The Haas Institute hosted a Sept. 21, 2018 panel titled "Towards Equity in Policy and Pedagogy" where affiliated faculty members presented their new policy briefs.
The policy briefs are available for download here.
Oscar Dubon: All right, so good morning. My name is Oscar Dubon. I'm vice chancellor for equity and inclusion, and I wish to welcome our students, our community partners, our faculty, our staff, our campus colleagues for taking the time to be here for this wonderful event. I am truly delighted to open this event, Toward Equity in Policy and Pedagogy, which is hosted by the Haas Institute For a Fair and Inclusive Society, HIFIS. The Haas Institute is Cal's hub of engaged scholars, researchers, strategic communicators, policy makers, and community partners who are working to identify and eliminate the barriers to an inclusive, just, and sustainable society. They offer cutting edge research and toolkits that respond to our most pressing issues. The work that you will hear today is rooted in current critical issues related to inequality, social inclusion, and the democracy. It is framed and informed by real-world applicability and policy, advocacy, pedagogical tools, and strategies about integrating equity inclusion in practice. At this time, I wish to call up Professor john powell, director of HIFIS. john is a highly regarded thought leader in these areas and really has been a critical and important voice addressing the issues that have come upon our nation, and it has really been important to have john because Berkeley's called in to weigh on these issues. To have john here provide that critical voice and that critical vision around so many issues has been really instrumental, not just the nation, but also for our own community here at Cal because all those national issues do impact our own communities. I am really privileged to welcome john to the podium.
john a. powell: Kind of awkward getting to this short podium. First, I'd like to just acknowledge that we're on Ohlone land, and as much of Northern California and want to give acknowledgment to that and our respect to the Ohlone Nation. We just have like 30 seconds of silence and respect for that. Thank you. Thank all of you for coming out. First of all, I just want to acknowledge Oscar. Oscar's been a great partner in this endeavor. He stepped into the position, and I must say it's interesting being here in many ways. Some of you may not know and I only have a few minutes. I won't take you through a long contorted story, but I was about to go to another university, UT Austin, and got a call from my daughter saying, "You can't do that. You have a granddaughter here in the Bay Area." I said, "But I don't have a job in the Bay Area."
Then I got a call from Michael Omi about this position. One of the conditions, I said, is that if it made sense that I got the position, I'd only do it if Michael would be our associate director at the Haas Institute, so Michael was the first associate director. I felt like, first, I've known Michael forever, and also he knows the university. He knows the system, so I thought it would be great partnership. And it was. Some difficulty just getting things started, trying to get hires. Then Michael had some medical issues and just being tired, which I think a lot of us can relate to. He decided to stay involved, but to step down as associate director. I was pretty distraught, and then up stepped Taeku, and it's like my distraught went away.
Taeku came at an interesting time. We were just finishing most of the hiring, and Taeku really focused on getting the research and pushing it out. Part of what you see is Taeku's efforts in terms of the briefs, working with the clusters to get the briefs really done, and it is beautiful. I want to thank all of the cluster members and the cluster leaders who participated in those briefs. They're really quite amazing. Then as life would have it, Taeku decided that he was moving on. I started to get really distraught again. Then up stepped Denise. It's like my father is a Christian minister. He would say, "God is great." Those who don't know Denise, you do yourself a favor and get to know her. She's in public health. She's been at Berkeley for many years. She was at the very inception thinking about HIFIS before it was HIFIS. She's a leader on the campus, a wonderful thought partner, and just really a great person to work with. Even though Taeku and Michael have shifted gears, we're still humming. Also, I want to give a special thanks out to the Haas Junior Fund, which none of this would have happened without their vision, their leadership, and their money. I want to give a special thanks out to Cathy Cha, who I think is here. Including they're pushing us to get more stuff out, including these briefs you're going to see. As one persons said, the briefs are really beautiful, but they're not so brief. But we're dealing with critical issues, as Oscar said. They're real issues that affect real people, and the world is changing very fast. I think this cutting edge of interdisciplinary research that's associated with practice organized by some of the best scholars in the world, it couldn't happen at a more critical time.
I also just wanted to thank the Haas staff. I work with them every day. They make this possible. They're the backbones behind the scene, and you may not see them, but you actually feel their impact. I just want to acknowledge them as well. Then finally, there's always this tension between scholarship, between interdisciplinary scholarship and practice. I was at the Ohio State University running a different institute, and I remember talking to one of the heads of an area about linking scholarship and practice, and they said, "It doesn't work. You can't do that. Policy and scholarship doesn't go together." I said this is a big university, so we can have different opinions, but that's what I'm about. One of the things we launched was bringing together the mind science, the stuff around implicit bias, anxiety, and pushing that out of the academy into the world. Once that exploded, one of the provosts said, the Ohio State University came to me and said, "Why aren't you working with the faculty here?" Because I was working at the faculty at Harvard and at Washington, University of Washington, but not at my own university. I said, "I'm happy to," and I went back to that same person again, and we started working together. To me, it's sort of really important that Berkeley is on the forefront of this. It's not resistant to it. It's actually stepping into it. You're going to have a chance to see some of the best work, some of the best scholars doing that work. I'm going to get out of the way and hand it over to them. Again, thank all of you for coming, and thank the Haas staff and the leaders for the work you've done.
Denise Herd: Thank you so much, john. I didn't know that we both had in common that we were raised by Christian ministers. You learn something new every day, and I would say being here today is a blessing. I'm just really delighted to be here. I think this event represents so much because as john mentioned I've been associated with this initiative before while it was in the planning stages, and I remember the days that Gibor Basri and Alice Agogino, she's an engineer, they were doing town hall meetings with faculty and staff and students at Berkeley, working on an issue that we're still working with, and that is climate especially for underrepresented minority students. They thought that one of the keys to advancing the climate, improving the climate was to diversify the faculty. The initiative under Chancellor Birgeneau had that goal, and that was to diversify the faculty to improve our climate here. Under Chancellor Birgeneau's direction, the new initiative began to take shape, and the goal was not only to diversify the faculty, but it was also to make Berkeley a centerpiece of this kind of scholarship. That would be nationally and in fact globally recognized.
When I see an event like today where the initiative has blossomed to the point that not only have we recruited just an amazing group of scholars, and Berkeley is known for having rock stars. The people that we have been able to hire through this initiative, which includes, I think we probably have 10 or 11 people in faculty positions now, they represent some of the highest caliber of people that you're going to find at any university. We've recruited them from places like Harvard, from just high ranking institutions, but I think what really moves me about them is that they are deeply committed to scholarship, excellent scholarship that advances the cause and the mission around justice and equity in a fair and democratic society. The other thing about them is we have superstars, but they're not lone people working in their silos. They're working in collaboratives with other faculty. The cluster system that was a part of this model from what I can see is pretty unique across the country. Our faculty that we hired are working with faculty in seven different clusters. They lead clusters, and these clusters have about over 90 faculty that they're engaged in, so we have this collaboration of folks across the campus, and it's a network. In a time when we feel like democracy's threatened, it's a network for continuing democracy and justice and equity. Instead of being individual rock stars, we've got a constellation of people networking across campus, working in this area. As john said, they're not just doing scholarship. Scholarship is incredibly important, but they're also engaging in communities. They're engaging with the issues of our time, and they've been selected to be leaders. Leadership and policy advocacy are some of the characteristic that we've looked for when we hired them. We have a great group of faculty. We have a great group of people collaborating together, and today's an occasion in which we're going to celebrate. We're kicking off a year in democracy and equity. I think we need that frame, and we're going to get a glimpse of the research that are happening in the clusters, and we're also going to acknowledge and really celebrate the launching of the policy briefs that are coming out of the issues that these clusters have been working on for quite a while.
As you'll see as the program unfolds, the clusters have been addressing some of the core issues that create barriers to equity in our society, racial injustice, segregation, antipathy towards LGBT and disabled people, poverty, and educational inequality. Those are some of the issues that the clusters have been working on, which these briefs reflect. Our format today is we're going to have two panels, and the first panel we'll be talking about the research interests and activities of the clusters. The second one will focus on the briefs. I just wanted to give you a little overview of what our format is going to be. We'll have the panel one and panel two, and then we'll have time for dialog and for Q&A and interaction with the audience. To facilitate our Q&A we'll have index cards will be circulated, and so as the panelists are speaking, if you could please write your questions down. They'll be collected and synthesized in time for our Q&A. Let's see. Where am I? Now, I'm really pleased to introduce our panelists, and as john mentioned, I also wanted to acknowledge Taeku Lee, who helped as john described. He's been really instrumental in working with the cluster and cluster faculty for the past two years, and he worked very closely with faculty around the development of these briefs. He'll be speaking on the second panel. I'm going to briefly introduce our panel members. They have extensive bios and accomplishments, and I hope that you read about them on the Haas website so I'm just going to introduce them very briefly with respect to their role with the clusters.
First we have Osagie Obasogie, and Osagie is chair of diversity and health disparities cluster, and he's professor of bioethics in the Joint Medical Program in School of Public Health. Karen Barkey is the chair of the religious diversity cluster and a professor of sociology. Janelle Scott is chair of the diversity in educational policy cluster and professor in education and African-American studies. Cybelle Fox is the acting chair of the diversity and democracy cluster and professor of sociology. Sonia Katyal is chair of LGBT citizenship cluster and a chancellor's professor of law, and Karen Nakamura is the chair of the disabilities study cluster and professor of anthropology. Jovan Lewis is a Haas assistant professor in undergraduate faculty advisor for human geography. At this time, I'm going to ask the panelists their first question, and they'll each have a few minutes to respond to the question. The first question for each panel member is what contributions does your cluster make to the campus faculty research initiative on diversity and social equity? Did everybody get that, or should I repeat it again? Okay, so we'll take the panelists, and you'll have two or three minutes. There's a timekeeper there that is going to remind you of when you need to stop.
Osagie Obasogie: We tend to think of health as something that is fixed by our genes. We pour millions of dollars year into genetic research to try to figure which genes or set of genes correlate with particular health outcomes, but genes are only part of the picture. Researchers estimate that less than 20% of deaths from chronic disease can be attributed to our genetics. At the health disparities cluster, we see our work as exploring this other 80%. The cluster brings together faculty from departments across campus to think about and explore the role that social, economic, legal, and political factors play in creating disparities regarding who gets to live healthy and productive lives, and who dies prematurely. It turns out that the more advantaged our lives are, the longer we live, and the healthier we are from birth to old age. This is what we call the social determinants of health. That is that one's social position strongly correlates and predicts with health status. This social determinants position creates an enormous opportunity. We don't need fancy new genetic technologies to make the world a better and safer place, and you don't have to win the genetic lottery to live a long and healthy life.
