Toward Belonging

About the program 

Toward Belonging is a partnership initiative between the Othering & Belonging Institute, a core set of European partners, including More in CommonCounterpointSciences Po University Paris, and Queen Mary University of London, and a growing network of allies across the social change, civil society, and arts and culture sectors. 

The purpose of the Toward Belonging initiative is to connect work across geographies and disciplines that can mount a challenge to rising authoritarianism, widening inequality, and politics based on hate, exclusion, and division. The covid19 pandemic has exacerbated all of these dynamics while also offering a new set of threats. And the global demonstrations against the centuries-old pandemic of racism—triggered by the police killings in the United States of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, and too many more—opens up possibilities for new responses and orientations of our movements, policies, and strategies that build long-term and sustainable global solidarity toward belonging. 

In a world undergoing a period of rapid transition and new formations, we anticipate there will be a fight to rewrite the story of what comes next. We believe that the lens of “othering and belonging" can be a powerful framework to help shape the story of the next decade—a story based on belonging , where we together create the future we want to inhabit and where no person, nor the earth itself, is left outside the circle of our concern.


Toward Belonging will include a series of online monthly conversations, a set of commissioned papers and multimedia content on belonging, and a suite of public education tools. These activities will illustrate and elevate ideas and practices from a wide range of scholars, social change actors, artists, youth leaders, grantmakers, civil society leaders, and policymakers, for work that moves us toward a shared story of belonging. 

Upcoming events:

July 16: Hopes and Fears in a COVID world

Discussants include: Tim Dixon, Co-founder of More in Common, a social entrepreneur and economist who has helped start several social movement organizations around issues such as modern-day slavery, the Syrian crisis, the Colombian peace process, economic inequality, gun control, and civic participation; Míriam Juan Torres, Senior Researcher, More in Common. Míriam has conducted field studies in West Africa and worked for UNHCR in Ghana and the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights in Colombia; and john a. powell, Director of the Othering & Belonging Institute and a Professor of Law, African American, and Ethnic Studies at UC Berkeley. Click for details.

Past events:

June 16: Inaugural Livestream Dialogue
June 16 is the first in our Toward Belonging monthly series, featuring a conversation between members of the Toward Belonging partnership. Join john a. powell, Catherine Fieschi, Mathieu Lefevre, and Abdul-Rehman Malik in a conversation about the opportunities and threats to belonging and inclusion in Europe and the US, and how COVID19 and the global uprisings for Black Lives Matter are shaping new community responses, policies, and dynamics.
Watch a recording of that event below.

If you are interested in learning more about this work, contact Rachelle Galloway-Popotas