September 3, 2020  /  View this email in your browser
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Cover of the Puerto Rico Report showing an abandoned school in Puerto Rico

Our new report shows how Puerto Rico's mass closures of public schools has harmed communities

Today we're happy to announce the release of a new report showing the scale and impact of public school closures in Puerto Rico over the last decade and a half. The report, “Puerto Rico’s Public School Closures: Community Effects and Future Paths,” which we produced in collaboration with San Juan-based Centro para la Reconstrucción del Hábitat, reveals that since 2007, Puerto Rico shut down 673 public schools, comprising 44 percent of the Commonwealth’s total, in the midst of a debt crisis. The closures proved to be an ineffective strategy at cost-savings, while hurting communities that relied on the schools not just for educating their young, but for the social, economic, and cultural life of those communities. Read more about this report here, which is available in English and Spanish.

Also, Spanish-language readers can check out this video report and long feature article in Puerto Rico's El Nuevo Dia newspaper covering the research.
Image grab from the RiseUp video shows five people on screen in separate locations

Video: Watch a recap of our latest #RiseUp4Justice event featuring activist athletes

Last week we hosted a panel of athletes, educators, and poets for a live streamed event on the intersection of sports, politics, and social justice. The event, “Rise Up for Justice: Activist-Athletes Elect Justice,” took place in the wake of a national wildcat strike in professional sports following the police shooting of Jacob Blake in Kenosha, Wisconsin. The conversation roved from police violence and the strike, to the liberation movements of the sixties, and to present day struggles for solidarity and survival. Speakers included sports historian David Zirin as moderator and panelists Michael Bennett, former NFL player; Rosalie Fish, track-and-field athlete and advocate for indigenous women; Janelle Gary, softball player and youth activist, and Andrea Hailey, CEO of

Click for a video recording and writeup of the event. For information on upcoming #RiseUp4Justice events visit the campaign website.
Check out this short audio gram about featuring Carroll Fife, a #Moms4Housing activist and Oakland director of ACCE. Fife, an advocate for social housing, is featured in our most recent episode of our Who Belongs? podcast.

Race—The Power of an Illusion, Part I (Film Screening + Panel discussion)

Join us Friday, Sept. 11 from 2pm to 4pm Pacific Time for a screening of Part I of Race—The Power of an Illusion followed by a one-hour panel discussion with experts! RSVP Here.

Note: Members of the UC Berkeley community can access the documentary series at any time for free through Kanopy ( using CalNet authentication.

News & Media

New polling research from the O&B Institute and UC Berkeley's Institute of Governmental Studies finding that most Californians trust the state’s vote-by-mail system was covered in a number of media outlets, including the Sacramento Bee and CapRadio
The Mercury News also covered our recently-published research on single-family zoning in the Bay Area, which we find typically leads to more expensive homes, locking out many middle and low-income families, which can exclude many residents of color with less wealth, creating more racially segregated neighborhoods.
Faculty scholar Cristina Mora spoke on KCBS Radio about the lack of Latinx representation at the DNC and how Democrats can secure the Hispanic vote. 
Faculty scholar Jesse Rothstein was also interviewed on KCBS radio about how unemployed Californians can soon receive an additional $300 a week from the federal government after the state's application was approved for the federal Lost Wages Assistance program.
Research co-authored by faculty scholar Hilary Hoynes was featured in a New York Times article about how COVID19 may not be as deadly for young people, "it can still destroy their futures."
Associate Director Denise Herd was quoted in an article from CapRadio on the recent protests for Black Lives. “I think this movement is really special,” she says. “I do think this movement has reached a momentum that it had not before, and I think that’s primarily because whites have started paying attention to what Black people have been experiencing for many, many years.” 
Faculty scholar Rucker Johnson was interviewed by NBC News about school resegregation in the US. “We must think of racism as an infectious disease and silence leaves the disease untreated,” Johnson is quoted as saying.

Opportunities at the institute

We have the following positions open at the institute:
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