Rather, research shows that if we can create more social and economic opportunities for people across race, gender, and class lines we can create a healthier and more sustainable future for everyone. Therefore, the health disparities cluster creates partnerships across campus with our community stakeholders here in California and with folks across the globe to figure out which type of interventions can be developed to improve population health. This contributes significantly to increase in diversity and social equity. Living long and healthy lives is not something that should only be accessible to those who are wealthy. Our cluster is working to democratize health and to institutionalize healthy outcomes so that the happenstance of where you are born does not dictate the ability to live a good life. In a few minutes, my colleague, Mahasin Mujahid, will discuss our cluster's policy brief, the Sick Side of Town, which talks about how place and neighborhoods shapes health outcomes. We're very proud of this brief and the phenomenal research that our cluster members that it describes. Our cluster faculty are out there in the world making tremendous interventions that focus on how social and environmental changes can improve the lives of the most disadvantaged. We see this as fulfilling a key aspect of the Haas Institute's initiative on diversity and social equity, and with your continued support we can continue to do this work for many years to come. Thank you.
Karen Barkey: It's on? Hi. Hello. First, I just actually want to thank everybody who contributed to this event because it just is an incredible accomplishment, so thank you, everyone. Second, I want to actually start by introducing my new colleague, who is sitting right now, Ronit Stahl, who is the new assistant professor at the Haas religious diversity cluster and in the history department. Her work, "Enlisting Faith: How the Military Chaplaincy Shaped Religion and State in Modern America," is really actually extraordinary, and I think you should all look at it. It looks at how the chaplaincy developed in the military and how it grew to influence American society and American issues of religion from World War I to the 1980s. It really fits the cluster, and it's very important. Okay, the religious diversity cluster really interrogates the role of religion in public life, especially with issues relating to religious diversity, religious pluralism, toleration, coexistence. How do religious groups come to coexist, some to live together in peace without hatred?
Comprised a very diverse and multidisciplinary group of scholars engaged especially in comparative, in historical studies to understand the role of religion, the role of religious pluralism across time, across political contexts in the past and in the contemporary world, in the Western and non-Western areas of the world in order to create an established set of tools to understand the way in which religious pluralism works. If you take the concept of religious pluralism, we ask the question of how is it that political and social institutions contribute, work to create religious pluralism, and then we turn the question around and we think, how is it that religious pluralism impacts, affects institutions? What does it do to institutions? How does it improve the working of institutions? Those are those two questions in a sense. That's what motivates us. Then we actually have, and I think this is something I love about our cluster is that we all have an incredible diversity of projects that we actually carry partly on our own and with our students and within our department, and then we have a collective cluster enterprise that really also brings all these questions together. I won't talk about individual projects because I don't have time, but collectively the big project, and in fact this afternoon we're all getting together to start writing a grant on this, is we're starting to think about how the religious pluralism, democracy, liberalism work together, how they don't work together, how they do work together? And how do we interrogate each of these concepts to figure out ways to come up with solutions? As you know, there's a lot of critiques of democracy, a lot of critiques of liberalism out there for not including religion and this and that. In a sense, we want to go further. We want to figure out alternative ways of thinking about these concepts and come up with policy initiatives based on that. I will finish by saying that I want to thank and I want to introduce now Grace Goudiss, who will take this space because she's the graduate student in history, fourth year, who actually worked with me on the American religious diversity policy brief that we did. She will explain it. She's been central to keeping our cluster together and the role of not only faculty but over our graduate students in these institutions. We have stellar graduate students. They are fantastic, and we need to include them into our clusters. I think she will do the job next, so thank you.
Janelle Scott: Good morning, everyone. Hi, I'm Janelle Scott. I chair the race diversity and education policy cluster. Thank you all for being here. Look forward to our conversation today. I realized this morning that I've been talking too much to my husband about this event. When I was talking about the clusters and my 11-year-old this morning said, "So, are the clusters like cereal?" [crosstalk 00:25:01] "Yeah, they're kind of like cereal, I think." Cereal is delicious.
Our cereal in the cluster is comprised by Patricia Baquedano-Lopez, Tina Trujillo, Jabari Mahiri, Kris Gutierrez, Michael Dumas, Mark Brilliant, Rucker johnson, Christopher Edley, Lisa Garcia Bedolla, and Zeus Leonardo. I think at the core of our cluster, and I would be remiss if I didn't mention Na'ilah Nasir, who was formerly with our cluster, is now president of the Spencer Foundation. I think Na'ilah and I were unique in that we were hired together in our search, and both of us were Berkeley alumni as well. We sort of came home for this initiative, and it's been wonderful celebrating my 10-year anniversary this month of coming back to Cal. At the core of cluster is some assumption around research, that research matters, that applied work matters, that partnerships matter. We're focused largely on policy in practice and pedagogy or related to educational justice. In terms of what we have been doing, I think we've been doing quite a bit. Our faculty both individually and collectively are all over the place on campus, and so from the Kerner Commission event last year, where Rucker johnson's research on segregation was presented. Tina Trujillo and I co-authored a report on discipline policies in schools and how they disproportionately affect students of color from the National Education Policy Center in Boulder, Colorado. We've also collaborated on some work on a study for Teach For America. There's been ongoing research in the Oakland Unified School District by members of our cluster, Tina Trujillo, john powell, and Na'ilah Nasir have been involved with that along with a host of graduate students. We've also run an active speaker series bringing to campus scholars whose work is really advancing our thinking around race and educational disparity, and so people like Vanessa Siddle Walker, Linda Darling Hammond, William Perez, and Jamie [Lu 00:27:05]. This year, our series is going to focus specifically on education and segregation, so look for those announcements soon.
Then finally, I just want to highlight, I think, something that's become, we've very proud of it. We've developed a signature course for our cluster, a graduate level course, called Research Advances in Race, Diversity, and Education Policy. I see a couple of students in the room that have taken that class. I'm teaching it this semester. It's a wonderful course. What I think what this course has done is really brought together what this initiative in part always hoped to be. We have students from all over campus who take this class. For example, this semester we have students from the Goldman School of Public Policy, the Graduate School of Education, African-American studies, social welfare, psychology, Berkeley Law, and computer science in the class, and really learning together. The core premise of this course is that we actually do really good job in education policy research taking about race. We measure it. We measure gaps, but we don't talk about racism very much, and how these gaps show up in our processes, our pedagogies, and our policies. This course really helps us to think hard about what we mean by race, what assumptions drive our metrics, and what assumptions drive our interventions. I think the students that have gone from this course have published some of the work they've written, but have also gone out into the field and really trying to change the world and make it a more just and inclusive place. Thank you.
Sonia Katyal: Hi, everyone. My name's Sonia Katyal, and I share the LGBTQ citizenship cluster. It's such an incredible honor for me to be here, and to also just listen to the amazing work of the other clusters. I look forward to working with all of you in your own projects. Our cluster, I think, is really one of the first of its kind in the country. One of the things that I think is particularly notable about our cluster which focuses on LGBTQ issues is that it reflects a really strong focus on gender or sexual minorities, but also situates a concern for that constituency within a host of other issues that also focus on class, gender, race, immigration, disability, increasingly incarceration, as well. One of the things that I think is particularly awesome about the cluster is also our composition which is we have a number of scholars that are legal scholars, but we also have a really rich reflection of all of the different ways in which LGBTQ identity intersects with other kinds of areas. We have a number of faculty from ethnic studies. We have a faculty member from the French department. We have an anthropology scholar. Then, we have a number of scholars who are also part of the cluster who are housed in gender and women's studies, and it adds, I think, a really rich and exciting source of conversation about focusing on LGBTQ issues within the scope of all of the different projects that individuals have been working on.
In the past, the cluster has done some amazing things in terms of putting together really important critical conversations that focus on critical discourse, but also situating them within this realm of focus on law and policy. Last year, we had an event on Orlando that brought in a number of scholars to talk about what happened in Orlando also within a scope of concern that focused on issues of immigration, issues of racial identity, but also issues that focused on the importance of the creation of safe spaces within the LGBTQ community. Earlier, there was another event that we had that focused on race and passing, both within the trans community as well as a racial context. The former chair did a number of groundbreaking projects that brought in empirical research within the LGBTQ community, and this year, we're particularly excited that we have just hired Erik Stanley to join our cluster who is a junior higher who works on transgender issues, and we're incredibly excited to see what Erik brings to our cluster. In terms of the future, we have a number of really exciting events planned. We hope to really actively partner with other clusters to talk about different intersections within the LGBTQ community with respect to housing, with respect to immigration, with respect to trans-related issues. We've had discussions about holding an event to both celebrate but also contemplate the future of sexual equality in India because of the recent 377 decision. We also hope to have a retreat to set a more active agenda for the future.
The idea behind all of these projects is to really support the visibility of integrating LGBT issues within policy, but also within all of these important and exciting discussions that happen throughout our campus. Part of this, I think, is also informed by the fact that so many members of our cluster also have a really critical view about the way in which law and policy has evolved across time, and that, I think, brings a really rich level of discussion to some of the issues that we focus on. Our members, I think, are really outstanding in the way in which they situate LGBTQ issues at the core of the work that they do, but also situating it within this broader landscape that also focuses on other subjects, as well. In the future, I really hope that we can draw on our collective work that is being done within the cluster, such important work that's being done on disability, class, and gender, but also in other subjects, but to also balance a strong interest in these subjects within a larger landscape that focuses on law and policy, but also really celebrates the importance of critical discourse which is such an important focus of all of us here at Berkeley, so thank you so much.
Cybelle Fox: I'm Cybelle Fox, and I'm the acting chair of the diversity and democracy cluster. The central focus of the D&D cluster, as we like to call it, is the question of how liberal democratic principles and practices adapt to an increasingly diverse population. Questions about citizenship and membership that flow from this agenda are both descriptive, enormitive, and they touch on the formation and fragmentation of the personal and communal identities in which we and they are created.
