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Who Belongs? A Podcast on Othering & Belonging

Who Belongs? A Podcast on Othering & Belonging

By O&B Institute
Who Belongs? was launched in Fall 2018 as the Othering & Belonging Institute's official podcast. The question of who belongs in our societies, whether local, national, or global, is one of the central drivers that underpin how people are othered, or how the conditions of belonging are created. Our podcast addresses this foundational question to open pathways to explore a range of policies, movements, scholarship, and narratives that get us closer to the goal we seek, which is to advance a society where all belong. For more information visit:
EP 30 - Can social housing provide a solution to a looming mass eviction crisis?
In this episode of Who Belongs?, we speak with Carroll Fife, an organizer, mother, and director of the Oakland office of the Alliance of Californians for Community Empowerment, also known as ACCE. Earlier this year, she was involved in coordinating the #Moms4Housing campaign in which the five Black women took over a vacant home on Magnolia Street in Oakland. She joins us to speak about the history of speculative housing and its impacts on the Black community, the looming eviction crisis, houselessness, and police violence. For a transcript of this episode visit
August 13, 2020
EP 29 - Trump attacks fair housing: What does the end of AFFH spell for integration?
Last week Trump announced he had eliminated an Obama-era fair housing rule put in place in 2015 to reverse patterns of residential segregation that have been in place for many decades. The move was widely seen as both an attack on integration and also a racial fear mongering strategy to appeal to his white base of supporters three months before the election. To talk about the purpose of the 2015 Affirmatively Furthering Fair Housing rule, the consequences of its elimination, and what we need to do now to support integration we hear from two guests. The first is Richard Rothstein, who is the author of The Color of Law: A Forgotten History of How Our Government Segregated America. He's also a senior fellow at our Institute. The second guest is Stephen Menendian, our Assistant Director and co-author of the Institute's Racial Segregation in the San Francisco Bay Area report series. For a transcript of this interview visit:
August 05, 2020
EP 28 - Settler colonialism, the insurrections of the 1960s, and today
In this episode of Who Belongs? we speak with Gerald Horne, Professor of History and African American Studies at the University of Houston, and author of more than 30 books. Professor Horne has written on a spectrum of issues and events including the early settler colonial period of the US, the Haitian and Mexican revolutions, labor politics, civil rights, profiles of WEB Du Bois and revolutionary artist Paul Robeson, just to name a few. His most recent book is The Dawning of the Apocalypse: The Roots of Slavery, White Supremacy, Settler Colonialism, and Capitalism in the Long Sixteenth Century. In our interview we focus the discussion on the uprisings of the 1960s, structural racism, and the transformative currents of today.
July 28, 2020
EP 27 - Can we have a future without police?
In this episode of Who Belongs? we hear from Erin Kerrison, an Assistant Professor of Social Welfare at UC Berkeley, to discuss her thoughts on transforming social structures and imagining futures beyond police following the murder of George Floyd. Professor Kerrison’s work investigates the impact of structural disadvantage, concentrated poverty, and state supervision on health outcomes of individuals and communities marked by criminal justice intervention. For more information and a transcript of this interview visit
July 02, 2020
EP 26 - Why are people around the world knocking down old statues? Adam Hochschild explains
In this episode of Who Belongs? we hear from Adam Hochschild, a prominent historian, journalist, and a best selling author who wrote King Leopold’s Ghost: A Story of Greed, Terror and Heroism in Colonial Africa, among many other books. He's also a lecturer in Berkeley's Graduate School of Journalism. Professor Hochschild gives us his take on the efforts around the world to topple statues and other monuments that memorialize historical figures known for their brutality and racism, including the campaign in Belgium to remove statues of their former king, King Leopold II, who plundered central Africa, leading to the deaths of millions of people. For a transcript visit
June 23, 2020
EP 25 - "It's not just murder. It's terror." #GeorgeFloyd #Minneapolis
In this episode of Who Belongs? we’re bringing back john a. powell, our director at the O&B Institute, and professor of Law and African American studies at UC Berkeley, to talk about the ongoing events in Minneapolis following the police killing of George Floyd, and why he’s remaining optimistic about some of the glimmers of hope he sees in an otherwise very upsetting and traumatic situation. For a transcript visit
May 30, 2020
EP 24 - Prof. john a. powell on the clash over shelter-in-place, and the murder of Ahmaud Arbery
In this episode of Who Belongs? we hear from john a. powell, a professor of Law and African American studies at UC Berkeley. He’s also the director of the Othering & Belonging Institute. In the interview professor powell offers historical context for the conflict over this question of when to reopen the economy, and the government’s authority to impose shelter-in-place orders. This issue has been framed as one that pits freedom against equality, but as profesor powell points out these two notions haven’t always been seen as in opposition to each other as concepts of freedom have evolved over time. We’ll also talk about the murder of Ahmaud Arbery, the young Black man who was gunned down in February by two white men in Georgia.
