As a supplier of language access services, we are fortunate to have the opportunity to work with a diverse group of people, including immigrants from over 100 countries. As I work with my clients to build solutions for language access, I have become keenly aware of the privilege I enjoy as a white-skinned person who is a native speaker of American English. So it leaves me with a choice. . .I can use this privilege to forge ahead with my own life or I can use it to stop and listen to those around me.
I’ve heard more than once from colleagues when I address a group for Language Access training: “Please make sure you say this because when I say it, they don’t listen”. It strikes me as odd that when speaking about language-related challenges, the white English speaker is more listened to than a black/brown person who might have an accent, but has lived experience. I’m happy to help amplify voices. . .but it saddens me to live in a world where I have to.
Lately I have been thinking about how racism hurts all of us. This isn’t just a black/brown issue. The fact is, when we dismiss someone because of their skin color or their thick accent, we all lose. We miss out on learning; we miss out on friendships; we miss out on sharing our human experience with everyone.
The time has come in our history where we let go of old traditions and ideas that exclude. For white people, we can open up our minds by listening, reading and learning. For people of color, we need to hear your stories.
Please let’s not lose this moment to see real change toward equality in our country!
I made some stickers that you are welcome to download for free if you would like to show your support for the movement :). You can also order more swag here we’ll donate the proceeds to the BET + United Way COVID-19 Relief Fund.
(Check out other places to donate here)
Mindlink Resources, Managing Director
Stacey has worked in Localization, Translation, and Interpretation for 15 years. She has been the owner and Managing Director of Mindlink Resources, LLC since 2011. She speaks fluent Italian and lives with her family and two cats in Washougal, WA.