Berkeley Voices

Berkeley Voices

Interviews with people who make UC Berkeley the world-changing place that it is. Hosted on Acast. See for more information.


May 18, 2023 28 mins

Growing up, Linda Kinstler knew that her Latvian grandfather had mysteriously disappeared after World War II. But she didn't think much about it.

"That was a very common fate from this part of the world," says Kinstler, a Ph.D. candidate in rhetoric at UC Berkeley. "It didn't strike me as totally unusual. It was only later when I began looking into it more that I realized there was probably more to the story."

What she discovered was...

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At 6 months old, Britt H. Young was fitted with her first prosthetic arm. 

"The belief was that you would get started on using an adaptive device right away and that would be easiest for you, rather than learning to adapt to your body the way that it is, rather than learning about how to navigate the world with the body you have," said Britt, who is graduating from UC Berkeley with a Ph.D. in geography on May 15.

Born missing pa...

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Gericault De La Rose is a queer trans Filipinx woman, and refuses to change for anyone.

"Being that queer trans person completely owning herself I hope gives other people permission to be themselves, too," she says. 

A master's student in UC Berkeley's Department of Art Practice, Gericault explores in her art Philippine mythology and her experience as a trans woman. One time, she dressed up like a manananggal — a kind of monster...

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Yesterday at sunset marked the start of Ramadan, the ninth and holiest month of the Islamic calendar. For Ali Bhatti, a Ph.D. candidate in science and math education at UC Berkeley, it’s a time to feel closer to God, to break habits and to remember what he’s thankful for. In this episode, Ali describes, in his own words, what the month means to him. He also talks about how 9/11 shaped his childhood in New Jersey, finding his Muslim...

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In this episode of Be the Change, host Savala Nolan, director of Berkeley Law's Thelton E. Henderson Center for Social Justice, interviews Purvi Shah.

Shah is the founder and executive director of Movement Law Lab and a civil rights litigator, policy advocate and law professor who has spent over a decade working at the intersection of law and grassroots social movements.

During their conversation, they talk about the nuts and bolts o...

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In this episode of Be the Change, host Savala Nolan, director of Berkeley Law's Thelton E. Henderson Center for Social Justice, interviews Nazune Menka.

Menka is a lecturer at Berkeley Law and a supervising attorney for the campus’s Environmental Law Clinic. She is Denaakk’e from Alaska and Lumbee from North Carolina. In fall 2021, Menka designed and taught a new undergraduate legal studies course called Decolonizing UC Berkeley, an...

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Host Savala Nolan, director of Berkeley Law's Thelton E. Henderson Center for Social Justice, interviews Khiara M. Bridges. Bridges is a professor at UC Berkeley's School of Law and a powerful public intellectual who speaks and writes about race, class, reproductive justice and the intersection of the three.

During their conversation, they talk about the process of Bridges claiming and using her voice as a prominent Black woman. And...

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Embodying the change you want to see in the world can feel ... well, intimidating. Impossible, even. But Berkeley Law's Savala Nolan wants to help us all figure it out — one step at a time — in her podcast, Be the Change. 

"We're talking about transforming the world and being the change and these very lofty concepts," says Nolan, director of the Thelton E. Henderson Center for Social Justice. "But I hope what they see is that b...

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We’ve heard the acronym DEIBJ a lot on campus, especially in the past few years. For those who might not know, it stands for diversity, equity, inclusion, belonging and justice. A growing number of people at UC Berkeley have positions dedicated solely to this incredibly important work.

But sometimes it’s hard to know exactly what DEIBJ means, what it actually looks like in practice — now, in our day-to-day lives, but also in the fut...

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In this episode of Berkeley Voices, Berkeley Law student Hoda Katebi discusses how, after she began wearing the hijab as a sixth-grader in Oklahoma, she learned that clothes are inherently political. "It played a huge role in shaping my own personal growth, as well as my relationship to politics," Katebi says.

