The mythology of E. Pluribus Unum that most people in our age group were taught while growing up turns out to have been just that — mythology. We were taught that “George Washington never told a lie”, that the sin of slavery was resolved by the Civil War, and the horrific efforts to try to...
OLLI member Audrey Webb reflects on the passing of her wife Karen from COVID. Karen had Alzheimer's Disease that had progressed to the point where she could no longer speak or move. Audrey wrote her rememberance in our "Illuminating Your Life Through Story" course taught by Rachel Richardson. ...
Enrique Lima teaches history and culture in the Departments of Native American Studies and Ethnic Studies at UC Berkeley. We recently interviewed him about his upcoming OLLI course, "Native History 1900-Present."Your course covers a big sweep of history. Can you walk us through the defining periods...
Last October, Charles Henry, Professor Emeritus of African American Studies at UC Berkeley, frequent OLLI faculty member, and author of Long Overdue: The Politics of Racial Reparations, provided a history of the racial reparations movement and explained why it is more relevant now than ever. He...
As I reviewed our spring courses, I discovered a thread weaving through many of them: the focus on discovering not only what we know but how we know it. For example: Berkeley scientists and professors Gibor Basri and Vincent Resh offer courses that delve into cultural depictions of science and...
For those of us who grew up in the 1950s, a book from that era that stands out is John F. Kennedy’s Profiles in Courage about people in government who publicly stood for causes because they strongly believed in them, not because they stood to gain from their political position. The book featured...
Great thanks to our wonderful faculty and many hundreds of blue-hand-raising, chat-box-filling members for launching our winter term with gusto. There's so much stellar learning happening right now in our classes, from examining the past and future of the EPA to exploring the rhythms of...
Let’s start with the definition of the title of this essay: Empathy. Empathy is “a person’s ability to identify with or experience the feelings, thoughts, or attitudes of another.” If one word alone could distinguish the divide that exists between people today, it would be the degree to which one...
Given the storming and siege of the US Capitol on Jan. 6, we thought we'd share this important conversation we held with Dr. Lawrence Rosenthal, founder and chair of the UC Berkeley Center for Right-Wing Studies, in June 2020. He is the author of Empire of Resentment: Populism’s Toxic Embrace...
Over 20 years ago, friends and I started a men’s book group which has met monthly ever since. We have jointly read nearly 250 books, both fiction and non-fiction. One lesser known book that stands out for me now in this era of societal divisiveness is Rule of the Clan: What an Ancient Form of...

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