Sunday, April 30
Oakland Marriott City Center
1001 Broadway, Oakland, CA 94607
with Amana Brembry Johnson
Interactive Art Installments
Rolling Counterpoint: A Community Conversation Project
Atrium of Oakland Marriott City Center
Join artist Taro Hattori and share tea and conversation in his mobile teahouse, part of the Rolling Counterpoint exhibit. Conceived as a space designed to foster public dialogue and exchange about division and belonging in contemporary society, Rolling Counterpoint consists of two physical structures: one stationary space installed outdoors at the Montalvo Arts Center in Saratoga, California and one mobile teahouse that traveling to destinations throughout the Bay Area in 2017. Hattori invites visitors to add their voices to a growing collection of perspectives addressing such wide-ranging issues and social concerns as immigration, social exclusion, gentrification, homelessness, and income inequality. The artist seeks to use his roving teahouse as a means of connecting and bridging diverse and often disconnected communities, bringing them together around this shared conversation. In a special collaboration with the Othering & Belonging Conference, Hattori will be bringing Rolling Counterpoint to the conference for 2.5 days. Come participate and engage with artist Taro Hittori and his Rolling Counterpoint exhibit starting April 30 at 2:30 pm in the Atrium of the Oakland Marriott.
Conference Program Begins
Excerpts from "Illuminate"
Destiny Arts Junior Company
Frames for Life, Liberation, and Belonging: Artist Evan Bissell is producing a custom, interactive installation for the Othering & Belonging Conference that highlights narrative frames employed by visionary activists, thinkers, writers, and other storytellers across place and time. Join Evan in the Grand Foyer starting Sunday to add to the evolving wall installation; an archive of stories, actions and ideas for life, liberation and belonging. The final work will be catalogued and represented digitally.
Shakti Butler, emcee
Welcome by john a. powell
Art as Transformation: A Lens for Social Change
La Toya Ruby Frazier, Visual Artist, Macarthur and TED Fellow
Each day, we’re bombarded by images: on billboards, on screens, in schools and in our bedrooms. And these images, largely corporate in origin, carry power—power to shape, control, and constrain—even when they offer a fantasy, or an outright lie.
That’s why, as LaToya Ruby Frazier argues, photography is a battleground of representation. We cannot control the material circumstances of our birth, our families or our economic circumstances. But in order to change society—to seed real change and cultural transformation, especially for the marginalized and the forgotten—we must change the picture we have of ourselves and our communities.
In this talk, Frazier discusses how she has used photography to fight injustice—poverty, healthcare and gender inequality, environmental contamination, racism, and more—and create a more representative self-portrait.
Drawing from her book The Notion of Family as well as from works of art by Frederick Douglass, August Sander, Julia Margaret Cameron, and Langston Hughes, she relates her conscious approach to photography, opens up more authentic ways to talk about family, inheritance, and place, and celebrates the inspirational, transformative power of images.
Beyond Empathy: Arts, Culture, and Imagination
Jeff Chang, Institute for Diversity in the Arts at Stanford, author and scholar on culture and hip hop
Racial crisis recurs in each U.S. generation. Even as the nation undergoes dramatic demographic change, we seem unable to extricate ourselves from the cycle that leads us back toward another crisis. The culture wars have become a permanent feature of our political landscape. How do the culture wars reproduce and exploit inequity and resegregation? What role can the arts and artists play in moving us out of the crisis cycle? How do we begin to imagine our way into transformative justice and freedom for all?
Theatre of Be Longing
Tarell Alvin McCraney, Oscar-winning playwright, chair of Yale’s playwriting program
What do the classics teach us about our humanity? What do we today have to teach the classics? The young people born today, those turning 15 yesterday, statistics say have never seen a live performance. Even fewer have seen a live performance in the theater or a play. And fewer have seen a play that reflected the life they currently live .
How do we create theatre as cultural belonging? How do we create a space where young audiences feel as though they can Be? And what is the type of theater we are Longing for?
