Invite Their Languages In: Community-Based Literacy Practices with Multilingual African Immigrant Girls in New York City

Crystal Chen Lee


This three-year qualitative case study examined how an African community-based organization, Sauti Yetu’s Girl’s Empowerment and Leadership Initiative (GELI), leads, bolsters, and transforms the literacy development of African immigrant girls who are identified as English Language Learners (ELLs) and Students with Interrupted Formal Education (SIFE) in New York City schools. In particular, the study addresses how community-based literacy practices mobilize multilingual African immigrant girls to strengthen their communities. The study drew upon critical perspectives of literacy and  community-based practices to examine the approaches GELI has implemented to address the academic and social needs of African immigrant girls in public schools.


Immigrants, Community Organizations, Urban Schools, Multilingual, Multicultural

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