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Das Gupta, Tania.

Toronto, Cross Cultural Communication Centre, 1986. 106pp. paper. $8.00. ISBN 0-9691060-7-6. Distributed by Cross Cultural Communications Centre. 965 Bloor St. West, Toronto, Ont., M6H 1L7. CIP

Grades 10 and up
Reviewed by Lois Hird

Volume 15 Number 4
1987 July

The problems women from southern European and Third World countries encountered as they tried to adjust to life as immigrants in Ontario prompted them to take grass-roots level actions. Since the Caribbean Club, a support group for domestic workers, was organized in Toronto in 1958, their efforts have produced a myriad of programs and support groups.

Now these efforts have formed the core of an informative and well-organized resource book for organizers of immigrant women's programs. Calling the grass-roots approach antithetical lo the traditional direct service type used by government and institutions, author Tania Das Gupta states, "Community development. . .is a process whereby people analyze and act in order to have more control over decisions that affect their lives." Forming the basis for one section of the book, each program or group formed since 1958 is listed, together with pertinent background information. She describes some programs in detail because of their uniqueness and adaptability to different contexts and locations. Included as well are small or local programs that deserve publicity they have never received according to Das Dupta. A list of dos and don'ts at the end of this section provides useful hints for organizers. The author also shares an insight that "the development of a program that is not focused on a demonstrated community need can lead to a failure to reach immigrant women."

The author also briefly discusses issues she identifies as important under the headings of employment, collective structure, racism, refugees, naming ourselves, funding, and participation in the women's movement. This discussion, in addition to the list of programs and an extensive bibliography, provides anyone interested in the subject area with a reference text.

The bibliography is a resource and not reference material used by the author. It consists of books, networks, health services, shelters, and audio-visual materials. It was selected from the Cross Cultural

Communication Centre Resource Library. The reference material consists of general topics and it is not an exhaustive list. To clarify sections of the text, Das Gupta has included a section of notes. Data for the book was compiled through consultation with a specially organized committee of women familiar with the programs and from information gathered at a forum attended by immigrant women, held in Toronto in 1985. This book will be a good tool for action for program organizers.

Lois Hird, Calgary, Alta.
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