We're living through multiple, overlapping crises that finally erupted into nationwide protests following the murder of George Floyd. The warning signs have been flashing for decades about what racism, segregation, and inequality would do to our country. Our officials have by and large ignored those warnings, in favor of maintaining systems of white dominance, and the results have been catastrophic. But it's not too late to change course. Below is a collection of resources -- some new, some from years past that remain timely and relevant -- produced by our faculty researchers and staff that contextualize our current moment, what led up to it, and what needs to be done to steer toward a new direction.
- May 29, 2019 - "The Road Not Taken: Housing and Criminal Justice 50 Years after the Kerner Commission Report" + See our updated 2020 statement on the Kerner recommendations
Recent TV and Radio Interviews with Faculty & Staff
- June 19, 2020 - john a. powell on BBC World Service "Juneteenth marked across the US"
- June 11, 2020 - john a. powell on The Greater Good Magazine podcast "From Othering to Belonging"
- June 10, 2020 - john a. powell on KALW: "How Can We Use This Moment To Create Systemic Change?"
- June 9, 2020 - john a. powell on KALW: "City Visions: The Kerner Report And Missed Opportunities For Racial Justice"
- June 4, 2020 - john a. powell on KTVU
- June 3, 2020 - Stephen Menendian on the Ryan Jespersen Show
- June 2, 2020 - john a. powell on The Pat Thurston Show
- June 2, 2020 - Nikki Jones on CNN
Op-eds and Articles
- June 19, 2020 - "Blog: We only became half free on Juneteenth. Our fight for full freedom requires that we persist"
- June 19, 2020 - "Aunt Jemima Is Gone. Can We Finally End All Racist Branding?"
- June 16, 2020 - "Blog: All lives can't matter until Black lives matter too"
- June 10, 2020 - "Blog: Moving beyond police reform to addressing structural racism"
- June 5, 2020 - "Police killing black people is a pandemic, too"
- June 5, 2020 - "‘Black Lives Matter’ merece todo nuestro apoyo" (Spanish-language article from faculty member Cristina Mora)
- June 4, 2020 - "George Floyd’s death is a reminder that black voices are still ignored"
- June 2, 2020 - "We're in a moment of collective trauma. But there are glimmers of hope"
- May 29, 2020 - "On George Floyd and the struggle to belong"
- April 23, 2020 - "Among the reasons COVID-19 is worse for black communities: Police violence"
- August 7, 2019 - "Housing and criminal justice 50 years after the Kerner Commission report (Blog)"
- August 2, 2019 - "The Bad-Apple Myth of Policing: Violence perpetrated by cops doesn’t simply boil down to individual bad actors—it’s also a systemic, judicial failing."
- December 15, 2016 - "We can’t meaningfully integrate schools without desegregating neighborhoods"
- July 18, 2016 - "john a. powell on Alton Sterling and Philando Castile"
- May 9, 2016 - "Housing segregation undergirds the nation’s racial inequities"
- August 15, 2015 - "How Many Black Boys Have to Die?"