They also touch on the disputes about categorization of groups and the allocation of rights and benefits to such groups whether they're based on race or ethnicity, religion, national origin, or legal status, and they touch on the participation of all individuals and groups in civic and political life. The D&D sponsors a variety of speakers and forums in collaboration with the center for the study of race and gender. We co-sponsored a talk last fall by Yale professor Alicia Schmidt Camacho. The talk examined how migrants insert their voices into debates about border governance and how they assert their rights in terms that can test the primacy of citizenship as the anchor for social belonging. In collaboration with the health disparities cluster, we also co-sponsor the quality law scholars forum. This was a convening designed to showcase and mentor legal scholars who are junior faculty and who are working in the area of equality law. A number of senior faculty associated with the cluster participated in this event including Bertrall Ross, Jonathon Simon, and former cluster chair, Angela Onwuachi-Willig. Last spring, cluster member, Lisa Garcia Bedolla, gave an inspiring talk in the researched impact faculty colloquium series where she was talking about some of her research on how to promote political engagement in communities where political participation has traditionally been low, especially Latin ex communities. The cluster also invited Princeton political scientist, Paul Frymer, to speak. The talk that he gave drew on his most recent book, Building an American Empire, and he talked about the politics of American expansion focusing on how the government's regulation of population movements on the frontier both in terms of settlement and removal policies advanced national aspirations for empire and promoted the formation of white settler nation.
Now, in addition to the research described in the policy brief that you're gonna hear more about shortly from Taeku, cluster faculty have also published a variety of reports and scholarly articles that deal centrally with questions about diversity and democracy. Tide senior fellow, Joshua Clark, in consultation with D&D cluster faculty published a HIFIS report titled What Didn't Happen which helps us to better understand the outcome of the 2016 presidential election. We also supported the launch of an SSRN working paper series for the Berkeley comparative equality and anti-discrimination law study group which is a network of some 250 scholars, activists, and legal practitioners worldwide which is led by David Oppenheimer who's a new cluster member, and I'm told that we now have 99 working papers so far in this series. HIFIS also provided funding to support projects that are spearheaded by D&D-affiliated faculty. One example of this is that HIFIS provided startup resources to launch the Berkeley Interdisciplinary Migration Initiative, or BIMI, which is directed by cluster affiliate, Irene Bloemraad. Bringing together research, training, and public engagement, BIMI aspires to inform, educate, and transform knowledge about migration. HIFIS helped to support and innovative mapping tool that BIMI's developing to show the spatial mismatch between where immigrants live and where services for them are located in the Bay area, and their hope is to secure additional funding to develop and app that will allow immigrants to find legal and health clinics.
HIFIS also partnered with BIMI to produce snapshots of campus research with an eye to policy relevance. A number of faculty members associated with our clusters, as well as the economic disparities cluster, including Taeku, Irene, Kim Voss, and Danny Schneider have been working on a three wave panel study of the dynamics of economic volatility and poverty in the Bay area, and the sample that they're following includes a large number of immigrants and among other things, this study will help us to better understand how immigrants are being incorporated into the Bay area. The project is chiefly funded by Tipping Point, but HIFIS contributed critical supplemental funding for this project. Lastly, HIFIS also helped to launch a post-2016 election climate study of undocumented students on our campus, and this was led by Lisa Garcia Bedolla and Leti Volpp who's associated with the LGBT cluster. I want to say one last thing which is the cluster is growing. We are thrilled to be conducting a search this year. The position is gonna be open rank and the three areas of focal interest for this position include diversity and identity, diversity civil society and political action, and legal or philosophical frameworks for diverse democracies. Thank you.
Jovan Lewis: I'm Jovan Scott Lewis. I am a cluster hire here instead of our cluster chair, Hilary Hoynes, who will be joining us later, I think, via prerecorded message regarding the economic disparities brief responding to rising inequality. I was glad to learn this morning, actually, Rachel informed that this policy brief is one of the more regularly visited briefs on the HIFIS website, and I mention that because it speaks to the integral concern for economic disparities in the everyday experience of everybody, really, and for that reason, I think it's really great that some of our cluster members are involved in other cluster activities and hopefully we will continue to do further collaboration.
However, frankly, this is not enough and the issue is that where policy tends to, I think, really adequately address the lived outcomes of disparities, very seldom do policy briefs speak to the lived experience of economic disparities and disparities more generally, and so for that reason, over the past few years, our cluster has been trying to shift somewhat to really try and engage this question of the lived experience. How that gets done is by thinking really broadly about disciplinary engagements. At the moment, our cluster is primarily comprised of people from sociology, from public policy, from economics. I think they're as me as the anthropologist quasi-geographer African Americanist, but in order to really attain this goal of fully getting the lived experience, we need to have further engagement from folks in humanities, for example, because we cannot forget that there is a poetic quality to the difficulties of policy. There are ways in what Clydewoods called the blues epistemology by which everyday vernacular forms of expressing the experience of poverty get articulated, but very seldom translated, and that's, I think, a part of the work that our cluster needs to engage in going forward. To that end, I'm really happy to note that the last year, the cluster sponsored on the Berkeley Black Geographies project. We had a three day, or two and a half day, symposium, five panels, 35 presenters. The event was attended by over 200 attendees. You have something like 2000 to 3000 views on YouTube.
What the days did was through a question, rather through several questions across five panels. We really tried to get what was the lived experience of anti-blackness, anti-blackness as a form of poverty, the materialities, but as well as the poetic qualities, in fact, of these experiences, because it's one thing to think about, "Well, how do we increase income? How do we manipulate, through tax reform, the ability to save?" Nevertheless, we know that even in cases where, say, African Americans do increase their economic prospects, they nevertheless suffer through intergenerational poverty. Very seldom, the increase in economic mobility only lasts a generation and so these are questions that we have to think about in as comprehensive a way as possible. I'm glad to say that the symposium was a really fantastic opportunity to think about these questions, but most importantly — and I'm very touched by this — it was a way of empowering primarily young women of color on our campus to take the lead in advancing this kind of programming. While I was the faculty coordinator of this symposium, and I'm really glad that some of our graduate students in geography and African American studies were able to really spearhead these conversations and are now getting really nationally recognized for having this conversation. We were really taken by surprise as to how well the Berkeley Black Geographies project was received from a national standpoint.
Thankfully, it has given them, I think, the language, the capacity, the ability to think organizationally through the campus apparatus of organization in particular. These young women have now gone on to receive funding from the social science matrix. There will be a followup symposium sponsored by the social science matrix next semester and we are currently editing a volume from the symposium, so the work ... This small investment, I think it was $5000 of the HIFIS economic disparities cluster, has really gone a long way, and so I think the idea for our cluster now is to see how we can think more synergistically to see, okay, that's great work. I'll show it to you properly. It does great work and it's a foundation, but there are many ways through interpretive social science through engaging humanities that we can begin to, I think, do much more work. In my writing and in my research, I do what I call the MLK test. You know MLK? Stereotypically, MLK, anywhere in the United States, is a street where you have a predominance of African Americans and poor individuals living, so in my own writing and my own thinking, I always do what I call the MLK test which is what I'm writing, is what I'm saying translatable? Is it comprehensible, not on the basis of intelligence, but in the capacity of a lived understanding to individuals who might be within that geography. I hope that throughout the broader remit of HIFIS activities that we do similar tests with ourselves and within our clusters as we begin to do the great work that we've been doing. All right, thank you.
Karen Nakamura: Hi, I'm Karen Nakamura. I'm the chair of the disabilities cluster, and I came on relatively recently and what attracted to me to this position was not only the brilliant scholars in disability studies, but the basic concept of HIFIS as a deeply intersectional apparatus that encourage conversations, so in my comments today, I want to talk about how we understand disability to be always already a deeply intersectional status together with the other cluster activities. I had asked my colleagues to send me their activities and of course, they send me several pages and if I read through it all, I would go way over time, and I also apologize if I drop anyone out as I briefly summarize. I want to talk about what we've been doing in relation to the concerns of some of the other clusters. For example, in terms of religion and disability, one of our scholars, Georgina Kleege, has been working closely with a contemporary Jewish museum on a project called Haptic Encounters, which is a re-imagination of both Jewish folktales, but also how we approach of what it means to give access in a museum setting from a blind perspective, and it's part of her larger project of trying to understand what blindness to give to us to the mainstream in terms of approach.
Also in terms of the religious studies aspect, I've been working with the United States National Holocaust Museum and also thinking about eugenics and disability and religion. Because it's a Holocaust museum, primarily around that Nazi experience, but as we know, eugenics both preceded the Nazis and has existed well beyond that, as well. We also have deep links with, for example, the LGBT Studies Cluster and we are really excited by the trans studies search that Sonia talked about earlier and Eric Stanley, but throughout that process, part of our interest was understanding — and this is part of my own orientation — understanding trans is also part of how we might reconsider what disability means and certainly, the trans people's experiences with the medical system is, in many ways, very similar to disabled peoples. We're really hoping that once Eric comes that we're going to try to recruit him over to disability studies, so that's part of my grand scheme. In terms of economic disparities, we've been working... Alastair Iles has been working on a foodscapes project which is mapping the campus in terms of food locations, food banks, and so forth. Also, Sue Schweik has been working with her students, also, in writing grants around access to food and food insecurity. Although these don't immediately appear to be disability-oriented, when you think about who has access, what types of access are possible, this is yet another example of when you understand that disability intersects heavily with poverty that the students who are often unable to get those resources are also going to be disabled since these things come into more shopper relief. In terms of the democracy, Marsha Saxton has been one of our scholars who's been working heavily on the issue of climate change and disability. Again, this is one of those things where you think climate change and disability, how are those two connected?
But, again, if you think about the folks who tend to live in low-level areas who are going to be most impacted by rising sea levels, who are going to be most impacted by hurricane type of events, and if you look at even just the most recent one in North Carolina, who are the people who are dying? The people in the nursing homes, the mentally ill who are trapped in the van after the police decided to escape and they didn't take the people in custody with them and so forth, so in many ways, climate change becomes this mechanism by which people become disabled, disabled people become incarcerated, incarcerated people die, and so forth. It also shifts in terms of climate change is going to cause and has been causing mass migration of people and also causing disabling events also leading to disabled people being left out of particular forms of access. In many cases, for example, the US, Canada, and so forth have immigration policies that make it very hard for people who are disabled to be allowed under various statuses, so we see disabled people being dropped out. In terms of education, Sue Schweik ran this incredible conference last year called Academic Ableism which looked at especially how race gets used in the special education setting to both justify forms of educational violence against particular groups of students, especially African American students, and so we need to rethink about how we provide access, how we think about which students we consider to be disabled and how the categories of disability and special education ...
