SMART Summer Youth Create Language Access PSA's

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The students in SMART's Summer Youth Employment Program have been busy learning about language access issues during this hot DC summer. The students first learned basic cinematography and how to storyboard and then applied these media studies to their understanding and advocacy of language access rights from the past three weeks. This culminated to a one day filming session last Friday, where students broke into groups and worked on creating Public Service Announcement videos. As completely original videos, the youth created the ideas, wrote the storylines, compiled their storyboards, and directed, acted/voiced, and filmed their projects. Check out some of the videos below and click here for the rest!

Spring 2011: Issue 2 Newsletter is Out!

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MLOV's Spring 2011 newsletter is now available. Download and read a PDF copy here or click here to read previous issues. Happy Reading!

Favorable Determination in Language Access Complaint vs. DCRA

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Amazing work by David Steib, Staff Attorney at the The Legal Aid Society of D.C!

The determination was issued in the case of my client, Ms. X, whom I helped to file a language access complaint against DCRA. Ms. X had housing code violations in her apartment and wanted the city to conduct an inspection. On several occasions, DCRA sent a monolingual English-speaking inspector to Ms. X's home. Although Ms. X is a monolingual Spanish-speaker, the inspector did not use language line to communicate with Ms. X in her language. Rather, the inspector entered Ms. X's home and conducted the inspection without ever speaking to Ms. X in Spanish. Later, Ms. X called DCRA to request a copy of her inspection report. A female employee of DCRA answered the phone, stated "No, we don't speak Spanish," and hung up on Ms. X. Because Ms. X needed a copy of her inspection report, she asked representatives from OLA to help her to request the report. Eventually, she was able to get a copy of the report, but it was entirely in English. Several months later, Ms. X decided to file a language access complaint.

SMART Youth Discusses American Diet

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Listen to SMART Youth's very own Lalaram Guyadin featured on WAMU's Youth Voices. Lalaram compares his current American diet with his diet in his native Guyana. Read or listen to Lalaram's story at WAMU.

*Update* | Job Announcement: Seeking Two AmeriCorps*VISTA's

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We are currently reviewing applications for our two AmeriCorps*VISTA positions. Thank you for your interest.

MLOV Seeks Candidates for Inaugural Board of Directors

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Many Languages One Voice (MLOV) is inviting applications from committed and passionate individuals for its first Board of Directors. MLOV, a community-based organization that empowers Limited and Non-English Proficient (LEP/NEP) individuals and communities to equitably access public benefits and services in the District of Columbia, incorporated in December 2010 and will acquire its 501(c)(3) status in 2011. The MLOV Board plays a crucial role in fundraising, administration and financial matters, strategic planning, and programming.

Additional information about MLOV and its Board can be found below. Please note that applications are due by June 10, 2011 and should be submitted by online survey.

Learn more about MLOV by joining our informational webinar on Wednesday, June 1, 2011 at 7:00PM ET. Please email by Monday, May 30, 2011 to register.

Click here to read more details.

Remembering the 1991 Disturbances in Mt. Pleasant

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On May 8, 2011, the Smithsonian Latino Center and American History Museum organized a panel discussion in recognition of the 20th anniversary of the Mt. Pleasant Riots. Moderated by José Sueiro, former publisher of La Nación newspaper, the panel included former mayor Sharon Pratt, former chief of police Isaac Fulwood Jr., Smithsonian curator and Mt. Pleasant resident Olivia Cadaval, former head of the Latino Civil Rights Task Force and local resident Pedro Avilés, and local poet, activist, and Mt. Pleasant resident Marco Del Fuego. Together they talked about the history of District of Columbia, race relations, the context that stirred the riots, and the effects of the riots on the District.

View the complete webcast below courtesy of the Smithsonian Latino Center.

Thank You for Supporting "Communities in Translation!"

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Thank you to everyone that came out to support "Communities in Translation" on Wednesday, April 27, 2011! It was a wonderful way to cap off a series of exciting events during the course of Language Access Awareness Month in April. Over 100 attendees joined us at All Souls Church and your donations amounted to over $2,000 which will go towards completing Robert Winn's documentary on language barriers in emergency response situations! If you would like to continue to support our work, you can donate, volunteer, or join us in impressing the need for language access services on our elected officials in the DC City Council.

Enjoy the videos and pictures from the event!

