Haas Institute for a Fair and Inclusive Society


On Monday, November 24, the decision was announced that a grand jury in St. Louis County would not indict Ferguson, MO police officer Darren Wilson for the August 9 shooting death of unarmed teenager Michael Brown. Read the response from john powell, Director of the Haas Institute for a Fair and Inclusive Society. john notes:

"What we are witnessing is a reflection of a systematic failure in our society that is revealed wherever we are willing to look—schools, health care, employment, housing, life expectancy, poverty, and the list goes on. The problem is persistent, cumulative, and deeply debilitating. The arrest rate or murder rate between African Americans and whites, as evidenced by a recent set of studies, cannot be explained by the "behavior of blacks," as some will quickly suggest. Nor can it only be explained by explicit racism in the police department or other systems that fail to serve the black community. What we are seeing is the consequence of a systematic failure at every level, and a political response that ranges from hostility to neglect. But many people in Ferguson and around the country of different races and from different perspectives are saying no, and demanding: enough.

The attention to those killed remind us that these deaths are not isolated incidents, but part of a larger pattern. Decades of segregation and inequality in Ferguson, as well as most American metropolitan areas, have fostered a racial inequality exacerbated by the criminalization of not just poverty, but the criminalization of black and brown bodies. Too many whites, including those in uniform–with guns and the authority of the state–are too willing to believe that a black body poses a threat."

Read the full response.


In “The Science of Equality Volume 1: Addressing Implicit Bias, Racial Anxiety, and Stereotype Threat in Education and Health Care," the Perception Institute, a national consortium of social scientists and legal scholars, begins a series of landmark reports to understand this challenge and to provide empirically tested solutions to address it. This report is the first of its kind, linking key phenomena in the mind sciences—implicit bias, racial anxiety, and stereotype threat—showing their significant impacts in the critical domains of education and health care, and offering research-driven interventions to address their effects.

Download the report.
Read more about the report. 


Our new video frames the mission of the Haas Institute and the seven research clusters that form the core of the work we're doing to advance a fair and inclusive society. Watch more videos on our YouTube channel.


KPFA Evening Dialogue: john powell on history of race and power

Haas Institute director spoke on Nov. 5 at St. John's Presbyterian Church in Berkeley on the history of race in America and the relationship to Ferguson today. Read A History of Race and Power.

Anchor Richmond: Community Recommends Strategies for Development of new UC Campus in Richmond

On Oct. 30, community activists and researchers at the Haas Institute for a Fair and Inclusive Society released a report on UC Berkeley to partner with existing residents to support the community vision for the largest development project in the city since World War II.  The report, “Anchor Richmond: Community Opportunity & Anchor Strategies for the Berkeley Global Campus at Richmond Bay,” is the outcome of a yearlong research project that examined the opportunities and dangers of a new campus’ development.

Read the Anchor Richmond Report.

Henry Brady, Na'ilah Nasir and Denise Hurd.Research to Impact: Showcasing Impactful Faculty Research
The Haas Institute hosted an exciting and interactive event and panel discussion to on Sept. 15 to engage UC Berkeley faculty cluster members whose visionary, multidisciplinary research advances the realization of an inclusive and equitable society. Read more about Research to Impact.


Hilary Hoynes and Michael Reich.

The Path to a Fair and Inclusive Society: Policies that Address Rising Inequality

Congresswoman Barbara Lee keynoted an event with the Haas Institute in Washington, D.C. on September 10 which served as the official  launch of a new policy brief outlining recommendations to reduce income and wealth inequality. Lee was joined by three scholars from the Haas Institute: Hilary Hoynes, john a. powell, and Michael Reich. Learn more about Policies that Address Rising Inequality.


Prof. john powell spoke at the recent International Symposium of Contemplative Studies, hosted by the Mind & Life Institute, in Boston, MA. The conference focused on bridging mindfulness and social justice to transform the educational system. Read more.

Fifty years after the federal War on Poverty, Berkeley’s Law School hosted a symposium to examine lessons over the past five decades and the historical and ongoing role lawyers and law students play in reducing inequality and expanding opportunity. Read more.


Haas Institute Researcher Nadia Barhoum discusses the collaborative research project with community partners that led to the Anchor Richmond report, released on Oct. 30. Nadia outlines the community's vision for the new Berkeley Global Campus at Richmond Bay. Read Nadia's post, "An even bolder vision for the Berkeley Global Campus."

Haas Institute Fellow Rasheed Shabazz explains that despite the number of known police shootings each year, the federal government lacks reliable data about police shootings and excessive force. Read Rasheed's post, "The Black Record: Why we don't know how often police kill."

Read more on the Haas Institute's blog.

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The Haas Institute for a Fair and Inclusive Society at UC Berkeley brings together researchers, community stakeholders, policymakers and communicators to identify and challenge the barriers to an inclusive, just and sustainable society and create transformative change. The Institute serves as a national hub of a vibrant network of researchers and community partners and will take a leadership role in translating, communicating and facilitating research, policy and strategic engagement.

