Intergroup Resources is a powerful new online resource center that offers support and information to communities, organizations, and campaigns that work on social justice around the United States. Through sharing materials, tools, and insights gathered from organizers all around the country, the new site aims to strengthen “intergroup resources” for addressing issues such as immigration, activism, race, and globalization.
Intergroup Resources will:
◦Create online and offline “learning spaces” where we practice, provide feedback and refine the tools available for intergroup work
◦Link the four dimensions of intergroup work—Dialogue, Education, Action and Reflection—and deepen our understandings of their interconnections within the DEAR framework
◦Guide the adaptation of existing tools and materials to locally-specific contexts
My USF anthropology colleague Angela Stuesse played a central role in creating this project, along with the Kirwan Institute for the Study of Race and Ethnicity at Ohio State. Intergroup Resources grew out of Stuesse’s doctoral research, which is relayed in the forthcoming book Globalization Southern-Style: Immigration, Race, and Work in the Rural U.S. South.
Globalization “Southern Style” shows the changes that a small town in Mississippi goes through when Latino immigrants began working and organizing in chicken processing plants alongside local African Americans. USF News featured Stuesse and her work in the article “Bridging the Immigration Divide,” describing how her community-based research led to the genesis of the Intergroup Resources initiative:
“Based on our experiences in Mississippi, I was curious how communities in other places are having similar conversations about immigration, race and social change, and what materials they have developed to aid such exchanges,” she said.
Therefore, during her post-doctoral studies at the Kirwan Institute for the Study of Race and Ethnicity, she and her colleagues there began seeking answers to this question. “What we discovered was that there are groups working on this issue all across the country and that they were eager to share and learn from one another.”
From that, a very special project was born.
What began as collaborative research that analyzed programs and materials developed across the United States, grew into something more: Intergroup Resources, a comprehensive and impressive new online resource center. It’s evolving into a growing national network.
“We gathered these materials as well as the lessons learned by the various groups to make them broadly available to others embarking on intergroup relations work,” Stuesse said.
“Most of the people working on creating dialogue between different groups just started from scratch and figured things out as they went along. They have done amazing work. Over time, they have become experienced at helping people get past their initial suspicions of each other. They have success stories, and they have developed pedagogical tools and tools for structural analysis that can help others.”
Intergroup Resources Initiatives
Materials offered by Intergroup Resources to help with collaborative, community-based work include:
Curricula, which include summaries of specific learning goals and activities that follow prompts designed to encourage participants to achieve these goals. Many of the materials listed in the curricula section of the site outline popular education techniques that encourage active participation on the part of participants to use their own lives and experiences for learning.
Dialogue Guides, which are discussion questions aimed at encouraging participants to share their life experiences and make connections with other participants.
Other Intergroup Initiatives, which is an extensive list of intergroup efforts and projects from around the country that are not found in the Curricula or Dialogue Guide sections. Two highlights from this section are:
Jorge Zeballos gives presentations that examine the historical and contemporary forces that shape that the identity of Latin Americans. After setting the historical context, participants are led through an honest dialogue on the impact of this issue on the struggle for social justice in this country and in Latin America.
In 2006, the Latino Leadership School established an immigrant-only, Spanish speaker-only space in which emerging leaders from Central Valley unions and community organizations examined topics such as race, ethnicity, colonialism, and migration. The School unpacked and problematized the term “Latino” by asking participants to reconsider their own and others’ racial, ethnic, and national identity categories. They employed a timeline to delve into African American history, including the transatlantic slave trade and the Civil Rights movement. The conversations addressed what ramifications these factors have for contemporary workplaces, unions, and interpersonal relations.
Other Educational Materials includes tools and readings that may be used to help supplement intergroup curricula or dialogue guides. Some of the highlights from this section are:
This ten page document is a compilation of films, books, reports, organizations, and other resources related to the demographic changes in the South that have been prompted by immigrants.
This exercise features an immigration timeline that ranges from 1795 to 1996. Participants are invited to place their family’s immigration history in the context of the timeline and analyze the racial implications of the immigration laws noted therein.
Link to Intergroup Resources
Link to USF News article on Angela Stuesse, Bridging the Immigration Divide