Photo of Leti Volpp with message.  am very glad to be back at the helm of CRG, and I am thrilled that CRG was guided by such capable hands during my sabbatical year.  Beth Piatote has been a stellar Interim Director, charting new paths and developing exciting initiatives, and I truly thank her for taking on this role.  For a glimpse of the brilliant work conducted by CRG in 2019-20, as led by CRG’s terrific staff, along with Beth, the outstanding Administration Manager Ariana Ceja, Graduate Student Researcher Kimia Pakdaman and Student Assistant Gisselle Alvarez, see this Annual Review.  Beth and I will continue to co-lead CRG's Native/Immigrant/Refugee Research Initiative, and her broader efforts as Interim Director will continue to shape CRG into the future.  As Beth passes the baton back to me, I want to share some of our recent interventions.  Here you can find Beth speaking on the question of racist monuments and place names.  And here you can find me explaining the impact of Covid-19 on immigration law in a webinar I presented for Berkeley Law on June 22, 2020.  For almost twenty years, CRG has been at the center of critical, cutting-edge research on race and gender.  As the nation – and the world – grapples with questions of racism and justice, CRG will continue to provide vision and guidance in paving a way onwards.  I look forward to working with CRG’s fantastic staff, affiliated faculty, students and researchers, and engaging with you this upcoming year in activities that will speak to these precarious times.   In community,  Leti Volpp Director, Center for Race & Gender Robert D. and Leslie Kay Raven Professor of Law in Access to Justice, Berkeley Law

George Floyd. Breanna Taylor. Ahmaud Arbery. Tony McDade. We say their names in order to express our horror and rage at the ongoing crisis of anti-Black police violence in this country and across the world. We call for the immediate demilitarization of the UC Berkeley campus, where the five of us lead academic research centers committed to anti-racist justice; this includes severing ties with police departments, ending contracts with private security companies, and changing cultures of “safety” so that the thriving, not the criminalization, of Black men, Black women, Black trans, and Black non-binary people is prioritized.  UC Berkeley as an institution and as a collective of individuals must act to dismantle structures of racism and discrimination. We call on the administration to prioritize funding of the intellectual, cultural, and social labor of transforming the white, ableist and heteropatriarchal privilege that gives rise to the dehumanizing naturalization of physical, psychological, and socially systemic violence against people of color and other marginalized communities.  We move in solidarity with the Black community on campus and nation-wide.     Julia Bryan-Wlson, Director, Arts Research Center  Mel Y. Chen, Director, Center for the Study of Sexual Culture  Abigail De Kosnik, Director, Berkeley Center for New Media  Beth Piatote, Interim Director, Center for Race and Gender  Laura E. Pérez, Chair, Latinx Research Center

CRG Calls for End to Racial Violence  The Center for Race and Gender condemns the police murder of George Floyd in Minneapolis on May 25, 2020, and joins calls from around the world to hold the perpetrators accountable so that brutality against and the killing of Black people will stop.   Black Lives Matter. Every person must take action to defend this truth.   The killing of George Floyd by a police officer while his colleagues looked on extends the foundational violence that brought the United States into existence. Genocide and slavery set the terms of racial inequality that persist today and allow for the routine killing of Black men, women, and children; as well as Indigenous and other People of Color. This foundational violence at the heart of America must be confronted and stopped. #blacklivesmatter

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This past week, I had the great privilege of taking part in a program created by the Arts Research Center: a reading by the U.S. Poet Laureate Joy Harjo. The live webcast featured her reading her work, followed by a conversation with me and live questions from the audience, fielded by Julia Bryan-Wilson....

Joy Harjo's work pulses with vitality, honesty, beauty, and hope. It is a restorative resource in this present moment, and I encourage you to take it in.

Among the many inspiring thoughts that she shared, Joy spoke of our time in quarantine as a time of gathering. We gather together in virtual spaces, but we also gather ourselves. We gather our ancestors. We come deeper into connection.

This week we are mindful of what it means to gather. There continues to be much uncertainty about how the university--and everything else--will operate in the coming months. We invite you to be creative about what it means to gather.... 

Beth Piatote
Interim Director
Center for Race & Gender


Latest Thursday Forum Podcast Available

Savannah Shange, UC Santa Cruz anthropologist, in conversation with members of the Black/Girlhood Imaginary Working Group

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