Reception & Book Signing
Reception featuring East Bay Center of the Arts, Richmond Jazz Collective
Book signing by LaToya Ruby Frazier & Jeff Chang
7:15 - 8:30 PM
A Public Dialogue on Inclusive and Sustainable Development
Jeffrey Sachs, john powell and Kumi Naidoo
Community tickets for this dialogue are available by clicking here.
Following a presentation by Professor Sachs, he will be joined in a public dialogue with john a. powell, Director of UC Berkeley's Haas Institute for a Fair and Inclusive Society and Kumi Naidoo, formerly Executive Director of Greenpeace International and now with AfricansRising. Naidoo is in town from South Africa to speak at the Othering & Belonging Conference. Opening remarks will be made by Hilary Hoynes, Professor of Public Policy and Economics and holder of the Haas Distinguished Chair in Economic Disparities. Sachs will do a book-signing following the event. His most recent book is Building the New American Economy: Smart, Fair, and Sustainable.
Book signing by Jeffrey Sachs
MONDAY, MAY 1
with Rasheed Shabazz Room 202
Breakfast is included with conference registration
Room 202 with Amana Brembry Johnson
Shakti Butler, Emcee & Facilitator
Na’ilah Nasir, Vice Chancellor of Equity and Inclusion, UC Berkeley
We the People: Practicing Belonging in a Period of Deep Anxiety
john a. powell, Director, Haas Institute for a Fair and Inclusive Society and Berkeley Law Professor
In the aftermath of the 2016 election, many of our foundational values have been called into question. From democracy and human dignity to equality and individual freedom, a collective belief in the founding values and systems of our country has faded from view, leaving many wondering, Is resistance enough? And although we may feel energized by the surge of political activism seen in response to the new, uncharted, and hostile territory we find ourselves in, how has the momentum from our progressive actions provoked an equal and opposite reaction from those who insist we do not belong? Yes, we must refuse the hate directed toward the "have-nots" in society; yes, we must resist all attempts to institutionalize hate into practice and policy. But at the end of the day, what does it mean to practice not only resistance but also an ethics of care—not just for one group or country but a care for all as one global society?
The Surreal Present in Historical Context: Another Perspective on Othering & Belonging
Doug McAdam, Professor of Sociology at Stanford University
The surreal onset of the new administration, to say nothing of Donald Trump’s oversize presence, has so focused our attention in the moment, that we’re in danger of losing critically important historical perspective. Trump’s rhetoric and behavior are so extreme that the tendency is to see him and the divisions he embodies as something wholly new in American politics. They are not. Instead, Trump is only the most extreme expression of a brand of exclusionary politics practiced ever more zealously by the Republican Party since its origins in the 1960s. We must understand this fundamental continuity if we are to successfully challenge the rash of exclusionary policies proliferating every day. To see Donald Trump as the singular source of these dangerous and illiberal policies would be both historically inaccurate and a strategic mistake.
But even as we mobilize to confront the threat of Donald Trump’s vision of a divided, exclusionary America, we must confront the sources of division within our own ranks. The good news is those who are appalled by and repudiate Trump’s divisive, anti-democratic vision for America greatly outnumber those who embrace it. The bad news is, longstanding divisions within our ranks have too often muted the force of our numbers. If we’re to resist the ascendant forces of division and exclusion, we must not other each other. While acknowledging and honoring the differences among us, we must resolve to full embrace our diversity and grant unqualified “belonging” to all who reject Trump’s image of a divided, exclusionary America.
john powell & Doug McAdam
Break & Book Signing
Christopher Oechsli, President & CEO, The Atlantic Philanthropies
Barriers to Belonging: Expulsions, Right-Wing Populism and the Global Struggle for Democracy
- Saskia Sassen, Professor of Sociology, Columbia University
- Kumi Naidoo, AfricansRising and former Executive Director of Greenpeace International
- Tarso Luís Ramos, Executive Director, Political Research Associates
We have been living during a period of rapid social, political and economic change over the last few decades. Widespread economic precarity and wealth inequality paired with persistent systemic othering and growing demands for inclusion by those who are excluded from full participation and belonging, has created a ripe opening for the global rise of right-wing populism and authoritarian regimes. To exacerbate the situation, there is growing recognition that we live on a planet that is convulsing from human-induced climate change.
