland about lessons he has learned from organizing during Occupy Wall Street, to his current work in his hometown of Lancaster, PA. More info on that talk here, and watch a teaser here.

Friday, Nov. 17: Jovan Scott Lewis, an economic anthropologist from UC Berkeley, is set to speak on "Reparations, Deferral, and the Promissory of Poverty." Read more about this talk here.
Friday, Dec. 1: Paul Frymer, professor of Politics and the Director of the Program in Law and Public Affairs at Princeton University, will speak on "The Politics of Mass Deportation in the United States: State Authority, Public Activism, and Government Removal Policies Targeting Native Americans and African Americans in the 19th Century." Details here.
graphic for Kerner Commission at 50 conference

On February 27–March 1, 2018, the Haas Institute is organizing and hosting The Kerner Commission at 50, a conference that will explore race, segregation, and inequality 50 years after the release of the historic Kerner Commission Report. Former US Senator Fred Harris, the only surviving member of the Kerner Commission, is set to participate in the conference. Follow the conference webpage for all announcements on speakers, registration, and other details. The event will take place on the UC Berkeley campus with a satellite event in Washington, D.C.

Our work advancing a fair and inclusive society is more pressing than ever before. If you can help support our work, please consider making a donation to the Haas Institute. Thank you!
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