Scholarship for Black Lives

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ISSI and its constituent centers are curating an event series during 2020-21 to highlight research on systemic racism and anti-racism as well as scholarship that asserts that Black lives matter.

Check back as additional events will be added.

Spring 2021

Wedsneday, February 24 | 4 - 5:30 PM PT

Subordination and Resistance: Policing Morality Past and Present

Zoom Webinar | Register here (free)

"Made for Your Benefit": Prohibition, Protection, and Refusal on Tohono O'odham, 1912-1933
Fantasia Painter, PhD Candidate in Ethnic Studies and ISSI Graduate Fellow
“Like we not human”: Black Women’s Views of Policing in a Historically Black Neighborhood in the San Francisco Bay Area
Monique Hosein, DrPH Candidate in Public Health and ISSI Graduate Fellow
with Angela P. Harris, Professor Emerita, UC Davis School of Law, as respondent
Sponsored by: ISSI Graduate Fellows Program

Black Mayors & Leadership in the United States

Three mayors; Three voices; Three visions

Three sessions exploring lessons learned and local equity challenges these mayors faced leading during a worldwide pandemic and sharp economic contraction.

                                                            For more information on the series, click here

Black Mayors & Leadership in the United States: Criminal Justice Reform

Thursday, March 4 | 12 - 1:30 PT

Zoom Webinar | Register here (free)

The Honorable Lori Lightfoot, Mayor of Chicago

Introduction by: Teresa Córdova, Director, Great Cities Institute, and Professor, Urban Planning and Policy, University of Illinois at Chicago

Moderator: Cheryl Corley, NPR National Correspondent

Panelists: Nikki Jones, Professor of African American Studies, UC Berkeley

               Cid Martinez, Associate Professor of Sociology, University of San Diego


Black Mayors & Leadership in the United States: The Wealth Gap

Wednesday, March 10 | 12 - 1:30 PT

Zoom Webinar | Register here (free)

The Honorable Ras Baraka, Mayor of Newark

Introduction by: Stephen Small, Director, Institute for the Study of Societal Issues, and Professor, Department of African American Studies, UC Berkeley

Panel discussion moderated by Tracy Jan, Reporter, The Washington Post


Darren Walker, President, Ford Foundation

Paul Ong, Research Professor and Director, Center for Neighborhood Knowledge, UCLA Luskin School of Public Affairs

Elsie Harper-Anderson, Associate Professor, Douglas Wilder School of Government and Public Affairs, Virginia Commonwealth University


Black Mayors & Leadership in the United States: Diversity and Inclusion

Tuesday March 16 | 12 - 1:30 PT

Zoom Webinar | Register here (free)

The Honorable Sylvester Turner, Mayor of Houston

Introduction by: Ula Y. Taylor, Professor & H. Michael and Jeanne Williams Department Chair, Department of African American Studies & African Diaspora Studies, UC Berkeley

Panel discussion moderated by Natasha Korecki, Politico National Correspondent


Pedro Noguera, Emery Stoops and Joyce King Stoops Dean, Rossier School of Education, University of Southern California

Kathleen Yang-Clayton, Clinical Assistant Professor, Department of Public Administration, University of Illinois at Chicago

Dr. Gail Christopher, Executive Director of the National Collaborative for Health Equity

Tuesday, April 13 | 5:30 - 6:30pm PT

The Future of California: People, Place, and Power

Zoom Webinar | Register here (free)

California State Senator Steven Bradford, Senate District 35

California State Senator Anna Caballero, Senate District 12

Assemblymember David Chiu, Assembly District 17

Assemblymember James C. Ramos, Assembly District 40

California State Senator Nancy Skinner, Senate District 9

Moderator: Marisa Lagos, correspondent for KQED’s California Politics and Government Desk and co-host of “Political Breakdown”

Welcome: Michael Drake, M.D, President of the University of California

As California and the world are changing, this symposium brings together California state legislators to share their visions of the future of California and the policies to achieve that future. California's large and diverse population needs education, health, housing, and secure jobs in a changing economy. California is a leader in protecting this beautiful planet that we call home, but we still have work to do in protecting the environment and planning our housing and transportation to meet the local, state, national, and global needs. While California exerts power in the national and global arenas, power is unevenly distributed, and we have to work for a more equitable future. 