At the heart of the Haas Institute are seven faculty clusters of teaching and research that focus on addressing society’s most pressing and pivotal issues related to vulnerable and marginalized populations. The Haas Institute draws upon UC Berkeley’s considerable multidisciplinary excellence and history of engaged leadership through seven research clusters involving almost 100 scholars from UC Berkeley. At its core are eight endowed chairs focused on equity and inclusion—a force that is unprecedented at UC Berkeley and unparalleled in the nation.

The Haas Institute advances research and policy related to marginalized people while essentially touching all who benefit from a truly diverse, fair and inclusive society. 

The Director of the Haas Institute is john a. powellan internationally recognized expert in the areas of civil rights and civil liberties and a wide range of issues including race, structural racism, ethnicity, housing, poverty, and democracy. Learn more about john powell and all Haas Institute staff.

New Haas Institute Project

The Government Alliance on Race & Equity is a national network of government working to achieve racial equity and advance opportunities for all. When government takes action, significant leverage and expansion opportunities emerge, setting the stage for the achievement of racial equity in our communities. The Government Alliance on Race & Equity, along with Mayor Betsy Hodges of the City of Minneapolis and Mayor Chris Coleman of the City of St. Paul, held the first Regional Convening on Racial Equity on August 5 to 6 in Minneapolis. The Minneapolis convening featured multiple keynotes and a dozen workshops that focused on local work within government and in the community, as well as national partners who shared innovative best practices. Workshops emphasized the importance of a shared vision and mutually supportive roles and responsibilities, and were interactive and provided concrete skills and tools. Learn more about the Government Alliance on Race and Equity.

Spring 2014 Newsletter

Our Spring Newsletter highlights key program activities, research and events from the spring 2014 semester, including:

an analysis of the current state of "Global Hunger and the Food System" by our Global Justice program staff;

highlights from our seven academic faculty clusters;

recent blog postings;

event recaps and more. 

Download and read the full newsletter.


Anchor Richmond Report

The Haas Institute for a Fair and Inclusive Society released a new report on Oct. 30. Anchor Richmond: Community & Anchor Strategies for the Berkeley Global Campus at Richmond Bay examines the potential impacts and opportunities of a large new development project to be built in one of the region’s most economically distressed cities - Richmond, Calif. Haas Intitute researchers and community advocates from Contra Costa Interfaith Service Organization (CCISCO), Alliance of Californians for Community Empowerment (ACCE), and Safe Return Project co-authored the report on the Berkeley Global Campus at Richmond Bay. The program makes recommendations on housing, jobs, education and building wealth.

Underwater America Report

Underwater America Report

Read our new report entitled Underwater America: How the So-Called Housing Recovery is Bypassing Many Communities. In the first report of its kind, the authors analyze negative equity and foreclosure data together with race and income data, at a zip code level, as well as city and metropolitan area. The report uncovers the depth of the housing problem that persists in these hard hit communities, as well as how the legacy of predatory lending has meant a disproportionate negative impact on African American and Latino communities. One in ten Americans live in the 100 hardest hit cities where the number of underwater homeowners range from 22% to 56%, the report says. Read more and download the report.

Building a Network for Transformative Change

Building a Network for Transformative Change

The Haas Network for Transformative Change is fundamentally about building relationships, bringing people and organizations together, and developing robust connections for multi-level, multi-sector impact. By bringing together researchers, policymakers, stakeholders, advocates, grassroots organizations and communities across the nation to work in alignment to dismantle marginalizing barriers, we seek to fashion a more inclusive, just, and sustainable society. A key function of the Haas network will be to enhance, if not create, the ability to work on issues that are complex, important, and impactful, but within areas that have not been addressed due to a lack of capacity or interdisciplinary foci. Read more in Building a Network for Transformative Change: A Network and Convening Summaries.



Our report on BEYOND BANKRUPTCY, a collaborative project that addresses the critical issue of municipal distress by bringing together researchers, community organizers, scholars, and practitioners to reframe the narrative and offer concrete strategies for this critical issue facing a large number of municipalities nationwide. The report details the project's background and gives a comprehensive look at the first convening which took place April 7-8 in Detroit. Download the full conference report on the Beyond Bankruptcy website.

Where Credit Is Due

Edited by Director john a. powell and Kirwan Institute's Outreach Director Christy Rogers

While much recent attention has been focused on the subprime lending and foreclosure crisis, little has been said about its radically-disparate impact. Drawing upon history as well as insight into the current crisis, this book shows that this crisis is not an anomaly, especially for people of color; nor is it over. People of color have been excluded from wealth-building opportunities via homeownership continuously throughout United States history, from the outright denial of credit and residential racial discrimination, to federally-sponsored urban renewal programs. The subprime lending and foreclosure crisis is predicted to strip a quarter of a trillion dollars in wealth from black and Latino homeowners. It has reversed home ownership gains for people of color and has decimated neighborhoods across the United States while impacting local, regional, national, and international economies. The consequences are devastating. This collection of essays provides a framework for creating equitable policy and ultimately building more stable communities for all Americans.

Racing to Justice

A collection of essays by john a. powell concerning our nation's conceptions of self and other to build an inclusive society.