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Word of Mouth - November 2017

November 2017

Wishing you all a happy fall- now that it has sort of finally arrived! We have had a wonderful month and as always, we are so grateful for your endless support. Thank you! Announcements: The Community Engagement Project. We have started the process of taking our training initiative, The Community Engagement Project, from concept to launch. The CEP will provide free, community-based language access education and training for students, individuals, stakeholders, clients and anyone else who wants to attend. Content will include: what is language access, why is language access important, how to recognize when language access is necessary, how to engage in the process and finally, how to work with interpreters. Stay tuned for announcements! University Partnerships. The following departments have partnered with Global Wordsmiths to provide their students with academic credit for their participation in The Language Access Project: University of Pittsburgh: The French & Italian Languages and Literature Department, The Hispanic Languages and Literatures Department, The Department of Linguistics, The Department of Sociology, The Graduate School of Public and International Affairs. Carnegie Mellon University: The Global Studies Department, The International Relations and Politics Department, The Department of Modern Languages. The Global Switchboard. We are totally thrilled to have joined The Global Switchboard as organizational members. The mission, wonderful community and robust programming at their Lawrenceville location and online hub are a perfect fit for Global Wordsmiths. We couldn’t be happier to be on board! Invest in Her. We are so proud to have won the Audience Favorite award in October’s Invest in Her pitch competition. It was an honor to compete with such an inspiring group of amazing women! Special thanks to the entire Invest in Her Team for making this happen, to the individuals and organizations who invested their time and capital in us, and to Scot MacTaggart at Pitchwerks, Don Morrison at Blue Tree allied Angels, and Mike Woycheck at Alloy 26 for the generous in-kind prize donations. Moving right along! Have a great month, Mary Jayne


It's not too late to submit Partner Organization applications for our Spring 2018 and Summer 2018 Language Access Project cycles! If your organization is a 501(c)3, provides significant services to immigrants and refugees in the area and would benefit from no-cost language services, contact Meredith Bapir to apply:

Language Access Resources

The Allegheny County Department of Human Services developed fantastic language access resources that can be found here: They include foreign language access tips, resources and this great language I.D. chart that was designed to assist in identifying the language needed to serve an individual with limited English proficiency.

Client Spotlight: Women's Center and Shelter of Greater Pittsburgh

Women’s Center & Shelter of Greater Pittsburgh, one of four Domestic violence agencies in Allegheny County, serves approximately 6000 adult and child victims of domestic violence every year. In early 2017, WC&S added a team to specifically serve refugees, immigrants, and limited English speakers who are receiving services at WC&S or who are being served in community-based agencies and the courts. The Women’s Center & Shelter of Greater Pittsburgh’s RIL (Refugee/Immigrant/Lep) Team is now serving Refugees, Immigrants and limited English speakers and the organizations working with them. The RIL Team provides:

  • Training and education on healthy relationships and domestic violence

  • Consultations for the professionals working with victims of domestic violence

  • Support Groups

  • Education Groups

  • Individual Counseling and Advocacy

  • Legal Advocacy and accompaniment

  • Individualized support and advocacy for those receiving services in the WC&S Shelter, Non-Resident Program, Hotline, or any WC&S service.

Each RIL Team member speaks at least two languages and we use interpreters when needed. We can accommodate your needs no matter what your language! Contact us for more information: WC&S Hotline 24/7: 412-687-8005