Sponsored by: Institute for the Study of Societal Issues

Co-sponsored by: ISSI's Asian American Research Center, California Initiative for Health Equity & Action, California Nurses Association, Goldman School of Public Policy, Institute of Governmental Studies, Joseph A. Myers Center for Research on Native American Issues, Latinx Research Center, Othering & Belonging Institute

Thursday, April 15 | 11 AM - 12:30 PM PT

Contesting the Racial Terrain of Power: The Political Economy of Entrepreneurialism and Institutional Change

Zoom Webinar | Register here (free)

Caleb Dawson, PhD Candidate in Education and ISSI Graduate Fellow 

Alicia Sheares, PhD Candidate in Sociology and ISSI Graduate Fellow 

with Victor RayAssistant Professor of Sociology & Criminology and of African American Studies, University of Iowa, as respondent 

Sponsored by: ISSI Graduate Fellows Program

Tuesday, April 20 | 11am - 1pm PT

Racial Geographies of Safety and Danger: Excavating the Historical and Contemporary Bay Area

Zoom Webinar | Register here (free)

Eduardo Bautista Duran, PhD Student in Jurisprudence and Social Policy and ISSI Graduate Fellow

David Philoxene, PhD Candidate in Education and ISSI Graduate Fellow

reelaviolette botts-ward, PhD Candidate in African Diaspora Studies and ISSI Graduate Fellow

with Savannah Shange, Assistant Professor of Anthropology, UC Santa Cruz, as respondent

Sponsored by: ISSI Graduate Fellows Program

Wednesday, April 21 | 2 - 3pm PT

The Politics of Racial Reparations:  Japanese American and Black American Intersections

Zoom Webinar | Register here (free)


John Tateishi, author of Redress: The Inside Story of Japanese American Reparations 

Charles Henry, Professor Emeritus of African American Studies, UC Berkeley and author of Long Overdue: The Politics of Racial Reparations

ModeratorMichael Omi, Associate Professor of Ethnic Studies, UC Berkeley

In a political moment when historical and contemporary forms of structural racism are increasingly acknowledged, renewed attention is given to both addressing and compensating for the harm and long-term damage caused by racist policies and practices.  What constitutes an appropriate response and remedy to this damage, and what are effective political strategies to make substantive reparations a reality?  Join us for a conversation with John Tateishi and Charles P. Henry who will reflect on both the Japanese American and Black American efforts to secure reparations, contextualize the politics behind such efforts, and consider what may be possible going forward.

Sponsored by Asian American Research Center

Co-sponsored by Center for Research on Social Change

Fall 2020

Joint Conference on Right-Wing Studies and Research on Male Supremacism

Tuesday, August 4 - Thursday August 6

Complete details and registration for this online conference are available here.

Keynote Talk: Revealing White Supremacy, Dr. Crystal Fleming

Tuesday, August 4 | 1:00pm – 2:30pm PT

Dr. Crystal Marie Fleming is an internationally recognized expert on racism and anti-racism who empowers audiences to confront and challenge white supremacy. She is the author of How to Be Less Stupid About Race: On Racism, White Supremacy and the Racial Divide and Resurrecting Slavery: Racial Legacies and White Supremacy in France. Dr. Fleming’s talk addresses the urgency of expanding our collective understanding of white supremacy beyond extremism like neo-Nazis and the Ku Klux Klan. Drawing on her expertise and empirical research on white supremacy in the U.S. and Europe, Crystal shows how white supremacy is deeply tied to European colonialism, patriarchy, modern capitalism and the destruction of our ecosystem. 

Co-sponsored by the Southern Poverty Law Center


Keynote Panel: The Far-Right in 2020: Supremacist and Authoritarian Mobilization in the United States and Europe, Dr. Terri Givens and Dr. Lawrence Rosenthal

Thursday, August 6 | 12:10pm – 1:40pm PT

Dr. Terri Givens and Dr. Lawrence Rosenthal will speak to present-day white and male supremacist mobilization and discourses on the far-right in the United States and Europe, from the Boogaloo Bois and anti-lockdown protests to misogyny, racism, and anti-Semitism on college campuses.

