Rethinking the approach to structural racism
In the wake of the murder of George Floyd last summer, there appeared to be a moment of new consensus – a crystallization in public understanding of the reality of systemic racism and the political will to do something about it. Local governments initiated unprecedented reforms and top tier candidates for the presidency were speaking unabashedly about racial inequality and offering bold policy proposals. With a new congress and president the federal government will once again become the focus of advocacy and attention for advancing a racial equity agenda. The question before us is simple yet profound: What can the new congress and Biden administration do? Perhaps more importantly, what should be done?
Read this new essay from Director john a. powell and Assistant Director Stephen Menendian on the debates over how to approach structural racism.
Q&A with Denise Herd on equity-based vaccine distribution
We just published a Q&A with OBI Associate Director Denise Herd, who is also a Professor of Public Health, about what an equity-based vaccine distribution plan could look like. She explains how age-based distributions could leave out groups that are more at risk of contracting Covid-19. Denise explains: "One of the most basic problems with prioritizing vaccination based on age is that Black people, Native people, and other people of color generally have shorter lifespans than other Americans. That's a result of systemic racism, but it means that racial disparities will exist when prioritizing age without taking into account other factors, like race and geography." Check out this Q&A along with two short video excerpts of the interview here.
Blog: A solution to Africa's food insecurity
Global Justice Program director Elsadig Elsheikh published a new piece that looks at the causes of food insecurity in Africa and offers a set of recommendations for fair trade practices and support for local farmers. He writes: "[African nations] have been forced to accept loan restrictions, unjustified high interest rates for such loans, and unfair regulatory systems that have made their agricultural products very costly. As a result, African countries have lost one opportunity after another to advance their sovereign national agricultural sectors." Read Elsadig's article here.
O&B summit less than a month away!
Our 2021 Othering & Belonging Summit on April 21 is quickly approaching! The virtual summit will be a day of connection and big ideas for building a world based on belonging, and a learning and caring space, where we can together share all that we are working towards. The summit is designed as a focused space to gather people across the social change landscape together to engage in remembrance, orientation-setting, and visioning for our shared future. The summit is free and open to the public. Click here to register!
Other OBI updates
In the news:
Assistant Director Stephen Menendian was interviewed for this Grist article, titled, "Zoned out: One woman’s half-century fight to desegregate Berkeley." He was also interviewed for this NPR article, titled, “Facing Housing Crunch, California Cities Rethink Single-Family Neighborhoods,” and this KQED podcast, titled, “‘A Big First Step’: Bay Area Cities Are Rethinking Single-Family Zoning.”
The Institute's research on single-family zoning in the Bay Area was cited in this Oaklandside article, titled, "Oakland takes a step toward banning single-family zoning," and this East Bay Times article, titled, "Oakland will study ending zoning laws that allow only single-family homes."
- Faculty scholar Jesse Rothstein was quoted in this article by Berkeley News, titled, “A $15 minimum wage would cost jobs, right? Probably not, economists say.”
- Faculty scholar Jason Corburn was interviewed for this article in Berkeley News, titled, “Berkeley study: California gun violence program saves lives, taxpayers millions.”
- Faculty scholars Colette Auerswald and Osagie Obasogie were quoted in this article by The Daily Californian, titled, “Vaccine distribution questions answered by Berkeley Conversations panel.”
- Faculty scholars Cristina Mora, Tina Sacks, and Associate Director Denise Herd were interviewed for this article in Berkeley News, titled, “How legacies of racism hinder vaccination among communities of color.”
- Faculty scholar Henry Brady was interviewed for this KCBS Radio podcast, titled, “Voting rights bill faces a battle in the Senate.”
- Faculty scholar Emmanuel Saez was featured in this article by KUSI News, titled, “Democrat leaders discuss plan to tax extreme wealth in California.”
- Faculty scholar Hilary Hoynes was interviewed for this article in Cal Matters, titled, “‘Revolutionary’ federal stimulus bill could cut California child poverty by half.”
- Faculty scholar Rucker Johnson was featured in this article by Berkeley News, titled, “UC Berkeley education economist honored by academic academy.”
- Faculty scholar Cristina Mora was interviewed for this podcast by The Atlantic, titled, “Listen: Latinos Are a Huge, Diverse Group. Why Are They Lumped Together?”
- Faculty scholar Darieck Scott was featured on this Berkeley News podcast, titled, “Berkeley Talks: Novelist Alice Walker: ‘Dance when you feel like dancing’.”
- Institute Director john a. powell’s essay addressing anti-Asian bias and violence was featured in this article on Fortune.com. Separately, Director powell’s chapter in a new volume on African American history was cited in this article by National Catholic Reporter, titled, “Catholics who care about US Black history must read 'Four Hundred Souls'.”
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