We're excited to announce our first lineup of speakers and performers for our 2021 Othering & Belonging conference!
Our biennial O&B conferences are dynamic and uniquely-curated gatherings that advance cutting-edge scholarship, narratives, movements, systems, and policies that support a fully inclusive “we.” This year's conference will take place October 18-19 and be virtually accessible, and for the first time will include live-Spanish translation.
The theme this year is focused on the notion of risk. What would you be willing to risk to bridge across the deep rifts that characterize our world in order to join forces for good? Would you risk an uncomfortable conversation, pushback from your own “side,” or the possibility of having to share limited resources? More importantly, what could you gain by moving from a politics of isolation to one of belonging? What could we all gain if we had the courage to bridge? And what could we lose if we don't?
Join us as our speakers answer these and other questions at O&B 2021.
Here's a peek at some of the speakers who will be joining us in October, with many more to be announced soon!
Medicine woman gina Breedlove is a sound healer, vocalist, composer, actor, & author from Brooklyn, NY. gina began her walk with spirit and music at age 9. singing and sounding with the mothers of her holy roller baptist meets pentecost church, in Apalachicola, Fla. She is from brackish water and beings that lay hands and sound to heal and move energy.
john a. powell is an internationally recognized expert in the areas of civil rights, civil liberties, structural racism, housing, poverty, and democracy. john is the Director of the Othering & Belonging Institute and holds the Robert D. Haas Chancellor’s Chair in Equity and Inclusion. He is also a Professor of Law, African American Studies, and Ethnic Studies at UC Berkeley.
Judith Butler is a Professor in the Department of Comparative Literature and the Program of Critical Theory at the University of California, Berkeley. She is the author of more than a dozen books translated into more than 27 languages. She served as a founding director, with Martin Jay, of the Critical Theory Program and the International Consortium of Critical Theory Programs at UC Berkeley.
ALOK (they/them) is a gender non-conforming writer & performance artist who was recently featured in HuPo's “Culture Shifters '21” List. Their distinctive style and poetic challenge to the gender binary has been internationally renowned. ALOK uses poetry, prose, comedy, performance, design, and portraiture to explore themes of eugenics, trauma, belonging, and the human condition.
Loretta J. Ross is a Professor at Smith College in the Program for the Study of Women and Gender where she teaches courses on white supremacy, human rights, and calling in the calling out culture. Loretta was the National Coordinator of the SisterSong Women of Color Reproductive Justice Collective (2005-2012) and co-created the theory of Reproductive Justice.
Arlie Hochschild is a UC Berkeley sociology professor emerita. Her books include The Second Shift, The Managed Heart, Global Woman, (co-edited) and most recently, Strangers in Their Own Land: Anger and Mourning on the American Right, a 2016 New York Times best seller and finalist for the National Book Award. She is currently collaborating on a documentary on the Tea Party and race.
Dr. Eboo Patel is one of America’s foremost experts on religious diversity and bridgebuilding. He is founder and president of IFYC, the largest interfaith organization in North America, and served on President Obama’s inaugural Faith Council. For twenty years, Eboo has worked with governments, social sector organizations and private companies on interfaith cooperation.
Amanda Ripley is a NYT bestselling author and an investigative journalist who writes about human behavior and change for the Atlantic, the Washington Post and others. She is the author of High Conflict: Why We Get Trapped and How We Get Out, TheSmartest Kids in the World--and How They Got That Way and The Unthinkable: Who Survives When Disaster Strikes, and Why.
Albert Samaha is an investigative journalist, Inequality Editor at BuzzFeed News, and author of two books: Never Ran, Never Will: Boyhood and Football in a Changing American Inner City, and Concepcion: An Immigrant Family’s Fortunes. His reporting on a narcotics unit in Mississippi led to a police captain’s resignation in 2015.
Dr. Molly Crockett is an Associate Professor of Psychology at Yale University and a Distinguished Research Fellow at the Oxford Centre for Neuroethics. Prior to joining Yale, Dr Crockett was an Associate Professor of Experimental Psychology at the University of Oxford and a Fellow of Jesus College. She holds a BSc in Psychobiology from UCLA and a PhD in Experimental Psychology.
Deen Freelon is an associate professor at the UNC Hussman School of Journalism and Media at the University of North Carolina and a principal researcher at the Center for Information, Technology, and Public Life. His theoretical interests address how ordinary citizens use social media and other digital communication technologies for political purposes.
Dr. Daniel Jolley is a Senior Lecturer in Psychology at Northumbria University (UK). He is a Chartered Psychologist of the British Psychological Society, and a member of the Executive Committee of the Social Psychology Section. Daniel’s main area of research is the psychology of conspiracy theories. He uses experimental methods to examine the social consequences of conspiracy theories.
Call for Art: Othering & Belonging Conference Art Contest!
(submission deadline September 17, 2021)
As part of the conference we're holding a contest to source artwork that will go onto t-shirts, bags, and other O&B merchandise. We’re looking for artwork that illustrates the concept of belonging, drawing that boundary as wide and expansively as the imagination. Learn more about the contest here.
Conference registrants will be eligible to participate in our pre-conference virtual Learning Lab sessions, which are two-hour interactive workshops to engage with movement leaders in the field. The labs will cover topics that include: Cultural Strategies for Belonging; Bridging to Build Power; Climate Crisis Solutions and Belonging; and Movement Building in today’s digital world. More on this and other conference details coming soon! Be sure to bookmark our 2021 O&B Conference site for the latest information.
To end hunger, we need to end poverty. Join us next Wednesday, Sept. 8 at 12pm PT / 3pm ET for a critical discussion on the urgent need to bolster the social safety net to fight poverty in the US. At this event we'll hear from the authors of a new report about their bold proposals to transform the social safety net so no one goes to bed hungry.
Video: Defending the Displaced: Border Justice & Migrant Rights
We held a phenomenal event last week as part of our #RiseUp4Justice livestream series. This event focused on the situations in Afghanistan and along the US-Mexican border to understand the root causes of migration and displacement, and what can be done to defend migrants. The event opened and closed with two exceptional poets you need to see. If you missed the livestream, be sure to watch the recording.
Last month we published this previously unreleased video that was shot in May 2018 featuring OBI Director john a. powell in which he speaks on the urgent need to create a world of greater belonging and avoid the impulse toward smaller and more fragmented "we's." Recorded as part of a conversation with the 2018 summer fellows, this talk is a wonderful distillation of his basic philosophy and is filled with revealing anecdotes and insights. Click for a video and transcript.
Other OBI Updates
In the news
- Faculty scholar Sonia Katyal published an op-ed in the Boston Globe, titled, "The unpaid debt to a pioneering gay Olympian."
- Assistant Director Stephen Menendian published an op-ed in NBC Think, titled, "U.S. neighborhoods are more segregated than a generation ago, perpetuating racial inequity." He was also interviewed for this New York Times piece, called, "The Resilience of New York’s Black Homeowners," and this CalMatters article, titled, "California’s housing crisis: How much difference will a zoning bill make?"
- Faculty scholar Janelle Scott was interviewed for this Berkeley News story, titled, "As K-12 students return, schools shouldn’t obsess over pandemic ‘learning loss’."
Othering & Belonging Institute
University of California, Berkeley
460 Stephens Hall
Berkeley, CA 94720
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