ALAS: National Guidelines for Workshops in Spanish

Nuestras voces/Our Voices: Wise Latinas en la lucha

The National Latina Alliance Against Sexual Violence


National Guidelines for Workshops in Spanish
June 2012

As of April 2010, there were 50 million Latin@s/Hispanics in the United States, making people of Hispanic origin, the nation's largest and fastest-growing ethnic or racial minority. Spanish is the second most-common language in the United States with 35.5 million U.S. residents 5-years-old and older speaking Spanish at home, according to 2010 census findings.

Given the growing Latin@/Hispanic population, and in order to establish efficient outreach to the community, it is undisputable that bicultural and bilingual program staff and volunteers are necessary to provide effective services. Therefore, training workshops in Spanish are necessary to promote the ongoing professional development of bilingual and bicultural sexual assault victim advocates, prevention specialists, and other allied professionals such as promotor@s or community health workers.

However, three years after the first workshops were offered in Spanish at the National Sexual Assault Conference (NSAC) the ongoing lack of national standards and procedures for soliciting, reviewing and presenting workshops in Spanish has stagnated what could be a dynamic upgrade in Latin@ outreach and inclusion efforts. Consequently, a couple of Latina advocates recently opted to remove their workshops from two separate national conferences rather than compromise the integrity of the training they had hoped to offer in Spanish.

The Alianza Latina en contra la Agresión Sexual (ALAS) released a position paper in June 2012. This position paper is a call to action for promoting training in Spanish. Though the focus is on conferences, the recommendations are also applicable for other training events. There is a fundamental difference between training offered in Spanish by bilingual, bicultural trainers familiar with the sexual assault, domestic violence, human trafficking, etcetera, terminology, and what is possible via interpreter services.

Professional interpreter services do have a critical role to play in direct services and certain conference events. Yet, direct training in Spanish (and other languages) empowers populations and cultures that traditionally have been rendered silent and invisible within anti-sexual violence efforts led by white, English-speaking groups. This position paper aims to contribute to the discussion by sharing nuestras voces/our voices.

Download the "ALAS Position Paper Regarding Workshops in Spanish at State and National Conferences"

El documento en español

ALAS leadership has offered and contributed to many key resources and position papers to eliminate language barriers and promote sexual violence awareness and prevention among Latin@ communities.

Access additional position papers developed by ALAS since 2004.

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