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Equitable Language Education Visionary Advocate with Transformative Effect

Submit Your Nomination


The ELEVATE (Equitable Language Education Visionary Advocate with Transformative Effect) award was created to honor the successful advocacy work that language professionals who advance access and equity for language and culture learners within and beyond their classrooms. JNCL-NCLIS recognizes that individuals and teams are doing significant work in Diversity, Equity and Inclusion (DEI) with their students, peers, and others, in their institutions and communities. JNCL-NCLIS seeks to recognize the work of these individuals/teams who endeavor to give voice to marginalized communities and/or languages, cultures, and dialects to raise public awareness about the role and importance of all of America’s languages and the positive benefits of multilingualism and multiculturalism in our society.  


Nominations for this award will document nominee-led collaborative initiatives that cultivate, promote, and foster a more diverse, equitable, and/or inclusive advocacy voice for all languages and cultures; and will provide evidence of the impacts and/or outcomes from such initiatives.


A nominee for the Language Advocate of the Year Award must:

  1. Be a member of a JNCL-NCLIS member organization that is in good financial standing (organization has paid JNCL-NCLIS annual dues by September 1st);

  2. Commit to participate in the Language Advocacy Awards presentation to be held during Language Advocacy Days.

  3. Be nominated, in writing, by the leadership of the said member organization via the online application (see "Online Nominations Form" below).


Current Board Members are NOT eligible for the award. 

Selection Criteria

All nominees will be considered based on their documented contributions in the following areas:


Stakeholder Engagement

  • Has a relationship with their congressional delegation and/or their staff (local, state, and/or federal),

  • Has contacted policymakers in order to advance JNCL’s public policy priorities.


Grassroots Awareness and Action

  • Has encouraged his or her colleagues within his or her organization to participate in JNCL’s advocacy work,

  • Has generated support and/or raised awareness among other Americans about the vital national importance of the Language Enterprise, including its economic and social benefits to Americans of all ages outside of his or her organization’s network,

  • Has directly shared their knowledge and passion for language access with others through writing or speaking opportunities at the local, state, and national levels,

  • Has participated and/or led successful advocacy efforts at the local, state, or, national level.

The nominee's actions do not necessarily have to result in legislation passed or policy changed. For example, the successful defense of a language program from closure or of a policy that supports the Language Enterprise such as the graduation requirement, the defeat of legislation that threatens the field in some way, such as a “coding bill,” might qualify. Nominees do not necessarily have to be the Advocacy Chair of the member organization.

Selection Process

  • The nomination period will open the first week of August and closes in mid-September (see below for exact dates).

  • The selection process will be conducted by the Awards Committee, whose Chair is selected each year by the President of the Board of Directors. Per the Bylaws, the committee will be composed of three Board Members, excluding the President, and two JNCL staff members. The committee will review all nominations submitted prior to the stated deadline and select a recipient that best fulfills the award criteria.

  • The Awards Committee in consultation with staff will then select a group of finalists from which the Board of Directors will select one recipient.

  • The selection process will take place from mid-Sept. to early-Oct.

The Award includes...

The sponsored award will include:

  1. An award plaque and recognition during the Language Advocacy Awards presentation during Language Advocacy Days,

  2. Complimentary registration to Language Advocacy Days, an all-inclusive travel stipend, and two nights lodging at the conference location (when event takes place onsite),

  3. A spotlight profile on the JNCL-NCLIS awards webpage

Generous funding for this award comes from our partners at 

The Online Nominations Form

Only member organizations of JNCL-NCLIS in good financial standing (paid JNCL-NCLIS annual dues by September 1st) may submit nominations.


The nominator will need to provide the following when submitting your nomination: 

  • One official letter of recommendation (2 pages max.) from the nominating organization about the nominee. Briefly highlight the challenge(s) faced, the advocacy initiative(s) undertaken and its impact within the context of the award’s purpose.

  • The nominee’s most current resume or C.V.;

  • The nominee’s personal statement (3 pages max), detailing his or her personal purpose for advocating for language(s) and how his or her advocacy efforts provoked positives changes and/or inspired others.

Please note that these documents should be compiled into one file for ease of upload 

Once you submit a nomination, JNCL-NCLIS will email the nominee at the email address you have provided to confirm their participation in the contest.  

Submit your nomination!

Application Deadline for the 2023 Award:

COB Monday, September 12th, 2022

past recipients

2023 - Pending

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