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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 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.

The Third Harmony by professor emeritus Michael Nagler – a book and film review

Sandra Bass, Associate Dean and Director UC Berkeley Public Service Center | November 30, 2020

Taken together, the book and the film are a plea for the mainstream adoption of nonviolence without delay in order to bring us into right relationship with ourselves, each other, and our world. Yet this brings us to a question: Is it already too late? Can nonviolence turn the tide at this critical inflection point for our democracy, our natural environment, and our relationships with each other?

This is Us. Urban density is our geopolitical destiny

Vishaan Chakrabarti, Dean of College of Environmental Design | November 9, 2020

In the days, weeks, and years ahead, we have much work to do. In our college, this work is particularly acute because geography is destiny, and our destiny is density. Red states and blue states? Fuggedaboutit! Elections in the United States are increasingly about our cities and the communities that enliven them.

On Un-Naming Barrows Hall

Ron Hendel, Professor of Near Eastern Studies | July 29, 2020

There are many complicated issues here about how to judge, remember, and commemorate the past, which are not easily resolved. But I hope we can agree that we should tell the truth about past. This should be our starting point for all consequential discussions, a point that has been under some stress lately.

A Tale of Two Dropouts: Arts, Humanities, and Education for the Future

Timothy Hampton, professor of French and comparative literature, director of the Doreen B. Townsend Center for the Humanities | July 23, 2020

No one at Berkeley would ever encourage a student to drop out of the university. But you can learn a lot from studying what college dropouts do with their lives. Recently, I have been thinking about two famous dropouts who have been in the news. Observers of the political situation and the state of public … Continue reading »

Lessons from the history of anthropology

Rosemary Joyce, professor of anthropology | July 4, 2020

I am trained as an anthropologist and believe deeply in the future of my discipline. But if we are going to be able to move forward into the future I want to see happen– a future being shaped by my students, who come from much more diverse communities than ever before — we have to … Continue reading »

On the Renaming of Anthropology’s Kroeber Hall

Nancy Scheper-Hughes, anthropology professor | July 1, 2020

I was deeply distressed  to learn about an administrative plan to remove the name of AL Kroeber from Kroeber Hall. The decision was not discussed with the anthropology faculty. Moreover, the ‘statement’ on Alfred Kroeber was woefully  misinformed and  in the pop style of social media “cancel culture”, based on shaming and removing public figures … Continue reading »

An open letter to my neighbor who accused me of stealing

Sandra Bass, Associate Dean and Director UC Berkeley Public Service Center | June 26, 2020

Recently while shopping in my San Francisco neighborhood, I was racially profiled and accused of stealing by another customer. This was not the first time I was racially profiled in a city known for its progressivism. This open letter is an invitation to all, and particularly those who count themselves among the “woke,” to dig … Continue reading »