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2024 ACTION Language Justice
Promoting Community Solidarity Through Language Justice

Land Acknowledgement

We wish to recognize the land, stewarded by people of the Coahuiltecan, Karankawa and Ishak (Atakapa) Tribal Nations, upon which the SUSTAIN Center occupies. Our intention is to honor the Indigenous people by knowing the land on which SUSTAIN operates. We are actively learning and reaching out to know how to show up in solidarity and be in meaningful relationships with the people and the land. In addition, we recognize the harms experienced by Indigenous people as a result of settler-colonial institutions and practices. While in the process of learning, we are committed to providing organizational funding and capacity building in support of the health and wellness goals determined by the philosophies, customs, traditions, and people of the Tribal Nations.

What is 2024 ACTION Language Justice?

ACTION Language Justice is a grant and capacity building opportunity for HIV Service Organizations led by or serving people living with HIV or most systematically impacted by HIV such as Black, Brown, Indigenous, lesbian/gay/bisexual/queer (LGBQ), same gender loving (SGL), cisgender women and men, transgender, nonbinary, or gender non-conforming (T/GNC) people. ACTION Language Justice 2024 supports HIV Service Organizations to implement projects that address HIV and Language Justice.

As a grant, ACTION Language Justice will provide up to $55,000. The purpose of the funds are to support the development and implementation of language justice projects. $55,000 will be awarded to support costs related to implementing your project and 2 participants’ travel for the in-person gathering in Houston, TX on July 9-11, 2024. As a capacity-building opportunity, ACTION Language Justice 2024 will provide training and coaching to implement language justice strategies in your programs or at your organization. We are proud to continue our partnership with our Language Justice consultants, Tecolotl, to work closely with the 2024 cohort. No prior knowledge of Language Justice is required to participate

Language justice is an ever-evolving framework and set of practices that ensure that people can lead, communicate, and participate fully in institutions, organizations, and communities, regardless of the languages or linguistic variants they use. Commonly, Standard American English operates as the dominant language in institutional and organizational practices, policies, and spaces across the United States, and it is seen as the only or the best language of knowledge and expertise. Language justice works to decenter Standard American English as the dominant language and works to meaningfully involve linguistically diverse groups of individuals and organizations to create structures for equitable communication so that everyone may speak, understand, and be understood in ways that they feel most powerful. Some strategies may include interpretation, translation, and utilization of plain (non-technical), affirming, and destigmatizing language and the use of alternatives to written language with an analysis of how power operates through language. Language justice works alongside, racial, social, queer, and gender justice to build collective power and liberation. Please visit the Glossary of Terms below for further descriptions of Language Justice, Language Variant, and Standard American English.

Accessibility Statement

Accessibility is our priority and we are committed to better practices that would support your application process. If you would like another option to apply, please email our ACTION Language Justice grant leads, Dr. Bec Sokha Keo at bskeo@cougarnet.uh.edu and Dr. Maria Wilson at mwilson3@central.uh.edu by February 19, 2024 at 11:59 pm (eastern) / 10:59 (central). Due to capacity, requests after February 19, 2024 will not be considered.

Applicants must:

  • be an HIV Service Organization or group led by or serving people living with HIV or most systematically impacted by HIV such as Black, Brown, Indigenous, lesbian/gay/bisexual/queer (LGBQ), same gender loving (SGL), cisgender women and men, transgender, nonbinary, or gender non-conforming (T/GNC) people
  • have 501c3 status or have a fiscal sponsor
  • meaningfully involve people living with HIV (examples below)
    • recognize that personal experiences of people living with HIV are just as valuable as credentialed experiences
    • support people living with HIV to be in leadership and decision making roles
    • compensate people living with HIV for their expertise as staff or contractors
  • be located and doing work in Alabama, Arkansas, Florida, Georgia, Kentucky, Louisiana, Mississippi, North Carolina,  Oklahoma, South Carolina, Tennessee, or Texas
  • have a developed project idea including 3 main components. Please note: partners will have support from cohort members, staff, and consultants to adjust project goals as needed.
    • Pre-Work: planning what you are going to do and with whom (pre-implementation)
    • Doing the Work: what you are doing to achieve your project goals (implementation)
    • Sharing Your Work: how you plan to share your project with community (dissemination). Examples may include podcast, blog, social media, print media, vlog, webinar, etc.
  • apply by March 4, 2024, 11:59 pm (eastern) / 10:59 pm (central)
  • further eligibility criteria listed below

