September 7, 2017
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Protesters outside the White denounce plans to end DACA

Two Haas Institute fellows, both DACA recipients, weigh in on this week's DACA announcement, and Haas Institute joins racial justice orgs in denouncing decision

"Keep the fire within you lit"

In a moving and eloquent post responding to the announcement that the Trump administration intends to do away with DACA, former Haas Institute summer fellow Kemi Bello notes that the move is consistent with the White House's record this year of policies that exclude, antagonize, and scapegoat marginalized communities. A DACA recipient, Bello says the news comes not as a shock, "but as an unfortunate confirmation that it is the very character, humanity, and worth of immigrants that is under question, not simply our contributions or our ability to pay taxes." And while lamenting the course the current administration has put the country on, Bello says ending DACA should prompt defiance, not despair. "Your best revenge today is not only to survive, but to thrive and to take up space and to love and to fight for others and to keep the fire within you lit, no matter how heavy the rain, as its own act of resistance," she writes. Read Kemi's perspective here.

Washington Post op-ed: Pitting 'good' immigrants vs 'bad' ones: DACA's inherent flaws

Joel Sati, one of our current research assistants, used the news of the DACA being cancelled to expose the inherent flaws of the program. In an opinion piece for the Washington Post, Sati notes that the inception of DACA several years ago created two categories of undocumented immigrants: those worth keeping, and those who should be deported. "In addition to exceptionalizing a few of us, DACA essentially threw non-DREAMer immigrants under the bus, and now the policy has been exposed as an abject political failure," Sati writes. Sati, a beneficiary of DACA, says he is not against the program or the efforts to retain it, but believes stronger policies should be instituted to address the larger issue of immigration that don't criminalize or exclude the millions of other undocumented immigrants in the country. He writes: "Our movement must make a fundamental shift in how we frame our experience in the struggle for substantive immigration protections." Read Joel's piece here.

Haas Institute Joins Racial Equity Orgs Responding to DACA Decision

The Haas Institute joined 10 other human and civil rights organizations to denounce the Trump administration's announcement to end the DACA program, which has given 800,000 undocumented youths the chance to live and study in the US by shielding them from deportation. In a statement, the groups warned that "ending DACA threatens recipients with deportation from the only country most have ever known, while precluding hundreds of thousands of others who may be eligible but have not applied from ever obtaining relief." Signatories to the statement also include the Advancement Project, National Congress of American Indians, PICO National Network, UnidosUS, Race Forward, and others. Click here to read the full statement.
Cover of Unfair Shares reportThe San Francisco Business Times covered a recent report published by the Haas Institute on the disparate allocation of low- and middle-income housing. The report, titled "Unfair Shares," shows that whiter Bay Area cities have been less committed to building housing for poorer residents than cities that are more racially diverse. “There’s no doubt that there are some jurisdictions that frankly don't want to build more housing,” the article quotes study co-author Heather Bromfield as saying.

The LA Times had also reported on Unfair Shares in an exclusive, pre-publication piece found here. Read the press release about the report here.


The Atlantic recently cited a study co-authored by UC Berkeley's Emmanuel Saez, a leading economist and member of the Haas Institute's Economic Disparities research cluster. The article, titled "The Myth of American Universities as Inequality-Fighters," cites a study co-authored by four other researchers published over the summer that used data on 30 million university students from 1999 to 2014 to show that elite universities in the country "are largely closed to the poor, merely helping well-off students remain well-off." Read the article here.

In an interview last month with NPR's "Code Switch" podcast, Cristina Mora, a sociologist at UC Berkeley and member of the Haas Institute's Diversity and Democracy cluster, talked about how Latino rights groups lobbied the federal government in the 1970s to create a separate category in the US Census form for counting Latinos and Hispanics. At the time, they were counted as whites. Listen to the interview here.

Our Director john a. powell spent an hour with KQED's Scott Shafer for a special one-hour radio interview responding to the right-wing protests and counter demonstrations in Berkeley organized against the backdrop of the violence in Charlottesville. Asked what he believed was the message of the right-wing protests, powell said they were meant to provoke confrontation and draw attention to their movements.

"The far right—neo-Nazis, white supremacists—they're coalescing around Trump. They're saying, 'This is our country. We're going to take our country back'," powell said. "In many ways they are antithetical to what Berkeley and much of the Bay Area represents. They are antithetical to what much of America represented before Donald Trump." Listen to the full interview on KQED's website here.