Terri Givens is the CEO and Founder of the Center for Higher Education Leadership. She is the author/editor of many books and articles, including Legislating Equality: The Politics of Antidiscrimination Policy in Europe and Voting Radical Right in Western Europe. Her forthcoming book, Radical Empathy: Finding a Path to Bridging Racial Divides, is scheduled for publication in February 2021. 



Lawrence Rosenthal is Chair of the Berkeley Center for Right-Wing Studies, part of the Institute for the Study of Societal Issues. Rosenthal co-edited Steep: The Precipitous Rise of the Tea Party and The New Nationalism and the First World War and is author of the forthcoming Empire of Resentment: Populism’s Toxic Embrace of Nationalism (New Press) that will be released September 8, 2020. 


Wednesday, September 16 | 4:00-5:00pm PT

Confederate Monuments Are Just the Tip of the Iceberg: Plantation Museums in Southern Heritage Tourism

Zoom Webinar | Register here (free)

Stephen Small, Interim Director, Institute for the Study of Societal Issues, and Professor, African American Studies, UC Berkeley

Some of the most prominent public debates on slavery in the United States at the present time revolve around Confederate monuments, related iconography and the legacies of the Civil War. But these are just one component of a far more extensive infrastructure of sites dedicated to a distorted and mythological memory of slavery, the Confederacy and Southern history.  This involves a vast heritage tourism industry across the US South, comprising plantation mansions, work structures and a wide range of other buildings, including slave quarters and slave cabins.  What are these sites, where are they located, how do they function and what messages do they convey? In this presentation I describe and evaluate these sites and their proponents in Louisiana and articulate how they form a continuum with racist, right-wing and extremist groups that promote white supremacy. I also identify less prominent structures and groups that fundamentally challenge these “heritage” sites and groups.

Sponsored by Institute for the Study of Societal Issues

Thursday, September 24 | 12:00pm - 1:30pm PT

The Black Shoals: Offshore Formations of Black and Native Studies

Zoom Webinar | Register here (free)

Tiffany King, Associate Professor, African-American Studies and Women's, Gender, and Sexuality Studies, Georgia State University

In her recent book The Black Shoals: Offshore Formations of Black and Native Studies, Tiffany Lethabo King uses the shoal—an offshore geologic formation that is neither land nor sea—as metaphor, mode of critique, and methodology to theorize the encounter between Black studies and Native studies. King conceptualizes the shoal as a space where Black and Native literary traditions, politics, theory, critique, and art meet in productive, shifting, and contentious ways. These interactions, which often foreground Black and Native discourses of conquest and critiques of humanism, offer alternative insights into understanding how slavery, anti-Blackness, and Indigenous genocide structure white supremacy. Among texts and topics, King examines eighteenth-century British mappings of humanness, Nativeness, and Blackness; Black feminist depictions of Black and Native erotics; Black fungibility as a critique of discourses of labor exploitation; and Black art that rewrites conceptions of the human. In outlining the convergences and disjunctions between Black and Native thought and aesthetics, King identifies the potential to create new epistemologies, lines of critical inquiry, and creative practices.

Sponsored by Center for Research on Social Change

Co-sponsored by Joseph A. Myers Center for Research on Native American Issues, African American and African Diaspora Studies, Native American Studies

Wednesday, September 30 | 12:00pm - 1:30pm PT

Abortion Rights in 2020 and Beyond: Threats and Resistance

Zoom Webinar | Register here (free)

Khiara M. Bridges, Professor of Law, UC Berkeley
Carole Joffe, Professor of Obstetrics and Gynecology, UC San Francisco
Jill E. Adams, Executive Director of If/When/How: Lawyering for Reproductive Justice

