Author Archives: Tenzin Dorjee

THE IMPORTANCE OF LANGUAGE

Roni Lezama ’22, a recipient of CCE funding and a Cross-Cultural Community Service Grant awardee, shares his experience with Migrant Justice.

This summer I did a lot of translating related work for Migrant Justice. Migrant Justice has the mission to uplift and defend the voices of the farmworker community in Vermont and is actively taking steps to ensure the migrant workers are protected by a set of universal human rights. I was tasked with translating a lot of their website which is one of the primary methods by which they disseminate information to activists and farmworkers. The importance of language and accessibility comes into play because a lot of migrant farmworkers in Vermont may not have as well of command in the English language so having the website and resources updated in Spanish and other languages are essential to them knowing their rights and what Migrant Justice is fighting for. Soon after this summer, the Migrant Justice website will be updated with completely new, English to Spanish translated resources which will allow migrant farmworkers to reach out to Migrant Justice workers with questions on how to get involved and have access to resources regarding their rights at their disposal. These migrant farmworkers have historically been exploited and silenced by owners of the farms they work on but now they will be able to comfortably reach out to Migrant Justice and potentially get information that they originally may not have been able to access because they did not know English. Work regarding translation is a question of accessibility and striving towards having an inclusive website and resources interface is crucial to uplifting voices of marginalized communities and creating an inclusive environment. Organizations that do work related to immigrant rights are always in need of interns and volunteers to help do translation work so I encourage all students to reach out and dedicate some time to help foster an inclusive environment through language access! 

*This reflection represents the views of the author.