Karen Nakamura: There's another project that she engaged in which I really liked which came out of the Asian American experience which was called Opening Emergency, and this was coming out of a group of Asian American scholars who were thinking about mental health crises and especially the Asian American stereotype that we don't talk about mental health, and so they had come up with this toolkit, Opening Emergency, that was designed around helping students think about what mental health is and how they might deal with mental health. There was a tarot deck, but the cards of the tarot deck all dealt with different experiences of mental health identity, what it means to be a community member, and so forth, so that was an amazing event that she organized on campus. Then, in terms of health, I was really happy myself to work with Osagie on the Gattaca event that we held celebrating ... Was it the 20th year of Gattaca? It seems ridiculous. I watched it last week, but to talk about genetics, eugenics, gene editing, and this was extremely well-attended both on the showing here as well as the showing in San Francisco by members of both the disability community and the general public, and so we really appreciated that. We're really excited about all these sort of intersectional efforts that are going on within the disabilities cluster and really hope that that becomes the hallmark for what we do. Thank you.
Denise Herd: The other thing I wanted to mention is that the briefs represent a unique collaboration and people that contributed to them may also be in the audience and can also respond to questions during the Q&A. Why don't I begin just welcoming the new people that have joined the panel? The first one is Mahasin Mujahid and she is a Haas associate professor of diversity and healthy disparities in the school of public health, and she's still coming up. Grace Goudiss, she's a graduate student researcher in history and she worked closely with developing the religious diversity brief, and we already had Janelle from our last panel and Sonia, as well, but Taeku Lee is the former associate director of HIFIS and he's a founding member of the diversity and democracy cluster. He's also a professor of politics and law. Susan Schweik has joined us and Susan is associate dean of arts and humanities. She's a former administrative chair of the disability studies cluster and she's a professor of English. Hilary Hoynes is going to join us remotely or by video. She's in London right now, and she is chair of the economic diversity cluster and professor of public policy and economics. The question for this panel is about the policy briefs, and so the question for each on the panel is what would you say are the major takeaways or recommendations from your policy brief that the university and larger community audiences should be aware of? Does everybody got that question? Got it. You got it? Okay, Mahasin, are you ready?
Mahasin Mujahid: Yes.
Denise Herd: Or do you want someone else to go first?
Mahasin Mujahid: No, it's fine. I apologize. I had to use the restroom and I already talk really fast, so I didn't want to give my comments while under those conditions because then you would not understand anything that I say. Just to begin, I just want to say that the brief from our health disparities cluster was a labor of love spearheaded by Robin Pierce who's one of our former MPH students at UC Berkeley and now a researcher here, and so she did a lot of work trying to compile the really important work that many people are doing in our health disparities cluster, and then I also just wanted to mention a few of them just to show that we do have representation across many schools including the school of public health, the college of environmental design, and city and regional planning. We have the college of natural resources, as well. We have school social welfare. We have anthropology, and so a very diverse cluster across many units on campus and some of the work highlighted was highlighted from many members of our cluster including our distinguished chair, Professor Osagie Obasogie, and then also Julian Chow, who's in social welfare, Professor Jason Corburn in city and regional planning, Denise Herd, work from Rucker johnson in the Goldman School of Public Policy.
Also worked for myself. I didn't introduce myself. Mahasin Mujahid in the school of public health. Rachel Morello-Frosch in the college of natural resources as well as in public health and Lonnie Snowden who's in social, excuse me, welfare and public health, and Professor Amani Allen, formerly Nuru-Jeter, who's also on our school of public health, so I just wanted to make sure that I highlighted that this is the work of many wonderful scholars. I'd like to start with a quote that we begin our brief with and the brief is called The Sick Side of Town, which I think is a really great title, How Places Shape Disparities in Health, and we start with this statement. A major misconception about health disparities is that they are a product of inherent differences between groups rather than a function of the unequal distributions of rights and privileges across populations. Poor health outcomes are a result of the myriad of ways that social and political systems are designed to marginalize certain groups by intersections of race, class, and gender, or other social attributes. Neighborhoods manifest the differential outcome of these systems in the quality of their streets in housing, exposure to toxic pollutants, and the presence of protective social networks among other social and physical characteristics all of which impact healthy. Understanding how social and political systems perpetuate social inequality and how social inequities determine disparities will help inform effective structural solutions to close the gaps.
I think this statement really highlights the work that we tried to present in the report and then I'll just talk about some of the takeaways now. Just pull up my ... Sorry. Okay, so the first takeaway is that we start the report using a powerful allegory by Dr. Kumar Jones who provides a gardener's tale, and this is a tale in which she highlights the story of a gardener who uses her preferences and judgments of the beauty, value, and worth of different color flowers to make explicit decisions about where the flowers were, the type of soil they were planted in and how the flowers were nurtured, and these decisions have a direct impact on the overall health and survival of those flowers. So this allegory really allows us to understand how residential and other spaces where we live, work, and play may shape our overall health and well-being because some places are filled with rich and fertile soil to help communities and people grow and thrive and this is what we consider to be the healthy side of town, and other places are filled with poor rocky and infertile soil which is the case for the sick side of town. The differential distribution of resources and hazards across places are not naturally occurring but instead a result of systemic disinvestment of marginalized people living in marginalized places and these are enforced by state, federal, and local policies and are often masked behind rhetoric around individual preferences and market forces.
What we highlight is some of the work that's being conducted on our cluster where we show the kinds of neighborhood factors in relation to the physical and built environment of those neighborhoods as well as the social context of those neighborhoods and how they're related to cardiovascular outcomes, related to mental health services, related to asthma related outcomes, related to differential trajectories over the life course in terms of overall health and mortality, related to birth outcomes, and related to other outcomes highlighted in this report. We also articulate the ways in which environmental hazards by some of the work that Dr. Rachel Morello-Frosch has led, how they vary across places and how these environmental hazards have to be tackled from an environmental justice perspective and we also highlight the ways in which racial and social excuse me racial and economic segregation or inequality are proxies for the systemic disinvestment of neighborhoods and how those also have health consequences. So we make conclusions and the ends about how it's important to consider these state, federal, and local policies and how it's important to work with local governments in particular to really make sure that we're investing in health and all policies. There's a nice example of this that Professor Corburn has done working with the city of Richmond to include health equity as part of their city's plan as well as a health in all policies document that they have, excuse me, produced where there's really outlining their multi-sector approach to addressing health inequities in Richmond. With that I'll conclude thank you.
Grace Goudiss: Me? Oh, hi everyone I just want to say thanks everyone for coming and thanks to HIFIS for making this possible and all the support financial and otherwise and to Karen for being our fearless leader and a dream to work with. When we were sort of thinking about this brief we were obviously trying to keep in mind with Dr. powell what talking about with sort of scholarship and practice, how to integrate those two and we kept sort of you know we're trying to figure out how do we you know make this about policy how do we make this about you know sort of law and we kind of realized that maybe the way for us to sort of use our strengths to make this sort of about scholarship and practice was to make it about teaching. So instead of a policy brief I think sort of like some of the other policy briefs I've seen ours is really intended as a teaching document and a teaching resource. Before hopefully I have time to get to you know a couple of our big takeaways about the contemporary religious landscape and that is in here but I'm going to walk through a little bit of what this is since it's a little bit different. Basically there are four parts to this project. First we wanted to sort of give you know Karen's a historical sociologist, I'm in the history department and we thought it was really important to sort of create a narrative of American religious history that would allow teachers or you know other interested parties I guess but really teachers to you know think about American history and think about the material they're teaching to their students in a way that integrates sort of religious history with really important questions of race, immigration, exclusion, belonging, all these sort of themes that keep coming up again and again. We were thinking that teachers you know increasingly it's great that there's so much more of a focus on sort of something like race or immigration but that religion was not necessarily always sort of right there but it's such an important way part of understanding sort of diversity and inclusion and pluralism in America. We have you know sort of a narrative to you know how do we think about the Chinese Exclusion Act of 1882, or how do we think about the Constitution you know as an importantly religious event in addition to you know all the other ways it's being taught.
The second part and they're not really separate parts right there sort of next to each other we have these if you can see we have these things we call teaching resources. Once basically you know the teacher hopefully maybe will repeat the narrative and if they're saying well how could I teach this in my classroom, these are ways that we sort of provide resources for them whether it's primary sources whether it's media journalists articles or lesson plans that already exist sort of public history resources for those teachers to then bring that to the classroom depending on what they want to do with it. Some of it might be stuff that they're not teaching now that doesn't make it to you know the k-12 textbook like Mormon migration to Utah right and then some of it you know they probably are like Malcolm X, Martin Luther King, and you know sort of thinking about you know MLK and Malcolm X through a religious lens. How do you use that sort of more familiar and you know in some ways more familiar historical example to talk about Islam, Christianity religious framings of you know rights discourses and politics. It was really important to us that you know again scholarship and practice right that we have this narrative that is really you know, I was doing my qualifying exam so I had a lot of scholarship you know but that this was also something kind of practical and that you know teachers could use it in that way as well. Then sort of you know keeping an eye you know history is great and that's a lot of what this is about but we were also really interested in looking at okay so we have this narrative now and we have some materials, how can teachers use this to talk about the current political moment, the current sort of state of religious pluralism diversity in light of everything that's happened? So then we have a section on sort of contemporary landscape is what we call it with graphs and this kind of thing and looking at you know well how do we reconcile massive demographic changes, the fact that you know compared to 40 years ago you know much less of the population is white Protestant right and that things are changing but then we're also seeing repression and we're also seeing backlash and you know understanding sort of polarization at the same time as more people are sort of different religious identities are coming to the fore.
So it's sort of important for us because you know in classrooms these things come up right once you do the history students like to talk about current events and teachers do too and we thought it's really important to sort of you know with this you know the ideas of sort of the goals of HIFIS in mind, how do we present this information in a way that is sort of neatly packaged make sense but actually says something about inclusion and diversity. Then finally at the back we have some sort of I don't know think pieces I guess some sort of shorter pieces by cluster members Mark Csikszentmihalyi, Holly wrote one on Confucianism in America, Heather Haveman from sociology did one on magazines and Christianity in the 19th century, and Jerome Baggett wrote one on atheism right because a big one of our big takeaways is that the really unaffiliated is like almost 25 percent of the country now I mean it's been this massive change. So how do we think about you know atheists or agnostics as part of religious diversity? So it's sort of these ways of sort of thinking about contemporary issues in a more focused way based on sort of contemporary scholarship. So the last thing I'll say is that basically we're really excited about this and we really see it as a work in progress I mean it's beautiful to hold it but we definitely see this as something that could live on the web that we could you know cultivate you know more of these faculty pieces add classroom resources expand the narrative because it's never you know it's never good enough when you write something so you know ways of making this you know more accessible and then also really working with you know people in education and trying to get this into the classroom. We're working with Rachel Reinhardt of the history social science project which is an organization on campus that works with teachers and educators so we're really trying and we're open to any suggestions from anyone and I hope people will take a minute to look at it but we're really excited about how this thing could continue to sort of grow and hopefully actually get into the hands of teachers and into classrooms. So yeah thanks so much.
