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Interpreting and Social Justice


Feb 09 2016


11:45 am - 12:45 pm


Forum for Scholars and Publics

011 Old Chemistry Building, Duke's West Campus Quad

Interpreting and Social Justice

Interpreting and Social Justice

With Brian J. Hoffman and Roberto Tijerina

Despite the omnipresence of translation and interpretation in today’s globalized world, we often forget that without the skilled work of translators and interpreters, many people would simply be left out. Interpreters and activists Brian J. Hoffman and Roberto Tijerina will share their experiences and explore some of the ways in which lack of access to interpretation services derails efforts toward social justice in the United States. Advocates for social justice hold that everyone deserves equal economic, political, and social rights and opportunities, and believe that the least advantaged and members of marginalized communities require protections to guarantee fair legal access. In this conversation Hoffman and Tijerina will bear witness to the struggles that speakers of minority languages who are also members of other minority groups (among them immigrants, children, detained populations, the disabled, ethnic and racial minorities, and LGBTQ+ persons) face on a daily basis. They will also talk about the ways activists are working to ensure strides toward social justice in this country. After a brief introduction, each speaker will speak about 15 minutes and then we will invite students to respond and ask questions. Finally, we will open it up to the room for discussion.

This event is organized by Joan Munné and Melissa Simmermeyer, Lecturers in the Department of Romance Studies, and has been made possible with the support of Forum for Scholars and Publics, the Mary D.B.T. and J.H. Semans International Exchange Fund, Story Lab at Duke, Romance Studies, and Duke Service-Learning. For more information:


Brian J. Hoffman

CARA Family Detention Pro Bono Project

Brian grew up on a farm in rural northeast Ohio and studied Spanish from kindergarten through high school, followed by four months at the University of Alcalá de Henares, near Madrid, Spain. He spent his junior year of college studying Japanese at Kansai Gaidai University in Osaka, Japan. Upon his…...

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Roberto Tijerina

Southerners on New Ground

Roberto Tijerina is a Southern-based queer Latino of immigrant parents whose work focuses on language justice —building analysis and practice around language as a tool of power, as well as strategies for dismantling language barriers and creating linguistically level playing fields in social justice movement spaces. He has worked for Lambda Legal…...

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