The voice of the South is changing. What would our movement look like, how much more power could we have if we began communicating well across language? At the center of Wayside’s work is education and building relationships across class, gender, immigration status, sexuality, language, and race. Our language work lies at the center of this commitment: to connect people at the base who often are not engaged in meaningful dialogue around shared struggles.
- About Language Justice
- Interpreting for Social Justice Workshop
- Interpretation Services and Equipment
Language is power. Language can determine whether a person or a community has access to—or is shut out from—decision-making processes and persons, resources, information, and services. This happens vertically when folks have to interact with hospitals, law enforcement, social services, etc. It also happens horizontally in movement spaces where English is centered as the language of the movement and non-English speakers are routinely linguistically – and sometimes literally – marginalized and segregated.
The goal of Language Justice work is relatively straightforward: language access as the great equalizer. It promotes autonomy and self-determination by making sure that everyone’s voice is heard and that all of the transmitted information is relayed. It creates linguistically democratic spaces where no one language is privileged so that people can meet as equals regardless of their primary language. It teaches that interpretation is not in the service of the non-English speakers but rather for everyone that does not share a common language.
Core to creating these spaces are skilled interpreters with an understanding of language as a tool of power and the role of the interpreter in relation to this power dynamic. As part of its commitment to Language Justice, Wayside holds biannual Interpreting for Social Justice workshops. For three days, multilingual activists from throughout the South gather to learn about linguistic power dynamics, the role of the interpreter, how to create equitable multilingual spaces and to practice their interpreter skills.
In addition to the interpreter workshop, Wayside offers other opportunities for organizations and communities who want to learn about or build their multilingual capacity. These opportunities include consultation, equipment rental, and contracted workshops. For more information, check out Interpretation Services and Training.
(Alice Johnson -Summary of Top Five Reasons for Multilingual Work in the Movement, Highlander)
What would our movement look like, how much more power could we have if we began communicating well across language? At the center of Wayside’s work is education and building relationships across class, gender, immigration status, sexuality, language, and race. Our language work embodies this commitment: to connect people at the base who often are not engaged in meaningful dialogue around shared struggles.
The interpreting for social just workshop is for bi- or multilingual social justice activists and workers who would like to learn more about interpreting in a social justice context. This workshop grows a cadre of skilled social justice interpreters in the Southeast and Appalachia who can empower immigrant communities by providing language accessibility to promote social justice. This workshop is highly experiential and focuses in on interpreter role and ethics, use of interpreting equipment, differences and similarities in social justice interpreting and the Impact of language barriers in social justice movement building.
In order for us to grow the connected movement for justice we need for structural change in this world, we need to be able to talk to one another, even if we don’t speak the same language. This workshop works from the abundance of culture and language to establish an analysis that prioritizes voice through prioritizing interpreting—good, skilled interpreting—in community and social action spaces and events. To fully benefit from the workshop, participants need to speak at least two languages at a conversational level. Wayside offers this workshop twice a year, in the spring and fall. Please visit our website periodically for future dates or contact us to be put on a notification list.
That’s what one participant at a recent Interpreting for Social Justice workshop replied when asked why language access – and by extension, interpreters – are important. That idea of access for all is one of the foundational principles of Wayside’s Language Justice Program. The Language Justice Program endeavors to create communication access by eliminating language barriers. Wayside’s Language Justice team has a split-focus approach to this work: both the technical (e.g. equipment, skilled interpreters) and the political (an analysis of interpreting through a social justice lens).
Services: As part of our commitment to dismantling linguistic barriers, Wayside offers the following fee-based services. All services are subject to availability. To request any of the following services, please contact us.
Equipment: Wayside has a 30-piece set Williams Sound interpreting equipment. Set includes 2 multi-channel transmitters with microphones and 30 multichannel receivers with earpieces. Renters sign a rental agreement and are responsible for pick-up/drop-off. Units will come with batteries; renters are responsible for replacement batteries.
Language Access Coordination (Interpretation): Wayside can coordinate the interpreting for multilingual events. Services include any combo of setting up the space, providing the interpretation, recruiting interpreters, distribution and collection of equipment. Please note that Wayside’s set of equipment contains 30 units. For events that require more than 30 units, the contracting party is responsible for obtaining equipment. Wayside works with a network of skilled interpreters throughout the Southeast and DC area, as well as newer interpreters building their skills through practice. Interpretation coordination for events should ideally be requested at the very beginning of the planning process. Language access strategies work best when they are implemented throughout the planning for an event. A minimum of four weeks is necessary for interpretation/coordination requests.
Training/Consultation: Wayside can help build your community’s/organization’s multilingual capacity through consultations and trainings. Consultation’s can include organizational audits, staff development sessions, and Language Access 101 workshops. These 2-8 hours sessions can be customized to your audience and schedule. Requests for consultations require a 3 week minimum advance notice. Interpreting for Social Justice trainings are multi-day popular education based workshops that cover both the mechanics and the politics of interpreting. Participants use their own real-life interpreting experiences to develop an analysis of interpreting through a social justice lens. These workshops can be held at Wayside (3-day) or we can do a leaner version in your community (2-day). Request for workshops require a minimum 4 week advance notice.
Equipment: Requesting party is responsible for picking up/dropping off the equipment at a designated locale or for shipping it via ground service. Requesting party signs a rental agreement that outlines the inventory; it also stipulates that requesting party is responsible for replacing any lost, stolen, or damaged equipment. Cost of equipment rental is $100.00 per day for non-profits and $150 per day for for-profit organizations. Note: any use of the equipment whether for two hours or an entire day constitutes a day’s use.
Interpreter Workshop: Fee negotiated on a per incident basis. Determining factors include: size and type of organization, nature of the organization’s work, organizational budget, and availability of a co-facilitator. For 2 day workshops in your community, organization is responsible for all travel/lodging costs. For 3 day workshops at Wayside, normal rental rates apply for food and lodging.
Consultation: Organizational consultations and staff development trainings are contracted on a per hour basis depending on organizational budget. Interpretation: For contracts that involve coordination (recruitment and scheduling of interpreters), there will be a coordination/organizational fee in addition to the interpreters’ compensation and equipment rental where applicable. Wayside language coordinator can arrange interpretation to the extent that it is needed to meet your meeting’s language needs. Individual interpreters will bill your organization depending on their hourly rate (rates for interpreters may vary between $30-75 p/hr). Overall rates and organizational considerations vary depending on the size of your event, number of languages, and duration of event. For all questions or estimates please contact us. Where funds are an issue please feel free to make this known by the organizers and coordinators. We are willing to work with your organization in helping you create events and meetings that are accessible.