 If funded, you will receive the following as an ACTION 2024 partner:

  •  $55,000 to support costs related to implementing your project and 2 participants’ travel for the in-person gathering in Houston, TX on July 9-11, 2024
  • Multilingual workshops and coaching
  • Administrative capacity building: Navigating University Vendor and Contract Structures
  • Training and Coaching with SUSTAIN and Tecolotl Staff focused on:
    • Meaningful Involvement of People Living with HIV and Racial Justice
    • Dismantling White Supremacy Work Culture
    • Equity Focused Implementation
    • Introduction to Language Justice
    • Better Language Justice practices at your organization

 Language Justice Project Tracks:

All projects must  fall into one of the 2 tracks to be considered for funding. Examples of projects we are interested in funding are listed below. All projects must also apply MIPA (English and Spanish Fact Sheets) principles. Examples include: a) recognizing that personal experiences of people living with HIV are just as valuable as credentialed experiences; b) support people living with HIV to be in leadership and decision making roles; c) compensate people living with HIV for their expertise as staff or contractors. As you read the examples below, keep in mind that practicing language justice organizationally is a work in progress and there are many layers to implementing the work.

  1. Track 1 - Programmatic
    1. Develop or integrate language justice better practices into trauma-informed care, healing justice-focused mental health, harm reduction, or wellness programs and initiatives lead by people living with and most systematically impacted by HIV
      1. Example: Developing multilingual workshops/resources to enhance access to destigmatizing and gender affirming services such as mental, primary, HIV, or transition related care.
    2. Establish a culturally responsive and healing justice focused program lead by people living with and most systematically impacted by HIV
      1. Example: Wellness and Wellbeing Peer-Led Group with culturally responsive activities such as programs for participants, or clients who use different languages or language variants to connect in ways that transcend language or do not require translation or interpretation
  1. Track 2 - Organizational
    1. Develop an organizational structure to assess and implement language access services, including non-English dominant primary languages, English language variants, plain (non-technical) language, and destigmatizing language
      1. Example: updating policies, procedures, intake forms, signage, media, website, and identification of multilingual and/or culturally responsive staff
    2. Meaningfully involve people living with HIV who use a broad range of non- dominant languages to serve as compensated decision makers for programs or initiatives
      1. Example: Create a language justice committee with people of lived experience to design, implement, and evaluate the organization’s efforts to integrate language justice into all programs, policies and practices

Meetings:

ACTION Language Justice partners must participate in the following capacity building workshops, coaching, and evaluation sessions

  1. In-person convening on July 9-11, 2024 in Houston, Texas. Focused workshop, coaching and co-working session topics are listed below. Participants are responsible for booking travel and lodging with $3,000 of the $55,000
    1. Equity Centered Implementation
    2. Assessment Tool Deeper Dive
    3. Adjust goals and objectives
    4. Focused coaching and collaborative work spaces
  2. Monthly workshops with paired coaching (April - December 2024)
    1. Language Justice Better Practices at Organizational, Programmatic, and Community Levels
    2. Note: Workshop Break for June Pride Month. Coaching will continue.
  3. Evaluation Interviews (October - November 2024)
    1. Language Justice Consultants, Tecolotl Staff
    2. SUSTAIN Center Evaluation Staff

