Case Studies are a mechanism for deep collective learning examining how the strategic choices we make about recognizing, generating, and using resources affect our ability to build power, and build long-term capacity for our organizations and our movement to make change.   



How Undocumented Youth Moved the Immigrant Rights Movement

November 2015

In 2010, the immigration rights community faced a key strategic decision: whether to stick with its longstanding “all-in” strategy pushing for comprehensive reform or shift to a more incremental approach.  For years, Washington-based policy organizations had been pushing for comprehensive immigration reform through Congressional lobbying. From elected officials like Rep. Luis Gutierrez to advocates like the National Immigration Law Center (NILC) to grassroots leaders and organizers, everyone involved shared a strong philosophical commitment to working for reform that would win legal rights for the entire immigrant community. However, tactical differences, always in tension, came to the fore in 2010.  While prospects for comprehensive immigration reform were fading, momentum was gaining for an incremental win—passage of the Development, Relief and Education for Alien Minors (DREAM) Act, which creates a pathway to citizenship for people who arrived in the United States as children, graduate from high school and meet other requirements.

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By Cristina Jimenez (United We Dream) and Peter Dreier (Occidental College) with Maureen Kelleher, and Sabeel Rahman (Brooklyn Law School) 


What Worked in the Fight for Net Neutrality

August 2015

In just a few decades the Internet has evolved from a file transfer service for research institutes into a central tool for modern living. As online access becomes ever more ubiquitous in daily life, internet service providers (ISPs) – the companies that make it possible for businesses, consumers and nonprofits to get online – have become a major industry, with estimated U.S. revenues of $55 billion in 2014.

The United States regulates public utilities and telecommunications providers as common carriers – businesses that offer their services to the general public at published rates. Common carriers typically are allowed to create reasonable rules to help their businesses run efficiently, but are barred from discriminating against customers without a compelling reason.

Since the early 2000s regulators have struggled to determine how companies that provide broadband internet service to consumers should be regulated. 

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By Edward Walker (UCLA), Michelle Miller (, and Sabeel Rahman (Brooklyn Law School), with Jenny Weeks