Haas Institute News and Updates

Vice Chancellor for Equity & Inclusion, Haas Institute Directors and UC Berkeley Faculty Sign Obama Letter "Beyond Ferguson"

Ask @BarackObama what's #BeyondFerguson?Haas institute director john a. powell, along with 125 other leaders, signed a letter asking Pres. Obama what will happen once the furor over Ferguson dies down. Specifically, the letter requests that the president act to end the militarization of local police forces and to establish community-centered policing nationwide, especially in low-income neighborhoods. 

"From policing to adjudication and incarceration, it is time for the country to counter the effects of systemic racial bias, which impairs the perceptions, judgment, and behavior of too many of our law enforcement personnel and obstructs the ability of our police departments and criminal justice institutions to protect and serve all communities in a fair and just manner." 

Haas Instititute Associate Director Michael Omi also signed the letter, as did Gibor Basri, UC Berkeley's Vice Chancellor for equity and inclusion and Na'ilah Suad Nasir, UC Berkeley professor of African American Studies and Education.

Read or download the letter.

john powell interviewed on Democracy Now! on Ferguson, MO

john powell and Amy Goodman on Democracy Now!

Director john a. powell is interviewed on Democracy Now! by Amy Goodman regarding the events in Ferguson, MO surrounding the police shooting death of unarmed teenager Michael Brown. 

Watch the segment or read the transcript of the 10 minute interview

JOB ANNOUNCEMENT: Fall GIS Research Assistant

Date:                June 18, 2014


Term:                Fall 2014

The Haas Institute for a Fair and Inclusive Society (Haas Institute) is seeking a student research assistant with GIS/Spatial Analysis education and experience. The position will require at least 10 hours of work per week, with a maximum of 20. Hourly wage is based on education/experience.  No benefits are provided.

About the Institute:
The Haas Institute for a Fair and Inclusive Society (“Haas Institute”) brings together researchers, stakeholders, policymakers, and communicators to identify and challenge the barriers to an inclusive, just, and sustainable society and to create transformative change. The Haas 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. 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.

Principal Duties:
The successful research assistant (RA) will be responsible for conducting spatial analysis and creating maps for research projects at Haas Institute involving social justice issues. The work also involves compiling and cleaning of existing or new data and analyzing from a spatial and non-spatial perspective. Finally, the results need to be summarized as maps, tables, charts and/or infographics, in connection with employment, housing, education, and other contexts in the social justice arena. Resulting research will be developed for a variety of publications and presentations. The selected candidate will report to and work under the guidance of senior GIS specialist.

Start Date/Length:
This position begins the week of August 21st, 2014, and lasts through the Fall 2014 semester, with a possibility of continuing through the Spring semester.   

Required Qualifications:

  Bachelor’s degree in Geography, Cartography, Urban Planning, Environmental Studies, Computer Science or a related field or 3-4 years experience in any of the above or related fields

  Substantial experience working with GIS software, preferably ArcGIS and its extensions

  Solid grasp of common GIS concepts, techniques and tools

  Demonstrated writing ability and competence with Microsoft word

  Experience with spreadsheet software, such as MS Excel

  Excellent communication skills and responsively

•  Ability to meet rapidly changing deadlines

•  Good organizational skills and the ability to work independently

Desired Qualifications:

•  Interest in issues of social justice as demonstrated through previous work projects

•  Familiarity with BLS and Census databases

•  Knowledge of web mapping technologies (ex. ArcGIS Server, MapBox)

•  Experience with graphic design is a plus

•  Experience with data visualization techniques, through programming or through available software platforms will be helpful

To Apply:
Please send as one electronic document, your resume, letter of interest (no more than two pages), writing and mapping samples to haasinstitute@gmail.com.

Press Release - How Will UC Berkeley’s New Richmond Campus Affect Low-Income Residents?


Will UC Berkeley’s New Campus in Richmond Cause Displacement of Low-Income Residents? 

January 2014: UC Berkeley and Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory have proposed a second campus, poised to be the biggest public project in Richmond since the WWII shipyards attracted workers in the 1940s. Researchers at the Haas Institute for a Fair and Inclusive Society assisted community-based organizations in Richmond with an analysis of the proposed Richmond Bay Campus' (RBC) social, economic and environmental impacts.

The planned expansion will have wide-ranging long-term impacts on the Richmond community and Bay Area. The Haas Institute and community partners Alliance of Californians for Community Empowerment and Contra Costa Interfaith seek to ensure that the benefits of the planned expansion are inclusive of the surrounding community, particularly groups historically marginalized from major development projects. The partnership is working to provide low-income renters, families, unemployed and underemployed, formerly incarcerated and immigrant residents, small business owners, and others the resources and avenue to engage in decision making around the development of the new campus. Input from these stakeholders and technical analysis have raised concerns about housing affordability, employment opportunities, displacement, and other potential impacts.

