Sunday, May 17, 2009

Cobb Immigrant Alliance Focus Group

Atlanta – The Southern Regional Council (SRC), an organization founded in 1919 to combat racial injustice in the South, recently conducted the fourth in a series of focus group interviews examining coalitions between African American and Latino communities leading to sustained action against political, social or economic injustices impacting both minority populations.

Project Director Joel Alvarado and Principal Investigator Charles Jaret recently traveled to Cobb County, Georgia, to interview several African American and Latino residents who have worked to improve conditions through a multi-ethnic collaboration. Under the banner of the Cobb United for Change Coalition, working class people have developed a grass roots collaboration to address crime, racial profiling and racial justice.

"We are very grateful that Rich Pelligrino and the Cobb Immigrant Alliance were able to share their stories with us. Their experiences will be extremely valuable to others in the region trying to organize two distinct communities across racial, cultural and linguistic lines," observed Charles S. Johnson, Chair of SRC.

The Cobb County focus group follows earlier focus groups in Miami, Florida, Atkinson County, Georgia and Greensboro, North Carolina, as part of SRC's effort to examine coalitions among African American and Latino communities in the Southeast to address issues of mutual importance. These focus groups will form the basis of case studies to be included as part of report to be published in a special issue of the Southern States Legislative Review. Funding assistance for the project comes from the Carnegie Corporation of New York.

Alvarado has previously served as a policy analyst for the Mexican American Legal Defense and Educational Fund, as Associate Director of the Southern Center for Studies in Public Policy, and as a Congressional Aide. Dr. Jaret is Professor of Sociology at Georgia State University, whose teaching interests lie in the areas of urban sociology, race/ethnicity and immigration.

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