May 08, 2020
EP 23 - Racism and COVID-19: The historical, political, and social foundations
In this episode of Who Belongs? we hear from a three-guest panel of Berkeley faculty who provide various perspectives on the different forms of racism we’ve been witnessing since the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic. We hear about the experiences of Asian Americans who are facing a surge in hate crimes, the disparate impacts on black and brown communities in terms of the rates of death, and about how politicians are using the crisis to engage in racial fear mongering. But the panelists don’t focus so much on the incidents themselves as on the structures that have created the conditions for these forms of racism to emerge with such force. The panelists examine these issues by placing them in historical, social, and political contexts so we can think about how to respond to the crisis in ways that doesn’t reinforce the structures that set the stage for what we’re currently experiencing. The guests are Catherine Ceniza Choy, who is a Professor of Asian American and Asian Diaspora Studies, and Comparative Ethnic Studies; Ian Haney López, who is a Professor of Law and Director of the Racial Politics Project, and the author of Dog-Whistle Politics, and the more recent book Merge Left; and Osagie K. Obasogie, who is a Professor of Bioethics and chair of our Institute’s Health Disparities research cluster. For a transcript of this episode visit:
April 30, 2020
EP 22 - How this Bay Area food bank is responding to a surge in demand
In this episode of Who Belongs? we speak with Alex Boskovich, who is the Government Relations Officer at the Alameda County Community Food Bank based in Oakland, which collects and distributes food and other resources to about 300 partner organizations throughout Alameda county, including food pantries, churches, senior centers, schools, and other organizations. Just prior to the outbreak of COVID-19 the food bank had partnered with the Othering & Belonging Institute’s Civic Engagement Narrative Change project for some trainings on cultivating inclusive messaging and developing an identity that can bridge across community to build voice and power. The focus of the interview is on the sudden and very powerful impact that pandemic has had on the demand for the services provided by the Alameda County Community Food Bank, and Alex’s observations on how the crisis has magnified the gross inequities in society in how different populations are experiencing the pandemic when it comes to access to food. For more information and to access a transcript visit:
April 22, 2020
EP 21 - ICE raids, farmworkers, & the COVID-19 crisis
In this episode of Who Belongs? we’re looking at the reality facing undocumented immigrants and migrant farmworkers in the context of the COVID-19 pandemic. We hear from three researchers who discuss some of their recent and upcoming articles that look at ICE raids targeting immigrant communities despite shelter-in-place orders, as well as the conditions of farmworkers who are putting themselves at risk in order to keep the country fed. For articles mentioned in this episode visit: 1. 2. 3. The guests are: Seth M. Holmes, PhD, MD, is on faculty in the Division of Society and Environment and the Joint Program in Medical Anthropology. A cultural and medical anthropologist and physician, he has worked on social hierarchies, health inequities, and the ways in which such asymmetries are naturalized, normalized, and resisted in the context of transnational im/migration, agro-food systems, and health care. He has received national and international awards from the fields of anthropology, sociology, and geography, including the Margaret Mead Award. In addition to scholarly publications, he has written for popular media such as The Huffington Post and and spoken on multiple NPR, PRI, Pacifica Radio and Radio Bilingüe radio programs. Miriam Magaña López is a first-generation immigrant from Jalisco, Mexico. Miriam has a BA in Anthropology from Macalester College and an MPH from the University of California, Berkeley School of Public Health. Currently she works as a Research and Policy Analyst at the Institute for the Study of Societal Issues, primarily focused on understanding how economic, political and social structures impact the health of immigrant farm workers. Recently, she conducted ethnographic fieldwork among vineyard workers to understand how employment regimes influence vineyard workers’ integration in Sonoma Valley. Miriam is also a volunteer organizer with Minnesota Immigrant Rights Action Committee (MIRAC) focused on passing a Driver’s License for all bill and stopping the Hennepin County Sheriff Department from cooperating with ICE. Vera L. Chang is a UC Berkeley Environmental Science, Policy, and Management Doctoral Student; National Science Foundation Fellow; Clif Bar Family Foundation Fellow; and Berkeley Food Institute Researcher. Vera’s doctoral research focuses on agro-food systems, human rights, and social change. She is currently studying how worker-led movements can create shifts in power within U.S.-based corporate food chains. Vera recently completed a Solutions Journalism Network Fellowship to conduct an investigative reporting project on solutions to rampant sexual violence in U.S. agricultural fields. Her research and journalism have been highlighted by the Aspen Institute, Worldwatch Institute, and Center for Science in the Public Interest.
