Just Communities advances justice by building leadership, fostering change, and dismantling all forms of prejudice, discrimination, and oppression. Just Communities envisions an equitable and inclusive Central Coast where all people are connected, respected, and valued.
Social Change Project:
Community Interpreter Initiative
What would happen in a crisis if you were unable to get information because it was in a different language? The city of Santa Barbara has 28.6 percent Spanish monolingual speakers, compared to 21 percent nationwide. As the only organization in Santa Barbara County that provides training for interpreters and translators through our Language Justice Initiative, Just Communities feels a sense of urgency to expand our work due to experiences during the Thomas Fire and Montecito Mudslides. We seek to place certified translators/interpreters in all sectors of the community for social inclusion and social justice.
Over the past two years, Santa Barbara County has experienced several wildland fires, flooding, and the deadly mud and debris flow in Montecito. Since joining the County of Santa Barbara as Communications Manager in 2016, I have steadily improved communications and outreach to non-English speaking residents during disasters, for which Just Communities has played an important role. The County hired Just Communities to provide interpretation for several community meetings and press conferences, and at local assistance centers coordinated in response to the Thomas Fire and the 1/9 Debris Flow. To help us ensure the news reached Latino residents, the interpreter from Just Communities translated the key elements of the press conference for us to share across social media. Just Communities has made countless contributions to the residents of Santa Barbara County.
— Gina Pinto, Santa Barbara