Public Affairs


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A panel of distinguished speakers shares their inspiring vision and experiences, while bringing awareness to the issues faced by women working in nontraditional fields and industries. Recorded on 03/12/2019.

This panel discussion features former elected officials, legal and political experts discussing the role of late UCLA professor Leo Estrada in redistricting in California. They say Estrada's work was integral ensuring people of color achieved equal representation in the legislature. Not only was his expertise and data collection essential in understanding the makeup of California communities, but it also proved invaluable in recruiting the best candidates to represent those communities.

As an increasingly polarized America fights over the legacy of racism, Susan Neiman, author of the contemporary philosophical classic Evil in Modern Thought, asks what we can learn from the Germans about confronting the evils of the past. In the wake of white nationalist attacks, the ongoing debate over reparations, and the controversy surrounding Confederate monuments and the contested memories they evoke, Susan Neiman's Learning from the Germans delivers an urgently needed perspective on how a country can come to terms with its historical wrongdoings. She combines philosophical reflection, personal stories, and interviews with both Americans and Germans who are grappling with the evils of their own national histories.

Yale University professor and filmmaker Charles Musser explores the historical and contemporary perspectives of race relations in German and American cinema from the 1920s by examining The Ancient Law (1923) and The Jazz Singer (1927). He evaluates how each film addresses anti-Semitism as well as the burning question of the history of blackface as a theatrical convention. Recorded on 10/24/2019.

Twentieth-Century African American Freedom Struggles transformed both US and World History. These seminal liberation struggles include the important yet relatively unknown series of early twentieth-century southern African American streetcar boycotts as well as the iconic Civil Rights-Black Power Insurgency (1935-75). First, Waldo Martin examines why and how these foundational freedom struggles proved essential to the making of the modern African American Freedom Movement. Second, he examines the centrality of the modern African American Freedom Movement to both the creation of the modern United States and the development of the modern world. Waldo Martin is the Alexander F. & May T. Morrison Professor of American History & Citizenship at the University of California, Berkeley.

Conflict and tensions in the Middle East have reached their highest point in years. Tensions and the risk of confrontation are growing between the U.S. and Iran, as well as between Iran and U.S. regional allies. Tzipi Livni, former Foreign Minister of Israel, reflects on whether increased tensions in the region can help create new opportunities for peace and stability. She explores, in particular, the threats Israel faces that may threaten an already fragile status quo. Tzipi Livni is the featured speaker for the 2019 Herb York Memorial Lecture, presented by UC Institute on Global Conflict and Cooperation at UC San Diego. Recorded on 11/11/2019.

From highways to trains to housing, where governments spend money can have a major impact on the environment and the economy. Join California State Treasurer Fiona Ma, the Center for Environmental Public Policy at the Goldman School of Public Policy and the Berkeley Forum for a discussion on major finance policy issues facing the State of California, including green bonds and sustainable finance. Fiona Ma is California's 34th State Treasurer. She was elected on November 6, 2018 with more votes than any other candidate for treasurer in the state's history. She is the first woman of color and the first woman Certified Public Accountant (CPA) elected to the position. California is the world's fifth-largest economy and Treasurer Ma is the state's primary banker. Her office processes more than $2 trillion in payments within a typical year and provides transparency and oversight for an investment portfolio of more than $90 billion.

Climate change, caused primarily by the greenhouse gas emissions of the world's most affluent populations, is having a disproportionate impact on socially and economically subordinated populations all over the world. Although climate change is anticipated to displace between 200 million and 1 billion people by 2050, the racialized hostility of the US, the European Union, and Australia to persons fleeing poverty, conflict, and environmental degradation does not bode well for climate refugees. Carmen G. Gonzalez, Professor of Law at Seattle University School of Law, examines the relationship between climate change and racial subordination, evaluating the evolving legal and policy responses to climate change-induced displacement.
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