Updated: Jan 9
Over a decade ago, I was offered the unique and exciting opportunity to take my language advocacy to another level. My state organization (FLENJ) asked me to attend JNCL-NCLIS’ Language Advocacy Days in Washington, DC. As a teacher, business owner, former federal scholarship recipient, mother, and multilingual citizen, I relished the chance to be a part of this advocacy process in a more “hands-on” way.
What I didn’t know was that the people I would meet and the experiences ahead would have a profound effect on me and bring me both back to my roots as a language learner and forward to my new and thrilling role as an active legislative advocate for language learning.
Now, more than ten years later, I am honored to be stepping into the role of President at JNCL-NCLIS, an organization that is the standard bearer for coalition driven language policy advocacy, bringing together organizations and companies across the nation to speak language policy to the legislative and executive branches of our government. This year will be a monumental one as we celebrate 40 years since we were founded. Together, we turn the next page in our story and continue to grow our reach collaboratively to build a multilingual future for all learners and support all languages across our nation.
JNCL-NCLIS has a rich history molded by the energy and dedication of all of the decades of the most passionate advocates any organization could wish to have. Our advocacy is heard by and championed by political leaders who recognize the essential need for a globally-focused educational model that yields multilingual citizens ready to meet the needs of the moment--every moment in our nation’s past, present and future. In 2021, JNCL-NCLIS will continue to lead by engaging with the new administration and Congress to ensure that language education policy is well-represented in legislative efforts. We will work with our coalition partners to support their needs and amplify their issues. In the words of our founder, James E. Alatis, “Organization is power. It is the key to making our concerns known and to convincing policy-makers that we are serious and committed”.
I look forward to working with all of you to raise our voices together to catalyze growth and change as we continue to pursue our vision of a world where the language enterprise facilitates the free movement of people, information, and ideas; builds mutual understanding and acceptance of cultural and linguistic diversity; and promotes the personal development of the individual.