Knowledge of Immigrant Nationalities (KIN)

Over a two-year period, Santa Clara County conducted the most extensive assessment of the human needs of immigrants of any County in the United States. The Board of Supervisors committed $500,000 from July 1999 to June 2001 to a comprehensive study involving over 500 individuals: researchers, community members, university professors, social workers, non-profit agencies, county experts and activists. The study was summarized in two publications: Bridging Borders in Silicon Valley and KIN: Knowledge of Immigrant Nationalities.

El Salvador
South Korea

The Purposes of KIN of Santa Clara County

by Richard Hobbs

“If you don’t have understanding, how can you have compassion?”
Elementary School Administrator

KIN of Santa Clara County is an initial step to better understand an increasing, immensely significant segment of the county’s population: that of immigrants, who with their U.S.-born children constitute 60% of the county population.

The content of the words and the acronym of KIN of Santa Clara County possess rich meaning. Knowledge of immigrant nationalities (understanding immigrant cultures and communities located in our backyard) provides a significant stepping stone for exploring, grasping, accepting and celebrating the delectable diversity of our county.

Unless we all start from the premise that we are innocently ignorant of the background and conditions of the rich cultures in our midst, and are challenged to rise to new levels of human understanding and humane relations, we suffer the possibility of engaging in insensitive or even discriminatory behaviors. The dual hope of KIN is that we avoid the pitfalls of division, insular living, and unknowing bias, and instead fully embrace newcomers in our midst with open arms, as if they were our own collective relatives, our same kind, the true meaning of kin or kinfolk.