AUG 24, 2016
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Left to right: Paul Pierson, Jessica Bartholow, Mark Gomez in front of an audience at "Thinking Ahead with Paul Pierson" Photo Credit: Lauren Ahn

Photo credit: Lauren Ahn
Thinking Ahead with Paul Pierson: The Key to Prosperity Lies with Government

"Over the last 30 years, political support for government has been slipping away, and so has broad prosperity," said UC Berkeley Professor Paul Pierson during the second installment of our Thinking Ahead Speaker Series hosted by the Haas Institute as part of the conversation to understand the importance of government for improving the quality of life. “Building and sustaining effectiveness requires broad and organized political coalitions,” Pierson, who is also a member of the Haas Institute Economic Disparities research cluster, added. The talk continued the theme of how an effective government made the United States a prosperous nation, which is central to his new book co-authored with Jacob S. Hacker, entitled "American Amnesia." This talk, like all in the Thinking Ahead series, took place at the Citizen Engagement Lab in downtown Oakland.

Director john a. powell added, “It’s not about defending government as it is, but understanding that we can’t have a fair and inclusive society without a robust role of government.” Co-emcee Jessica Bartholow underscored the sentiment with a personal story, “I was able to exit poverty because of government,” she said, then offered a long list of government programs that made it possible for her to eat, attend college, and get a graduate degree.

“None of us are healthy when we live in a community where people are going hungry or don’t have a place to sleep,” Bartholow said. “We need to think of a paradigm shift and create together the government and economy and country that all of us need.” Read about the event

Inclusive Democracy Track at the Facing Race National Conference

Facing Race LogoWe are pleased to partner with Race Forward and the Center for Social Inclusion on the "Inclusive Democracy” track at the Facing Race National Conference, to be held November 10–12 in Atlanta, GA. Workshops and panels in the Inclusive Democracy track will feature innovative policies, practices, research, and narratives that support governing for racial equity.

“To achieve a truly inclusive democracy, community and government must work together,” Director john a. powell said, “To achieve our vision of an inclusive and effective government, we must expand our understanding of ‘who belongs.’ Facing Race is an excellent space for examining racial inequities across our society, and who has the opportunity to contribute to—and make demands on—society and political institutions.” Read more.

The Stakes of the 2016 Election for those with Disabilities

Our Senior Fellow Dr. Victor Pineda was recently featured in a video about what we are risking as a nation when we do not include the rights and needs of people with disabilities in our national conversations. There are 56 million people in the United States who have a disability, and they are an integral part of the American fabric. Health care is a critical piece to ensure that all Americans are well-cared for and there is a real threat to the safety and livelihood of twenty percent of our population if the Affordable Care Act (Obamacare) is repealed. Dr. Pineda talks about how critical the Obamacare is for the one in five Americans who have a disability, and what actions we need to take now to make sure that people with disabilities are more fully included in these rights and liberties. Dr. Pineda asks, "Who's going to be the candidate that really understands your issues?" Watch the entire video

john a. powellRestoring Voting Rights to Formely Incarcerated People

Director john powell appeared on "The Filter," an evening talk show on SiriusXM Progress to discuss Virginia Governor McAucliffe's push to restore voting rights for former prisoners. Listen to the segment.

Expanding the Circle of Human Concern

Migration, Austerity, and the Crisis at the Periphery of Europe

Photo by Stylianos Papardelas, occupied tents lining a railroad track

When an economic crisis takes hold of a country, what happens to its citizens under the duress of limited resources? What happens to the people seeking refuge at the borders who need asylum and opportunity?

These are some of the critical questions being asked as the European Union is struggling to meet the needs of both groups and to provide relief for those who have no other options. Researcher Ilaria Giglioli leads us through the precedence of similar migration patterns, and how the most recent economic downturn has produced additional problems and bred resentment from nationals who demand help before assisting those at the borders. Read the article.


Africans Food Sovereignty Working Group

Tuesday, September 6, 5:00PM
442 Stephens Hall, UC Berkeley
Are Sub-Saharan Africa’s (SSA) agricultural systems too heterogeneous for Climate Smart Agriculture (CSA)? In this talk, Anthony Oyoo discusses how spatial and temporal heterogeneity in crop choice, farm management, and farm-level decision making affect the landscape-level adaptive response necessary for CSA success in SSA. More information.

Thinking Ahead Fall 2016 PosterThinking Ahead with Jim Pugh and Chris Benner


Universal Basic Income: Is this the way we can tackle extreme inequality?

September 13 , 12:15 pm – 1:45 pm
Citizen Engagement Lab
1330 Broadway, Third Floor

RSVP at:

Work with Us

There are openings for graduate positions at the Haas Institute. Deadlines vary, so please check the details. Learn more

Agroecological Fellows Program

The UC Gill Tract Community Farm has a new Agroecological Fellows Program (AFP) for current UC Berkeley students for the 2016–2017 academic year, which provides valuable learning opportunities for students interested in: food justice, agroecology, urban farming, community-based organizations, non-profit administration, and equitable economies; allowing them to become successful change-makers. Each fellowship position is for 10 hours per week, with a remuneration of $12/hour for undergraduate students or $15/hr for graduate students. Details about the application and each position are on the AFP website.
Application Deadline: Monday August 29, 2016, 5:00 PM.

Home with a Purpose, Safe Return Project Case Study report coverHome with a Purpose, A History of the Safe Return Project

How did a group of formerly incarcerated people develop the power and capacity to lead an effort that made Contra Costa County the only county in California to reject a proposed jail expansion? This report  answers these questions and offers an in-depth analysis of the Richmond-based Safe Return Project, including challenges, successes, and key lessons the formation, development, and impact of the organization

Our New Othering & Belonging Journal

Othering & Belonging Print CoverCombining research, editorials, the arts, and other projects, pieces, and reflections on creating a more inclusive society, the Othering & Belonging journal is a fresh look at where we are and where we want to go. 

This first issue features pieces such as "The Problem of Othering: Towards Inclusiveness and Belonging," "Reflections on Policing: Organizers in Five Communities Speak Out," and more. Read and share.
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