2000). The lessons learned from these program assessments have been collected in a handbook that is designed to be useful to other organizations that are trying to emulate their successes and avoid their failures in working on ethnic and racial issues ( Maguire & Leiderman, 2000). As that volume states, the goal of this research is to help any group of concerned citizens "toward building healthy, effective, interracial/multicultural communities" (p. 2).
The goal of reducing prejudice and improving intergroup relations is one that demands the efforts of both academic researchers and community-based organizations. Many social science researchers and many community-based organizations other than the ones described in the Promising Practices report are working toward similar goals of racial reconciliation. This chapter has been aimed at making the community-level efforts better known to psychologists and other researchers, and at enlisting more social scientists in these efforts -- at every level, from research studies through community activism to broad public policy programs.
The President's Initiative ( 1999) collection of Promising Practices is essentially a "bully pulpit" -- a useful starting place that summarizes many organizations and approaches dedicated to promoting better race relations and improving the quality of life for ethnic minorities. These organizations can be aided with knowledge from social science theories and research and, reciprocally, social scientists can benefit from a deeper understanding of the complex issues and problems that these organizations encounter in their practical work. Additionally, our analysis of the Promising Practices report indicates the need for thorough empirical evaluations of the activities of such organizations, in order to help disseminate knowledge of "what works" (or doesn't work) more broadly and effectively.
Allport G. W. ( 1954). The nature of prejudice. Reading, MA: Addison-Wesley.
Institute for Democratic Renewal. ( 2000). Reports on site visits to thirteen project partners. Claremont, CA: Author.
Maguire J. D., & Leiderman S. ( 2000). How to build healthy, effective interracial/multicultural communities: A handbook on how democracy is renewed. Claremont, CA: Claremont Graduate University, Institute for Democratic Renewal.
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