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"PRRAC's Research Grants: Past and Future,"

by Chester Hartman March/April 1996 issue of Poverty & Race

An insert we're really proud of accounts for the unusual heft of this issue, It's a detailed descriptive list of the 89 research projects we've supported, plus the 61 products of the completed projects and where to obtain them.

This support of anti-poverty; anti-racism advocacy has been central to PRRAC's mission since we set up shop. While much of the advocacy work these research projects assist still is under way, there have been many clear successes to date. To cite just a few:

·The Clinica Legal Latina/Avuda's research on domestic violence among DC-area immigrants helped mightily in passage of federal legislation protecting the immigration status of women victimized by such abuse.

· The ACLU's research led to their successful suit challenging Alabama's racially discriminatory education system.

· The Legal Assistance Foundation of Chicago's research documenting the miseducation of homeless children helped achieve passage of state legislation guaranteeing such pupils an adequate education, and may produce a court decision with a similar result.

· Ed Kissam's research on the systematic undercount of farmworkers led to revision of Census Bureau enumeration procedures, in turn increasing population-based program funds.

· Yale Rabin and Joe Darden's documentation of the government role in creating racially segregated housing patterns in Allegheny County, PA, was a key element in producing an extraordinarily progressive consent decree in the Lawyers' Comm. for Civil Rights Under Law suit.

· The Labor/Community Strategy Center's research into racially discriminatory transit planning and implementation by the Los Angeles Metropolitan Transportation Authority is being used to support their path-breaking lawsuit; regardless of the outcome, the suit raises a new area for Title VI and Constitutional concern and enforcement, already being replicated in NYC and considered in other cities.

· Research by Yale Rabin critical of the public housing replacement plans in New Haven and Providence and recommendation of alternative sites have assisted Legal Service lawyers in both cities to secure improved plans for desegregated housing.

· Occidental College professor Manuel Pastor's computer-based system of linking community groups with useful local academic resources in the LA area is now available for easy replication in other cities.

PRRAC's program of small research grants, a major piece of PRRAC's work, is under suspension at the moment. We are continuing to commission large-scale, Board-initiated projects around the theme of education-broadly conceived-but at this time we are not funding additional unsolicited proposals. We have taken this step because we are out of money to continue this part of our work.

So this is again a very earnest. hopefully well-supported, plea for financial support from those of you who read P&R. Our usual contributions coupon appears on page IS, the short but most welcome list of recent contributors on page 7. In total, about 79% of you have contributed to PRRAC. If even half of you made acontribution of at least $25. we could fund far more of the important projects described in the insert. Please...

Chester Hartman is Director of Research at PRRAC. chartman@prrac.org
 
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