Janelle Scott: Okay hello good morning again thanks for hanging in there. So again my name is Janelle Scott I'm going to talk to you about some of the highlights of our clusters report responding to educational inequality. I should say that sort of the overarching set of assumptions that really are the foundation of the report is that we really see a need to reimagine and we articulate this concept of the public. We're certainly not satisfied with the status quo in public education in terms of inequality and yet really see an urgent need to assert a radically just vision for public schooling, particularly when market solutions are being promoted to redress persistent social and educational inequality, and so when we talk about public education we're talking about democratic, open, accountable, equitable places where children learn and thrive. The authors of the brief that was really led by Nailah and us here along with one of our excellent former graduate school of education and doctoral students Laura Hernandez who's currently with the learning policy institute. The other authors include Tina Trujillo, Chris Harris, Jabari Mahiri, Zeus Leonardo, and myself. It's focused on k12 schooling around the understanding that the growing economic inequality that Jovan and others have talked about this morning manifests itself in education policy in a number of core ways. What we're seeing in public education is this hyper segregation of students by race, by income, by language, and increasingly underfunded school districts and schools. This disinvestment has resulted in high rates of teacher turnover and in local policies that we know do not serve children well who deserve far more and would otherwise thrive. In addition we find that they sort of universalistic race-blind approaches often mask the needs of counties districts and local schools and so we argue for a broader understanding of public education as a socio-political space that's affected by these broader social policies and housing in labor in health and environment.
But we know that education research also points to ways that we can imagine and realize a far more different just and equitable education system for our children in this country and so I just want to highlight some of those things very quickly. At the state level we point to research that shows us that when we invest in fund schools equitably and fairly, magical things happen, children learn, teachers are supported and stay, and yet we know that our current political climate requires us to really look at our states with even greater scrutiny. In this post Obama era it calls for a much greater role for the states for example in civil rights enforcement and oversight as we're seeing protections rolled back, the enforcement of education civil rights for LGBTQ students and for students who are facing disproportional discipline and so the states we think really need to play an even bigger role than they already did with the current climate in our federal government. In districts, we have research that has identified promising strategies to recruit and retain excellent teachers and leaders who are race conscious, anti-racist, and content experts. They sort of grow your own programs as they're known or formed in partnership with graduate schools of education and other spaces at universities and hold great promise in around the question of teacher retention and really having teachers in the classroom who look like the children they're serving. We also know that districts have taken the lead on working on restorative justice practices and the eradication of racial disproportionality and discipline and punishment in schools which black and brown children have faced and really robbed them of equitable education. Then finally within schools and classrooms, research points to the creation and the need and mandate for the creation of detract culturally relevant and academically engaging and intellectually robust learning environments. That brings education alive for children that honors the cultural contexts of students and regards them all is brilliant capable of learning and succeeding, so I'll stop there.
Sonia Katyal: Thanks so much, I'm the chair of the LGBTQ citizenship cluster and I'm really excited to present our brief which is about the very important issue of restroom access for trans identified individuals. just to kind of situate this brief within the larger landscape, this brief I think was written at a particularly important time in both the history of Berkeley but as well as in the United States. I think one of the things that was really motivating the desire to study this issue in greater depth was the recognition that there are sort of two really significant forces that are happening. One is that throughout the United States a number of transgender plaintiffs have had to file suit against their educational institutions and employers for the often for the decisions that were made to force a transgender identified employee to use the bathroom that corresponds with the identity that they were assigned at birth as opposed to the identity that they themselves identify with. We just were seeing a number of cases of individuals that were denied employment access to education and it started that a number of these cases were actually, well initially the trend was against supporting trans plaintiffs, the trend really reversed itself in court and it was really exciting kind of set of opportunities.
But then state lawmakers across the country began to also get involved and so the most sort of prominent example of this is the case of HB 2 which was the North Carolina statute that required individuals to use restrooms that correspondent with the identity that they were assigned at birth, again basically denying access to trans individuals to use the restrooms that most correspondent with our own identities. we see this kind of conflict happening where courts are making decisions that are supportive of trans plaintiffs and state laws are being passed that roll things back and then our current administration hasn't really helped the situation because immediately after President Trump took office took a number of positions that basically supported the HB 2 line of reasoning both in the educational context and elsewhere. We're at a time where there's nothing really frankly more urgent than really thinking about who are the most vulnerable members of the LGBTQ cluster and so it's amidst that that this brief kind of came into being and I just really want to give all credit to Eric Peterson, one of our grad students who wrote this extraordinary set of recommendations and wrote it integrating the research that had been done within the cluster but also making a series of really important recommendations. What it is this brief in my view is kind of an example of this powerful intersection between gender law and civil rights and architecture, really I'm focusing on the real-world problem of restroom access for trans individuals.
What it does is it really valuably links the issue of bathroom access to the manifestation of this larger set of issues that trans individuals face that is connected to the ability to hold employment or connected to the ability to seek out education and really does kind of a great job in showing us how these laws that regulate bathroom access are not just kind of discriminatory, they're also distinctly kind of un-American because they disable access to these kinds to these other areas of education and employment. So what do Haas scholars specifically kind of offer to bring light on this complex problem? Well first what the brief reflects is a very dynamic approach that focuses on the trans population recognizing the need for a much greater set of empirical research on the plurality of individuals within the trans community. But second, the analysis I think also reflects some of the insights that can be gleaned from history, right it powerfully situates the issue of restroom access against a context that is linked to the history of women entering the workforce, of racial segregation, of segregation of the disabled, and as much as it also spans those historical contexts it also situates the issues that are faced by trans individuals amidst a world that pretty sort of obviously lacks a broad array of knowledge on the various needs of different populations beyond the binaries of male and female identity.
These sort of observations do seem very abstract but there's actually a very clear set of recommendations that are made at the end which is to have one gender neutral, single user facility, one gender neutral multi-user facility, and then importantly craft a separate space that is supportive of cisgender and transgender identified women and the and the reality behind the suggestion is to take into account kind of a middle ground between binary restrooms and total gender neutrality, and takes into account I think the very powerful recommendations that have also been made to really consider some of the reasons for why sex segregated spaces might be desirable for lactating women and other constituencies. So in the end this kind of issue I think in many ways when I think about the importance of this brief what I think is really significant about it is I think it really captures the complexity that LGBT populations now face in this new era because it's at a moment where we're facing really significant backlash that actually plays out with respect to issues regarding access to education and access to employment. So I think that it's important that the brief makes it clear that we've actually seen these issues before and we've dealt with them positively and that we can deal with this one positively and importantly move to chart a path towards a more inclusive democracy by creating structures that positively impact transgender individuals access to education and employment and other important social spaces in the process. I'm really proud of this brief and I'm really proud of Eric and I wish you were here so that we could all thank him for his important work. Thank you.
Taeku Lee: Well good morning and thank you for spending some of your Friday morning with us. I was always raised to give credit where credit is due and even though john and Denise gave their best effort to try to give credit for these policy briefs to me I have to say giving credit to me for these policy briefs it's like giving Donald Trump credit for the nation's economic growth. It's good that for a lot of people the country is growing economically but the credit for it belongs elsewhere and it is great that these policy briefs are out and credit for then belongs elsewhere. I think chiefly to Stephen Menendian and Takiyah Franklin, also to Rachelle also to Rachelle Galloway-Popotas, Puanani Forbes for the diversity and democracy brief to Joshua Clark and for the other briefs a team of amazing GSRs and I have to apologize that I couldn't remember everybody's name so I will just refer to you as a team of amazing GSRs. john mentioned at the outset that some of these policy briefs are ironically not brief. He was too kind to further add that the professors whose work is highlighted in these briefs are also not very brief and so 7 minutes is going to be a challenge but I'm going to do what I can. I think first I'm going to rely on a crutch which is to try to find a unifying theme for the three different parts of the brief and what I thought was the quote that I hear more and more often these days which is that not everything that can be counted counts and not everything that counts can be counted. That quote is often attributed to Einstein because anything that you tribute to Einstein sounds more profound when you attributed to Einstein but it's more likely from relatively obscure sociologist named William Bruce Cameron.
The three parts of this brief are our first a part about the electorate, about who gets counted and how and what challenges that raises for the goal of achieving a more inclusive electorate. The second part is about how we can mobilize and activate a more inclusive electorate. Then the third part is about the challenges beyond the realm of elections that the dynamics of the first two part about who gets counted create. On the first part around the electorate there are two sub parts to this first part of the brief. One is on polling you know I guess what I would say about polling you know we can't stand them and we also can't live without them to an extent. They are part of what scholars would call the mediatization of electoral politics. In a way today elections don't exist except for what the media covers about them and that includes the media's interest in horse race coverage of polls. Also polls and the media coverage around them in a way don't exist except for the fact that we have these elections. We follow polling so closely because we think polls tell us something about public opinion and public opinion is supposed to be the heart of a democracy, but we have to ask every time we see media coverage of a poll which public and what opinions? On which public I would just make three very quick polls one is you know when November rolls around be very careful when you hear reporting about exit polls because exit polls are very good at telling you about who won generally in an election but they're very bad at telling us about how particular segments of the electorate voted. In 2016 after Hillary Clinton lost there was a lot of finger-pointing about certain segments of the electorate that failed to show up on Election Day and a lot of that finger-pointing is based on exit poll data which I think are not very good at telling us about how African-Americans, Latinos voters and Asian American voters voted. Second is every time you see a poll you have to realize the environment of polling today is such that for every 100 names that a polling firm identifies as people they want to talk to the polling firm is lucky if they can get five people to agree to talk to them. If those five people don't look like the hundred people who don't look like the rest of the United States, then you're getting very skewed information about whose opinions actually count.
The third thing I'd say about polls is you have to every time somebody tells you about how this country is changing you have to keep in mind how this country is changing in the denominator and what I mean by that for is I'll just give you an example, you'll hear people talk about the fact that this country is getting a lot more liberal in terms of how it thinks about immigration reform, and you can ask yourself is that because the country is getting more progressive on immigration reform or is it because there are actually more immigrants more Latinx more Asian Americans, more Afro-Caribbeans that are actually in the mix when we are conducting polls today. How about on opinions? On opinions I have just briefly say you know we have to ask our polls actually asking the questions that we care about or are they setting an agenda for our politics in the questions that they choose to ask? For instance you know I do a lot of work on public opinion and I have not seen since 2016 a lot of polling on questions if any on questions like, what do we think about Dodd-Frank and financial regulation? What do we think about all the deregulation that is happening in general in this country? What do we think about the Paris agreement and what the country should do on climate change? What do we think about voter fraud, voter ID laws, and about the gerrymandering and redistricting cases that are happening in North Carolina, Pennsylvania, Alabama and so on?