- July 15, 2015 - "When we fully claim Black Lives Matter, we move closer to All Lives Matter"
- January 27, 2015 - "'I Can't Breathe': Racial Injustice, Segregation, and Health Disparities"
- March 4, 2015 - "It’s not George Zimmerman, It’s the System"
- October 20, 2014 - "The Black Record: Why we don't know how often police kill"
- August 22, 2014 - "Another Rip in the Fabric: History Repeats Itself in Ferguson, Missouri"
Videos and Podcasts
- June 9, 2020 - "Police Violence and Racism Panel l Cambridge Union" featuring Associate Director Denise Herd
- June 9, 2020 - "Berkeley Law Conversations: Race & Policing" featuring Professor Osagie Obasogie
- May 29, 2020 - "'It's not just murder. It's terror.' john a. powell on George Floyd"
- May 8, 2020 - "john a. powell on Ahmaud Arbery"
- September 12, 2019 - "Ibram X. Kendi on How to be an Antiracist"
- February 27 - March 1 2018 - "Race & Inequality in America: The Kerner Commission at 50 conference"
- August 7, 2015 - "Black Lives Matter, A Year After Ferguson (featuring john a. powell)"
- August 19, 2014 - "'Overpoliced and Underprotected': In Michael Brown Killing, Neglect of Black Communities Laid Bare"
- March 25, 2020 - "Civic Engagement for Empowerment and Belonging"
- October 1, 2019 - "Roots, Race, & Place: A History of Racially Exclusionary Housing in the San Francisco Bay Area"
- July 2019 - "The Endogenous Fourth Amendment: An Empirical Assessment of How Police Understandings of Excessive Force Become Constitutional Law"
- May 29, 2019 - "The Road Not Taken: Housing and Criminal Justice 50 Years after the Kerner Commission Report"
- March 25, 2019 - "The mismeasure of Terry stops: Assessing the psychological and emotional harms of stop and frisk to individuals and communities"
- February 29, 1968 - "Report of the National Advisory Commission on Civil Disorders (Kerner Commission Report Executive Summary)"
- June 2, 2010 - Police violence and uprisings talking points (developed by OBI and partner organizations)
Other Media Coverage
- June 18, 2020 - "What does ‘defund the police’ really mean? Experts say confusion harming progress"
- June 9, 2020 - "'A War of Words.' Why Describing the George Floyd Protests as 'Riots' Is So Loaded"
- June 4, 2020 - "Why Vallejo is now the center of unrest in Bay Area over police treatment of blacks"
- June 3, 2020 - "The Price We Have Paid for Not Confronting Racism"
- May 29, 2020 - "Berkeley study: Protests in Minneapolis, country rooted in systemic racial issues"
Institute Experts (listed alphabetically)
Denise Herd is the O&B Institute's Associate Director, and an Associate Professor of Public Health at UC Berkeley. Herd’s scholarship centers on racialized disparities in health outcomes, spanning topics as varied as images of drugs and violence in rap music, drinking and drug use patterns, social movements, and the impact of corporate targeting and marketing on popular culture among African American youth. In addition to her extensive scholarship in public health, Herd has also served as associate dean at UC Berkeley’s School of Public Health for seven years.
Erin M. Kerrison is an Assistant Professor of Social Welfare at UC Berkeley. Her work extends from a legal epidemiological framework, wherein law and legal institutions operate as social determinants of health. Specifically, through varied agency partnerships, her mixed-method research agenda investigates the impact that compounded structural disadvantage, concentrated poverty and state supervision has on service delivery, substance abuse, violence and other health outcomes for individuals and communities marked by criminal justice intervention.
Stephen Menendian is the Assistant Director and Director of Research at the Othering & Belonging Institute, and oversees the Institute’s burgeoning research initiatives and ongoing projects. In particular, Stephen leads the Inclusiveness Index initiative, fair housing policy and opportunity mapping project with the Equity Metrics team. Stephen’s research focuses on the mechanisms of inter-group inequality, “othering,” structural racism, and the design of effective equity interventions as permitted by law.
Osagie K. Obasogie is the chair of the O&B Institute's Diversity and Health Disparities research cluster. Obasogie, Professor of Bioethics in the Joint Medical Program and School of Public Health, focuses his research on racial disparities in health, the myth of "colorblindness," and how blind people "see" race. Some of his research looks at how new reproductive and genetic technologies—stem cell research, assisted reproduction, race based medicines, designer babies, etc.—impact society and, in particular, vulnerable communities (e.g. racial and sexual minorities, women, people with disabilities, poor people, etc.).
john a. powell is the director of the O&B Institute, and a Professor of Law, and African American and Ethnic Studies at UC Berkeley. He is an internationally recognized expert in the areas of civil rights, civil liberties, structural racism, housing, poverty, and democracy. Professor powell has written extensively on a number of issues including structural racism, racial justice, concentrated poverty, opportunity-based housing, voting rights, affirmative action in the United States, South Africa and Brazil, racial and ethnic identity, spirituality and social justice, and the needs of citizens in a democratic society. He is the author of several books, including his most recent work, Racing to Justice: Transforming our Concepts of Self and Other to Build an Inclusive Society.