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Chicano/a Latino/a Studies

Access to Information and Civic Engagement: Immigrant Communities in Los Angeles

Julie Juarez ('12); Mentor: Tomás Summers Sandoval

Abstract:  The rise in information and communication technologies (ICTs) has revolutionized the work of social justice organizations by creating new avenues for communication and organizing of the masses. The Coalition for Humane Immigrant Rights (CHIRLA) in Los Angeles specifically deals with the immigrant rights of documented and undocumented Latin Americans. Through active participation, online research, and first-hand contact with CHIRLA, their work, and their constituents, I was able to evaluate the role of ICTs within the organization. CHIRLA has turned to the internet and other forms of media to organize social change. I worked to evaluate the effectiveness of these efforts with their constituents—low income, Spanish-speaking, 1st and 2nd generation Latino/a immigrants. The PEW Hispanic Center’s survey, “Latinos and Technology 2010,” reveals that Latinos/as have less access to ICTs. Therefore the rise in ICTs within social justice organizations (e.g. CHIRLA) might not translate directly to more effective communication and outreach to their constituents.
Funding Provided by: Pomona College SURP  

Research at Pomona