KPFA's Abolish Racism Audio Collection

John A Powell in Berkeley

john a. powell in Berkeley 12-5-2014 | Racing to Justice: Transforming Our Conceptions of Self and Other to Build an Inclusive Society

john a. powell is Professor of Law, African American Studies, and Ethnic Studies at the University of California, Berkeley School of Law where he is the director of the Haas Institute for a Fair and Inclusive Society.

john powell’s ruminations for his talk are central ideas in his most recent book Racing to Justice, which provides an outline for laying claim to our shared humanity amidst attitudes and institutions that promote and perpetuate social suffering. Although there is much work to do regarding the redemption of the American promise of equality for all, Racing to Justice begins the conversation that actively promotes an inclusive democracy.

How can we work together to create political, economic, and social systems that support individuals in becoming compassionate, competent, and responsible members of the wider community? While justice and fairness are needed to support effective participation, how do we ensure that those who are excluded whether it be by race, class, gender, disability, sexual orientation, or the like belong and are included in the circle of human concern? In light of the events in Ferguson, Missouri, john a. powell addresses systemic structural inequalities that police the bodies of some members of society more heavily than others. This dialogue will enable us to inhabit the space of a South African proverb, Sawubona, which means “We see you.” By “seeing” the other beyond our differences, we can create community that support the personal and socially transformative ways of living and being in an increasingly complex and segregated world.

Brian Edwards-Tiekert is the co-host of UpFront, KPFA’s public affairs show weekdays at 7AM.