Special thanks to each of our attendees, donors, and supporters who made this event and fundraiser so successful!

Supported by:
Mayor's Office on Asian Pacific Islander Affairs, Mayor's Office on Latino Affairs, Mayor's Office on African Affairs, DC Office on Human Rights

Sponsored by:
Patrick Coonan, Jennifer Deng-Pickett, Aryan Rodriguez, Myron Dean Quon, Nadia Firozvi, OCA-DC, Asian American Justice Center, National Korean American Service and Education Consortium

Soohyun "Julie" Koo, Roxana Olivas, Ngozi Nmezi, Gustavo Velasquez, Yolande Zagre, Lydia Abune

Robert Winn, Amber Carran-Fletcher, Ellie Walton, Noe, John Esparza, Staci Gorden, Marcia Jarmel, Erin Finicane, Kasey Kirby, Laura Waters Hinson, Kobina Aidoo, Rashad Ullah

Local Businesses:
Giant Food, Harris Teeter, Yes! Organic Market, Vapiano, So's Your Mom, Teaism, Nando's, Revo Nail Salon, Extremities Nails, CVS, Chop't, Cosi, Red Velvet/Tangy Sweet, Tryst, Ben & Jerry's

Latino Economic Development Corporation (Anna Duncan), Multicultural Community Service (Alle Kamela, Amy Biesel, Marelisa González)

All Souls-Beckner Advancement Fund

MLOV Board of Directors, DCLAC Executive Committee, MLOV Staff and Volunteers, S.M.A.R.T. Youth

MLOV Director, Sapna Pandya, Speaks on Kassim's Corner

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Many Languages One Voice's (MLOV) Director, Sapna Pandya, was featured on Kassim's Corner (AM 1580) on Monday, April 25, 2011. Sapna spoke with Guled Kassim about MLOV, the DC Language Access Coalition, the Language Access Act, and MLOV's work in DC's community.

Listen to Sapna via the player below (wait for file to load and skip to her segment from the 19:35-44:48 minute mark) or visit Kassim's Corner to download the April 25, 2011 show.

"Communities in Translation": A Night of Films & Performances

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Join MANY LANGUAGES ONE VOICE for a unique night of films and performances celebrating immigrant communities living and working in the District of Columbia! In addition to live performances by DC-based youth and adult artists, the program includes several unique short films by DC filmmakers, including:

  • Iqual Que Tú – a riveting documentary by Ellie Walton on Latino and African day laborers in DC;
  • (un)documented: Is the American Dream for Everyone? – an engaging short filmabout homeless day laborers in the DC metro area by John Esparza;
  • Wiener of Our Discontent – an intriguing virtual window into the life of an immigrant hot dog vendor in DC by Kasey Kirby;
  • The Neo African-American – Kobina Aidoo’s commentary on African immigrants in America; and
  • Clips from Speaking in Tongues – a documentary series about the emerging model of bilingual education by Marcia Jarmel.

The program ends with a teaser of Communities in Translation, a work-in-progress by renowned documentarian Robert Winn. This film, which will be shown for the first time in public on April 27th, discusses the role language barriers play in emergency response situations, centering around the 2008 fire in Mount Pleasant. Filmmakers will be in attendance, and the proceeds from this night will go towards finishing this Communities in Translation! In addition to these performances, meet the directors of the DC Office of Human Rights, Mayor’s Office on Latino Affairs, Mayor’s Office on Asian Pacific Islander Affairs, and Mayor’s Office on African Affairs, who will also share information about the their offices’ work in promoting language access with Many Languages One Voice & the DC Language Access Coalition.

Purchase tickets here: $15 general, $10 students or low-income.
WHEN: Wednesday, April 27 at 6:30PM
WHERE: All Souls Church, 1500 Harvard St NW (Columbia Heights Metro)
Tweet #CIT, Facebook event

Your ticket will grant you admission, 1 free raffle ticket, meet and greet with filmmakers, and snacks/drinks.

Presented by Many Languages One Voice and DC Language Access Coalition. This event is part of a series of events during April declared by Mayor Gray as “Language Access Awareness Month.” See schedule here. Presented with the support of Mayor’s Office on Latino Affairs, Mayor’s Office on Asian Pacific Islander Affairs, Mayor’s Office on African Affairs, and DC Office on Human Rights.