john a. powell — Opening to the Question of Belonging

May 10, 2018

“Race is a little bit like gravity,” john powell says: experienced by all, understood by few. He is a refreshing, redemptive thinker who counsels all kinds of people and projects on the front lines of our present racial longings. Race is relational, he reminds us. It’s as much about whiteness as about color. He takes new learnings from the science of the brain as forms of everyday power. “We don't have to imagine doing things one at a time,” he says. “It's not, ‘how do we get there?’ It's, ‘how do we live?’”

 

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john a. powell is director of the Haas Institute for a Fair and Inclusive Society and professor of Law, African American, and Ethnic Studies at the University of California, Berkeley. He previously directed the Kirwan Institute for the Study of Race and Ethnicity at Ohio State University and the Institute on Race and Poverty at the University of Minnesota. He is the author of Racing to Justice: Transforming our Concepts of Self and Other to Build an Inclusive Society.