Berkeley Forum announces spring 2022 lineup featuring activists, entrepreneurs

This article was originally published on Friday, January 28, 2022, in The Daily Californian. You can read an archived version at the Internet Archive.

The Berkeley Forum announced its spring 2022 lineup of events, which includes speakers and panels on topics such as activism, entrepreneurship and current affairs.

The events will be free and open to the public. According to the announcement, some events this semester will be hosted virtually, while others will be in person.

“This semester’s lineup embodies the Berkeley community’s wide range of interests,” said Berkeley Forum’s Vice President of Events Raisah Khan in the announcement. “The team has been dedicated and perseverant in creating a diverse lineup for our campus.”

The announcement noted the lineup is tentative and subject to change.

Felicia Wong, political science researcher and UC Berkeley alumna

The first event of the semester will feature Wong, author of the 2020 book “The Emerging Worldview: How New Progressivism Is Moving Beyond Neoliberalism.” She also co-authored “The Hidden Rules of Race: Barriers to an Inclusive Economy” in 2017. 

Wong researches post-neoliberal thought and the interacting dynamics of race, economics and class. Her dissertation about race in K-12 education also earned her the American Political Science Association award in race, ethnicity and politics.

The Berkeley Forum will host Wong at a virtual event Feb. 8.

Victor Pineda, entrepreneur and director of campus’s Inclusive Cities Lab

Pineda primarily focuses on policy to make cities smarter and more accessible. His work includes the Dubai Disability Strategy and the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities. In addition to directing the campus Inclusive Cities Lab, Pineda is also president and founder of Pineda Foundation / World ENABLED.

A UC Berkeley alumnus, Pineda holds a bachelor’s degree from the Haas School of Business and a master’s from the College of Environmental Design.

Pineda will speak in person at The Berkeley Forum on Feb. 16.

Kevin Tan, founder and CEO of Snackpass

Tan began work on his startup Snackpass as a Yale University student. At the time, he and his co-founder Jamie Marshall relied on support from small businesses and college students.

Snackpass now has more than half a million users across 13 college towns, including Berkeley. The app blends the convenience of food delivery and the social experience of eating with friends.

The Berkeley Forum will host Tan in person March 10.

Jamesa Bailey, associate director of Black Campaigns at Planned Parenthood Action Fund

Since joining Planned Parenthood’s advocacy bracket, Bailey has expanded the organization’s action fund program to nine more states and increased its budget by 200%. She was also named in Forbes magazine’s “30 under 30.”

Bailey will speak virtually at a Berkeley Forum event March 14.

Amber Reimondo, environmentalist and energy director of Grand Canyon Trust

Reimondo has worked with Indigenous tribes and community leaders to protect the Grand Canyon and Colorado Plateau regions since joining the Grand Canyon Trust in 2016. Her career in environmentalism began in Wyoming, where she worked with conservative lawmakers on air and water quality issues related to oil and gas.

The Berkeley Forum will host Reimondo in person March 29.

Warren Mosler, leading economist and entrepreneur

Along with being a leader in the economic field of Modern Monetary Theory, Mosler is credited with Mosler’s law, which states “there is no financial crisis so deep that a sufficiently large fiscal adjustment cannot deal with it.”

Mosler also co-founded AVM, a broker-dealer, and is the author of “The Seven Deadly Innocent Frauds of Economic Policy.”

Mosler will speak virtually at a Berkeley Forum event April 3.

Jen Deerinwater, Indigenous organizer and journalist

A member of the Cherokee Nation of Oklahoma, Deerinwater founded Crushing Colonialism, an organization dedicated to telling inspirational stories of indigenous people. She is also a Disability Futures fellow, and her experiences with a disability inform her work.

Deerinwater’s journalistic and advocacy work emphasizes intersectionality and the challenges her communities face. She is an award-winning journalist, as well as a co-editor of Sacred and Subversive, an anthology exploring the relationship between queerness and faith.

The Berkeley Forum will host Deerinwater at a virtual event April 13.

Amal Kassir, activist and writer

Through storytelling activism and spoken-word poetry, Kassir speaks up for those who cannot speak up for themselves. Addressing issues such as refugee welfare, Islamophobia and language barriers, she has performed in more than 10 countries, including at youth prisons, orphanages and refugee camps.

Originally from Denver, Kassir believes that solidarity of community is necessary for change. This belief led her to become a social justice activist, and she has since organized protests, vigils and fundraisers across the country.

Kassir will speak at an in-person Berkeley Forum event April 15.

Science Communications panel

The Science Communications panel aims to democratize knowledge on science-related topics through conversations informed by policy, research and theory.

While panel members and the topic of discussion are yet to be determined, the panel will convene virtually April 25. 

Brett Oppenheim, reality TV star, attorney and realtor

Oppenheim starred on Netflix’s “Selling Sunset,” a reality TV show centered on a Los Angeles real estate firm where he served as senior vice president. He has garnered a reputation as a high-producing agent who has represented many famous clients.

Currently, Oppenheim serves as president of his own brokerage firm, Oppenheim Real Estate.

The Berkeley Forum will host Oppenheim in person April 27.

Drug debate panel

Panelists will take on the issue of drug decriminalization, discussing potential implications on addiction, safety and personal freedom.

The date and makeup of the debate panel are yet to be determined.

Corrections: Due to misinformation from a source, this article incorrectly stated the Science Communications Panel would discuss Supreme Court expansion. In fact, the topic of discussion for the panel has not been specified.

Last updated Sunday, February 6, 2022. Written by Riley Cooke and Gabe Classon.

Tags: Amal Kassir, Amber Reimondo, American Political Science Association, AVM, Black Campaigns at Planned Parenthood Action Fund, Brett Oppenheim, Cherokee Nation of Oklahoma, College of Environmental Design, Crushing Colonialism, Disability Futures, Dubai Disability Strategy, Felicia Wong, Grand Canyon Trust, Haas School of Business, Inclusive Cities Lab, James Bailey, Jamie Marshall, Jen Deerinwater, Kevin Tan, Modern Monetary Theory, Pineda Foundation / World ENABLED, Planned Parenthood, Raisah Khan, Sacred and Subversive, Science Communications Panel, Selling Sunset, Snackpass, The Berkeley Forum, The Oppenheim Group, UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities, victor pineda, Warren Mosler, Yale University