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date: 19 April 2019

Abstract and Keywords

Advocacy organizations have long been a crucial conduit for the construction, articulation, and representation of the interests and identities of African Americans, Latin@s, American Indians, Asian Pacific Americans, and other racialized groups in the United States. These organizations promise to provide a measure of “insider” political access to racialized “outsider” groups by opening up the policy making process and offering them an institutionalized and compensatory source of representation. The extent to which this promise has been fulfilled, however, has been the subject of much debate. This chapter argues that while advocacy organizations have substantially improved the political representation and position of racialized groups, they continue to face many challenges in attempting to fulfill their potential. Suggestions are made about how scholars and activists might clarify these challenges and better confront and dismantle the many inequalities and forms of white privilege that continue to mark American politics, economics, and society.

Keywords: advocacy, interest groups, racial justice, intersectionality, political representation

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