In this discussion we will explore the interrelationship among political crisis and the rise of populist movements as it relates to shifts in the economy—expanded globalization and migration, technological changes, erosion of redistributive tax policies, and unsustainable consumption—with increased xenophobia and anxiety of the other, and growing distrust of government and its consequences.
How do authoritarian leaders spur the rise of right-wing populist movements and in particular, the movements sweeping the globe today? What will it take to challenge authoritarian rule and extreme othering while also reclaiming democracy and substantive belonging? What strategies are available to us to disrupt the underlying notion that domination is a prerequisite for success? What will be required of our movements and movement leaders to meet the challenges of our time?
12:15 - 1:30 PM
Info to explore eating in nearby Oakland will be provided.
1:30 - 3:00 PM
(For detailed information click here)
- Design for All: Creative Placemaking and Inclusive Space
- Grand Ballroom 1
- Refugees, Borders, & Placelessness
- Grand Ballroom 2
- Strategic Narrative and Practices for Belonging
- unior Ballroom 1
- Revealing and Resisting Global Demagoguery
- unior Ballroom 2
- Youth Advance Belonging: Creating Another World That is Possible
- oom 208
- Transforming Public Health: Building Belonging
- Skyline Roo
- Strategic Questioning
- est Hall
Break & Book Signing
Book signing by john a. powell & Saskia Sassen
In Defense of the Truth
with Masha Gessen and Sarah Kendzior, authors and journalists
The current political landscape has made clear the powerful role that the press can play in upholding democracy. Amid daily attacks on the legitimacy of the press, Trump and his administration have limited the press’s access to government and show overt contempt for the democratic norm and role of a free press. The President uses Twitter to manipulate the public discourse with lies and misinformation. For a country that has taken free press for granted, experiencing authoritarian disregard for journalism and truth itself is unsettling. Two journalists and scholars with deep experience observing and reporting under authoritarian leaders will share insights and perspective to help us interpret and contextualize the erosion of the truth and the responsibility of a free, independent, and democratic press.
Chinaka Hodge, poet and playwright
Chinaka Hodge reads new and commissioned work, forefronting politics, home and cultural remembrance
Participation, Politics, and the Progressive Project: Where Do We Go From Here?
- Taeku Lee, Professor of Political Science/Law at UC Berkeley and Associate Director for the Haas Institute for a Fair and Inclusive Society
- Lisa García Bedolla, UC Berkeley
- Marshall Ganz, Harvard University
- Dr. Ravi K. Perry, Virgina Common Wealth University
The elections of 2008 and 2016 were pivotal, not just in terms of which candidates and issues won the day, but also in terms of which voters were mobilized and how they were engaged.
Understanding the demographic changes, public narratives, and campaign strategies that led us to Obama and Trump is critical to building an electorate across racial, class, gender, generational, and geographic lines moving forward. How can research and thought leadership help us change the narrative for 2018 and beyond?
What to do we need to know about where we are now to move forward by looking backward? Data can help with that. Race, Space, Class—making sense of divisions. Opportunities—changing demographics, how we think of 2018, how can research help with this? What are policy implications?
Focus would be to exchange perspectives on where 2008 and 2016 leaves progressive, cross-racial projects to build power and participatory politics from the grassroots.Ideas, politics, and movements that need to happen—or are already happening but need to be sustained—in order to reclaim our democracy for those who believe in a core set of shared values based on inclusion and democracy.