April 14, 2020
EP 20 - Ian Haney López on Bernie Sanders and the Race-Class Message
In this episode of Who Belongs? we speak with Ian Haney Lopez, a professor of law here at UC Berkeley, about his new book: “Merge Left: Fusing Race and Class, Winning Elections, and Saving America.” The book puts forward the argument that the left can re-frame racism as a weapon of the rich by crafting messages that fuse race and class and build a cross-racial movement needed to beat powerful fear-based messaging and racial dog whistles. He gives us his take on the messages he hears coming out of the 2020 Democratic primary contest between Bernie Sanders and Joe Biden, and what he thinks Bernie needs to do to strengthen his appeal for a multi-racial movement. For a transcript of this interview visit:
March 10, 2020
EP 19 - Surveying Black Women in Nevada
In this episode of Who Belongs? we hear from two guests, Erika Washington and Quintin Savwoir from a civic engagement group in Nevada called Make it Work - Nevada. In the interview they discuss a recent survey they conducted of black women in their state to learn about the issues that are most pressing to them and how they feel about the candidates running in the 2020 presidential election. Erika is the executive director of Make it Work - Nevada, and Quentin is the group's political director. The organization does year-round civic engagement and policy change work to build the power, health and vitality of black families and communities in Nevada. For a transcript of this interview visit:
January 24, 2020
EP 18 - 400 Years of Resistance to Slavery Initiative at UC Berkeley
In this episode of Who Belongs? we hear from two guests about a year-long initiative at UC Berkeley marking the 400th anniversary of the start to slavery in North America. The initiative includes weekly events with scholars, activists, and artists from around the country reflecting on the enduring legacies of slavery and Jim Crow, looking at the Civil Rights era, our current era, and also trying to imagine a future based on justice, reconciliation, and belonging. The two guests are Denise Herd, and Waldo Martin. Denise is a professor in the School of Public Health at UC Berkeley who is leading this campus initiative. She is also our Associate Director at the Othering and Belonging Institute. And Waldo Martin is a professor of US History at Berkeley who is also involved in the organizing around this initiative. To learn more about the initiative visit For a transcript of this episode visit: And for more episodes of Who Belongs? visit
December 18, 2019
EP 17 - Alicia Garza on Identity Politics and the 2020 US Presidential Election
In this episode of Who Belongs? we hear from Alicia Garza, one of the founders of the Black Lives Matter movement and the principal of the Black Futures Lab, which is an organization that engages Black voters year round and works to stop corporate influence in progressive politics. Alicia recently authored a paper for the Othering and Belonging Institute, titled, “Identity Politics: Friend or Foe?” which this episode draws from. Alicia also gives her take on some of the candidates running in the 2020 US presidential election and how they approach identity politics. This episode is part of our Civic Engagement narrative change project series, and is guest hosted by Gerald Lenoir, who is the Institute’s Identity and Politics Strategy Analyst, and the former executive director of the Black Alliance for Just Immigration as well as a former executive director of the San Francisco Black Coalition on AIDS. To learn more about Black Futures Lab visit their website at For a copy of Alicia's paper "Identity Politics: Friend or Foe?", visit: For more episodes of Who Belongs? visit our website here:
December 04, 2019
EP 16 - Mobilizing Hard-to-Count Populations for Census 2020
In this episode of Who Belongs? we speak with Michael Gomez Daly, the director of the Inland Empowerment coalition, and Sky Allen, who is the coalition's census coordinator, about their efforts to mobilize people in southern California's Inland Empire ahead of the 2020 Census. This episode is another installment of the Civic Engagement Narrative Change project series, with the interview conducted by project researcher Josh Clark. For a transcript visit:
November 14, 2019
EP 15 - Journalist Lawrence Lanahan on Crossing Baltimore's Racial Divide
In this episode of Who Belongs?, we hear from journalist and author Lawrence Lanahan about his new book called The Lines Between Us: Two Families and a Quest to Cross Baltimore’s Racial Divide. The book weaves together three storylines about people trying to overcome a host of barriers to opportunity and integration in hyper-segregated Baltimore and its suburbs. The book is the culmination of years of research and reporting on segregation in Baltimore, and draws from Lawrence’s 50-episode radio series, also called “The Lines Between Us,” produced for the city’s WYPR station. For a transcript visit
