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Chinese Immigrant Participation in Education Organizing: From Home-Based Supporters to Reluctant Activists

Sun, April 11, 2:30 to 3:30pm EDT (2:30 to 3:30pm EDT), SIG Sessions, SIG-Grassroots Community and Youth Organizing for Education Reform Roundtable Sessions


There are 5 million Chinese immigrants living in the United States (Census, 2018). Chinese families typically support their children’s education through home-based activities, such as supervising homework and providing educational resources (Li, 2001; Zhong & Zhou, 2011). Researchers find that Chinese families have less communication with schools and lower levels of involvement in school-based activities (Ji & Koblinsky, 2009). However, in some cities, Chinese families have become engaged in education activism through community-based organizations (CBO). To examine the experiences of these families we conducted a qualitative case study on one such CBO in New York City. Findings indicate that participants were reluctant activists, but the work was perceived as an extension of their commitment to provide access to a quality education.