October 5, 2017
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David Harding traces vicious cycle of imprisonment 

Convicted felons who receive prison sentences are far more likely to end up back behind bars at a later time than those who were handed probation sentences for similar crimes, a new study, co-authored by David Harding, a member of the Haas Institute's Economic Disparities cluster, published this week shows. The study, titled "The short- and long-term effects of imprisonment on future felony convictions and prison admissions," published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences journal, shows a causal relationship between sentencing and the likelihood of future incarceration.

"It's the consequence of going into prison and coming out of prison on parole that increases your probability of going to prison again," Harding said. Listen to a short interview we conducted with Harding about the findings of the study in the link below.

Read a news story about the study here, or view the paper on the journal's website here.

Study reveals racial bias in prison drug treatment 

A study authored by Erin Kerrison, a member of the Haas Institute's Diversity and Health Disparities cluster, was published last month showing racial bias in prison-based drug treatments. The paper, titled "An historical review of racial bias in prison-based substance abuse treatment design," published in the Journal of Offender Rehabilitation, leverages critical race and legal epidemiological frameworks to illustrate the race-based historical evolution of US rehabilitation paradigms directed at imprisoned heroin and opioid users.

What began as a racist early-20th-century federal anti-narcotic trafficking effort has since assumed a state-based treatment agenda whose programmatic operations are largely based in correctional settings disproportionately reserved for poor substance abusers of color. This historical examination demonstrates how links between broader drug policy and prison-based drug treatment support a legally codified white supremacist narrative that erodes health and well-being for program participants of color, and the communities to which they inevitably return.

Read the paper here, and come see Kerrison present on the racial disparities in prison-based drug treatment on October 10 at an event at UC Berkeley here.

'Shared Sacred Sites' exhibit curated by UC Berkeley's Karen Barkey opens in Greece
Interior of museum showing Sacred Sacred Sites banner

Karen Barkey, the endowed chair of the Haas Institute Religious Diversity cluster, was in Thessaloniki, Greece in September to premiere the newest iteration of her project Shared Sacred Sites. The three-venue exhibition was inaugurated by the mayor of Thessaloniki at the Macedonian Museum of Contemporary Art and explores how followers of Islam, Judaism, and Christianity have shared places of worship for thousands of years across the Mediterranean region. The opening included a display at the Macedonian Museum of Contemporary Art which provides an experience that blends anthropological research and contemporary art, a presentation at the Thessaloniki Museum of Photography which offers a visual journey through the diverse geographies and communities of the Mediterranean, and an exhibition at Yeni Cami which provides a historical narrative of Thessaloniki. Read more about the exhibition here and a write-up by the Stavros Niarchos Foundation here. Barkey also chaired a one-day conference the following day featuring an international group of historians, anthropologists, and other scholars and practitioners exploring this field. 


Haas Institute staff contribute to new book on racial inequality

new book focused on understanding racial inequities in the United States includes a chapter co-written by Haas Institute Director john a. powell and Director of our Just Public Finance program Wendy Ake. The book, titled The Hidden Rules of Race: Barriers to an Inclusive Economy, helps readers understand some of the driving forces of racial inequality in the country, and directly addresses questions as to why Black adults own less and have more barriers to voting than whites. The new work also identifies why segregation still exists, more than half a century after Brown v. Board of Education. The chapter "Creating Structural Changes: The Role of Targeted Universalism," was written by Ake and powell. Read more about the book here. Find out more about our work on targeted universalism in our animated video


The Haas Institute's report on Islamophobia published last month was featured in an article on Al Jazeera English earlier this week. Legalizing Othering: The United States of Islamophobia is a major research initiative of the Haas Institute that traces the origins of the contemporary Islamophobia movement in the US and examines its impacts at the state and federal legislative levels. It had previously also been featured in an article by Quartz here, the Middle East Eye here, and The Daily Beast here

Wendy Ake of the Haas Institute's Just Public Finance program was recently interviewed on KPFA about the fiscal and humanitarian crisis in Puerto Rico, a US territory ravaged last month by hurricanes Jose and Maria. In the interview, she talks about the lack of US investment in Puerto Rico exacerbating the island's crisis. "There's a consistent pattern and we would expect [such crises] from places that have been neglected and that have had experience of massive disinvestment, but in the case of Puerto Rico the problem is that there was never significant investment" to begin with, she explains.

