Powell to lead Haas Diversity Research Center

A national voice on race and ethnicity and a civil-liberties scholar, john a. powell, has been selected to lead UC Berkeley’s Haas Diversity Research Center and to hold the Robert D. Haas Chancellor’s Chair in Equity and Inclusion. He joined the faculty of the UC Berkeley School of Law and departments of Ethnic and African American Studies this semester. Powell, who graduated from Berkeley Law in 1973 and chooses to use lower-case letters for his name, comes from Ohio State University, where he taught law and directed the Kirwan Institute for the Study of Race and Ethnicity. “It is a thrill to have someone of john powell’s talent and stature joining the Berkeley faculty,” said Carla Hesse, dean of social sciences in Berkeley’s College of Letters & Science. “In recruiting john to lead the Haas Diversity Research Center, we have created a unique opportunity for UC Berkeley to make a giant leap forward in understanding how to better overcome some of the most vexing legacies of discrimination, and at the same time to mobilize the ever-increasing diversity of our American democracy as a source of strength and possibility,” she said. Berkeley’s Haas Center is the first of its kind in the nation — a multidisciplinary research initiative to study “Berkeley is poised to lead groundbreaking research related to equity, inclusion, and diversity — just as we lead research in science and other disciplines,” said Gibor Basri, vice chancellor for Equity & Inclusion and a faculty member in astrophysics. “With john powell’s leadership, we can make great strides toward this goal.”
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