 Eligibility

  • Be an organization or group led by or serving people living with HIV or most systematically impacted by HIV such as Black, Brown, Indigenous, lesbian/gay/bisexual/queer (LGBQ), same gender loving (SGL), cisgender women and men, transgender, nonbinary, or gender non-conforming (T/GNC) people
  • Geographic Location: located and doing work in Alabama, Arkansas, Florida, Georgia, Kentucky, Louisiana, Mississippi, North Carolina, Oklahoma, South Carolina, Tennessee, or Texas
  • Content Area Focus: project addresses HIV and language justice in the context of at least one of  the following content areas - mental health, healing justice focused trauma-informed  approaches, wellness, or harm reduction approaches to drug use
  • Data-driven Storytelling: collaborate with our evaluator, who will be available to support  your group with telling your story and completing SUSTAIN and COMPASS evaluation  activities
  • Non-profit Status or Fiscal Sponsor: be non-profit, tax-exempt organizations as set forth  in section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code or have a fiscal sponsor
  • Project Period: March  2024 - November 2024
  • Funding decision announcement: 15 business days after grant application closes

 Sample Allowable Expenses (including but not limited to):

  • Stipends for Meaningful Involvement of People Living with HIV serving in roles such as board members, focus groups, or consultants (minimum of 30%)
  • Enhancing your organization’s language justice capacity such as staff participation at a conference with educational, community, and experiential language justice components for 2 individuals (up to 10%)
  • Operating Costs/Overhead (up to 10%)
    •  Renting space for organization activities or events
    • Meals, snacks, non-alcoholic drinks for organizational activities or events
    • Utilities, Internet, Zoom, etc.
  • Print and electronic materials for your language justice project including rebranding your organization (e.g. marketing, intake form, website, logo)
  • Technology for your language justice project
    • Simultaneous interpretation equipment
    • Software for your language justice project

Application Questions

  1. What is your organization’s full mission statement? If you do not have a mission  statement, include your organization’s long-term goals
  2. What does your organization do and who does it serve?
  3. Describe your organization’s experience with language justice. It’s ok if you have no prior experience. We just want to know where you are with language justice knowledge and practice.
  4. What track will your project focus on? Tracks include: Programmatic or Organizational
  5. Describe your language justice project for this funding opportunity in detail in the following areas: 
    1. Pre-Work: planning what you are going to do and with whom (pre-implementation)
      1. what are you going to do
      2. if you are collaborating on this project, who will be involved
        1. What are their roles?
      3. where the project will be delivered or take place
      4. a brief timeline from pre-implementation to dissemination
    2. Doing the Work: what you are doing to achieve your project goals (implementation)
    3. Sharing Your Work: how you plan to share your project with community (dissemination). Examples may include podcast, blog, social media, print media, vlog, webinar, etc.
  6. How will your project address the intersection of HIV and language justice in the context of: healing justice - mental health, trauma-informed care, harm reduction, or wellness and wellbeing services?
  7. Describe how your project will meaningfully involve people living with and most systematically impacted by HIV
  8. Describe how you will use awarded funds
  9. What is your definition of impact/success for this language justice project?
  10. What type of language justice support will you need to successfully complete your project?
    1. Examples include translation, live interpretation, plain language contract and vendor coordination,
  11. What type of administrative support do you anticipate needing from the SUSTAIN staff?
    1. Examples: reminders and deadlines, closeout and evaluation processes, etc.

Tips for a successful 2024 ACTION grant application. 

  • Clearly describe: 
    • How your organization meaningfully involves people living with and most systematically impacted by HIV
    • How your project will address HIV and Language Justice in the context of healing justice - mental health, trauma informed care, harm reduction, or wellness/wellbeing approaches to drug  use as it relates to HIV
    • The impact of your Language Justice project in your community
    • The priority community for your project (examples: Black or Brown women (cisgender and transgender) living with HIV, Black or Brown men (cisgender and transgender) living with HIV, LGBTQ+ individuals who are new arrivals, TGNC individuals experiencing houselessness, individuals who use drugs, individuals with experience in sex work or commercial sex, peer to peer social networks, volunteers, etc.)
    •  If you are collaborating, what your role and your collaborator’s role in this project
  •  A complete 2024 ACTION Language Justice grant application includes the following
    • Complete application form - please ensure all of the questions are answered as best as possible.
    • 501(c)(3) verification OR letter from a fiscal sponsor
    • A complete budget template and description for the proposed project 

