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CRLA and Partner Organizations Host First-ever Statewide Language and Disability Justice Retreat

April 15, 2024
photo of attendees at first-ever California Statewide Language and Disability Justice Retreat April 2024

Sacramento, CA – In a world where everyone’s inherent dignity deserves to be recognized, California Rural Legal Assistance, Inc., Center for Worker’s Rights, Centro Binacional para el Desarrollo Indígena Oaxaqueño, Chinese for Affirmative Action, Farmworker Advocacy Working Group, Legal Aid Foundation of Los Angeles, and Mixteco/Indigena Community Organizing Project are proud to have hosted the first-ever statewide Language and Disability Justice Retreat.  

The retreat brought together 40 advocates from 22 organizations to build community, explore current efforts to promote disability and language rights, and to craft the values and priorities that will guide our collective efforts. The retreat was sponsored by the California Pan-Ethnic Health Network and Sierra Health Foundation.  

Retreat participants aimed to address the deep inequities faced by people with disabilities and linguistically marginalized communities related to participating in California’s legislative process and accessing state benefits, resources, programs, and communications. 

Deaf communities and people who speak Indigenous Latin American languages are frequently erased from our state’s demographic data, and immigrant communities and people with disabilities face obstacles to providing input about legislation that directly impacts their lives and accessing critical services from state agencies and state-funded nonprofits, from unemployment insurance to domestic violence shelters. 

Advocates explored the long history of struggle for language and disability justice and selected priorities that aim to weave access and inclusion into every aspect of our state government, from how laws are made to how information and services are provided.  

CRLA looks forward to working in solidarity with the organizations and individuals who convened at the retreat to collectively advocate for equity and justice to foster a more inclusive society. Together, we can amplify struggles that have long been marginalized and pave the way for a future where every individual, regardless of language or ability, can flourish. 


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