Performers and members of the Two Wings: The Music of Black America in Migration production on February 17, 2022, including Jason and Alicia Hall Moran, were joined by john powell, Director of the Othering and Belonging Institute (OBI) at UC Berkeley, to discuss the performance and make connections to the Great Migration and related research happening through OBI.
And don’t miss the free Cal Performances at Home stream of Two Wings: The Music of Black America in Migration, available on demand April 7–13, 2022.
john a. powell is an internationally recognized expert in the areas of civil rights, civil liberties, structural racism, housing, poverty, and democracy. He is the Director of the Othering & Belonging Institute at the University of California, Berkeley, where he contributes to the mission of bringing together scholars, community advocates, communicators, and policymakers to identify and eliminate the barriers to an inclusive, just, and sustainable society and to create transformative change toward a more equitable world.
john holds the Robert D. Haas Chancellor’s Chair in Equity and Inclusion and is a Professor of Law, African American Studies, and Ethnic Studies at UC Berkeley. Previously, he was the Executive Director of the Kirwan Institute for the Study of Race and Ethnicity at The Ohio State University where he also held the Gregory H. Williams Chair in Civil Rights & Civil Liberties at the Moritz College of Law.
He regularly appears in the major media, offering expert insights on a host of issues. Recent appearances include NPR and WYNC’s On The Media in an episode about free speech and the constitution; Last Week Tonight with John Oliver in an episode about housing segregation; and CBS Evening News where john weighed in on police reform and the Chauvin trial.
john has written extensively on a number of issues including structural racism, racial justice, concentrated poverty, opportunity-based housing, voting rights, affirmative action in the United States, South Africa and Brazil, racial and ethnic identity, spirituality and social justice, and the needs of citizens in a democratic society. He is the author of several books, including his most recent work, Racing to Justice: Transforming our Concepts of Self and Other to Build an Inclusive Society.
The founder and director of the Institute on Race and Poverty at the University of Minnesota, john has also served as Director of Legal Services in Miami, Florida and was the National Legal Director of the American Civil Liberties Union, where he was instrumental in developing educational adequacy theory.
john led the development of an “opportunity-based” model that connects affordable housing to education, health, health care, and employment and is well-known for his work developing the frameworks of “targeted universalism” and “othering and belonging” to effect equity-based interventions.
john has lived and worked in Africa, where he was a consultant to the governments of Mozambique and South Africa, and has also worked in India and Brazil. He is one of the co-founders of the Poverty & Race Research Action Council and serves on the board of several national and international organizations. john has taught at numerous law schools, including Harvard and Columbia University.
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Cal Performances 2021-22 Illuminations series of programming examines the fraught and often devastating effects of migration, exile, dislocations, and separation, on both hyper-local and international scales, through five main stage performances and related online and in person programs with artists, creators, scholars, activists, and thinkers who are part of the outstanding brain trust that is the UC Berkeley community.
Lead support for Illuminations is provided by the Jonathan Logan Family Foundation—empowering world-changing work.