In a way in terms of actual politics these are things that have actually been happening that really shape our politics and instead what we get is a steady diet of what the country thinks about the job that Donald Trump is doing which is instead of the dog wake wagging the tail this is the tail wagging the dog. There's a second subcategory on the first section of this brief which is about the ways in which we can't take the categories, the demographic categories that people talk about in an election as though they exist out there in the world. There are actually things that are made as a result of a political process. Cristina Maura's work on making Hispanics is a brilliant example of this where she shows that through a lot of dynamics between activists and advocates, mass media, business interests, and government officials the category of Hispanic got made. There was there's nothing that was foregone about the fact that we referred to a certain population subpopulations as Hispanics. Michael Omi and Chris Zepeda-Millan also do a lot of work in this area. The work is really important as we think about heading into the 2020 census. There's a really important fight that may happen that needs to happen about how we will count ourselves as a country in 2020. I'm on the Census Bureau's National Advisory Committee and I can say there's a lot of excellent research, extensive research that has gone into recommending changes to how we think about the recent ethnicity question, the proposal to add a new category of middle east north Africa. Instead what we're going to get for political reasons having to do with the Trump Administration is a new question on citizenship and a breakout of white ethnicity. So that whiteness can be categorized into different ethnic groups. That's a political choice. In democracy it's a political choice that we ought to have a voice about.
The second aspect of this debrief touches on is the current political construction of a new category, which is the category of white working class. This is also a political construction. In previous election cycles, people talked about blue dogs, they talked about soccer moms. If you're old enough like me, they talked about Macomb County Democrats. As I understand it, I would just highlight two things that I think are important to keep in mind about the current construction of white working class. One is to remind ourselves about something that Frederick Douglas put very powerfully which is, power concedes nothing without a demand. If there's no struggle, there's no progress. I think if anybody thought previous to the 2016 election that a group in the United States that has for the history of the United States held a monopoly, a choke hold on power, privilege, and resources which are white Americans. If anybody thought that a group like that would peacefully and willingly seed their choke hold on power, privilege, and resources, then there's a weak understanding of history. That doesn't happen. A lot of what we're seeing in the political construction of white working class is that struggle. When 2043 rolls around, this year that everybody is waiting for with baited breath because that's supposedly the year when the country becomes majority minority, there's no magic that's gonna happen. When that clock turns, the country will be 49.9999% white. There's nothing particular that's gonna happen in terms of the reallocation of power, privileges, and resources just because of demographic change. White working class, what it is, what it can be, what that category can ally with politically is a political construction which means we have a say in what happens. If you can imagine what white working class might look like under a president Bernie Sanders, that would be very different from the current political construction of white working class. I think I'm taking longer than I should.
The second key section of this policy brief is about mobilization and voter engagement. This section really highlights some incredibly important work that Lisa Garcia Bedolla has been doing, which is conducting field experiments to really know what works in terms of getting the vote out, getting people registered. The best way to summarize that is to say mobilization works best when it's personalized. By personalized, I mean three things. If it's engagement with a human interface, so having somebody knock on your door or hearing a real live voice on the telephone is much, much more effective than getting something in the mail or hearing a robo call. Personalized also means when it's engagement that is tailored to you as an individual. For example, having somebody talk to you who is of the same gender, same religion, same race or ethnicity. Someone who you go to church with. Somebody who's a neighbor in the community. That's a lot more effective.
Finally, personalized engagement is engagement that's unscripted, that emphasizes your personal story as opposed to somebody else's agenda for what matters in a particular election. These findings are super important, especially as we're heading into these midterm elections. I encourage you to look at the policy brief to see some truly scary numbers about how much voter turn out drops off in the midterm elections and for whom voter turnout drops off the most. I'll just give you one small piece of that. If you look at young voters, already in presidential election 18 to 29 year olds don't turn out to vote. 40% of 18 to 29 year olds turn out to vote in any given presidential year. In midterms, it's only 16% in 2014. This election clearly is about them as much as it is about any of the rest of us. I'm gonna skip a couple of sections and just turn quickly to saying a few things about the third and final section of this brief, which is about what's happening on the daily in terms of diversity and democracy beyond elections. This section highlights I think two important areas. One is Ian Haney Lopez's work on dog whistle politics, which is about racially coated appeals. Rhetorical winks and nods that tell certain groups, hey I'm with you. Then for everybody else, the fact that these appeals are coded gives them a cover, it gives them plausible deniability. Behind every practitioner of dog whistle politics, I would say there's a small army of enablers as well who then step up and say, actually so and so is not racist. They're actually a good person and so on. In 2016, we've seen how dog whistle politics has essentially been replaced by a bull horn. No one is explicitly saying segregation now, segregation tomorrow, segregation forever. There's a lot of bull horning going on in this country with tiki torches.
The last section of the brief is about the phenomenon of fake news beliefs in American politics today. I think this is some of my own work. Even for a political scientist who's pretty cynical, it's truly scary. Only 20% of the American public say they trust the information that they see in mainstream media. In the research that I've done, that single belief that you don't trust what's in mainstream media shapes your politics far and beyond just who you choose to vote for president. Belief in fake news today appears to be as strong, if not stronger than anything else political scientists like me have used to predict how people think about policies. It is a phenomenon that is with us and it's a phenomenon that's incredibly important. I had more to say about that, but I'll just close by saying to the title of the brief, realizing a more inclusive electorate. I would say rather than summarize policy recommendations, I would just close to say the goal of realizing a more inclusive electorate has never been more important and perhaps also never been more difficult. Thank you.
Susan Schweik: Hi. I'm Sue Schweik from the disability studies cluster. The policy brief I'm gonna talk about came out of work that I started doing a few years ago because I wanted to foreground and do everything possible to further the work of one of the co authors of this brief, Ella Callow who is a lawyer and who I am very happy to say has just accepted the position as the ADA coordinator for this campus. This brief exists because of the work of Lucy Sirianni who's right over there. Lucy, can you wave? Who's a graduate student in the English department and also an activist around these issues herself. I know that everyone in this room or I believe this, has heard and thought about the issue of separation of children from their parents in recent months in the context of Trump's Zero Tolerance policy and the terrible things that have been happening to children and parents. We've heard child psychologists make the point again and again and again that it's in the best interest of children to stay with their parents, except in situations of clear and present danger. The Supreme Court has ruled repeatedly that parents right to the care and the custody of their children is protected under the due process clause of the 14th Amendment. I want to start by talking about another very different Supreme Court ruling that has never been overturned and that there's on a topic we wrote about. In 1927, Carrie Buck who was 21 years old was sterilized against her will and her right to parent her already born daughter Vivian was terminated. Why did that happen? It was because she was designated, I'm using scare quotes, feeble minded. She was the first person to be sterilized under legislation modeled by the US eugenicist Harry Laughlin who contended that "the basis of designation for sterilization is inferior potential parenthood." The Supreme Court upheld the Constitutionality of the state of Virginia's sterilization of Carrie Buck in the famous case Buck v Bell. Over the course of the 20th century, at least 60 thousand people in this country were forcibly sterilized. Most of them poor, most of them people of color, and some of them as young as ten years old.
This year, not quite a hundred years later, after Carrie Buck's sterilization which by the way, that law has never been overturned. Another disabled women gave birth to another baby girl, Tammy Duckworth. Double amputee and senator and on the surface Tammy Duckworth experience could not be more different than Carrie Buck's. We might think of this as a great narrative of progress and triumph, but many disabled people today have experiences of parenthood that are more like Carrie Bucks than Tammy Duckworth's because here's the point of our brief. In 2018, a notion of inferior potential parenthood still undergirds US family and child welfare law. It serves as the justification for 33 state laws including our own states that allow for the severing of constitutionally protected parent-child relationships because of a parent's status as disabled. According to the National Council of Disabilities 2012 report that our co author Ella Callow played a major role in producing. Parents with psychiatric disabilities have their parental rights terminated 70 to 80% of the time. Parents with intellectual disabilities, 40 to 60% of the time. Deaf, blind, and physically disabled communities report elevated child welfare involvement and a very well justified fear of the child welfare system. The Americans Disability Act of 1990 prohibits publicly funded entities from discriminating on the basis of disability. Yet, all these years later two thirds of states in the US continue to adhere to legislation that lists disability as grounds for termination of parental rights. By that, I mean disability in and of itself. Absent any evidence of neglect or abuse. Disability alone. The majority of states also sanction, legalize discrimination in the realm of family court proceedings, adoption law, and assisted reproductive technology provision. It's really important to note that the national percentages of parents identified as disabled, identified or identifying are higher in populations massively over represented in child welfare systems. That is American Indian or native Alaskan parents and African American parents. Studies we discuss in the report have shown that prenatal disability doesn't negatively effect children's development. There's evidence that it may in fact have a positive impact.
Laws discriminating against the right of disabled people to raise children are simply rooted in prejudice. It's a very deeply rooted prejudice. I'm sure there are people in the room who are already thinking that it's counter intuitive. Read our brief. We are sure that the best remedy for the current legal situation of parents with disabilities will take place at the state level. We have already heard a little bit of discussion about why a fix at the federal level however elegant it would be, is not happening. We urgently need to stop the separation of families that's happening today. We want to see states that haven't yet done so and especially the 33 that actually list disability as grounds for termination of parental rights to enact legislation based on the model state legislation proposed by the national council on disabilities rocking the cradle report. Some states have successfully done that. A few states have good laws, but we think every state law has to be better yet. Here's one example. No law in any state addresses the fact that parental mental illness is one of the few basis on which the hard one protections of the Indian Child Welfare Act of 1978 are circumvented often by state court systems. Given the vast over representation of Native American children in the child welfare system, we think it's crucial that a clear statement that the Indian Child Welfare Act applies with equal vigor where parents have disabilities of any type should be included in any kind of remedial legislation at the state level. Legislations should be comprehensive in nature. It should encompass all kinds of disability. It should apply to dependency law, family law, adoption law. It should incorporate protections against the continuing reliance on pseudo scientific measures like IQ and personality tests for parents with intellectual and psychiatric disabilities. Those aren't reasonable, sensible, appropriate ways to measure whether a parent can handle taking care of a child.