The legal right to abortion is under threat, despite the recent Supreme Court decision in June Medical Services v Russo, a decision that protected the rights of women in Louisiana to get abortions without an undue burden. The right wing has successfully eroded reproductive rights through a number of tactics, including framing abortion as “Black genocide,” yet people continue to have abortions, within, despite, and beyond legal limits. Khiara M. Bridges, co-author of the reproductive justice law professors' amicus brief in June Medical Services v. Russo, will examine race, class, reproductive rights, and the intersection of the three. Carole Joffe, co-author of Obstacle Course: The Everyday Struggle to Get an Abortion in America, will draw on interviews with patients, abortion providers, and clinical staff to reveal the compound indignities, inconveniences, and impossibilities posed by the patchwork of restrictions on provision and coverage. She will also discuss the determination and dedication of those both seeking and working to provide legal abortions. Jill E. Adams, Executive Director of If/When/How: Lawyering for Reproductive Justice, will focus on how people are choosing and resorting to self-directed and community-directed care to circumnavigate the structural inequities in healthcare access yet still having to contend with the systemic racism of the criminal legal system.

Sponsored by Berkeley Center for Right-Wing Studies

Co-sponsored by Center on Reproductive Rights and Justice; Center for the Study of Law and Society; Berkeley Law's chapter of If/When/How: Lawyering for Reproductive Justice

Wednesday, October 7 | 3:00pm - 4:30pm PT

From the Edge of the Ghetto: The Quest of Small City African-Americans to Survive Post-Industrialism

Zoom Webinar | Register here (free)

Alford Young, Jr., Arthur F. Thurnau Professor, Departments of Sociology and Afroamerican and African Studies, and Gerald R. Ford School of Public Policy, University of Michigan

This talk draws from a study based on interviews with 103 working class and low-income African Americans from Ypsilanti, Michigan, a city of approximately 30,000 residents (about 6,000 of them African American). It explores how they make sense of work and work opportunity in a city that decades ago was the site of considerable industrial opportunity. That city sits on the borders of a thriving post-industrial small city as well as in the vicinity of Detroit, perhaps one of America’s strongest urban examples of declining post-industrialism. Accordingly, these residents discuss work opportunity while being uniquely situated between geographic sites of opportunity and demise. A strong gender distinction emerged in how they discuss their vision of future employment opportunities and their perceived places within them. Consequently, the talk presents a case for how configurations of race, class, and gender surface for lower-income African Americans in their struggle to come to terms with post-industrialism.

Sponsored by Institute for the Study of Societal Issues

Co-sponsored by Institute for Research on Labor and Employment

Tuesday October 13 | 5:00pm-6:30pm

Redefining Health Policy in 2020 and Beyond: Racism, Social Movements, and Well-Being

Zoom Webinar | Register here (free)

Jamila K. Taylor, PhD, Director of Health Care Reform and Senior Fellow, The Century Foundation

Janene Yazzie, Co-founder and CEO of Sixth World Solutions

Mari Lopez, Organizer, National Nurses United / California Nurses Association

The Covid19 pandemic has revealed racism as the public health crisis facing the United States. Health disparities are also shaped by employment, immigration, housing, land use, and many other systemic issues and institutions. The United States government's response has largely been reactive; this event is an opportunity to focus on redefining health policy in ways that go beyond debates about testing or restaurant re-opening. Drawing on their experience of working for change at the grassroots, three  visionary leaders will engage in a conversation about health policy that would encompass the social and structural changes we need to promote good health.

Sponsored by Berkeley Center for Social Medicine and National Nurses United / California Nurses Association

Friday, November 13 | 12:00pm - 1:30pm PT

Empirics of Justice: Tracking the Carceral Continuum in Urban America

Zoom Webinar | Register here (free)

Carla Shedd, Associate Professor, Urban Education & Sociology, The Graduate Center, City University of New York
Carla Shedd will present a lecture based on her new book project, When Protection and Punishment Collide: America’s Juvenile Court System and the Carceral Continuum. The project draws on empirical data to interrogate the deftly intertwined contexts of New York City schools, neighborhoods, and juvenile justice courts, in this dynamic moment of NYC public policy shifts (e.g., school segregation, “Raise the Age,” and “Close Rikers.”).

Sponsored by Center for Research on Social Change

Co-sponsored by Graduate School of Education, Thelton E. Henderson Center for Social Justice, Center for Race and Gender, Center for the Study of Law and Society, UC Berkeley


Institute for the Study of Societal Issues
Copyright UC Regents and UC Berkeley
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