I plan to go to this event and hope to see many LETC folks there too. — Cathy
Remember the 2008 fire in Mt. Pleasant that destroyed the Deauville Apartments and part of Meridian Hill Baptist Church? Most of the 200 or so tenants displaced from the Deauville were immigrants and their families. Many spoke limited English, and as a result, some had difficulty communicating with the fire and police officers that responded to the 5-alarm blaze.
Communities in Translation, a documentary about the impact of the language barrier during emergencies, focuses on the Mt. Pleasant fire. The film will be screened this Thursday night, November 3, 2011, as part of the DC Language Access Coalition’s evening celebrating local immigrant communities. “Many Stories, One Night” will be held from 6:00 to 9:00 p.m. at the Gala Theatre, 3333 14th Street NW, in Columbia Heights (one block from the Columbia Heights Metro).
In addition to the film, the event includes a look at The State of Language Access in DC, a new report about immigrants’ experiences accessing public benefits in our city. Free food will be served, and child care is available. Suggested donation for the event is $10.
The DC Language Access Coalition
The DC Language Access Coalition is an alliance of 41 community and civil rights organizations that works for language access rights within the District of Columbia. (Yes, of course, Language ETC is a member!) Its goal is to ensure that DC residents who speak limited English have equal access to government benefits and services, such as public education, health care, unemployment benefits, job training, food stamps, Medicaid, fire and emergency services, and the police.
The Coalition worked with the DC Office of Latino Affairs and community groups to pass the DC Language Access Act of 2004. This law requires DC government agencies to make it possible for limited-English-speaking residents to participate in their programs and receive services. However, there’s still a long way to go. According to the Language Access Coalition, DC government agencies working in the crucial areas of education, health care, and human services are not complying fully with the Language Access Act of 2004. This may seem like kind of a bureaucratic problem, but it’s not. What happens when one of our Basic-level students needs to call 911?
So let’s enjoy an evening together and support the good work of the DC Language Access Coalition on behalf of DC’s immigrant communities. See you there.