2015 Language Access Conference Invitation

Kendra Sena

MA Language Access Coalition

The MA Language Access Coalition

invites you to the Second Annual

Language Access Conference

Beyond Service, Toward Empowerment

Friday, June 26, 2015, 9:30am-4pm

at UMass Medical School, Worcester, MA

To register online, visit:


To register by mail, complete the form at the bottom of this page

Every day in Massachusetts limited English proficient (LEP) individuals face countless barriers when accessing needed public services and navigating the legal system. Changing demographics and increasingly diverse immigrant and refugee populations profoundly impact the way our state’s institutions meet the needs of our most vulnerable communities. 

This conference is call to action for advocates at community based organizations, health centers, legal services, civil rights groups, educational institutions and government agencies throughout the Commonwealth. It is THE space and time to bring the biggest and brightest minds of language access together for focused dialogue, sharing of resources, and actionable solutions towards true empowerment and change. 

Participants can expect a stimulating and inspiring keynote highlighting the 15th anniversary of Executive Order 13166, “Improving Access to Services for Persons with Limited English Proficiency,” and a featured speaker addressing the theory and practice of language justice as a mandate of progressive community lawyering and critical piece of anti-poverty and anti-oppression work. Workshops and panels cover a wide-range of issues, from health equity to culture and race, technology tools for mapping inclusive community engagement and one mayor's response to engaging LEP residents in city life. Join us!


Keynote Address Kevonne Small, U.S. Department of Justice, Civil Rights Division
Kevonne Small Dr. Kevonne Small, an attorney advisor in the Federal Coordination and Compliance Section (FCS) in DOJ’s Civil Rights Division, investigates allegations of Title VI violations and ensures federal agencies consistently and effectively enforce statutes and related Executive Orders that prohibit discrimination in programs that receive Federal financial assistance. Prior to joining FCS, she was a trial attorney in the Division’s Criminal Section prosecuting alleged civil rights offenses involving official misconduct, hate crimes, and human trafficking. Prior to joining DOJ, she worked at Washington, DC area think tank organizations and taught criminal justice at California State University in San Bernardino, CA.
Featured Speaker Muneer Ahmad, Yale Law School, Worker & Immigrant Rights Advocacy Clinic
Muneer Ahmad Muneer Ahmad is a Clinical Professor of Law and Supervising Attorney at Yale Law School, where he co-teaches in the Transnational Development Clinic and the Worker and Immigrant Rights Advocacy Clinic (WIRAC). In WIRAC, he and his students represent individuals, groups and organizations in both litigation and non-litigation matters related to immigration, immigrants’ rights, and labor, and intersections among them. In the Transnational Development Clinic, Professor Ahmad and his students work on projects designed to identify productive sites for intervention for U.S.-based lawyers in global poverty work. His scholarship examines the intersections of immigration, race, and citizenship in both legal theory and legal practice.


9:00 - 9:30  Registration, coffee

9:30 - 10:10  Welcome and keynote address

10:15 - 11:45  Concurrent Workshops I

11:45 - 1:15   Networking lunch (lunch provided)

1:20 - 2:50   Concurrent Workshops II

2:50 - 3:10   Coffee break

3:15 - 4:00  Plenary Session, close

Panels and Workshops

Federal Agencies and Language Access

Ellen Gallagher (DHS-CRCL), Senior Policy Advisor, Office for Civil Rights and Civil Liberties, U.S. Department of Homeland Security;
Stephen Miliano (USDA-FNS), Civil Rights Director, U.S. Department of Agriculture- Food and Nutrition Service, Northeastern Regional Office;
Stephen Richardson (SSA), Deputy Regional Communications Director, Social Security Administration;
Eric Olick (DOEd-OCR), Senior Civil Rights Attorney, U.S. Department of Education- Office of Civil Rights;

Anne-Sophie Whitaker (HHS-OCR), Supervisory Equal Opportunity Specialist, US Department of Health and Human Services, Office for Civil Rights
Language Access Needs of Deaf and Hard of Hearing Clients Caitlin Parton, Staff Attorney, Disability Law Center
Language, Culture, and Race Gwendolyn Hampton VanSant, Executive Director, Multicultural BRIDGE
Advocating for English Language Learners in Education: Building Multilingual Coalitions Alina Nir, Americorps Attorney, Community Legal Aid; 
Tere Ramos, Equal Justice Works Attorney, Disability Law Center; 
Phyllis Barajas, Chief Executive Officer, Conexion
Technology Based 
Public Engagement Strategies: Tech Tools for Mapping LEP Community Engagement
John Lozada, Manager of Federal Programs, Massachusetts Department of Transportation (MassDOT);
Gregory Sobczynski, Title VI Specialist, Massachusetts Department of Transportation (MassDOT);
Paul Chenard,Transportation Planner, Old Colony Planning Council (OCPC);
Jimmy Pereira, Community/Transportation Planner, Old Colony Planning Council (OCPC)
City Innovations: Municipal Responses to LEP Constituents Irma Flores, Spanish Community Liaison, SomerVIVA, City of Somerville;
Adriana Fernandes, Portuguese Community Liaison, SomerVIVA, City of Somerville
Language Access Initiatives in the Massachusetts Trial Court Honorable Roberto Ronquillo, Chief Justice of the Boston Municipal Court Department, Massachusetts Trial Court; 
Maria Fournier, Esq, Director of Support Services, Office of Court Management, Massachusetts Trial Court;
Edgar Moros, PhD, Court Translation Specialist, Office of Court Interpreter Services, Massachusetts Trial Court
Health Equity and Language Justice Michael Soo Hoo, Office of Racial Equity and Health Improvement, Boston Public Health Commission;
Lisa Morris, Director of Cross Cultural Initiatives, UMass Medical Center; 
Melissa L. Anderson, Psychologist and Clinical Researcher, UMass Medical School, Department of Psychiatry

To register online, visit:


To register by mail, complete the attached form

Scholarships: We don't want you to miss out on this conference for financial reasons. If you or your organization cannot afford to pay your registration fee, please contact us to request a scholarship.

LAC Mission: The Language Access Coalition (LAC) seeks to protect the right of all members of our community to access justice and public services regardless of one’s ability to read, write, speak or understand English. We are a group of Massachusetts advocates working to increase and improve language access in the courts, government agencies and our own organizations. We identify and work to remove systemic barriers facing limited English proficient individuals, through collaboration and advocacy.


Thank you to our sponsors:

Questions?  Contact Kendra Sena, ksena@mlri.org, 617-357-0700, ext.350


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