Grantee Feature: 'Migrant Voices' for Social Change
Sasha Costanza-Chock (USC) and Amanda Garcés (IDEPSCA) share lessons from ‘Migrant Voices', a participatory research project with IDEPSCA and the Garment Worker Center to develop new strategies for broad-based communication among low-wage immigrants in Los Angeles. Their current work, also funded by the SSRC, explores a new platform for mobile-based storytelling.
In late 2006, The Institute of Popular Education of Southern California (IDEPSCA) and the Garment Worker Center (GWC) received a $7,500 Small Collaborative Grant from the SSRC to analyze the technical, organizational, and policy requirements for a hybrid radio/net/telephony project, run by and for immigrant workers.
In an interview with the SSRC, the project team describes their popular communication methodology and how the collaboration helped build the capacity of partner organizations.
“As an organizer, it was extremely helpful that I could envision the role of this new technology in our daily work. I see now how important it is to be able to show our own stories. Because even though we do this at IDEPSCA, we do it on a very small scale, and these technologies are letting us grow. If the anti-immigrant movement is using technology to detect our day laborers or our immigrant community, how are we contrasting that? Looking at it from the political context that we’re living, that’s why it was powerful. It was so empowering for the workers to be able to just have the digital recorder at GWC, and I think that’s one of the things we showed: these are people who don’t know how to read and write, some of them, who are empowered in using these technologies.”
- Amanda Garcés, IDEPSCA