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Beyond Translation Initiative Goes National

2009 October 15

I just returned from a successful Hispanic forum at our offices in Research Triangle Park, NC. The forum is part of EPA’s Hispanic outreach initiative known as Beyond Translation, an effort that was spearheaded by EPA’s Region 6 office in Texas in 2006 and now has become truly national in scope.

EPA will be hosting its second National Beyond Translation Forum in Washington, DC on October 26, 2009. Administrator Lisa P. Jackson will be there to address Latino elected officials, representatives from community-based organizations, small businesses, and faith-based organizations. This year’s national theme is “EPA and the Hispanic Community: Working Together to Protect our Health and the Environment—At Places Where We Live, Work, Learn, and Play.” EPA officials and key stakeholders will discuss various issues ranging from environmental health, the role of Latinos in the green economy, promoting environmental careers among young Hispanics, as well as economic and partnership opportunities at EPA.

This outreach effort serves as a mechanism to continue EPA Administrator Lisa P. Jackson’s call to expand the definition of environmentalism particularly among those communities that traditionally have not worked with the Agency. We urge you to participate at this year’s forum. If you do not live in the DC area, you’ll also be able to attend via live webcast. You just have to register on-line.  Our goal is to have similar forums throughout the nation. Please join us on this journey to increase environmental awareness among all communities regardless of the language you speak at home.

About the author: Lina Younes has been working for EPA since 2002 and chairs EPA’s Multilingual Communications Task Force. Prior to joining EPA, she was the Washington bureau chief for two Puerto Rican newspapers and she has worked for several government agencies.

Editor's Note: The opinions expressed here are those of the author. They do not reflect EPA policy, endorsement, or action, and EPA does not verify the accuracy or science of the contents of the blog.

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2 Responses leave one →
  1. Michael E. Bailey permalink
    October 19, 2009

    Getting the message out in the community’s native language(s) is critical to success. And this program is doing a good job. We need similar programs that can be done for different language communities like Chinese, Japanese, Vietnamese, Filipino, Cambodian, Persian, and Hindi. There also needs to be something for disabled persons who no one ever tried to teach to read or write. They can’t read the words or read very well, but if you can present the issues in picture form then the people are able to understand what is going on. That sort of program would also probably need to be done through disabled persons independent living and supported living programs and throu organizations like People First California and its chapters because many of the clients like dealing with people they already know and are more likely to listen to other clients while being more fearful of people in authority. Best wishes, Michael E. Bailey.

  2. lyounes permalink*
    October 19, 2009

    Michael,
    Interesting comments. I hadn’t throught about the challenges facing disabled persons. Nonetheless, the Beyond Translation Initiative definitely provides an outreach framework for engaging diverse, multilingual AND disabled communities in environmentalism.

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