Conference Organizer

The Othering & Belonging Conference is organized by the Haas Institute for a Fair and Inclusive Society at UC Berkeley.

The Haas Institute brings together researchers, community stakeholders, policymakers, and communicators to identify and challenge the barriers to an inclusive, just, and sustainable society in order to create transformative change. 

The Haas Institute began organizing these conferences in 2015 with the aim to popularize and familiarize our movements and our larger communities and networks with the skills and knowledge to participate in advocacy and ideas using a framework of belonging.

Belonging, or being fully human, means more than having access—it means being respected at a basic level that includes the right to both contribute and make demands upon society and political institutions. Belonging means the opportunity to participate in the design of social and cultural structures.

The conferences, which illustrate our deep commitment to public and community engagement, serve as dynamic and highly interactive feedback loops that help us examine and sharpen the applications of this framework. The conferences are focused spaces where we can collectively work together to bring ideas and work together that illuminate our understanding of structural exclusion and learn from each other models, narratives, and visions that advance systemic inclusion.

Throughout our conference programming, as well as in our Haas Institute initiatives, we elevate evidence-based approaches while prioritizing relationship-building that can spark new and innovative collaborations. This work cuts across discipline, identity, issue-area, national borders, and generations, in order to propel more impactful work that moves the needle on large-scale, seemingly intractable issues.

Since our first conference in 2015, we have created and published three issues of our Othering & Belonging Journal, a multimedia and print platform which serves as a rigorous, research-informed space for scholarship as well as a forum for innovative arts and cultural offerings related to this framing. This platform allows us a space to continue building connective tissue between our conferences, scholarship, and community partnerships.

To find out more about the Haas Institute visit our website.

Organizing Committee

john a. powell, Conference chair
Director, Haas Institute and Professor of Law at UC Berkeley

Rachelle Galloway-Popotas, Conference Director
Haas Institute Communications

Olivia Araiza
Haas Institute Network for Transformative Change

Evan Bissell
Haas Institute Arts & Cultural Strategy

Elsadig Elsheikh
Haas Institute Global Justice Program

Puanani Forbes
Haas Institute Chief of Staff

Gerald Lenoir
Haas Institute Network for Transformative Change

Stephen Menendian
Haas Institute Research Director and Assistant Director

Sean Reyes, Student Rep
UC Berkeley

Victoria Robinson
Director, American Cultures Engaged Scholarship, UC Berkeley

Arts & Cultural Committee

Evan Bissell
Haas Institute

Rachelle Galloway-Popotas
Haas Institute

Dania Cabello
Sports Educator

Takiyah Franklin
Haas Institute Faculty Coordinator and Atlantic Fellows for Racial Equity

Basima Sisemore
Haas Institute Global Justice Program

Sande Smith
California Wellness Foundation

operations & logistics

Puanani Forbes
Sean Reyes
Nicole-Marie Cotton
Tomeko Wyrick


Sara Grossman
Marc Abizeid


Evan Bissell
Olivia Araiza
Rachelle Galloway-Popotas