Our Values

We believe in Language Justice. 

Language Justice is the right to express ourselves in the language we feel most powerful. Language is intimately connected to who we are — the way we see the world, our thoughts and emotions, our cultures, dreams, and politics. Language Justice honors our individual lived experience and positions us as being both learners and teachers, listeners and speakers. It addresses the inequities and privileges created by dominant cultures, globalization, imperialism, capitalism, racism, and the criminalization of migration. Language Justice is how we can build the collective wisdom and power that makes our movements stronger across cultures and borders. 

We practice this by:

  • Offering interpretation and translation services on a sliding-scale basis to community partners engaged in liberation work 
  • Engaging with language as a living tool that evolves and adapts alongside our understanding of the world and the many peoples within it
  • Committing to speech that promotes community trust, building, and liberation, not destruction
  • Interpreting, not speaking, for people 

We believe in nurturing our ecosystem. 

We believe that Language Justice nurtures our local and global ecosystem. The Choctaw people showed us this connection between the wellbeing of the landscape and language when they named this place Bulbancha. We affirm the wisdom, histories, and contributions of all peoples marginalized by the dominant culture. Several of us come from cultures of homemade empresas, chambas, susus, and tandas — these are cooperative economic spaces similar to the local tradition of Black New Orleanians’ mutual aid societies. We recognize that creating cooperative economies outside of capitalism is key to the liberation and dignity of all Black, Brown, and Indigenous people of color. We believe in our power to build new worlds for ourselves and our community.

We practice this by: 

  • Working alongside community partners to continue the legacy of cooperative economics left to us by our elders 
  • Supporting initiatives for BIPOC to become financially autonomous, especially through cooperative structures
  • Providing interpretation training and Language Justice workshops 
  • Centering the inclusion of Black, Indigenous, brown, and queer people in Language Justice work 
  • Offering solidarity work to allies

We believe in popular education. 

We believe that popular education recognizes that all persons have the power to be both teachers and learners. We all have valuable lived experiences to share and areas of growth. Through popular education, we can collectively unlearn our internalized capitalism, sexism, racism, and nationalism. 

We practice this by: 

  • Prioritizing gigs that align with a popular education practice, 
  • Listening to communities and perspectives outside our own about the words and phrases empowering to them 
  • Challenging the “professionalism” of interpretation and translation work 
  • Building up a resource base of glossaries and best practices 
  • Sharing our resources and learnings with others who want to engage in Language Justice work
  • Prioritizing lived experience of folx from different countries and cultures 
  • Offering solidarity work to allies

We believe in femme leadership, legacy, and power.

Mamás, abuelas, y tías. For most of us, beloved women in our lives have been our entry points to this work — from interpreting at doctor’s offices and schools as children to kitchen-table lessons in finance and self-employment. By uplifting femme leadership, we are not glamorizing tropes of “self-made” or “boss women.” Rather, we acknowledge the myriad ways that cispatriarchy, colonization, racism, and sexism diminish, co-opt, and “professionalize” the work of feminized people of color. Our understanding of femme leadership is informed by various legacies of matriarchies.

We practice this by: 

  • Cultivating each other’s leadership, encouraging members to take lead on projects that inspire them and support their leadership
  • Creating partnerships with other femme-led collectives such as Birthmark Doulas Collective and Another Gulf Is Possible 
  • Challenging professional/masculinized standards of work, productivity, and growth 
  • Working with community partners who have demonstrated commitment to resisting patriarchy within their structure, 
  • Queering and making our language more inclusive 

We believe in intergenerational resistencia.

We believe in resistencia — resistance — as a fundamental human right. We are committed to unlearning and resisting capitalism, sexism, white supremacy, and xenophobia as it manifests internally and externally in our ecosystem. By having language justice present in spaces, we can collectively resist a punitive logic of borders and cages that pits oppressed peoples against each other. As language justice workers, we also practice resistencia to undignified labor practices, the urgency of capitalism, and racist respectability politics.

We believe that resistencia must be intergenerational. For each of us in this collective, resistencia is an important part of our family histories and ethnic identity. We also understand the potent and transformative tradition of resistencia to be rooted in the movement work of laborers and Black and Indigenous persons globally. Resistencia is an ongoing process, and not limited to our lifetimes or even our perspective. We honor the practices of resistencia handed to us by previous generations by investing in sustainable labor practices and making space for future generations to practice and grow Language Justice.

We practice this by: 

  • Centering the most marginalized folks in our communities of all ages, by offering work and mentorship in a welcoming environment
  • Inviting elders from our communities to share their experiences and lessons learned
  • Upholding our rights as workers to engage in labor that is meaningful and not rooted in capitalist urgency or racist respectability politics 
  • Upholding our rights as workers to not engage in work that promotes violence against people who are Black, Indigenous, of color, queer, femme, disabled, or poor
  • Making space for our internal upkeep, care, and capacity building
  • Offering solidarity work to allies