Othering & Belonging Institute

Othering & Belonging Institute

The Othering & Belonging Institute at the University of California, Berkeley advances groundbreaking research, policy, and ideas that examine and remediate the processes of exclusion, marginalization, and structural inequality—what we call othering—in order to build a world based on inclusion, fairness, justice, and care for the earth—what we call belonging.

Our Main Goals

Advancing multidisciplinary research, analysis, policy, and strategic narrative

Our research examines the structural and cultural impediments to opportunity that limit full inclusion and block benefits derived from an equitable society. We address complex and intertwined issues holistically, cultivating research contributions and collaboration across fields. Research is informed by understanding how structures and systems work across domains to produce exclusion and inequality, and inclusion and equality.

Building relationships among diverse groups and across disciplines

We align our research efforts with the needs of community organizers, policymakers, and other stakeholders. Community-centered collaborations help inform our research while our scholarship helps community partners and policymakers with strategies and policy, which increase our mutual effectiveness at many levels. This type of relationship-building moves beyond just coalitions toward deeper synergy, is strengthened by time and interaction, and ultimately yields a greater capacity to effect change.

Employing communications and culture to illuminate research and impact policy

To be most successful, we must engage the conscious mind and the unconscious mind, which is less empirical, less fact-driven, highly social, and more animated by stories, values, and metaphors. This communications and cultural work goes beyond messaging to engage in a battle of big ideas, to take command of how a debate, such as the entire concept of public space or citizenship, is framed in public discourse in order to construct and employ new narratives.

Making a difference

Our model allows us to work not only in a different way but also at a different scale, countering a lack of capacity that has made many of our most important efforts seem intractable. Our resources are also devoted to a few “game changers”— issues that if won or lost will have a profound impact on society.

Service Area
Berkeley, CA
Othering & Belonging Institute
University of California, Berkeley
460 Stephens Hall
Berkeley, CA 94720-2330
Alameda County Seal