June 2020 Newsletter

Dear Found in Translation Community,

2020 isn’t what anyone expected. A pandemic is sweeping the globe, ravaging livelihoods and lives. We are grieving state-sanctioned racist violence, and rising up in a powerful resistance. 

As we demand that institutions do better on race, we are making the same demand of ourselves. We are vowing to be more vocal about injustice. We are speaking out about silencing forces in our sector. And we are inviting conversation about the complex topic of racism in immigrant communities. We are examining every part of our organization and our programming to see where we can apply an equity lens more explicitly and systematically. 

We are taking bold and rapid action to adapt our programming to keep our community safe in the face of COVID-19, and supporting our interpreters through unprecedented personal and professional challenges. At the same time, we are navigating organizational challenges to function remotely and to stay afloat amid a rapidly shifting funding landscape.

Found in Translation exists to combat racial and gender inequities through economic mobility and healthcare access. Our work is not only life-changing for women who become interpreters but, through their interpreting work, life-saving for patients. Our work is vital, especially now, and to meet these new and dynamic challenges, we must not only survive, but thrive.

In this newsletter, we share with you the joys and accomplishments of the past few months. We are determined to thrive, so that the people we serve can thrive.

None of this is possible without you, our community. Thank you for your continued support, and we hope you and your loved ones remain healthy and safe now and always. 

Maria Vertkin
Founder and Executive Director

Our Team has Grown!

We are pleased to share that earlier this spring we added two more members to the Found in Translation Team – Beatriz Moreno (Grant Writer) and Makiz Nasirahmad (Program Assistant)! In addition, we are so proud to share that our long-time supporter, instructor and language coach Bindiya Jha has been promoted to the role of Program Director – Medical Interpreter Training. Click here to read their bios.

Alumnae are Going Remote

Over the past three months our staff have been working tirelessly to provide resources, support, and opportunities for our alumnae to maintain stability in the face of new challenges as the pandemic disrupts every aspect of life and reshapes the interpreting profession and the job market. We are proud to share that we are supporting alumnae in building their professional skills while at home, and so far provided direct job placement to 11 alumnae through remote interpreting and translation assignments through our interpreter services. 

In addition, 10 of our alumnae attended the first ever -virtual- Paving the Way to Healthcare Access Medical Interpreter conference earlier this month, where they logged on to listen and engage with other professionals on a variety of topics, including how the field is evolving to meet the needs of patients and providers during the COVID-19 pandemic. 

2020 Online – Will you join us?

As mounting evidence suggests that women and minority communities are most affected by the current COVID-19 pandemic and economic crisis, Found in Translation’s work is more important than ever.

We are rising up to meet this need head-on, and preparing to conduct our Medical Interpreter training online for the very first time this year.

This summer we are launching our 2020 Online Campaign to raise funds to help cover the costs of this transition. If you are interested in donating or learning more about how you can support this effort, please visit our website here.

Alumnae Spotlight

We are so proud of all of our alumnae interpreters, working tirelessly to provide high-quality and life-saving language access to members of our community during this crisis. One of our alumnae — Sara Joint ’16 — was recently honored for her outstanding work in an internal message shared with her colleagues at the Cambridge Health Alliance. With her permission, we are delighted to share this message of recognition with our community. 

Well done, Sara!

Found in Translation Wins the 2020 NBC Project Innovation Award

In May, Found in Translation was selected as a recipient of the 2020 Project Innovation Grant through the Comcast NBCUniversal Foundation!

We received this award because of the flexibility of our programming, and our ability to deliver services and programs that address the needs of those impacted by the COVID-19 crisis.

We are honored to share this year’s award with other Boston area organizations Our Neighbors Table, Community Servings and the International Institute of New England, all of whom are doing such inspirational and critical work to support our communities during this challenging time.

Welcoming New Funding Partners to the Found in Translation Family

This spring, Found in Translation has received grant funding from several new organizations and individuals seeking to support our mission. These include support for our Class of 2020 through an Open Door Grant from The Boston Foundation, upgrades to our internal bookkeeping systems funded in part by a grant from the Blue Cross Blue Shield of Massachusetts Foundation, and general operating support from Battery Ventures.

“Removing barriers to health care access is as critical as ever in the time of COVID-19,” said Paul S. Grogan, President and CEO of the Boston Foundation. “By making quality healthcare more accessible for non-English speakers and creating job opportunities in an area of need, Found in Translation is playing a potentially lifesaving role. We are pleased to support them with an Open Door Grant.” 

We look forward to amplifying our impact in the months ahead through the support of these organizations. Thank you!