DECEMBER 15, 2014
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Seth Holmes on Migrant Workers, the US agricultural system, and Structural Inequality

In the latest of our Haas Institute Faculty Profile Series, we talked with Prof. Seth Holmes, a member of two Haas Institute faculty clusters - Diversities and Health Disparities and LGBTQ Citizenship - and a professor in UC Berkeley's School of Public Health and Graduate Program in Medical Anthropology. In our profile, Prof Holmes discusses how trade agreements, racism, and anti-immigrant hierarchies have radically altered the lives and health of the laborers whose work supports the basis of America’s food system.  Prof. Holmes is the author of Fresh Fruit, Broken Bodies: Migrant Farmworkers in the United States, which examines the lives of Mexican migrants working on American farms. Since its publication in the summer, the book has received national attention and numerous awards, and the American Anthropological Association awarded Prof. Holmes its prestigious Margaret Mead Award for his contributions to broadening the impact of anthropology. Read our profile of Prof. Seth Holmes.

#BlackLivesMatter: UC Berkeley Responses

Haas Institute released two statements immediately following the grand jury announcements not to indict police officers responsible for the deaths of Michael Brown and Eric Garner. In Systemic Problems Require Systemic Solutions and If We're Having a Real Conversation About Race, Let's Make Sure It's the Right One, Director john powell urges us to go beyond thinking about these just as individual cases involving individual actors. The collective and sustained outcry we are in the midst of represents both a systematic failure in our society that can be revealed "wherever we are willing to look" as well as a transformative opportunity to build a real movement for change. Read both pieces here.

Berkeley Law faculty statementjohn powell and Haas Institute faculty cluster members Kathryn Abrams, Christopher Edley, Jr., Christopher Kutz, Taeku Lee, Melissa Murray, Victoria Plaut, Bertrall Ross, Jonathan Simon, Sarah Song, and Leti Volpp were among the dozens of Berkeley Law faculty who signed a statement expressing "despair and outrage about the killings of Michael Brown and Eric Garner in Missouri and New York." The statement said the "cases have undermined our trust as legal scholars, advocates, and educators in the fundamental fairness of our legal system." Read the full statement here. Prof. Roxanna Altholz also put out a call for faculty to send in photos declaring their support for #blackandbrownlivesmatter. See the photo collage here.

UC Berkeley Vice Chancellor for Equity & Inclusion Gibor Basri penned an op-ed for The Daily Californian, reflecting on connections between the recent wave of protests in Berkeley and the campus climate for Black students at UC Berkeley. Dr. Basri noted, "I am deeply conscious that the police killings not only of Brown and Garner but of a much longer list of unarmed people of color have brought a new urgency to engage in issues of campus climate and equity." Read the full piece here.

Jonathon Simon, Professor of Law and a member of the Haas Institute Diversity & Democracy cluster, posted If black lives matter, end the War on Crime in the Berkeley Blog.

Media interviewing or covering Director john powell's perspective regarding the protests and reactions to the Brown and Garner cases include:


Stephen Menendian, Assistant Director at the Haas Institute, was a panelist on a webinar about using targeted universalism as an effective strategy for reducing health disparities. The webinar, organized by Leadership for Healthy Communities, focused on how to design and implement far-reaching policies that also target populations disproportionately affected by poor health. Watch the webinar.

Haas Institute researcher Wendy Ake co-authored a paper on food mapping and an alternative classification to "food deserts" for the Journal of Agriculture, Food Systems, and Community Development. 

Higher levels of income inequality are related to an increase in Black deaths, while the trend is reversed for whites: this is one of the findings from a new study receiving wide attention. Led by Prof. Amani Nuru-Jeter, a member of the Haas Institute Diversity and Health Disparities faculty cluster, the study examines the effects of the growing wage gap, focusing on racial disparities. “What we’re finding is that at the population level, income inequality may be a proxy for racial segregation, particularly for Black people,” Nuru-Jeter told the Atlanta Black Star. “Racial segregation and concentrated poverty can’t be completely disentangled from income inequality."  Read the UC News Center story. 

Haas Institute researchers Nadia Barhoum, Eli Moore, and Alexis Alvarez Franco attended a lunch with Richmond community leaders on Dec. 11, hosted by UC Berkeley Chancellor Nicholas Dirks. The lunch meeting centered on further discussions between the campus administration and community partners on the new Berkeley Global Campus at Richmond Bay. The Haas Institute has been working with community partners in Richmond for the past year on a collaborative initiative for ensuring inclusive community development in the plans for the new campus, which is slated to be the largest development in Richmond since WWII. At the lunch, Chancellor Dirks orally agreed with the community's request to reach consensus on community benefits before signing a plan with a developer. Read the Contra Costa Times write-up.

On Dec. 5, the Haas Institute clusters Disability Studies and Diversity and Democracy co-hosted a conference on Law and Disabilities at Berkeley Law. The event brought together scholars to discuss law, disability, and the challenge of equality in the US and Canada. 


Detroit's Recovery Plan flawed Without An Analysis That Includes Race
As the bankruptcy in Detroit comes to an end, a lot of work to change the underlying structural issues remains. A recent article in The Economist focused on mismanagement and population shrinkage in the past two decades and the restructuring plan to recover from municipal distress. The recovery plan's greatest flaw, according to Haas Institute Director and Detroit native john powell, is that the plan does not address the glaring racial divide in the city. Read Can Detroit Recover?
In a recent op-ed in the Detroit News, Detroit Peoples Water Board members Monica Lewis-Patrick and Lila Cabbil call on Mayor Duggan to adopt humane solutions to the city’s water crisis. Their piece, On Water Issues, It’s Detroit Versus the U.N., references an open letter by john powell and Mouhanad Hammami, co-chairs of the Wayne County Population Health Council, regarding the public health risk water shutoffs pose, especially for the impoverished.
An article in London’s Financial Times highlighted john powell's family to tell the story of Detroit through the lens of inequality, bankruptcy, and the city's proposed restructuring plan. Read Bitter history tempers hope in ending decline in Detroit.
Evelyn & Walter Haas, Jr. Fund Program Fellowship
The Evelyn & Walter Haas, Jr. Fund is offering a two year paid Program Fellowship for a position that offers hands-on experience in philanthropy and grantmaking, with an emphasis on Immigrant Rights and Integration program. Starting annual salary of  $70,000, plus benefits. Applications are due December 22, 2014. The term will start on or about February 2, 2015. More about the Haas, Jr. Fund Fellowship.
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