john a. powell

john a. powell is an internationally recognized expert in the areas of civil rights, civil liberties, structural racism, housing, poverty, and democracy. john is the Director of the Othering & Belonging Institute at the University of California, Berkeley.


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.

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.

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john a. powell es reconocido internacionalmente como un experto en las áreas de derechos civiles, libertades civiles, racismo estructural, vivienda, pobreza y democracia. john es el director del Othering & Belonging Institute en la University of California, Berkeley, un instituto de investigación que reúne a académicos, defensores de la comunidad, comunicadores y diseñadores de políticas para identificar y eliminar las barreras en el camino a una sociedad inclusiva, justa y sustentable, y para crear un cambio transformativo hacia un mundo más equitativo.

john ocupa la silla de canciller Robert D. Hass de equidad e inclusión y es profesor de leyes, estudios afroamericanos y estudios étnicos en la UC Berkeley. Previamente había sido director ejecutivo del Kirwan Institute for the Study of Race and Ethnicity en la Ohio State University donde también ocupó la silla Gregory H. Williams de derechos civiles y libertades civiles en el Moritz College of Law.

john ha escrito ampliamente sobre numerosos temas entre los que están el racismo estructural; la justicia racial; la pobreza concentrada; la vivienda basada en oportunidades; los derechos electorales; la acción afirmativa en Estados Unidos, Sudáfrica y Brasil; la identidad racial y étnica; la espiritualidad y la justicia social, y las necesidades de los ciudadanos en una sociedad democrática. Es autor de varios libros, entre ellos su trabajo más reciente, Racing to Justice: Transforming our Concepts of Self and Other to Build an Inclusive Society [Carrera hacia la justicia: Transformando los conceptos que tenemos sobre nosotros mismos y los demás para crear una sociedad inclusiva].

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Closing Q&A with john a. powell
In this closing discussion, moderated by Uma Viswanathan of New Pluralists Collaborative, OBI Director john a. powell will answer questions directly from the O&B audience about bridging and belonging in practice.
Bridging in Practice
Throughout O&B 2021 we’ve discussed the urgency of bridging across lines of difference, including across ideological lines, which can sometimes be the most difficult bridge to cross for those of us working towards belonging. In this discussion, OBI Director john a.
Opening Conversation: The Risk & Possibility of Bridging

In this intimate discussion, OBI Director john a. powell and philosopher Judith Butler will engage in a deep exploration of bridging, particularly in the context of our current moment of heightened polarization, deepened mistrust, and "breaking" across identity lines.