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The COVID era is the latest episode of medical scapegoating of Asian immigrants

Catherine Ceniza Choy, professor of ethnic studies | August 12, 2022

Since 2020, Asian Americans in the United States have experienced dual existential crises: anti-Asian violence and COVID-19. According to Stop AAPI Hate, nearly 11,500 hate incidents were reported to its organization between March 19, 2020 and March 31, 2022. While the uptick in this violence has been connected to present-day coronavirus-related racism and xenophobia, anti-Asian violence … Continue reading »

Belonging is a fundamental human need: Why it’s lacking at work & how to enhance it

Genevieve Macfarlane Smith, associate director, Center for Equity, Gender & Leadership | July 25, 2022

By Genevieve Smith & Jasmine Sanders Today we are in a belonging crisis. This is reflected in steep mental health declines since the start of the pandemic. In 2019, the C.D.C. estimated that 15.8% of American adults took prescription pills for mental health. Recent research from the NY Times finds today that number is nearly … Continue reading »

Russian Supremacists on the Loose

Yuriy Gorodnichenko, professor of economics | April 3, 2022

Given the scale of senseless murder in Ukraine, it is only fair to talk about the Russian attitude towards Ukrainians as Russian supremacism. We often hear that a nation that produced Tchaikovsky and Tolstoi can’t be savage. But shielding behind Tchaikovsky and Tolstoi, in reality Russia shielded itself from modern achievements of humanity in terms of human rights, freedom of expression, and equality for all.

Radicalism or pragmatism? The divide in racial justice advocacy

Stephen Menendian, assistant director, Othering & Belonging Institute at UC Berkeley | February 16, 2022

Policy advocacy and racial equity proposals exist on a spectrum, with many areas of disagreement or differences in emphasis. And it would be an oversimplification to describe one camp as simply “moderate” and the other as “progressive.”

The Way We Write

Greg Niemeyer, Professor, Art Practice and Berkeley Center for New Media | January 21, 2022

“Writing by hand offers qualities beyond the need for speed. It keeps us closer to ourselves because it is a trace of our human movement. This movement adds dimensions of meaning beyond the text itself. It conveys the mood of the author, and also the author’s identity.”

Overcooling of offices reveals gender inequity in thermal comfort

Stefano Schiavon, Associate Professor of Architecture, Civil and Environmental Engineering | December 9, 2021

Our appetite for cooling is growing — air conditioning represents the fastest-growing source of energy use in buildings, with cooling energy tripling between 1990 and 2016. In our latest study, we found that part of this energy demand is wasted on excessive cooling of offices.

Addressing the structural foundations of homelessness in the Bay Area

Carolina Reid, Assistant Professor of City & Regional Planning | December 2, 2021

Ending homelessness in the Bay Area will require a strong commitment at all levels of government, including the political will not only to address the immediate crisis of people living on the street, but also to change the underlying structural conditions that create housing insecurity for (extremely low-income) households.

Returning to the concert hall

Camille Crittenden, Executive Director, CITRIS and the Banatao Institute | October 3, 2021

Today marked Cal Performances’ return to in-person indoor concerts, and what an opening to the regular 2021/22 season! Tessa Lark on violin and Amy Yang on piano delivered inspiring, sensitive, bravura performances of bold and refreshing repertoire that should call us all back to the concert hall. I realize that concert reviews are not typical … Continue reading »

A Disaster Foretold– Remembering 9-11

Nancy Scheper-Hughes, anthropology professor | September 13, 2021

Where were you when 9/11 erupted? I was in my shower stall when the bloody phone kept ringing and ringing. It was a call from the historian Jeremy Adams (SMU, Dallas, TX), a friend I had not heard from in years. Quick go to your TV to see the end of the world as we knew it. … Continue reading »

From Tulsa, Texas, to Turkey: The Price of Denial

Stephen Menendian, assistant director, Othering & Belonging Institute at UC Berkeley | June 1, 2021

This week features commemorations of one of the worst atrocities on American soil during the twentieth century, the so-called Greenwood Massacre, also known as the Tulsa Race Riot. In 1921, a white mob invaded the Greenwood District, a thriving district known as “Black Wall Street,” by foot and air in a targeted attack on Tulsa’s … Continue reading »

In remembering George Floyd, journalism’s mistakes matter

Geeta Anand, dean, graduate school of journalism | May 25, 2021

If more journalists — and indeed, more industry leaders — were people of color, mainstream media would have recognized much sooner that the cases of Black and brown civilians being killed were not isolated examples of police misconduct.

How Biden can root out systemic racism in America

Stephen Menendian, assistant director, Othering & Belonging Institute at UC Berkeley | March 24, 2021

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?

Thinking about pasts and futures

Rosemary Joyce, professor of anthropology | March 12, 2021

A year ago, I canceled a trip to Indiana. Normally, I wouldn’t remember so vividly something like this. But March 11, 2020 is underlined in my memory like few other days in my life. I had a newly published book to promote, and the trip was supposed to be part of launching it. With a … Continue reading »

Asians must be a part of our story, too

john a. powell, director, Othering & Belonging Institute | March 10, 2021

But the bottom line is that we have to reject the hate crimes and attacks on Asian Americans. Not because there is complete agreement on all issues, but because we must keep each other safe and hold on to our shared humanity. At the same time, we must be sensitive to the concerns for the Black community in how solutions are discussed and used.

What’s service got to do with it? Everything

Sandra Bass, Associate Dean and Executive Director UC Berkeley Public Service Center | January 18, 2021

It is hard to overestimate the impact of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.’s service on America and American democracy. And it’s critical to note that the example of his own life, as well as the actions of the Southern Black Freedom Struggle (aka the Civil Rights Movement) indicate that for King, service encompasses a broad range of activities including direct action and civil resistance.