The Haas Institute research team, headed by Eli Moore, have been meeting with the Richmond community residents who worry that the new campus could cause further rent increases for this already vulnerable population. According to the analysis, “nearly half (48%) of renters in Richmond are housing cost burdened [paying more than 30% of income toward housing] and low income.” The proposed campus will increase housing demand without increasing the supply. Richmond is one of few areas in the Bay Area’s urban core with relatively affordable housing. The majority of residents near the proposed campus site are renters, and according to the study, “Richmond has some of the highest concentration of low income renters within the region.” The effect may cause the already at-risk population to relocate to more affordable housing in the outer-suburbs.

The environmental impact of displacement may be significant, as greenhouse gas emissions increase when the local population moves to the outer-suburbs and has increased commute times. If low income populations move away from the high job concentration in the urban employment hubs, their commutes will get longer. As commute times increase, so will greenhouse gas emissions. Additional analysis by an environmental engineer working with community leaders found potential air and water pollution.

“The challenge for Richmond, the University of California, and Lawrence Berkeley Labs is to forge strategies that allow for the economic effects of the new campus to have a broad and inclusive impact,” the report authors state. Community leaders recommend particular strategies to mitigate consequences including job training, targeted hiring among the local population and a living wage requirement for contracts. The researchers suggest that with strong support for affordable housing and regular conversations between community leaders and campus decision makers, the project could become a model for high-tech campuses seeking to leverage their economic power for inclusive community economic development.

Program Contact:
Eli Moore, Program Manager
Haas Institute for a Fair and Inclusive Society

Media Contact:
Rachelle Galloway-Popotas
Communications and Media Officer

Amicus Brief in Support of Inclusionary Zoning in San Jose

Brief Filed in California Supreme Court to Protect Inclusionary Zoning Laws

April, 2014: The Haas Institute for a Fair and Inclusive Society at University of California, Berkeley was a key contributor to an amicus (friend of the court) brief filed in support of the city of San Jose in a lawsuit that threatens the City’s inclusionary zoning laws. Inclusionary zoning is critical to protecting social inclusion and integration in municipal districts. Without inclusionary zoning laws, residential segregation is further exacerbated, greatly limiting access to economic and social mobility opportunities for low-income families.
At issue in the case are the City’s zoning requirements that protect San Jose’s efforts to continue to build and provide affordable housing in economically integrated neigh-borhoods. The case, entitled California Building Industry Association v. City of San Jose (Affordable Housing Network of Santa Clara County), is currently pending before the California Supreme Court. The outcome is expected to reverberate nationally as Cali-fornia is seen as a key leader in inclusionary zoning practices that help prevent widening inequality in metropolitan areas. San Jose is of particular interest due to its unique geographic role in the technology economy.

The Haas Institute co-authored and provided key support for the research and analysis of this brief in order to emphasize the important role that affordable housing plays in all sectors of life. More than 45 housing scholars, fair housing advocates and legal and policy analysts signed in support of the brief, including the Haas Institute’s Director john a. powell and Assistant Director Stephen Menendian.

Menendian noted, “San Jose is at the epicenter of a national conversation on rapidly widening inequality. In co-authoring the brief, we are emphasizing the essential importance of inclusionary zoning ordinances in preventing further displacement of low and middle income residents.” Menendian, a legal scholar who has written about fair housing issues for the last decade, further adds: “Lack of inclusionary zoning will result in further economic and racial segregation, which has proven long-term negative effects on all residents of an area.”

Mike Rawson, lead counsel for the City of San Jose, noted in an email to all signatories on the amicus brief: “The evidence marshaled, the analysis presented, and the picture that emerges of the crushing reality of segregation and opportunity denied are profound. The brief will ensure that the justices will see the case in all its ramifications.”

The amicus brief gives an analysis of the United States’ history of economic and racial residential segregation and the pernicious effects of the nation’s history of exclusionary zoning, policies which directly targeted groups of color. Inclusionary zoning is a unique and effective policy utilized by local governments to meet the challenges they face in regards to land use. The brief also details how inclusionary zoning expands opportunities for low and moderate income households.

“Housing is more than just shelter. Where we live affects residents’ opportunities for employment, school, transportation and other community assets. Simply increasing affordable housing is not enough. Where the housing is located is critical since we know that when poverty is concentrated, all other life chances are also compromised,” emphasizes john a. powell, Director of the Haas Institute.

Media Contact:
Rachelle Galloway-Popotas
Communications and Media Officer