group shot of Haas ~Institute faculty

Haas Institute faculty present policy recommendations for a more inclusive society 

{New: Video recording is now available of this event!}

On Sept. 21, the Haas Institute hosted "Towards Equity in Policy and Pedagogy" where Institute-affiliated faculty members presented new policy briefs and their perspectives on advancing equity and belonging across a range of themes. A panel of more than 12 renowned Berkeley scholars presented on their thematic clusters' research agenda and on new work that has developed out of each cluster. Haas Institute Associate Director Denise Herd facilitated the following discussion among the faculty:
  • Professors Karen Nakamura and Susan Schweik from the Disability Studies cluster discussed the rights of parents with disabilities and their children, and actions at the state-level that need to occur to protect those rights; 
  • Taeku Lee and Cybelle Lee of the Diversity and Democracy cluster discussed recent work on voter engagement from the lens of representation, identity, and increasing mobilization;
  • Osagie Obasogie and Mahasin Mujahid of the Health Disparities cluster presented work on how place profoundly affects health disparities in neighborhoods;
  • Sonia Katyal, the new endowed chair of the LGBTQ Citizenship cluster, discussed that cluster's new policy brief on bathroom access and current legal efforts around creating a more gender inclusive society, especially for trans individuals;
  • Chair of Religious Diversities Karen Barkey and graduate student Grace Goudiss discussed the cluster's new teaching tool on religious diversity in the US in the context of the country's historical narratives;
  • Jovan Lewis and chair Hilary Hoynes from Economic Disparities talked about the scholarship their cluster in engaged in to respond to rising economic inequality and ways to go beyond data to humanize and center the lived experiences of those affected by extreme poverty and inequality; and,
  • Janelle Scott, the new endowed chair of the Race, Diversity and Educational Policy cluster, discussed cluster faculty research that is responding to educational inequality by directly addressing race and social class disparities.
The event ended with a discussion among faculty of these themes and questions from the audience.  The entire event was video recorded, watch it here. View all the faculty briefs here.
Osagie Obasogie speaks on a panel during the Faculty Cluster event. To his right is Denise Herd, and to his left are Karen Barkey and Janelle Scott

Opening the Door to Rent Control

Image of report cover and inside page on NBC Bay Area

"Housing is a locus of opportunity and is really about access to good schools and good jobs, to healthy and safe neighborhoods, to community and support networks. And also to wealth and upward mobility."

Those comments were from the Haas Institute's Nicole Montojo, a housing researcher who presented a new publication on rent control  and comprehensive housing reform that she co-authored at an event in downtown Oakland on September 19. During the public forum, Nicole gave her analysis on "Opening the Door for Rent Control: Toward a Comprehensive Approach to Protecting California's Renters," along with Stephen Barton, former Housing Director for the city of Berkeley, who co-authored the report. Other speakers at the event included a Helen Duffy, a retired educator and current West Oakland landlord, and Merika Reagan, East Oakland tenant. 

The report and its analysis has garnered considerable media attention with more than a dozen news articles and broadcasts, including NBC Bay Area, KTVU, the San Francisco Chronicle, the LA Times, the Silicon Valley Business Journal, the Santa Cruz Sentinel, the OC Register, and others. Find excerpts from the articles and links to the full pieces on this page.
In related news: In a new blog post by Haas Institute researcher EJ Toppin pokes holes in the arguments commonly used by opponents of rent control. "The consensus of the research that rent control does more harm than good doesn’t actually reflect the conclusiveness of a neutral body of analyses. It derives from an emphasis on the interests of the well-resourced and simultaneous overlooking of the weight carried by those already pushed to society’s edge," EJ writes. Read the full piece here.

In case you missed it, the Haas Institute launched a new podcast anchored in a central question: Who Belongs? 

The pilot episode of Who Belongs? features disability rights activist and wheelchair designer Ralf Hotchkiss about his work to improve accessibility worldwide. And Episode One features Gordon Whitman of Faith in Action (formerly PICO), who discussed with host Marc Abizeid ideas from his new book Stand Up: How to Get Involved, Speak Out, and Win in a World on Fire. 

All episodes of Who Belongs? will be archived here.

In The News

Director john a. powell discusses new ways to think about citizenship in a new piece published on Open Canada. "People need a place of belonging and also need to be able to move," john wrote. "We need engagement with each other and with the land. We also need to be free... We need to have citizenship and nation-states that are in service to people, not just credit, capital, and stuff." Read john's reflection on citizenship here.
Hilary Hoynes, chair of our Economic Disparities faculty cluster, was quoted in a New York Times article entitled "Is California a Good Role Model?". "It is very clear that it is housing costs that drive up poverty in California,” Hoynes was quoted as saying. Read the piece.
Findings from the Haas Institute's Islamophobia database were cited in a New York Times op-ed entitled, "The Latest Attack on Islam: It’s Not a Religion." Read the article.
A speech by Jabari Mahiri, member of our Race, Diversity, and Educational Policy faculty research cluster, was covered in The Diamondback, the University of Maryland newspaper. Mahiri was a speaking about race in popular media as part of a series hosted by the Baha'i Chair for World Peace, an academic program in the university's College of Behavioral and Social Sciences that hosts lectures on topics like gender in politics and structural racism. Read the recap.


Oct. 3, 2018: Public screening of the film JINN, with Oakland Director Nijla Mu'min. The film centers on Summer, a carefree teen whose mother abruptly converts to Islam and becomes a different person. At first resistant to the faith, Summer begins to reevaluate her identity while falling for a Muslim classmate. As she and Tahir build a connection, a budding sexual attraction ignites, causing conflict between physical desire and piety. Learn more.
Oct. 16, 2018: Artist Talk with Barbershop Chronicles playwright Inua Ellams. Presented in association with the UC Berkeley Multicultural Community Center and in cooperation with the Haas Institute for a Fair and Inclusive Society. A 2018/19 Season Berkeley RADICAL Citizenship event. Free and open to the public and ADA accessible. Learn more.
Oct. 25, 2018: Citizenship community dialogue with cast members of Barbershop Chronicles. This event event will feature a dialogue with the actors from a Cal Performance production of Barbershop Chronicles, which runs October 26-28 at Zellerbach Hall on the UC Berkeley campus. It will also include a short video clip from the production. Attend the dialogue.
flier for Family Separations event
Oct. 26, 2018: 
Family Separations: Beyond Violence Histories to Building Belonging. This event will present diverse perspectives on the political, legal, social, economic, and health impacts of historic and current family separations in US immigration and incarceration systems, and will identify and discuss alternative strategies to advocating for inclusive policy in order to advance belonging and build community. Join us.
Nov. 3, 2018: Citizenship Public Forum: The Journeys of Belonging. Jordi Savall's far-ranging program pays tribute to the enormous contributions of enslaved Africans to world culture. This public forum features an artist talk with Savall, a musical activity led by vocal activist Melanie DeMore, and a panel discussion exploring how outsider/subversive culture becomes part of the public sphere; how music is a key to how people understand each other; and, in the words of Jordi Savall, “What we share is more than what divides us.” Learn more.
See all upcoming and past events here.

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The Haas Institute is looking to fill the following positions:

Find all our job openings posted on this page

Othering & Belonging 2019

The next Othering & Belonging Conference will be held April 8–10, 2019 in Oakland. Registration is now open! 
colorful image with watercolor background announcing dates of next Othering & Belonging conference April 8-10, 2019
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