Book signing by Masha Gessen
TUESDAY, MAY 2
with Rasheed Shabazz, Room 202
Registration and Breakfast Open
The Power of Belonging: Organizing, Democracy and Governance
- Rashad Robinson, Executive Director, ColorOfChange
- Zephyr Teachout, law professor, author, former candidate for Congress and Governor of New York
- Sabrina Smith, California Calls
- Moderated by Jonathan Smucker, Beyond the Choir and author, Hegemony How-To
Faced with both Houses of Congress and a White House controlled by people who not only disparage broad democratic participation, but are actively attempting to discredit and destroy democratic institutions themselves, we have witnessed an upsurge of civic engagement. People who value democracy and aspire to an inclusive society are stepping up to defend our values, preserve our institutions, and stand with communities that are being unduly targeted by the administration’s rhetoric and its misogynist, racist and xenophobic base. For many, this degree of civic engagement is new and unfamiliar. For some, the political divisions seem insurmountable. And for others, the need to strengthen our work is acute. So, what are our alternatives?
Community organizers working in historically marginalized communities have long known that organized communities can have an outsized impact at the local and state level. Though not always visible, organized community groups can and do play an important role in shaping political agendas, priorities and discourses. More recently, we have started to see intentional efforts to build new political formations that are more enduring and have the potential to shape the public discourse far beyond their immediate sphere of influence.
What can we learn about building power, working with elected officials and government agencies and holding those officials accountable from people who are steeped in community organizing? What will it take to build power to transform government and hold it accountable at all levels? Why is local level community organizing central to building long-term progressive power?
How do people newly engaged in organizing help to advance collective goals while also learning from and supporting efforts to address the particular needs and concerns of different communities with which they are not familiar? How is this moment of political consciousness awakening an opportunity to reconnect with our shared humanity in deeply spiritual and meaningful ways? And how is organizing changing to meet these demands?
10:30 AM - 10:45 AM
10:45AM to 12:15 PM
(For detailed information click here)
- Disablement & Decarceration: Defining Disability Justice in an Age of Mass Incarceration
- Grand Ballroom 1
- Racial Anxiety, Increasing Diversity, and Politics of Fear of the Other
- Grand Ballroom 2
- Connecting the Dots: Money in Politics, Civic Engagement & Police Accountability
- Junior Ballroom 1
- obilize, Politicize, Organize
- Junior Ballroom 2
- Building a Transformational Women's Movement: Feminism at a Crossroads
- 208 Room
- Tech & Belonging: Responsibilities and Opportunities
- Advancing a Progressive Agenda: Cities & States as Sites of Resistance and Power
- West Hall
Lunch (provided with conference registration)
Served in the West Hall. Join fellow attendees to connect and network.
Reflections and Attendees Share-Outs
The Being of Belonging
My Blood Awaken and Kiss Louder
Antoine Hunter and Urban Jazz Dance Co.
Bridging to Belonging: Galvanizing Movements
- Alicia Garza, Special Projects Director, National Domestic Workers Alliance and Co-founder, Black Lives Matter
- Tara Houska, tribal attorney and Campaign Director, Honor the Earth
- Zahra Billoo, Executive Director of the Council for American Islamic Relations
- Moderated by Jidan Koon
A key aspect of resistance movements is to live into and model an alternative vision and structure for belonging. In this plenary,, we will explore how activists have built forward from galvanizing moments towards creating resilient structures of belonging. These leaders, with different life experiences and perspectives, will discuss how they have approached cross movement solidarity to recognize our human similarities while also embracing our differences. Some of the questions we will explore include; what can we learn from their approach and practices to transform our political consciousness and our ways of being with one another? What can we learn from the approach to organizing at Standing Rock that made possible a balanced and authentic (non-transactional) way? What sources of resilience do these activists draw on? What possibilities for cross-movement and cross-community solidarity are suggested and start to become visible?
4:00 PM Closing Keynote
The Stories We Tell About Who We Are: Race, Gender, Making American Politics
Melissa Harris-Perry, Maya Angelou Presidential Chair at Wake Forest University, Executive Director of the Pro Humanitate Institute and founding director of the Anna Julia Cooper Center and Editor-at-Large at ELLE.com. She hosted the MSNBC television show “Melissa Harris-Perry” from 2012-2016 on weekend mornings.
john a. powell, Director of the Haas Institute for a Fair and Inclusive Society
Valerie Troutt and Voices of Reason, East Bay Arts Center