Language Access & Justice

Overview

Advancing Language Justice in Southern California

At the Public Health Alliance of Southern California, we recognize and celebrate the beautiful diversity of the Southern California population and the vast diverse linguistic needs of our region. As our population demographics evolve and the digital world expands, so do the possibilities for human connection that honor language and culture as a fundamental human right.1  

For Local Health Jurisdictions (LHJs), there is a critical need to prioritize language access. This extends beyond increasing community access to resources; it includes emergency response, public messaging, risk mitigation, Title VI and ADA compliance, and more. As LHJs strive to advance equitable language access, these efforts must ensure that constituents voices are heard and that jurisdictions are actively creating multilingual spaces to inform, consult, involve, collaborate with, and ultimately move towards community governance and empowerment.2  

That is why, we are deeply committed to advancing equitable language access and moving toward realizing language justice in the Southern California region. Language rights, after all, are human rights. And we believe that language, as a fundamental tool for communication and self-expression, is essential for building equitable systems of care and wellbeing. On this page, we provide information on language access and justice and the latest on our ongoing efforts.

A WARM WELCOME FROM OUR CO-CHAIRS
WHAT IS LANGUAGE ACCESS?
WHAT IS LANGUAGE JUSTICE?
MOVING FROM LANGUAGE ACCESS TO JUSTICE
While the work of language access seeks to identify and mitigate barriers to accessing services, the work of language justice seeks to move beyond to ensure that individuals are empowered to navigate spaces in their preferred languages. Distinct aspects of the language justice framework include efforts to share power, promote inclusion, and challenge traditional systems of oppression that have historically marginalized individuals who use a language other than English.6

We Bring Together Cross-Departmental LHJ Equity Change Teams Across the Southern California Region to:

Mobilize the Power of LHJs to Advance Health Equity & Racial Justice

Local health jurisdictions from across Southern California are harnessing the power of public health to advance equitable health policies and practices in contracting & procurement as individual departments and in partnership with the communities they serve.

Drive and Strengthen Regional Collaboration and Partnerships

Public health staff across programs and disciplines, including staff from executive leadership, equity offices, contracting & procurement, finance, and others, are coming together to advance and strengthen policies and practices in contracting & procurement that promote health and racial equity across the region.

Identify Promising, Community-Informed Practices to Advance Equitable Goals & Outcomes

Accelerator Equity Change Teams will be equipped with the knowledge, tools and resources they need to authentically partner with their community to identify and address barriers to equity in contracting & procurement and become transformational equity leaders and practitioners.

Key Statistics

LOCALLY

~ 4.5 million

of the Southern California population is limited English speaking, meaning they speak English “less than very well”  
What this means?

1 in 5

individuals in Southern California is limited English Speaking
STATE LEVEL INSIGHTS
WHY IT MATTERS?
WHAT IS NEEDED?

Our Work at the Alliance

ABOUT US
OUR SHARED AND CURRENT INITIATIVES
MEMBERSHIP
ANTICIPATED IMPACTS

Timeline

The Alliance Equity Accelerator brings together cross-departmental LHJ leaders from across the region to participate in virtual workshops aimed at building local capacity to advance health equity and racial justice in contracting and procurement. Sessions provide hands-on skill building and technical assistance in identifying, addressing, and reimagining approaches for operationalizing equity within local health jurisdictions’ (LHJ) contracting and procurement practices. Each Accelerator session is led and facilitated by the Public Health Alliance Leads and invited technical experts and leaders. Participants will also be provided ample opportunities for shared learning, and local and regional visioning and goal setting.

Sessions

Session 1: March 2023

Understanding Equity in Contracting & Procurement

Session 2: May 2023

Identifying Barriers to Equity within Contracting & Procurement

Session 3: June 2023

Community-Informed Contracting & Procurement Process Changes

Session 4: July 2023

Creating an Action Roadmap for Our Near-Term Process Change Goals

Session 5: August 2023

Examining the Impact of Chronic Community Disinvestment through Health Equity Metrics

Session 6: September 2023

Introduction to Impact Spending & Anchor Institution Framework

Session 7: October 2023

Advancing the Anchor Mission through Local Public Health

Session 8: November 2023

Defining a Regional Policy & Systems Change Recommendation

Session 9: December 2023

Review, Revise, Rejoice: Examining the Process & Celebrating Progress

In this session Equity Change Teams worked to develop a shared commitment to advancing regional health equity by participating in the new Equity Accelerator structure and process, established a shared understanding of why Contracting & Procurement is the primary focus area for Equity Accelerator, and obtained a clear understanding of and commitment to completing the Alliance Contracting & Procurement Self-Assessment.

Session 1

Understanding Equity in Contracting & Procurement

March 2023

Session Tools & Resources

In this session, Equity Change Teams reviewed the goals of the Equity Accelerator, identified existing barrier to equity in current contracting and procurement practices, examined the reasons for current infrastructure, and evaluated their impact. Additionally, teams explored the essential actions required to eliminate these barriers, which included initiating outreach efforts to gather community input.

In this session, Equity Change Teams explored contracting and procurement process changes that have the most immediate opportunity to address equity and evaluated their current and aspirational community engagement practices.

Session 3

Community-Informed Contracting & Procurement Process Changes

Impact

Regional Equity Accelerator impact report

The Public Health Alliance’s Regional Equity Accelerator (the Accelerator) is an action-oriented community of practice bringing together public health leaders to operationalize equity in Southern California. The inaugural 2023 Accelerator partnered with nine local health jurisdictions (LHJ) to identify, address, and reimagine approaches for operationalizing equity within their departments’ contracting and procurement practices.

To further explore the journey of the 2023 Health Equity Accelerator, read the full report here.

PARTICIPATING DEPARTMENTS

The Alliance Equity Accelerator engages cross-departmental Equity Change Teams from local health jurisdictions across Southern California committed to identifying, addressing, and reimagining approaches for operationalizing equity within public health contracting and procurement practices. Information on our inaugural participating jurisdictions can be found below.

Cross-Cutting Resources for Advancing Equity

The Public Health Alliance has compiled a growing set of critical resources to strengthen individual and collective capacity to advance equity. This includes foundational resources, framing and language support, and connections to aligned governmental, non-profit and community partners in the field.

Regional Public Health Collaboratives

California is home to three regional public health collaboratives based in Southern California, the Bay Area, and the Central Valley. Individually and collectively, these public health collaboratives demonstrate the ability to harness the power of public health at both the local and regional level to advance health and race equity.

Health Equity and Racial Justice Partners

Below is a list of aligned public health and equity partner organizations, each bringing a specific focus and lens to the work of advancing health equity and racial justice. These partners have a wide variety of additional resources to support LHJs in their work to build their internal and external capacity to advance equity.

Contact Us

The Ad Hoc Language Justice Workgroup is managed and facilitated by the Public Health Alliance of Southern California. If you have questions or would like to learn more about our work, please contact the Public Health Alliance Ad Hoc Leads.

Hannah Seriki, MPH
Director of Health Equity
hseriki@phi.org
Delia Melendrez, MPH, CHES
Health Equity and Justice Analyst dmelendrez@phi.org