Have a listen here.

Our online resource guide to speech

The Haas Institute published an online resource guide that features research, analysis, and perspectives on a wide range of issues related to freedom of speech. The guide includes summaries of articles, legal briefs, and interviews from experts and observers, as well as audio recordings from our director john powell, and a student organizer who reports on the perspectives of her cohorts regarding the appearances of extreme-right speakers on campus. Check out the resource guide here.

How do other countries approach hate speech? A comparative guide

Included in the guide is a new piece examining how other countries approach issues of speech and harm, and strike a balance between free expression and protections against the injurious effects of hate speech. Examining how other Western democracies like Canada and Germany approach hate speech, Haas Institute Communications and Media Specialist Sara Grossman notes that the US remains relatively lax on the issue, arguing that the country has become the "safest space in the world for hate groups to lay roots, cultivate, and thrive." 

Read Sara's comparative analysis on legal approaches to hate speech here.

Why do far-right speakers keep coming to Berkeley?

In an article, Haas Institute Program Manager Eli Moore looks into why far-right speakers keep coming back to UC Berkeley. He describes how the visits, branded as a "free speech" issue, fit into the broader effort by opportunistic political operatives to activate and exploit white racial anxiety and animosity to preserve and expand political power.

"Bringing their incendiary and harmful messages to UC Berkeley, and framing the confrontation as one about free speech, the provocateurs are attempting to retell the story that they are the excluded, truth-telling victims," Moore writes.

Read his perspective here.


Haas Institute launches 'Research to Impact' colloquium series

"Research to Impact" is a new, year-long colloquium series organized by the affiliated faculty of the Haas Institute that aims to share leading-edge research and spark generative exchange and collaboration on issues of diversity and inclusion.

Check out the series page here for more information on upcoming speakers.


Thursday, Oct. 5: The Haas Institute is co-sponsoring a talk by Patrisia Macías-Rojas, a sociologist who teaches at the University of Illinois at Chicago, on her book, From Deportation to Prison: The Politics of Immigration Enforcement in Post-Civil Rights America. Find details here.

Tuesday, Oct. 10: Head of the Haas Institute's Global Justice Program Elsadig Elsheikh will present on Moving Targets: An Analysis of Global Forced Migration, a recent report he co-authored. The title of the talk is "A European refugee crisis or a humanity crisis?" Find out more here.

Tuesday, Oct. 10: The latest in the Thinking Ahead discussion series will feature Cristina Mora, Associate Professor of Sociology at UC Berkeley, who will speak on "Making 'Hispanics:' How Activists, Bureaucrats, and Media Constructed a New American."

Watch a teaser of the talk here. RSVP for the event here.

Friday, Oct. 20: Erin Kerrison, an assistant professor of Social Welfare at UC Berkeley and member of the Haas Institute's Diversity and Health Disparities cluster, will give a talk on “The Costs and Benefits of an Addiction Diagnosis: A Critical Look at Racial Disparities in Prison-Based Drug Treatment Rhetoric Buy-In.” More details on the event here.

Oct. 20 - 22:  Bioneers Conference, San Rafael, CA. Director john a. powell and Senior Fellows Victor Pineda and Sonali Sangeeta Balajee will speak at Bioneers and the Haas Institute will have a table at the conference with copies of our Journal and other publications. Details below and on the Bioneers website.

Friday, Oct. 20: At 11:00 am, Victor Pineda will provide a keynote address on Radical Inclusion: Cities, Technology and the Power of Inclusive Thinking. At 2:45 pm, Victor will be on the panel Digital Inclusivity and Urban Resilience in the Global South, and Sonali S. Balajee will speak on the panel Radical Organizing: Successful Strategies to Transform Institutions and Systems

Sunday, Oct. 22: At 11:30 am, john a. powell will provide a keynote address on the topic of Co-Creating Alternative Spaces to Heal, along with Bioneers founders Kenny Ausubel and Nina Simons. At 2:45 pm, john powell, Heather McGhee of Demos, author and organizer Jonathan Smucker and artist and strategist Connie Cagampang Heller will speak on the panel "Reclaiming Belonging: Is Resistance Enough?"

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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