It should be drafted in consultation with experts both in disability law and also experts who are people with lived experience of parenting while disabled who can make clear the kind of creative practical techniques that they've developed. In the final section of the report, we focus on other innovations needed in state practice beyond legislation that can support parents with disabilities, all parents, and their supporters. I'll just say one more thing. We really have high hopes that we might be able to roll this out as we say with and through Tammy Duckworth. We're working on that. Ella Callow talks about how parenting in some ways is to the disability movement what marriage, same sex marriage was for LGBTQ. Just a very public and graspable symbol of equality that proceeds on terms that are understood by all people in this country. We think that a state by state model, much like the movement for same sex marriage using model legislation of rolling it state by state is the way to go. Thanks.
Hilary Hoynes: Good morning. I'm Hilary Hoynes. I'm the chair of the economic disparities cluster as part of the Haas Institute. I'm sorry that I wasn't able to be with you today, but I'm really happy that I'm able to at least talk to you about our exciting policy brief in video. I know you had a chance to talk earlier with my co cluster head Jovan Lewis. We told you a little bit about what we're working on in the cluster. Today I want to talk to you about our policy brief that we released a few years ago. In fact, the economic disparities group I think was the first Haas Institute group to release a policy brief. john powell and I had the opportunity to go to Washington DC to launch our brief and to speak to some policy makers and their staffers on capital hill. We had a lot of fun and I think it was a great opportunity to show the Haas Institute in Washington DC. The title of our policy brief is as I look down at my notes, responding to rising inequality policy interventions to insure opportunity for all. This was a really collaborative effort across many members of the economic disparities cluster that are working on this issue from different perspectives here on the UC Berkeley campus. As many of you know, Berkeley is really a place of incredible leadership and excellence in the context of studying economic inequality. Our policy brief starts by defining the problem as we say in the policy school. Providing important descriptives, statistics, and context around stagnating wages, rising income and wealth inequality, and other important aspects of documenting these measures of inequality. Then we spend a good chunk of the policy brief talking about different policy solutions that are advanced by many scholars here on campus in their work, including policies like minimum wages, tax credits like the earn income tax credit, human capital kinds of interventions such as early childhood education, increasing school funding, and importantly integration of public schools. Of course, we end in the policy brief with talking about fundamental tax reform as another mechanism to affect inequality. I hope you have a great event today. Again, I'm sorry that I can't be here. I look forward to seeing you all sometime soon. Thanks so much.
Denise Herd: Anyway, our first question is for Taeku. It's regarding your comment that only 20% of people believe in the truth of mainstream media. How has that changed through time? What factors are contributing to that change?
Taeku Lee: Thanks for the question. I'm not sure where to look. I think it's part of a growing trend of increasing polarization, increasing distrust, declining confidence in a lot of important social institutions in the United States. If you step back and think about why in this particular moment is the United States a country in which it's so easy to propagate conspiracy theories about what's actually going on out there and why it is so prevalent for people to think that they can't trust what's in the mainstream media. I think part of that is due to the fact that a lot of key social institutions that we've relied on to essentially keep it together, have themselves suffered a lot of crisis that make them much weaker in American society today. By that, I don't just mean political parties. I think political parties are a big part of it. If you look at the role of the press, if you look at the role of religious institutions, if you look at the role of business themselves. We used to have a lot of businesses that had a sense of social responsibility. That's different from what we have today.
I would also implicate universities. I think a lot of universities used to own public mission that was much more untethered to the business case for universities, which seems to dominate. To your specific question, I only know of a few data points. I think if you asked Americans about ten years ago whether or not they trusted what was in mainstream media, it would be closer to the high 20s. It wasn't that high even a decade ago. If you look at the more general trend on confidence in public institutions, there's been a very steady decline in confidence in the media from about a majority of the country. I would say about two to three decades ago down to where we are now about 20%. The best thing that could be said about that is it's not as bad as the even steeper decline in confidence that Americans have for essentially the people's branch of government, which is Congress. If you ask about confidence in Congress, that in the 1970s was up around 50%. Today it's down last year at 7%, which is almost the margin of area for the poll itself. You almost can't say it's not zero.
Denise Herd: Thank you Taeku. Now we have a question for Grace and Karen. The question is, where are shining examples of positive, diverse pluralistic religious spaces? How are they maintained?
Karen Barkey: is this a question about the brief or more general? I want to know. Just the answers are completely different whoever asked the question.
Steve Menendian: In general.
Karen Barkey: General? If it is general, then I think I could be the one who answers it because my own work is actually the sharing of sacred sites between Jews, Christians, and Muslims in the Mediterranean. Both historically and in contemporary cases. Today actually around the world just for Jews, Muslims, and Christians here I'm not talking about Muslims and Hindus in India and other places. There are lots of other examples. Just for the Abrahamic religions there are probably more than hundred cases of shared spaces where either the two religions Jews and Muslims and Muslims and Christians or the three together use shrines, synagogues, and all kinds of spaces to pray together, to co habit, to accommodate to each others' otherness and to find ways of actually creating community. I do both historical and graphic work on that as well as exhibition projects on that. Then other examples are actually the city for example of Marseilles, which is a case that I'm starting to study as a good example of journalism.
Is a place where Muslim immigrants and the french local population have figured out both because of the structure of the city and the politics of the city and it's accommodation that has happened over time. And the economy actually. The way in which the local economy developed made it possible for Marseilles for example to be the case of an urban space that didn't have the riots, that didn't have all of the explosions of the early 2000s in France. When Paris exploded, Lyon exploded. I don't know if you remember there was a lot of racial and ethnic and religious hatred and upset that came out. Marseilles remained completely calm. That gave me the idea to look at Marseilles as a case study. There are people who work on Mumbai as another case study. There are pockets. I think what they need to put in this religious diversity and pluralism issue, I'm starting to think more and more that we have to look at these cases whether historical again or contemporary of what works. Where it works, what works, and look deeply at how people are managing diversity at the local. What are they doing? Sharing is not easy. We know it from kids in their playground that they don't share easily. It never gets better in my opinion. We need to actually figure out what are the mechanisms? What are the ways in which people do that and then promote those. Think of them in a more Macro situation and that's what I think the work of the cluster is about as well. Certainly that's what I have dedicated the rest of whatever years of my career to. And in the American context Grace is going to ...
Grace Goudiss: I would just add that one thing we found too was the brief. This was the very micro level. One thing that we found really striking, I don't know if I called it a shining example of religious pluralism but as of ... I don't have the year here. As of the last couple years, people found that 21% of Americans were born in an interfaith household. Fully one fifth, whether that means two religiously affiliated parents, one yes, one no. I know. My mom was Protestant and my dad was Jewish. It's a very common story. I think that, that's another more micro. I don't know if I would call it, it's so inspiring, but it does show that within households there's politic ism and within people families even. It's operating on all these levels.
Denise Herd: Great. Thank you very much. A question for Mahasin. Can you talk about strategies for how to operationalize the health in all policies approach?
Mahasin Mujahid: I think first thing to note is that health in all policies is very difficult. Particularly when you think about bringing together sectors that already have constrained budgets, challenges, and responsibilities. Transportation, education, health departments, et cetera. To tell all of those sectors that health has to now be your priority as well. I think from the jump, it's very challenging because what it's arguing is that transportation has to think about the unattended health consequences of decisions that are made in the transportation sector. Education has to think about the unattended health consequences of decisions that are made in relation to educational policy, et cetera. I think part of the challenge of that is being able to create space to come together to have a multi sectoral meeting and time and space and energy to support the cross fertilization of ideas and to create shared language and shared commitment around this idea that health can actually improve all aspects of what they're doing in these different sectors. I think that the Richmond model is really a nice model because it was actually written into the city's plan. You had a different kind of investment in health and all policies where it was mandated and their surveillance around the effectiveness of thinking in integrated spaces across sectors about how we can improve the overall health of Richmond by making decisions in unison in relation to these different sectors. I think that's one nice model that other cities are now starting to follow for examples of often a policy works. You can see resources and documents and reports on the city of Richmond's website. That's a really nice model to use as an example.
Denise Herd: Great. Thank you Mahasin. For this disability and or education, what is the impact of the growth of charter schools on outcomes for students with disabilities particularly in underserved communities? Maybe both of you could comment.
Janelle Scott: Did you want to take it first Sue?
Susan Schweik: Yeah. Not a very well informed comment. Karen, do you want to comment? What I would say is from a disability lens, it's clear that failure to provide accommodation and segregation is an effect of charter schools. I'll say it that, with that blanket. It doesn't mean ... and I'm leaving aside any other issue about charter schools. It doesn't mean that given a system of charter schools that, that couldn't theoretically be different but the barriers are very high. Because charter schools have the ability to select, it's very easy for charter school administrators to say, you know the services your kid needs. Your kid should just go to that big school over there that's not called a charter school. As long as the services are being provided somewhere, it's not against the law. This means that a system develops where there is access to goods for certain kinds of children and not for others. Disabled children of color, disabled poor children, which is a whole lot of them. However well a charter school might be serving a generalized category of those children, those children might be argued to be serving them. I would say from my perspective it's extremely likely that, that is being done among other ways by siphoning of disabled children and re segregating them.
Janelle Scott: Thank you for taking that first. I think one thing to add to those important observations is to think about the posse context in which charter schools are situated. One of the policy trade offs that on which charter schools were based was this idea that with greater freedom you would have greater accountability and produce greater outcomes. It does create this perfect storm then if for many schools to think about how their accountability members look good enough to be reauthorized, look good enough for funders to support their institutions. Then we have a state policy context within which the regulatory frameworks are not robust enough to deal with the individual decision making. In the context of students with disabilities, one of the things we've seen in charter schools in California but charter schools across the nation is certainly an under enrollment of students who qualify for services and supports. I think there's something even more granular going on. Is that with what we've seen with charter schools who do serve students, special education students that the severity of their disabilities are much less so than what we find in traditional public schools. There's also a parting moment. Many of these kids are being served in traditional public schools that are really constrained in terms of resources. It has created a competitive environment and an inequality environment that I think our states and districts and counties are not up to dealing with in ways that would really benefit children.
Denise Herd: Great. Thank you both for those responses. Now this question is directed to any panelist. Maybe a panelist that hasn't spoken might address it. How do you bring your research to advocates and organizers working on your issue and involving them in participatory research?
Sonia Katyal: I guess I'll try to respond. I think that as some of you may know, some of my work focuses on gender and sexuality and some of it also focuses on technology and civil rights. As a member of the LGBTQ citizenship cluster, I'm acutely aware of how issues of identity actually play out in issues of technology and design. In all of the work that I've done and I should say that building intersections between them has been a little bit of a challenge, but as things happen in society, we see a lot of different ways in which you can connect issues of gender and sexuality to issues of technology. One of the big projects that I worked on in the past was on section 377 that was the sodomy law that was in India that was recently overturned. In a substantial amount of the research I did, I spent a fair bit of time talking to activists and individuals in India. Part of that really informed some of the early research that I did on sexual orientation discussing how notions of sexual orientation play out differently across different cultures and within different communities. This is something that I think at the time that I started this research, which was now almost 20 years ago, it was part of a conversation that was only just starting to happen.
