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Professor Dina Okamoto awarded grant from the West Coast Poverty Center to study CBOs and immigrant parents

Professor Dina Okamoto was awarded a grant for $15,000 from the West Coast Poverty Center at the University of Washington for her research project (with Melanie Jones, UC Davis PhD), "Creating Ties for Mobility: The Role of Community Organizations for Immigrant Parents in Urban, Poor 
Neighborhoods."  Immigrants from Asia and Latin America are among the fastest growing populations in the U.S.  These newcomers may not have 
kin as a source of social support due to family disruption during the migration process, or they may have network ties to friends and kin who do not possess the social and economic capital needed to help increase prospects for social mobility.  With the devolution of the welfare state, community-based organizations (CBOs) are now a key part of the mobility process for low-income individuals living in high-poverty neighborhoods as they provide  access to education, housing, and work.  The project seeks to understand how CBOs facilitate the economic and social incorporation of immigrants in two low-income neighborhoods in San Francisco, California.  We use interview and ethnographic methods to gain an in-depth understanding of how CBOs work to provide resources for new immigrants and in turn, how immigrant parents view these local institutions and use CBO resources to aid in the transition out of poverty.  Past research has focused on understanding the contexts that facilitate the economic mobility of immigrants, but the role of CBOs has been understudied despite the fact that these local institutions may be the only source of information and support for newcomers.  This study seeks to fill gaps in the literature and inform policymakers and practitioners about the issues and challenges that immigrant families face in poor, urban communities and the role that CBOs play as possible mediators between government systems and immigrant families.

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