November 05, 2019
EP 14 - Voter Suppression, with Robert Greenwald and Carol Anderson
This episode of Who Belongs? is another installment of our Civic Engagement Narrative Change project series, with project researcher Josh Clark interviewing two guests: The first is Robert Greenwald, an award-winning producer and director who has a new film coming out on September 25 called “Suppressed: The fight to vote”, about voter suppression in the 2018 gubernatorial election in Georgia, and Carol Anderson, Professor of African American Studies at Emory University and author of the book One Person No Vote: How Voter Suppression is Destroying our Democracy. To access a transcript of this interview, and for more episodes of Who Belongs visit
September 19, 2019
EP 13 - Artist Christine Wong Yap on her Places of Belonging Project
In this episode of Who Belongs? host Sara Grossman interviews Christine Wong Yap, who became the Haas Institute's first Artist in Residence in the fall of 2018, about her "Places of Belonging" project, which was recently featured in a KQED report here: Learn more about the Haas Institute's Artist in Residence program here: You can also find an earlier interview with Christine Wong Yap in our Spring 2019 magazine here: For a transcript of this interview, visit:
July 30, 2019
EP 12 - Prof. Agata Lisiak on Migration and Gentrification in Europe
In this episode of Who Belongs? Sara Grossman speaks with Agata Lisiak, a professor of migration studies at Bard College Berlin, about her work on Eastern European migration to the Western Europe, the experiences of migrant mothers in particular, and the relationship between gentrification and language in European cities. For a transcript of this interview visit:
June 17, 2019
EP 11 - Engaging Asian Pacific Islanders, with Luisa Blue of the SEIU
In this episode of Who Belongs, we talk to Luisa Blue, who is the Executive Vice President of the Service Employees International Union (SEIU), and an expert on Asian Pacific Islander civic engagement issues. She is also the highest ranking leader of Asian Pacific Islander background in the labor movement in the United States. This episode is also the fourth installment of our Civic Engagement Narrative Change project series. For a transcript of this interview visit:
May 10, 2019
EP 10 - Targeted Universalism with john a. powell
In this episode we hear from john a. powell, who is our director, and a professor of law and African American Studies here at UC Berkeley. In the interview we discuss a brand new primer we’ve just published on the targeted universalism policy approach, a model conceptualized by professor powell. The primer was co-written by professor powell along with assistant director Stephen Menendian, and Wendy Ake, who is the director of the Just Public Finance program. To summarize, targeted universalism is a platform to put into practice social programs that move all groups toward a universal policy goal. It supports the needs of the most marginalized groups, as well as those who are more politically powerful, while reminding everyone that we are all part of the same social fabric. Download a copy of the primer here: For a transcript of this episode, visit:
May 08, 2019
EP 9 - Family Role in Prisoner Reentry, with Prof. David Harding
In this episode of Who Belongs? we talk with Professor David Harding, who is a UC Berkeley Sociologist and member of the Haas Institute's Economic Disparities faculty research cluster, about a new book he co-authored called On the Outside: Prisoner Reentry and Reintegration. Find a transcript of this interview here:
April 30, 2019
EP 8 - The Stakes for the 2020 Census with Michael Omi and Stephen Menendian
In this episode of Who Belongs? we discuss the topic of the US Census with Professor Michael Omi, who is an affiliated faculty member of our Institute, author of Racial Formation in the United States, and one of only a handful of experts on the US Census. Stephen Menendian, who is the assistant director and director of research at the Haas Institute, served as guest host for this episode.
April 04, 2019
EP 7 - Abandonment in Detroit with Peter Hammer and Amina Kirk
In this episode of Who Belongs? we speak with Peter Hammer and Amina Kirk, who have been working in a variety of capacities for equitable development and racial justice in Detroit for many years. Peter is a Professor of Law and the Director of the Damon J. Keith Center for Civil Rights at Wayne State University Law School. The Keith Center runs the Detroit Equity Action Lab, whose purpose is to address structural racism in Detroit. Amina Kirk is the Senior Legal and Policy Advocate & Organizer with Detroit People's Platform, a racial and economic justice organization. She’s an affordable housing activist, and earned her JD and Master’s in Urban Planning from the University of Michigan. This episode was produced in collaboration with the Haas Institute's Civic Engagement Narrative Change Project.
