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Behind the absurd attacks on ‘Critical Race Theory’

Stephen Menendian, assistant director, Othering & Belonging Institute at UC Berkeley | July 14, 2021

The attacks on “CRT” reveal that most of the critics have very little idea what they are even aiming at. Rather than attacking CRT, some of the key phrases in the proposed statehouse bills are rather ideas or claims made in much more recent and mainstream writing or advocacy, such as things Robin DiAngelo has suggested or Tema Okun has circulated. If Robin DiAngelo and Tema Okun are CRT scholars, then I’m an astrophysicist.

California: Keep public meetings open through technology

Camille Crittenden, Executive Director, CITRIS and the Banatao Institute | July 6, 2021

Over the past pandemic year, life events and activities have moved online that we once believed must be held in person: weddings, classes, conferences, cocktail parties. Many aspects of government business also transitioned from requiring a presence in person to being facilitated through online platforms. California’s open meeting laws inscribed in the Bagley-Keene Open Meeting … Continue reading »

Refugee Responsibility Sharing or Responsibility Dumping?

Katerina Linos, klinos | June 18, 2021

This post was first published on Just Security, and is co-authored by Elena Chachko. World Refugee Day is an opportunity to focus attention on one of the most pressing refugee law and policy challenges: almost 9 out of 10 refugees are hosted in developing countries. Better distribution of responsibility for seekers of international protection remains … Continue reading »

Five ways to prevent child marriage in refugee communities: 280 girls speak out

Julie Freccero, director of health and human rights program | June 17, 2021

By Julie Freccero and Audrey Taylor Just before global travel came to a halt with the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, we traveled some 700 miles by road from Kampala to Bidi Bidi and Palorinya—two refugee settlements near the South Sudan border that are home to nearly 400,000 South Sudanese refugees—to talk with girls about … Continue reading »

Our Responsibility to Refugees

Sarah Song, professor of law and political science | June 14, 2021

Nearly 80 million people have been forcibly displaced worldwide, including 26 million refugees and 4.2 million asylum seekers.* Writing in the wake of World War II, Hannah Arendt, herself a refugee, described the plight of refugees as involving not only “the loss of their homes” but also the loss of “a right to have rights…and … Continue reading »

The University of California can legally require COVID-19 vaccinations

Stephen Duvernay, Senior Research Fellow at the California Constitution Center | April 26, 2021

Government actors should not take lightly the power to conscript citizens into action against their will, particularly on matters of personal health and bodily autonomy. But as the law currently stands, it is within the University’s power to adopt the policy of requiring its students to be vaccinated against COVID-19.

How public pre-K education for all can worsen racial disparities

Bruce Fuller, professor of education and public policy | April 22, 2021

President Biden will soon detail his promise of free access to preschool for all young children, and the idea polls high among the nation’s parents. But research shows that poor children benefit the most from pre-K. Shouldn’t we focus aid on their families?

In the Beginning – Recalling the Legislation that Established the University of California

John Aubrey Douglass, Senior Research Fellow - Public Policy and Higher Education, Center for Studies in Higher Education | March 23, 2021

Today, March 23, marks the 153th anniversary of the 1868 legislation that established the University of California, also known as Charter Day. The following provides a reflection on the intent of that legislation and its initial organizational principles that remain relevant today for one of the largest and most prestigious multi-campus public universities in the … Continue reading »

Why Deb Haaland’s confirmation as interior secretary is so important to Indigenous communities

Nazune Menka, JD, Tribal Cultural Resources Policy Fellow at Berkeley Law | March 15, 2021

Secretary Deb Haaland (Pueblo of Laguna) is the first Indigenous woman confirmed as Secretary of a federal agency. She will the lead of the Department of the Interior (DOI). This historic day calls for a recognition of the resiliency, survivance, and fortitude Indigenous communities have led with since 1492. Secretary Haaland’s swearing in is important … Continue reading »

Here’s what it will take for America’s fraying democracy to survive

Mahmood Monshipouri, Lecturer in Global Studies/International and Area Studies | January 18, 2021

There may not be an immediate solution to America’s broken political system. Yet, there are reasons to be hopeful and optimistic about the future of the United States, given its strong democratic institutions and the primacy of the rule of law. In a national emergency like this, the foundations of the social contract are likely to prevail, but U.S. democratic institutions will survive only if the congressional leadership and the new administration prepare their constituencies for a pluralist and multi-racial society.

A sustainable anti-fascist mass movement must be pragmatic and militant

Cihan Tugal, professor, sociology | January 11, 2021

Learning from the mistakes of both ends of the ideological spectrum, the left needs to infuse the pragmatically built mass movement with militancy and autonomy as it is being built. Anti-fascism cannot be a beginning point for sustainable mass organization, but the mass organization of the future must be militantly anti-fascist.

The radical right after Trump

Cihan Tugal, professor, sociology | January 8, 2021

The nature of the American right was ill-understood during the Trump regime. The word “fascist” frequently circulated in liberal and left-wing circles. Yet, the only potential fascist was ousted from the White House before the Trump administration turned one. Now, the risk is forgetting that we still live under conditions favorable to right-wing extremism. The … Continue reading »

Where are the SWAT teams?

Charles Henry, professor emeritus, African American studies | January 6, 2021

The insurrectionists tore through the Capitol occupying the chair of the vice-president, taking over offices and rifling through papers. Some took souvenirs and brought the family with them. I tried to imagine what would have happened if the Million Man March had done the same thing.

Elections should be grounded in evidence, not blind trust

Philip Stark, professor of statistics | January 5, 2021

The existence of vulnerabilities is not evidence that any particular election outcome is wrong, but the big-picture lesson from 2020 is that ensuring an accurate result is not enough. Elections also have to be able to prove to a skeptical public that the result really was accurate.

Biden’s reboot of US higher education policy – possibilities and probabilities

John Aubrey Douglass, Senior Research Fellow - Public Policy and Higher Education, Center for Studies in Higher Education | November 30, 2020

Most of Trump’s regressive policies can be reversed or altered. The portrayal of science and academic research as “fake news,” and the effort to discredit public institutions, including federal science agencies that are supposed to be non-political, will have a much longer and more problematic impact.

A call to action on National Native American Heritage Day

Nazune Menka, JD, Tribal Cultural Resources Policy Fellow at Berkeley Law | November 25, 2020

For those of us at Berkeley, I recognize we are on the ancestral and unceded homelands of the Ohlone people. This month and day are important to increasing our collective community awareness and inclusiveness. But celebrating a heritage month is not reconciliation and reparation. 2020 demands more of us.