Glossary of Terms: these terms and definitions are intended to help guide your application  process. The terms and our understanding of them are ever evolving (revised 12/12/2024):

  •  Harm Reduction: an approach and set of practical strategies aimed at reducing negative  consequences. We provide capacity building to create and strengthen understanding,  systems, and programs that focus on harm reduction and meet people where they are, as  well as consider the impact of drug use, particularly opioid use, on HIV/AIDS. To know  more about principles that are central to Harm Reduction practice visit the Harm  Reduction Coalition’s site linked here.
  • Language justice: in the context of ACTION, is an evolving approach based on  fundamental language rights to create multilingual platforms and challenge English  language dominance. It should embody both racial and social justice to create equitable spaces. Language justice should bring awareness, bridge gaps, and create meaningful change to generate spaces where individuals, families, groups, and communities can understand, be understood, communicate in written, verbal and non-verbal language which is preferred, best articulated, centers their native culture, and minimizes racist trauma and harm to non-English dominant individuals.
  • Language variant: this term refers to the extensive diversity of languages in all of its forms that exist with a formal definition and non-formal definition that exist within our communities, especially those that exist within the broader umbrella of languages. The term, “language variant”, can be useful to describe any language that is not adequately or sufficiently represented by broader umbrella terms to describe dominant languages such as “English”, “Spanish” and much more. Language justice is rooted in the pursuit of justice for all language variants, including those spoken by people identifying with a particular culture, race, ethnic group, lived experience, gender expression, gender identity, age, and more (for example, Standard American English to African American Vernacular English). This distinguishes language justice from language access, which centers primarily on building understanding between different dominant languages instead (for example, English to Spanish or Spanish to English.) 
  • Mental Health: The dynamic state of emotional, psychological and social well-being that  affects how one thinks, feels and acts, and functions, as well as how one makes decisions,  copes with stress and maintains relationships. One’s mental health can be influenced by  many factors, everyday life experiences, family history, experiences with systems, and  biology. We prepare organizations and service providers to better understand and address  the impact of mental health in the context of HIV care.
  • Standard American English (SAE): Standard American English (SAE)  is a variety of English that is privileged by those who historically hold power in institutions and in our society as a whole. Of course, the notion that SAE is “standard” is contested: On the one hand, because language changes constantly, there is no one moment in time when all users of SAE can agree completely on what the standard is; on the other, SAE is not the language of all "Americans" and has often been used to normalize white, middle- and upper-class language systems and to denigrate language systems that differ from them (and that hence, become “non-standard” and “improper”).
  • Trauma: General trauma is a defined as the threat of, exposure to, or experience of an  event, series of events, or set of circumstances experienced either directly or through  witnessing by an individual that is physically, emotionally or psychologically harmful or  life threatening that has lasting adverse effects on an individual’s functioning and well being. Historical trauma is defined as the complex, collective, and cumulative general  trauma or emotional and psychological wounding experienced across generations (and  over time) by a group of people who share an identity, affiliation and/or circumstance.  We work with organizations to build capacity on how to respond empathetically to  individuals dealing with past and/or present trauma.
  • Wellness/Wellbeing: While there is no consensus on a single definition, well-being is  defined as the balance of the various interrelated dimensions of an individual’s life,  including: 1) physical, 2) psychological, behavioral, and emotional, 3) spiritual, 4) environmental, 5) social, 6) financial and economic, 7) intellectual, 8) occupational and employment, and 9) healing justice factors.

 

FULL PDF OF RFP AVAILABLE HERE

Please return to the Home Page to apply for this funding opportunity.