• Description

This report is part of a book project that examines the ways that the institutionalization of bilingual education in the post-Civil Rights era served to maintain racial hierarchies. The primary focus of the report examines the role of the Ford Foundation in funding this institutionalization of bilingual education. After providing a general overview of the foundation's support for bilingual education internationally and domestically, it examines the Ford Foundation's support for bilingual education within its broader efforts to promote the creation of and institutionalization of the Southwest Council of La Raza (SWCLR). This report illustrates the ways that the Ford Foundation was able to effectively utilize funding as leverage for pressuring the SWCLR to transition away from supporting politically contentious community organizing work toward a professional advocacy organization focused on lobbying elite political actors. This, in turn, also pressured more radical elements of the Mexican American community to moderate their stances through active participation in electoral politics. As a result, bilingual education gradually shifted from being an issue connected to grassroots political struggles toward professionalized advocacy reliant on philanthropic and federal funding. As this funding began to dry up with the ascendency of neoliberalism, Mexican American community leaders found themselves ill-equipped to counter the dismantling of bilingual education.