March 05, 2019
EP 5 - Hilary Hoynes on the Benefits and Limitations of Food Stamps (SNAP)
In this episode of Who Belongs? Marc Abizeid talks to economist Hilary Hoynes about government assistance programs, including nutrition programs like SNAP, which is also known as food stamps, in addressing poverty and hunger in the United States. Hilary Hoynes teaches economics and public policy at UC Berkeley's Goldman School of Public Policy, and is the Chair of the Haas Institute's Economic Disparities Research Cluster. Professor Hoynes specializes in the study of poverty, inequality, and the impacts of government assistance programs like SNAP, and others, including the Earned Income Tax Credit, which is a cash assistance program for low-wage earners. Find a transcript of this interview here: For more episodes of Who Belongs? visit:
December 19, 2018
EP 4 - Racial Justice Activism in Europe with Emilia Roig
In this episode, Sara Grossman interviews Emilia Roig of the Center for Intersectional Justice (CIJ) in Berlin, Germany. Originally from France, Emilia is the founder and director of CIJ, a nonprofit working to combat intersecting forms of structural inequality and discrimination in Europe. CIJ works in three main areas: advocacy, research, and training, ultimately aiming to influence public discourse and policy-making on issues related to intersectional discrimination. Learn more about CIJ on its website here: A transcript of this interview will soon be made available on this page:
December 11, 2018
EP 3 - Monitoring Corporate Agribusiness with Elsadig Elsheikh and Nadia Barhoum
In this episode of Who Belongs?, hosts Marc Abizeid and Sara Grossman interview two guests: Elsadig Elsheikh, who is the Director of the Global Justice Program at the Haas Institute, and Nadia Barhoum, who is a former researcher with the Global Justice Program. They discussed their new project that was released earlier in October by the Haas Institute called, "Shahidi: Corporations Decoded." The project serves as a monitor to examine the power, influence and reach of agri-business corporations and their role in the global food crisis. Read more about the Shahidi project here: And check out the Shahidi project website here:
October 29, 2018
EP 2 - Nicole Montojo and Stephen Barton on Rent Control
In this episode of Who Belongs? we interview Nicole Montojo and Steve Barton, who recently co-authored a new research brief on the housing affordability crisis in California, called "Opening the Door for Rent Control: Toward a Comprehensive Approach to Protecting California’s Renters." Nicole is a housing research analyst at the Haas Institute. She holds a Master's degree in city planning from UC Berkeley. Steve is a former housing director for the city of Berkeley who holds a PhD in city and regional planning from UC Berkeley. Find the report, along with a summary, press release, presentation video, and other resources, here: For more episodes of Who Belongs? visit this page:
October 09, 2018
EP 1 - Gordon Whitman Breaks Down Community Organizing
In this first episode of Who Belongs?, we talk to Gordon Whitman, who is the deputy director of Faith In Action, formerly known as PICO, which is a national network of faith-based organizations working to build civic leaders to uplift communities through work on a broad set of issues. Gordon recently published a book on organizing, called ‘Stand Up!: How to Get Involved, Speak Out, and Win in a World on Fire’. The book, which is available in both English and Spanish, draws from his 25 years of experience as a community organizer in different parts of the country, as well as from a year abroad in Chile during Pinochet dictatorship, where Gordon says he learned the most important things about organizing. Learn more about Gordon's book here: To watch a video of a book talk Gordon gave at UC Berkeley visit this page: Listen to more episodes of Who Belongs? on this page:
September 27, 2018
EP 0 - Ralf Hotchkiss on the Hazards of Standard Wheelchairs
Back in March we met with Ralf Hotchkiss, a renowned disability rights activist, engineer, and co-founder of the Whirlwind Wheelchair project, based here in Berkeley. The non profit works with local wheelchair riders and mechanics around the world to design and construct durable chairs that bring riders back into society in ways that standard US and European chairs don’t allow, because of their poor designs which severely limit peoples’ mobility. The interview was conducted by Marc Abizeid from the Haas Institute. Learn more about Ralf's work at Whirlwind Wheelchair here: And read a profile about him here: Intro song: "Traction by Chad Crouch" Outro song: "Wide Eyes by Chad Crouch"
August 04, 2018