Día de los Muertos Celebration at Casa San JoseFriday, November 3rd at 7:00pm There will be a donation-based bar, a dance floor, hot food, hot beverages (cold ones too!), and most importantly, our alter and prayer flags. The altar should be decorated with flowers, candles, and pictures of loved ones. Please bring anything else you want to add. University of Pittsburgh Global Studies Center, Muslims and Migration: 1 Weekend, 1 Credit Mini Course Friday, November 3rd- Sunday, November 5th Muslims migrating have had a profound impact around the globe. This course will explore the social, economic, environmental, and political dimensions of Muslims on the move. Keep an eye out for more information about registration soon! Slovak Heritage Festival Sunday, November 5th at 1:00pm, Cathedral of Learning Commons Room Presented by the Pitt Slovak Club & Slovak Studies Program, this free event includes musical performances, cultural displays and lectures, Slovak and East European import vendors and ethnic food. Día de los Muertos Concert with Edna Vazquez Sunday, November 5th, 2017 3:00pm, Carnegie Music Hall (in Carnegie) Edna Vazquez is a fearless singer, songwriter and guitarist whose powerful voice and musical talent transcend the boundaries of language to engage and uplift her audience. She grew up in Jalisco, Mexico, the same place that gave birth to mariachi music. The style was traditionally reserved for men, but Vazquez has forged her own brilliant musical path to become one of the first female mariachi vocalists and vihuela players in the Pacific Northwest. Her original material is a creative melting pot and her vocal range allows her to seamlessly paint an intersection of folk, rock, pop and R&B. Edna's passion for music and performance grew from her bicultural roots and, with songs deeply rooted in universal human emotion, she has traveled far and wide spreading her message of light, love and cultural healing. Tickets here. Global Issues Through Literature: Teeth of the Comb by Osama Alomar Monday, November 6th, 5:00-8:00pm, City of Asylum This reading group is designed for educators and pre-service teachers to learn about and use new texts in the classroom. Osama Alomar is a prominent Syrian writer of al-quisa al-quasira jiddan, or what has been called "flash fiction." These extremely short stories (sometimes only one or two sentences) have the appeal of a fable. Prof. Uma Satyavolu (English) will introduce the text at City of Asylum (40 W. North Ave), and then we will hear from Alomar, currently an exiled writer-in-residence at City of Asylum. Dinner, books, and Act 48 hours provided. Register here. ¿Se Puede Cultivar la Curiosidad? Wednesday, November 8th at 7:00pm, Alphabet City How is a person’s curiosity engaged, challenged, and embodied through language? This panel discussion will be conducted in Spanish, with headset translation available for those who would like to listen in English. We will encourage audience questions, and reserve time at the end for the audience to reflect on the experience of listening in both English and Spanish. Panel discussion will take place in Spanish, with English translation available. Welcome Neighbor! Pittsburgh Region Dinner Saturday, November 11 at 7:30pm, various locations Welcome, Neighbor!, focuses on getting to know the people who live around us. Hosts are encouraged to reach out to neighbors (especially those that are new to the region or those coming from a different culture or background) inviting them to dinner on Saturday, November 11, 2017. Conversation topics will focus on building community in our neighborhoods, getting involved in neighborhood life, and welcoming those that are new to southwestern Pennsylvania. Humanizing the Globe, Globalizing the Human: Migration The Labors in Landscape, or the False Protagonism of Globalization Thursday, November 16th, 4:30-6:00pm, 601 Cathedral of Learning Join UCIS for the first installment of their Migration Lecture Series, presented by Sergio Delgado Moya, professor of romance languages and literature at Harvard University. This talk grapples with borders as both landscapes and stages, as backgrounds against which our symbolic knowledge of migrants and migration take shape. It focuses on a long tradition in Latin American and Latinx artists and writers who subvert picturesque notions of landscape in favor of more nuanced, historically informed, politically incisive renditions of the environment. Tango Fierro, the First Tango Marathon in Pittsburgh November 17 – 19, various locations Pittsburgh Tango Fierro is a weekend-long Argentine Tango marathon featuring more than 30 hours of dancing, five amazing DJ’s and two historic venues with over 4000 sq. ft of beautiful hardwood floors located near restaurants, bars and cafe in Pittsburgh PA. Artists for Puerto Rico Sunday, November 19, 3:00pm – 9:00pm at Spirit Join spirit for an all ages fundraising event for Puerto Rico. With an amazing lineup of musicians and artists of all genres, all profits directly benefit Pittsburgh Stands with Puerto Rico. Pennsylvania Immigration and Citizenship Coalition Community Navigator Training November 27 – December 9 From November 27-December 9, PICC will be hosting an in-person training series for Community Navigators. Navigators will receive specialized training to provide quality immigration services for their communities in an empowering and effective ways. Interpretation and childcare will be available. Please register by Nov. 20th and contact Alicia at with any questions.

  • 11/27: Orientation for Community Navigators

  • 11/28: Overview of Immigration Law

  • 12/2: Eligibility Screening & Citizenship

  • 12/6: Presentation & Training Skills

  • 12/9: Know Your Rights & Deportation Defense

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