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Journal Article

Citation

Downey DJ. Am. Behav. Sci. 2009; 53(1): 99-113.

Copyright

(Copyright © 2009, SAGE Publishing)

DOI

10.1177/0002764209338788

PMID

unavailable

Abstract

Since its creation in 1971, the Orange County Human Relations Commission (OCHRC) has established itself as a central actor in addressing issues of diversity and social justice in Orange County, California, a region with a growing Muslim population approaching 200,000. Following the events of 9/11, the OCHRC organized a programmatic response linked to broader community-building initiatives that sought to promote inclusion of Muslim Americans into civic institutions, to expand networks among institutional and community activists countywide, and to cultivate capacities for deeper political engagement. Their response represents an example of institutional activism undertaken through the means of community organizing and helps us to understand how such noncontentious activities can work within institutional constraints and still contribute to long-term social change. This research is based primarily on a series of focused qualitative interviews and is part of broader historical research on the OCHRC.

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