MAY 28, 2015
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Workers strike for $15  - via Flickr Creative Commons

Higher Minimum Wage Points Toward New Norm, Suggests Berkeley Professor

In a recent New York Times article, Prof. Michael Reich of UC Berkeley's Institute for Research on Labor and Employment noted that the $15 minimum wage proposal "will bring wages up in a way we haven't seen since the 1960s." Reich said, "There's a sense spreading that this is the new norm, especially in areas that have the highest costs of housing." Reich was tapped by city leaders in Los Angeles to conduct a study on the potential of a higher minimum wage on lower-wage workers. The research of Reich, who is a faculty member in the Haas Institute Economic Disparities cluster, was also part of the Haas Institute's policy brief on reducing extreme inequality. One of the six key recommendations was increasing the minimum wage.

Examining Inequality and the Racial Wealth Gap

America’s “wealth gap" is framed mainly as the growing cliff between the rich elite and everyone else, but there is also a striking gap between people of color and their white counterparts. Both are highly concerning, but only one gets significant media attention, writes Sara Grossman in this new article on the racial wealth gap. Grossman also highlights different kinds of wealth—the kind of wealth that allows you to merely survive, to pay for basic necessities like food, water, and housing; and transformative wealth, the type of wealth that builds, that can be invested, that can fund college educations and retirement and opportunity for a more prosperous future. Grossman's article builds on dialogues during the recent Color of Wealth Summit in Washington DC. Read the article. Sara Grossman is a Haas Institute Communications Fellow and recent graduate of UC Berkeley.

Cover of Haas Institute Newsletter on Global Food SystemBuilding Equitable and Inclusive Food Programming

Haas Institute researchers Elsadig Elsheikh and Nadia Barhoum are part of a new collaborative project to cultivate more diverse voices in food and agricultural research, teaching, and activism at UC Berkeley and the larger network of food-justice organizations who engage with the university on food-related research. The new project, called "Building Equitable and Inclusive Food Programming at UC Berkeley" was one of over a dozen Innovation Grants recently awarded by UC Berkeley's Division of Equity & Inclusion. Several UC Berkeley food-justice oriented organizations will be partners in the new project including Berkeley Food Institute, Haas Institute for a Fair and Inclusive Society, Centers for Educational Equity and Excellence, and Multicultural Community Center"The grant will allow us to critically engage in dialogue and solutions regarding the lack of diversity in campus food initiatives. We not only want to be reflective of the diversity of the broader Berkeley community, we also want to make sure we are actively seeking out the voices and experiences of communities who are most directly affected by injustices in the food system," notes Elsadig Elsheikh, Director of the Haas Institute's Global Justice Program. "The seed money from the grant will enable our coalition to try and break down the barriers of possible elitism and privilege that food movements and research has been called out for," Elsheikh added.
Manuel Pastor at Othering and Belonging Conference

Transforming Othering into Belonging

Prof. Manuel Pastor of USC's Program for Environmental and Regional Equity, spoke at our recent Othering & Belonging Conference about strategies and actions that powerfully confront Othering. Watch the video of Dr. Pastor moderating this keynote panel discussion with fellow speakers Ai-jen Poo and Luis Garden Acosta on the opportunities and possibilities that emerge when we engage and lead with values for a fair and inclusive society. You can watch Dr. Pastor's plenary here and many other videos from the conference on our YouTube channel.  (And if you have not yet done so, please fill out the short conference evaluation!)

Haas Institute Summer
Brown Bag Lecture Series

Flyer for Brown Bag Lecture on June 10

June 10

Getting Past Capitalism: History, Vision, Hope
The Haas Institute will host a brown bag based on Cynthia Kaufman's book Getting Past Capitalism: History, Vision, Hope. Prof. Kaufman will share a presentation and engage in dialogue on capitalism as a set of practices, and will show how that understanding can help us know which crucial forms of action to take in order to build just and sustainable economies. She will also present alternatives to capitalism and explore strategies for developing and strengthening those alternatives. 12:00pm - 1:30pm  / 460 Stephens Hall, UC Berkeley  / Free and open to the public. Wheelchair accessible. / Contact Ebonye Gussine Wilkins for more information or questions.
June 11-12: Seattle, WA
2015 Governing for Racial Equity Conference
will take place June 11 - 12 in Seattle, WA. This event is a tremendous opportunity for government employees to learn what other jurisdictions are doing to achieve racial equity and eliminate institutional and structural racism, as well as share successes, struggles and wisdom with each other. Learn more about the conference here.

