chapter  1
14 Pages

Introduction

Imagine the following scene: Several nonprofi t organizations get together and decide to collaborate, to jointly infl uence the city’s education policies. All nonprofi ts agree that immigrant rights are not being suffi ciently protected under the current policies: At some schools, newly arrived children do not get suffi cient support; at other schools, second language courses, in addition to English, are few and poorly taught; those areas of the city densely populated with fi rst-and second-generation immigrants have fewer (and less qualifi ed) schools; and undocumented children often bump into administrative barriers when applying for schooling aids due to their legal status. During their second meeting, the nonprofi ts’ directors discuss how they are going to act together and begin developing a joint advocacy strategy. The director of a nonprofi t serving mostly fi rst-and second-generation Chinese Americans proposes to set up a series of meetings with the city’s Mayor and its Councilor of Education. The representative of another nonprofi t sees this strategy as legitimizing the unfairness-her nonprofi t serves mostly undocumented Latino immigrants-and proposes a march to put pressure on the Mayor. The advocacy director of yet another nonprofi t, whose constituents are mostly Mexicans, argues that it is essential to demand for bilingual education, while the leader of a union replies that this demand would be counterproductive and that it is currently not a priority. The discrepancies among the diff erent nonprofi ts cool off the initial stamina and the collaborative eventually stagnates.