Since protests broke out in Iran nearly three months ago, sparked by the murder of 22-year-old Mahsa Jina Amini by Iran's so...

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On Nov. 20, 1969, a group of Indigenous Americans that called itself Indians of All Tribes, many of whom were UC Berkeley students, took boats in the early morning hours to Alcatraz Island in San Francisco Bay. They bypassed a Coast Guard blockade and took control of the island. The 19-month occupation that followed would be regarded as one of the greatest acts of political resistance in American Indian history.

Everardo Reyes is a ...

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In this episode of Berkeley Voices, Charles Yu discusses his 2020 book, Interior Chinatown, which goes inside the mind of a young Asian American man trying to make it in Hollywood. Incoming UC Berkeley students read the book over the summer as part of On The Same Page, a program from the College of Letters and Science.

"This is really a book about roles and how we play them," Yu said. "Sometimes they are fundamental to who we are, b...

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When Roe v. Wade was handed down by the U.S. Supreme Court in 1973, which protected a woman’s right to an abortion, “it changed everything,” says Kristin Luker, a professor emerita of law and of sociology at UC Berkeley. “It was so revolutionary — I argue it was on a par with the American Revolution or the French Revolution.”

Last Friday, the Supreme Court voted to overturn Roe, giving states broad power to curtail or end abortion. ...

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In episode 99 of Berkeley Voices, Berkeley Law student Indi Garcia, who is graduating on May 13 with pro bono honors for her work on the Post-Conviction Advocacy Project, talks about how meeting with incarcerated men as a college student inspired her anti-prison and criminal justice work. "These men were just brilliant," said Garcia. "They were so much more than the crimes that led them there."

Listen to the episode, read a transcri...

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In this episode of Berkeley Voices, Hope Gale-Hendry, a fourth-year student in ecosystem management and forestry at UC Berkeley, shares in her own words how she discovered her deep interconnectedness with all living things, and why she decided to study the American pika. "We have a shared history on this planet," said Hope. "That is the lesson that I have been able to use to foster my passion for conservation and foster this love a...

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In this episode of Berkeley Voices, Bree Rosenblum, a professor of global change biology at UC Berkeley, talks about why we need to stop blaming each other for the environmental crisis that we’re in, and instead confront its root causes and expand our ideas of what it means to be human on our planet. "We are in such an individual and collective squeeze point," she said. "Do we want humanity to mean what it has meant in the past, or...

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Today, we are sharing an episode from The Edge, a podcast by California magazine and the Cal Alumni Association: "Should we bring back woolly mammoths?" Hosts Laura Smith and Leah Worthington sat down with a genetic engineer and an ecologist to understand how de-extinction works and to explore its unintended consequences. This episode was originally released in June 2021.

Listen to the episode and read a transcript on Berkeley News.


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Berkeley Law professor and anthropologist Khiara Bridges discusses the history of reproductive rights in the U.S., what’s at stake when Roe v. Wade is overturned and why we should expand our fight for reproductive justice. "Roe v. Wade didn't fall out of the sky," says Bridges. "In 1973, the justices weren’t like, 'You know what we should make up? A right to an abortion.' Roe v. Wade was actually part of a long line of cases dating...

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As a kid growing up in New York City, Roqua Montez was interested in everything — comics, dinosaurs, science, music and dance, martial arts — and his calendar filled up fast. Now, as the executive director of communications and media relations in UC Berkeley's Office of Communications and Public Affairs, he still has a lot to keep track of. To manage his activities and responsibilities, Roqua has relied on something that we all rel...

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Between 1910 and 1970, about 6 million Black Americans moved from the rural South to cities in the North, the West and other parts of the United States. It’s known as the Great Migration. Musicians who moved to these cities became ambassadors, says UC Berkeley history professor Waldo Martin, “not only for the music of the South, but for the culture from which the music emerged. And the music was made and remade, and continues to be...

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