Rooting Intergroup Relations: A Curricular “Mapping” of the Field, the research project that gave rise to Intergroup Resources, was guided by an Advisory Committee of organizers and popular educators from around the country. Each brought to the project a wealth of experience in creating materials or facilitating dialogues for relationship-building between African American and immigrant communities.

At key moments throughout the project, the Advisory Committee provided feedback and critique that shaped the direction of the research as well as its products. In addition, a two-day gathering in March 2011 provided crucial space for community-building, discussion of preliminary results, and the initial planning for Intergroup Resources.

The research could not have been conducted without the commitment and support of these individuals and organizations. Their contributions, and those of each participant in the research, form the heart of Intergroup Resources, and the research team is deeply indebted to them.

The Advisory Committee was comprised of:

Jennifer Gordon, Professor of Law, Fordham University

Jennifer Gordon teaches immigration, labor, and public interest law. In 1992 she founded the Workplace Project, a nonprofit labor rights center dedicated to organizing immigrant workers in Long Island. In recent years she has researched issues of conflict and solidarity between African American and immigrant workers. She is the author of Suburban Sweatshops: The Fight for Immigrant Rights as well as numerous articles and reports.

Dushaw Hockett, Director, SPACES

SPACES (Safe Places for the Advancement of Community and Equity) works with communities and organizations to create spaces that build community and cultivate the strength to talk across lines of real and perceived difference.  Prior to founding SPACES in 2011, Dushaw Hockett served as Director of Special Initiatives-Black America Organizing Project for the Center for Community Change in Washington, D.C. In 2007 he put together a panel at the national summit for the Fair Immigration Reform Movement on organizing in the context of Black and Brown. He is an author of Crossing Borders: Building Relationships across Lines of Difference.

Gerald Lenoir, Executive Director, Black Alliance for Just Immigration

Black Alliance for Just Immigration is an education and advocacy group formed in 2006 that works to link the interests of African Americans with those of immigrants of color in support of a just immigration policy in the United States. In addition to directing BAJI, Gerald Lenoir also co-founded the Priority Africa Network, which advocates for progressive U.S. policies toward Africa and organizes dialogues between African Americans and black immigrants.

Carmen Morgan, Program Director, Leadership Development in Interethnic Relations

Leadership Development in Interethnic Relations works to empower, mobilize and equip multiethnic, multicultural, and multi-identity individuals, communities, schools, and organizations with awareness, skills and the action steps necessary to foster positive and sustainable intergroup relations for social change. In her role as Program Director, in 2002 Carmen Morgan co-wrote and edited ExpandingLDIRship: A Resource Promoting Positive Intergroup Relations in Communities Through Awareness, Skills and Actions, which remains the centerpiece of LDIR’s community programming and training.

José Oliva, National Policy Director, Restaurant Opportunities Center United

The Restaurant Opportunities Center United uses organizing, research, and policy advocacy to improve wages and working conditions for the nation’s low-wage restaurant workforce. Prior to joining ROC-United in 2008, José Olivia founded the Chicago Interfaith Workers’ Center and then became the Coordinator of Interfaith Worker Justice’s National Workers’ Centers Network.

Steven Pitts, Labor Policy Specialist, UC Berkeley Labor Center

The UC Berkeley Labor Center conducts research and education on issues related to labor and employment. As Labor Policy Specialist, Steven Pitts focuses on alternative strategies for worker organizing and economic development and social policy with an emphasis on labor-community alliances. He recently worked on a Ford Foundation-funded project to build solidarity between Latina/o immigrant and African American workers with the goal of increasing their power to lead and fight together for better work conditions and economic justice.

Laura Rivas, Program Associate, National Network for Immigrant and Refugee Rights

The National Network for Immigrant and Refugee Rights works to defend and expand the rights of all immigrants and refugees, regardless of immigration status. As staff of NNIRR’s Immigrant Justice & Rights Program, Laura Rivas coordinates the Human Rights Immigrant Community Action Network (HURRICANE), documenting human rights abuses of immigrants. She is also helping to revise NNIRR’s acclaimed BRIDGE curriculum. She has experience working with communities to advocate and coordinate academic support for low income students and parents.

Saket Soni, Director, New Orleans Workers’ Center for Racial Justice

The New Orleans Workers’ Center for Racial Justice was formed after Hurricane Katrina to organize African-American and Immigrant workers and residents across the color line. Along with the center’s members and organizers, Saket Soni has crafted and led strategic campaigns on international labor trafficking, human rights conditions in detention centers, ICE collusion with employers, and the enforcement regime in the post-Katrina Gulf Coast.

Eric Tang, Assistant Professor, University of Texas-Austin

At the University of Texas Eric Tang teaches courses on diaspora, race, and resistance and directs the Community Engagement Incubator. His research interests include Black-Asian comparative racializations, Southeast Asian refugees, and activism. He previously worked as a community organizer with the Committee Against Anti-Asian American Violence (CAAAV) in New York City.

Gustavo Torres, Executive Director, CASA de Maryland

CASA de Maryland’s primary mission is to work with the community to improve the quality of life and fight for equal treatment and full access to resources and opportunities for low-income Latinos and their families. Gustavo Torres has been the Executive Director of CASA de Maryland since 1993. He was involved in the creation of the Crossing Borders curriculum, an organizing toolkit for bridging the racial divide, and in training Latino and African American communities in Maryland to use it.

Leah Wise, Director of Training and Popular Education, Southeast Regional Economic Justice Network

As its founding Executive Director, Leah Wise led the member-driven, movement-building grassroots Southeast Regional Economic Justice Network for 22 years. REJN is comprised of culturally and racially diverse organizations in the South and abroad that collaborate to work on policies and practices that build a democratic economy and promote justice in the workplace. In October 2010, she retired from that position to become REJN’s Director of Training and Popular Education.

Image: o5com,