john a. powell is Director of the Othering and Belonging Institute 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 prior to that, the founder and director of the Institute for Race and Poverty at the University of Minnesota. john formerly served as the National Legal Director of the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU). 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 was featured in the Mind & Life podcast episode Othering and belonging.

This profile was last updated on December 20, 2019

Mind & Life Connections


2019 Summer Research Institute Session

Othering and Belonging

john a. powell

Topics: Contemplative Wisdom | Interconnection | Self & Other | Social Change


Mind & Life Videos

john powell: The Heart of Contemplative Practice

Mind and Life Institute • November 2, 2015

Topics: Interconnection | Mindfulness


Mind & Life Videos

Mind & Life Institute: ISCS 2014 highlights

Mind and Life Institute • November 2, 2014

Topics: Brain & Cognitive Science | Contemplative Wisdom | Education | Mental Health

Mind & Life Videos

ISCS 2014 Pre-Conference – Opening Keynote – john a. powell

Mind and Life Institute • October 30, 2014

Topics: Education | Interconnection | Social Change

2014 International Symposium for Contemplative Studies Session

Pre-conference Introduction and Opening Keynote

john a. powell

Topics: Education | Interconnection | Social Change

Audio AvailableVideo Available