So It “Became White Activists Fighting for Integration?” Community Organizations, Intersectional Identities, and Education Reform

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12 Scopus citations

Abstract

Community-based organizations have long influenced education reforms, and urban areas are especially vulnerable to community work that transcends racial and economic boundaries. The purpose of this study is to explore how The League of Women Voters of Las Vegas Valley, a mostly White, middle-upper-class women’s organization, worked to pursue one of the most prominent urban education reforms in the last half century—school desegregation. Using interview and archival data, this historical case study is theoretically framed by various critical constructs to examine how the organization’s racial and economic privileges, and in some cases oppression, coupled with gendered systems of patriarchy and misogyny, influenced the process and outcomes of school desegregation reform in Las Vegas between 1966 and 1972. The organization’s intersectional identities afforded them unique opportunities and barriers. Nevertheless, they ultimately compromised on an inequitable policy that burdened Black children and their families for close to 20 years. These findings suggest that the intersectional identities of organizations can both empower and hinder community engagement in education reform. Because interests often diverge, organizations undertaking education reform should do the collective work necessary to address unintended policy consequences of education reform efforts.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)72-95
Number of pages24
JournalUrban Review
Volume49
Issue number1
DOIs
StatePublished - Mar 1 2017

Keywords

  • Community organizing
  • Critical race feminism
  • Critical race theory
  • Educational equity
  • Historical case study
  • School desegregation

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Urban Studies

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