June 15: Madison, WI
Workshop: Public Sector Jobs—Advancing Workforce Equity
This workshop will be led by Julie Nelson, Director of the Government Alliance on Race and Equity and Haas Institute Senior Fellow. Nelson will highlight key strategies for employers in advancing racial equity for the public sector. This event will be held at the Lussier Family Heritage Center. 


Research Assistant: Law

Berkeley Law professor john a. powell, also Director of the Haas Institute, is seeking to hire two law student research assistants. RAs may work on research regarding: civil rights and human rights, racial and economic segregation, sexual orientation, religion, disability, gender, housing law, questions pertaining to the 14th Amendment, immigration and citizenship. RAs may assist in legal analysis, legal research, preparation of presentations, conferences and other engagements, writing projects including book chapters, journal articles, and bibliographic reviews. Full job description can be found here. To apply: Send resume, letter of interest (no more than two pages), and writing sample to Alyson Reimer at
Op-ed on implicit bias in the Grand Haven Tribune: The columnist cites The Science of Equality report where authors Rachel Godsil, Linda Tropp, Phillip Atiba Goff, and john a. powell examine research related to implicit bias, racial anxiety, and stereotype threat. 

From the 'Arm Pit of the Bay Area' to a Progressive Utopia on Earth: Article in San Francisco magazine examines the changing face of Richmond, California and references the recent Haas Institute report on housing and gentrification in Richmond.

The Haas Institute's Underwater America report was cited by a recent article entitled America’s elites are leaving it to die: TPP, Baltimore, Amtrak & the deteriorating fabric of a nation. The article was an examination of the implications of free trade on the U.S.'s urban areas. "According to a report titled Underwater America, from the Haas Institute at the University of California, of the 100 cities with the highest rate of underwater mortgages, 71 have a population that is more than 40 percent African-American and Latino." 

Understanding Our New Racial Reality Starts with the Unconscious: "We cannot move towards our goals of fairness and equality until we find ways to nurture the alignment of our unconscious with our conscious values," writes john a. powell in this new series produced by the Greater Good Science Center.

Implicit Bias and Its Role in Philanthropy and Grantmaking:  Cover story by Director john a. powell in a special issue on implicit bias from the National Committee on Responsive Philanthropy on how the study of mind science gives the philanthropic sector vital information about how to overcome unconscious biases.

Article from SEIU District 1199 on how belonging ties into the ongoing fight for social justice for members of the Service Employees International Union.

Insights about leadership development gleaned from the Othering & Belonging Conference from Deborah Meehan of Leadership Learning Community.

Jackson Free Press article from Kevin Fong on moving beyond our basic instinct to "Other" and connect to our higher aspiration: Belonging.

Alicia Garza, co-creator of #BlackLivesMatter, answers our questions in this blog post about her organizing and activism work, her sources of personal inspiration, and how a Belonging-centered framework is necessary in our work in social justice.

A 21st Century Problem: Lessons from the Armenian Genocide: Assistant Director Stephen Menendian examines the Armenian genocide that occurred 100 years ago this year, exploring the ramifications of the denialism that surrounded the killing of over one million Armenians, and why it's necessary to exercise political will within the international community to expose and punish such acts in order to avoid perpetuating cycles of violence.

Belonging and Impermanence: a perspective on the Othering & Belonging Conference from author Jeremy Adam Smith of the Greater Good Science Center.

Copyright © 2015 Haas Institute for a Fair & Inclusive Society, All rights reserved.

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