john a. powell: Othering, Belonging, and Expanding the Circle of Human Concern [Ep. 143]

If you only have two minutes, click here for a highlight from the interview.

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 was previously the Executive Director at the Kirwan Institute for the Study of Race and Ethnicity at the Ohio State University and the Institute for Race and Poverty at the University of Minnesota. Prior to that john was the National Legal Director of the American Civil Liberties Union. He is a co-founder of the Poverty & Race Research Action Council and serves on the boards of several national and international organizations. john led the development of an “opportunity-based” model that connects affordable housing to education, health, health care, and employment and is well-known for his work developing the frameworks of “targeted universalism” and “othering and belonging” to effect equity-based interventions. john has taught at numerous law schools including Harvard and Columbia University. His latest book is Racing to Justice: Transforming our Concepts of Self and Other to Build an Inclusive Society.

john powell by Nick Bruno.jpg

Some highlights from Ryan Honeyman’s Conversation with john a. powell include:

  • How john first got interested in the work he is doing today

  • The emergence of “white anxiety” and how this anxiety shapes our current political dialogue

  • john’s views on Anand Giridharadas’s book “Winners Take All” and companies who believe they are “doing good” (while actually reinforcing our broken system)

  • His work around a New Social Compact

  • john’s opinions on Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez and the Justice Democrats

  • The 2019 Othering and Belonging Conference in Berkeley

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LIFT Economy is an impact consulting firm whose mission is to create, model, and share a locally self-reliant economy that works for the benefit of all life.


Andrew Baskin, Partner & Executive Producer at LIFT Economy, specializes in regenerative ag-related enterprise and impact investing that advances the health of our soil, food-system, and climate.  You can email Andrew at


Ryan Honeyman is a Partner at LIFT Economy and author of The B Corp Handbook: How to Use Business as a Force for Good (Berrett-Koehler Publishers). You can follow Ryan on Twitter @honeymanconsult or email him