The faculty, staff, researchers, and affiliates of the Othering & Belonging Institute work together with multidisciplinary approaches to learn, research, and construct solutions for society's most pressing issues. Our programs and initiatives are all designed to effect transformative change.
News, research reports, presentations, videos, maps, and much more can be found in our Resources section, all of which have been developed to make our work accessible and impactful for all who are working to advance inclusion and belonging.
Eliza Brooks is a recent graduate of the University of California, Berkeley where she majored in Political Science and minored in Public Policy. Her studies centered the impact of historical, economic, and social forces on the operation of politics, and the ways in which public policy can be utilized to ensure equitable access to justice for all people. Outside of the classroom, Eliza proudly served as a Resident Assistant helping first-year students navigate their transition to Cal. In Fall 2018, she worked with the Black Recruitment and Retention Center as the lead coordinator of a college tour for low-income students of color. She also served as President of the National Council of Negro Women, where she led the execution of programs that support and uplift the Black community on campus through wellness and retention programs. At the Othering and Belonging Institute, she will research bridging practices on UC Berkeley's campus. She'll also support research on affordable housing, fair housing, and health equity.
Lindsey Burnside (she/her/hers) is a PhD student in the Social-Personality area of the Psychology Department at the University of California, Berkeley. Some of her previous work includes projects linking racial residential segregation to health disparities via epigenomic mechanisms, investigations of racism-related vigilance, and in-group expectations of social affirmation. Her research interests include health equity, racism-related stress, and integrative, person-centered, research methods. The ultimate goal of these interests is understanding how individuals promote the well-being of themselves and their communities in the face of hegemony.
Gabriela Cordoba Vivas
Gabriela Cordoba Vivas is an artist-scholar that works in the intersection between art, media, and social justice. She is a second-year student of the PhD in Media Study at the University at Buffalo. She holds a bachelor degree in Political Science with an Art History minor from Los Andes University and an MA in Communication and Media from the National University of Colombia. Her research has revolved around epistemological justice, the right to the city, and cultural representations of transgender sex work. She has worked in universities, government agencies, and cultural organizations leading socially engaged art projects, developing strategies for community engagement, and fostering research and creation practices committed to social change. Co-founder of CaldodeCultivo, an art collective that produces dignified narratives of marginalized communities using different artistic languages to amplify their struggles. With CaldodeCultivo she has participated in multiple biennales and art residencies in Europe and the Americas.
Dalia Elkhalifa is a recent graduate of the University of California, Berkeley. She earned her Bachelor of Arts in Political Economy with a focus on International Development and Global Inequality. As a first-generation Sudanese-American, Dalia’s research interests reflect her lived experiences. They center diaspora communities and investigating how research can better advocate for actionable, people-centered policy change for refugee integration. During her time at Berkeley, Dalia worked as a communications associate at the Blum Center for Developing Economies, contributed content to their news site, and served as an undergraduate research apprentice in the Political Science Department. As a summer fellow, Dalia will be working with the Global Justice Program, focusing on creating a database on climate refugees and the organizations that support and advocate for their rights.
Naomi Garcia (she/they) is a rising third-year at the University of California, Berkeley studying Sociology while minoring in Public Policy. Under the supervision of Dr. Bruce Fuller of the UC Berkeley Graduate School of Education, she has studied the intersection between union relations and public policy within New York City’s Universal Pre-K program, with hopes of pursuing a career in education policy and research. At the Othering & Belonging Institute, she will be working with the Network for Transformative Change on the Civic Engagement Narrative Change project.
Brianna Guerrero is a graduate of Cal Poly Pomona where she received her Bachelor of Science degree in Economics. The Southern California native has worked as a Legislative Fellow for Congresswoman Norma J. Torres and as an Assistant Paralegal for an international business immigration law firm in Washington, DC. As an undergraduate, Brianna served as a Justice Corps Member, Judicial Intern for Los Angeles Superior Courts, and Economic Analyst for her university’s Student Managed Investment Fund which fueled her interest in the various economic barriers marginalized communities face in our society. Brianna also volunteered with Prison Education Project and taught an education course to incarcerated persons, leading her to study Prop 57 and its effectiveness on reducing recidivism through rehabilitation for her senior thesis. At the Othering & Belonging Institute, Brianna will work under the direction of Richard Rothstein to assist in the development of potential remedies to housing segregation.
Erfan Moradi is a graduate of the History and Geography departments at the University of California, Berkeley, who specializes in labor and urban histories. His thesis follows the proliferation of container shipping in San Francisco Bay Area ports and its concomitant transformations to the urban social fabric. His study centers the voices of worker-artists to explore grief over the disappearance of working-class social spaces. His ongoing research involves developing an archival collection of media from waterfront writers and artists for the Bancroft Library. This summer, Erfan will be working multimedia productions with the Strategic Communications team. Outside of academia, he is deeply interested in local art and music, anti-oppressive politics, and radical imaginations. He is a Middle Eastern immigrant living on Chochenyo Ohlone land in so-called California.
María Rojas is a Chilean Ph.D. candidate from the Graduate School of Education at UC Berkeley. In Chile, she earned her bachelor’s degree in journalism. She became interested in specializing in education after working for two years as a Spanish teacher in a marginalized high school in Santiago. After that experience, she came to the US with a Fulbright scholarship to pursue her masters’ degree in Education Policy at the University of Washington in Seattle. Currently, María’s research aims to understand how the mechanisms under which a market-oriented education system operates (standardize testing, choice, privatization, high-stake accountability, etc.) impact and inform the process by which schools welcome (belong) or reject (other) the arrival of immigrant students who identify as black in Chile and the US. This interest is informed by her international experiences as a student in South Africa and Germany and her working experience in New Zealand. María is in the US with her husband and her two years old son, who will become a big brother in October.
Sabrina Shih is a rising junior at Columbia University studying computer science and human rights. She is passionate about how the solutions to global existential risks are also opportunities for transformative social change through the inclusion and empowerment of marginalized communities. As a coordinator in her university’s hub of the Sunrise Movement, a youth-led, grassroots movement for climate justice and a just transition, Sabrina is committed to building a diverse movement for collective liberation. She also works in solidarity with the Indigenous student community at Columbia and volunteers with New Sanctuary Coalition, a NYC-based organization that supports those navigating the immigration system. As a Laidlaw Scholar and an intern at Columbia’s Earth Institute, she also conducts research on justice and equity in climate adaptation and mitigation measures. This summer, Sabrina will conduct policy analysis with the California Community Partnerships Program to explore a Green New Deal for Richmond, CA.
Elliot Smith recently graduated from The Univeristy of Iowa, where he received a B.A. in public health and sociology, a certificate in social science analytics, and a minor in Chinese. Elliot is interested in public health work which addresses the intersectional social justice needs of communities suffering health disparities. As an undergraduate, Elliot's research confronted social determinants of health and the sociology of public health inequalities. He remains a research assistant in the multi-institutional Sterilization and Social Justice Lab, and also RA's in a sociological study of emails between public officials who negligently handled the Flint water crisis. As a summer fellow, Elliot will study water sovereignty and corporate power through the Just Public Finance program. Elliot was first introduced to public health and sociology through his LGBTQ advocacy, roots which he reaffirms through his continued work administering HIV tests in LGBTQ spaces and organizing an LGBTQ public health conference.
The Othering and Belonging Institute at UC Berkeley is a hub of engaged scholars, researchers, strategic communicators, policymakers, and community partners working to advance belonging for all members of society.