It's been really lovely to see all of the different ways in which those insights have been made by many other people and in lots of other contexts. I guess now thinking about the complexity of issues of gender identity and sexuality, I think that it's important, in fact necessary for all of the research that we do within the cluster to engage individuals that are being directly targeted by policies that in many ways do not include their best interests at heart. I think that in general, part of the fun of being a lawyer is you get to look at a lot of different populations in creating policy and thinking about how to create better and inclusive strategies. In order for that to be useful, necessary, and effective, it has to engage the work of activists on the ground who are seeing the direct result of these policies.
Denise Herd: Great. Thank you Sonia. Other people want to respond to.
Taeku Lee: Can I just say really quickly, I know I've already spoken. Some of that work is between individuals, scholars, and particular organizations. Some of it I think has to be institutional. This is a little bit shameless self promotion. I've been working with professor Lisa Garcia Bedolla who is here and professor Hahrie Haan who is at UC Santa Barbara to essentially create what we're calling the center for democratic organizing. It is an effort to explicitly build partnerships from the ground up starting with the way that we train graduate students to do their research in partnership with organizations that are doing the on the ground organizing work. The idea is to start at least initially with a summer institute where we partner promising graduate students with the leaders of organizations like SEIU, Color of Change, Sierra Club and so on to think about what would be research that would be meaningful for them to enhance their strategic capacity to do their work. There's more I could say about that, but I think some of it is at an individual level and some of it really requires building up things that can go beyond the efforts and initiative of particular individuals.
Denise Herd: Did any other panelists want to respond to that question? Were you gonna say something Jovan?
Jovan Lewis: Sure. Is this? Okay. I think one of the key issues is thinking about the directional flow of our research into the community as well as how we can bring the community into the university. I think there's a great deal of us who go out, we do research clearly. We have a presence and a place in the community that we work in. Very seldom do those communities have a chance to come and be represented in the university space. Again, I guess a little bit of a plug. [inaudible 02:05:36], Roy, and I at UCLA as well as a few other faculty are at various UC campuses. Recently put in for a multi research fund application for funding for a project called critical raised practices. Re imagining the public university. A part of all of our respective campus projects, it was a creation of a public scholar's program where we either have activists such as at UCLA or we have ... so for example in the Bay Area, I was requesting that we find someone who in fact does public scholarship perhaps not through the hospices of the university, but in fact every day engagement and knowing the community in a way and bringing that individual as a recognized, legible resource into the university.
Which in fact, in turn shapes or reshapes university landscape as far as what kinds of questions, what kinds of epistemologies are recognized as being valid and capable of informing our proper discourse as scholars, as individuals who produce scholarship that are meant to have impact. That's really one of the primary mechanisms is by in fact really trying to rupture the boundary of the university and the community and making it more porous capacity for inter discussive discussion. I think for my mind at least, to my mind that is I think the most powerful possibility.
Susan Schweik: Denise, can I say something?
Denise Herd: Of course.
Susan Schweik: I'm just thinking it was very deliberate in our policy brief that it was co authored by someone who was not a faculty member or a graduate student in this university that was a choice. One thing I really love about our disabilities studies cluster is that a number of the people who are the cluster members are not academic senate faculty members because I think that's another important way of thinking about who's out there. There are part time teachers on this campus for instance who are working in major incredibly influential national organizations in the Bay Area. I really value their presence within HIFIS.
Denise Herd: Thanks very much. Our next question is for Janelle. It's stated because school funding is tied to property taxes, how do we disrupt the cycle of ... I can't read that. How do we disrupt that kind of funding and change the funding formula in California?
Janelle Scott: Thanks for that little question. I mean California, the story of California public education is quite tragic because pre prop 13, we're the envy of the country. I mean I can't solve that. We have to repeal prop 13. I think the incremental steps that are being taken in California around the local control funding formula, which redistributes the little funding we do allocate for K12 schooling according to need from the state level. That's one I think attempt to direct resources to the districts that need it most. As yet, I think the research is still unsettled about the effects of that. It's unclear for example how districts are spending their additional revenue. If we think about the fact that the base aid is so low already and not enough, in many ways those additional resources are not able to allow districts to do what they might otherwise want to do. Instead, are really feeling stock gaps from the lack of money. I think the other thing that our California, but in other states where you have this low base aid from the state. It's created a situation layered upon all the things I talked about and others have talked about. We have hyper segregation. We have inequality. Many schools have their own separate foundations or non profits that raise money for their local school. I'm complicit in that. My kids' school does that. That's all off the books. That's not being reported as part of our public allocations. Usually it's a PTA or a local school foundation. We privatized our state and local aid. Really I think it just circles back to this idea that we really need to re imagine what we care about in our public spaces and fund them as such. That's gonna take more than some wonky policy researcher to do. That's gonna take a broad base social movement. These movements are afoot. I know the California Teachers Unions and other labor unions for example, are trying to call for ... the campaign is called 20 by 20. The idea that we would increase our state funding 20 thousand dollars per child by 2020. There are movements like that to really redirect the gaze on what prop 13 has done to decimate our public institutions and really the public vision for K12 schooling in the state.
Denise Herd: Thank you very much Janelle. The next question is for Taeku. It is weaponized social media is also personalized to play upon our fears. How do we combat this?
Taeku Lee: I think Janelle is very good at taking big questions.
Janelle Scott: Make Facebook a public utility.
Taeku Lee: I think in the several decades history of the emergence of ICT's, information, communication, and technologies. I think we've gone from having a really polyandrist view of what access to nearly ubiquitous information and full transparency over the generation of the information would do for Democratic politics to understanding that it's a technology. As a technology, it can be used for good or for devastating ends. We're seeing a lot of a mirror on problems in society that get amplified, accelerated, and weaponized using these ICTs such as the ways in which a lot of social media really function as echo chambers that deepen divisions. I think they're a harbor for things like nativism, racism, sexism, and hate. That seems to travel much more rapidly than a lot of the emancipatory projects that we imagined out of social media. I think we're only a couple of decades into it. It's possible that ... people are thinking about regulation in ways that they haven't before. People are taking much more of a I think proactive view towards their relationship to social media. I think the optimism in me thinks that this is a necessary evolution in our relationship to this new technology and that something better might be in our future.
Denise Herd: Great. Thank you so much. I have one last question that I'll ask. I guess it's for the disability and education cluster to respond to. Someone is asking, are there plans for collaboration between the education and disability clusters?
Janelle Scott: Yes ish? Sort of. I think our ideal has always been for the HIFIS initiative to have more cross cluster collaborations. I just want to say that on the outside. I think some of these things happen quite naturally and organically across cluster member interest and energy. Some of them become a little more forced. We just submitted a proposal to study special education services in charter schools. We would be drawing from the insides and expertise of folks affiliated with the disability cluster. As yet, we just turned it in. Thank you Puanani again for all you did for that. I think that's one way that's future looking. I think more generally the opportunity to collaborate between ed and disability but between all of us, that potential is still really unmet and untapped even though I think we've done some really important and incredible work in a university that's still not ready for inter disciplinary cross collaborative work. I'm really proud of the kinds of collaborations we've all been able to foster. I think it's really meant the world to me personally in terms of feeling really at home at the university.
Denise Herd: Thank you Janelle. I'd say that we had in one of our research to impact talks, Karen challenged us to think about what's the relationship between disability and African American studies. I think we are always thinking about ways in which we need to collaborate more. We do plan a lot of things. In fact, one of the things I wanted to announce is that we have a family separation event coming up. That's a collaboration between our health disparities and I think our diversity and democracy clusters. We're all focused on this issue of equity and inclusion. There's so many overlaps. There's so much intersectionality as you've heard. That is part of our vision that we're unfolding. Care to.
Karen Nakamura: I wanted Sue to make a quick comment on the chancellors strategic plan [inaudible 02:15:39]
Susan Schweik: I will. I am so excited by both the families separation and by the news about that grant and struck by ... this is said truly without any blame. It's a first anyone in disability studies is hearing about it. I think it's really easy to forget disability. In the strategic plan, there is one mention of disability in the entire plan. We have just produced a document. We combed through the plan. It's in the section on student services. It's very aspirational. It's a wonderful statement about going beyond simple compliance with the law. That's it in the entire plan. There's no mention in anything that has to do with planning for buildings and facilities, there's no mention in the strategic initiative that involves inequity and opportunity. There's no mention of disabled faculty staff, post docs, visitors. It's just really still really easy to forget this issue. Anyone who's interested, we'd be glad to send you our report on the strategic plan and just to emphasize this is an issue that effects every person in this room, every person on this campus. This is a universal issue. We all have bodies. They're vulnerable. They get older. It's just a really good thing to do to keep it mind. Anyway, I'll stop.
Denise Herd: Thank you very much. Are there any other questions or comments?
Audience member: I had a question. Some of the panelists were looking at different aspects of education and particular inequality within those spheres. You talk a lot about charter schools and public schools. I was wondering in your research and in your data, did you come across anything about independent schools particularly in the pre-k through 12 range?
Janelle Scott: I'm familiar with some of the research. What are you thinking? Are you thinking of independent privates or independent alternative schools within? There's a broad range institutionally.
Audience member: Independent private schools.
Janelle Scott: There is some literature on them and their affordances and their limitations. Their limitations is that they're private so they're tuition based. They do have some scholarships for families that can't meet the tuition requirements. There's also evidence about some of the affordances. They tend to be small. Their ethos is a progressive one around pedagogy and inclusiveness. There are some I think important aspects to them. They're a very small subset of the overall private school sector. The largest aspect of the institutional sector, private schools or religious schools. They account for a very small subset of the private school population. Families that go to them tend to be much report being very satisfied with them in terms of how their children are learning or being served. I think that at a very general level that's how I would sum up the literature on them. I think there are things that traditional public school districts maybe could stand to learn from them. There's a question of scale and a common question of selectivity that confounds those lessons.
Denise Herd: Thank you. At this time, what I'd like to do is thank our wonderful panelists and let's give them a hand. Thank all of you for coming out and making this a really wonderful event. You'll be hearing from HIFIS about more activities. As I said, we're kicking off a year of democracy starting now. Now we will adjourn to lunch where you'll get a chance to talk informally with panelists. Thank you again and enjoy great food.