Upcoming Events

Friday, Sept. 8: Haas Institute Director john a. powell is set to participate in a faculty panel moderated by UC Berkeley Chancellor Carol Christ this Friday, September 8, for students, faculty, and staff to hear various viewpoints on the issue of free speech in the 21st century. An open Q&A period will follow. More details here.

Thursday, Sept. 14: Come hear planner Karen Trapenberg Frick talk about how digital era activists are using new tools to develop unusual coalitions to engage in infrastructure and city planning. The event is the latest installment of our "Thinking Ahead" speaker series. Read more about it here.

Sunday, Oct. 22: powell will also provide a keynote address and lead a workshop at the three-day National Bioneers Conference in San Rafael. powell's keynote will be on the topic of "Co-Creating Alternative Spaces to Heal" where he will explore how we can better understand the spaces we currently inhabit and strategize to co-create alternative spaces where healing can begin. His workshop will examine what it will take to build a society where a collective “we” is more inclusive and more just, not only in name, but in practice. More details here.

Check out our events page for all upcoming events organized by the Haas Institute or where our staff and students are speaking and participating. 


After Charlottesville, we need action, not condemnation

Haas Institute research assistant, a member of our 2017 Summer Fellowship program, EJ Toppin has penned a blog post in response to Charlottesville that challenges whites in America to acknowledge they are the beneficiaries of the historic actions and policies of white supremacists and their allies in government. While many reacted in shock to the events in Charlottesville, Toppin argues that white supremacist violence should come as no surprise to those who study and understand their aims. Toppin points out that we live in a country that remains residentially segregated because of a racist legacy shaped by white supremacists who sought to create polished, white-only neighborhoods, while blacks were left in dilapidated housing projects. "For those who saw Charlottesville as a wake-up call, was it disturbing enough to act, or a fleeting interruption to the slumber of the status-quo?" Toppin asks. Read EJ's blog post here.

Other Haas Institute commentary on Charlottesville include the following:

  • In a widely-shared statement john a. powell penned following Charlottesville, he expounded on the legacy of the Republicans' Southern Strategy of playing on racial bias to woo white voters, to its current shift: "What were once coded messages are now explicit, loud, and clear, and are coming from those in the highest positions of political power." Read powell’s blog post here.
  • The Haas Institute's Gerald Lenoir wrote a perspective piece challenging all Americans to declare with which side they stand: with torch-bearing neo-Nazis or with the multi-racial crowds marching for social justice. "This is a watershed moment to take stock of the unfinished business of the Civil Rights revolution and to resist the return of a mass fascist movement in the US." Read Gerald's piece here.
  • In a long-form radio discussion with KPFA’s "Letters and Politics" program, powell discusses racial politics in the US, the events in Charlottesville, the current battles over free speech, and his thoughts on who gets to narrate and control the public stories about US history. Listen to the KPFA interview here.

The UC Global Food Initiative is accepting applications for a graduate fellowship in equity and inclusion, a collaborative project involving the Haas Institute. Entering its third year, the project aims to improve campus climate through addressing the barriers and possibilities for greater equity, diversity, and inclusion in the UC Berkeley food system, including in academics and educational programming, student-led initiatives, and campus operations. Applicants must be enrolled graduate students at UC Berkeley. The application deadline is this Sunday, September 10. Read more about the fellowship and how to apply here.


A major housing program in California may see new changes to provide better opportunities for families as a result of collaboration between the Haas Institute and a housing task force convened by two state agencies. The California Tax Credit Allocation Committee (TCAC) and the California Department of Housing and Community Development (HCD) brought together the task force in February to identify an appropriate data-driven tool for measuring and mapping opportunity within the state. Read the full press release about this program here, or view more maps on the TCAC website here.

graphic for Kerner Commission at 50 conference

From #BlackLivesMatter to Supreme Court decisions, issues of race, segregation, inequality, the legacy of slavery, and who belongs to America and who America belongs to, is just as salient today as it was 50 years ago. 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 fifty years after the release of the historic Kerner Commission Report. Follow the conference webpage for all announcements on speakers, registration, and other details. The event will take place on the UC Berkeley campus.

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