On March 13-15, Highlander held its 8th multilingual capacity building workshop, focused on training interpreters to work in a social justice context. It was the largest interpreter-training workshop so far, with thirty-six participants from North Carolina, Tennessee, Texas, Virginia, Alabama, Florida, and Washington, DC. Among the organizations represented were Student Action with Farmworkers, Miami Worker’s Center, Southern Poverty Law Center, NC Legal Aid Immigrant Project, Coalición de Organizaciones Latinoamericanas, and the People United.
The workshop is designed to achieve three main objectives by providing
- An analysis of the role of the interpreter in a social justice context,
- A day of interpreter skills-building and techniques, and
- An opportunity for participants to prepare a variety of multilingual spaces.
The scenarios for this last piece are culled from actual events that the participants and their organizations are planning in the near future. At this session, this included a press conference for a fair housing campaign and a grassroots strategy meeting around immigration.
Another important part of this particular workshop was that two participants from previous workshops – one from Asheville and one from New Orleans – were invited back to participate and co-facilitate. We did this so they could learn the curriculum and replicate the workshops in their communities. They did very well, and we received excellent feedback about the facilitation team and the dynamics of the session.