ProLiteracy’s Adult Literacy Education: The International Journal of Literacy, Language, and Numeracy is a free online peer-reviewed research journal published twice a year. The journal’s mission is to publish research on adult basic and secondary education and transitions to college and career programs.
From the current issue, we are excited to showcase “All Together Now: Supporting Immigrants and Refugees Through Collaboration,” by Jen Vanek, World Education, Inc.; Heide Spruck Wrigley, Literacywork International; Erik Jacobson, Montclair State University; and Janet Isserlis, Rhode Island Adult Education Professional Development Center. An excerpt of the article is highlighted below.
During times of political uncertainty, support for the linguistic, economic and civic integration of refugees and immigrants is vulnerable to shifts in public opinion and policy. At the time of writing, the U.S. executive administration has, for example, contributed to the notion that immigrants from particular parts of the world are outsiders to be feared, rather than neighbors offering important social and economic contributions. Furthermore, given the potential for the extreme poverty caused by displacement to become intergenerational (Kallenbach et al., 2013), it is essential that immigrant communities are provided with focused and intensive support.
New types and levels of collaboration are required to push back against anti-immigrant and antirefugee discourse and to ensure that immigrants receive the resources they need to support learning and integration into communities and workplaces. Collaboration aimed at sustaining well-coordinated programming, support services and advocacy can create a powerful synergy, amplifying the reach of all organizations involved (Kallenbach et al., 2013). Partnerships may start as local or statewide entities consisting of different providers working to support immigrants and refugees. Such joint efforts can better analyze significant gaps in existing services, identify needed programming, and engage in advocacy campaigns that are responsive to the needs of newcomers.