Multicultural Community Service (MCS) performs language services to create diverse and vibrant communities so D.C. and its residents thrive.
“Immigrants come to our nation’s capital to find the lost hope, to fight for a cause, to have a voice and a future and we cannot let those people be left out by not providing them with services in their own languages which is why we have to keep supporting interpreting programs at MCS.” -- MCS Community Interpreter Arlena Ferrandiz Myers
We hope you can help us. The Multicultural Community Service (MCS) is a non-profit organization in Washington, D.C. that works to reduce language barriers in the immigrant community so that those who have Limited English Proficiency (LEP) can participate in community programs, meetings and other activities like their English-speaking counterparts. Our work serves immigrants who speak more than 20 languages, but the majority of our work is for Spanish speaking residents. We passionately believe that not understanding English should not be a reason to be denied the opportunity for basic services from the city government, community agencies and other groups. We also believe that only when every residents voice is heard – not just the voices of English speaking residents – is our city truly inclusive and vibrant. To this end, MCS trains often under employed proficient bilingual residents how to serve as community interpreters and then hires them to perform grass roots oral interpretation services. We think our program is innovative because not only does it reduce language barriers, but it trains qualified people to perform community-based interpretation and help advocate for LEP community members so their rights are not marginalized because they don’t speak English. Last year, more than 3,000 people benefited from our Language Services efforts.
About our history
In the early 1990s, following the devastating May 1991 riots that took place in the Mount Pleasant, Columbia Heights and Adams Morgan neighborhoods of Washington, DC which resulted from tensions between the African American and Latino communities, and between both communities and area law enforcement, several community residents gathered to discuss how they could help empower the residents of these neighborhoods to view diversity as a strength, not a weakness. In 1997, these community members founded the Multicultural Community Service.
Since its founding, MCS has grown into a strong and stable organization, recognized for its effective research-based programs, commitment to the community, ability to reach and provide services to linguistically marginalized groups, and capacity to equally serve various segments and sectors of Washington's diverse population and professional community. MCS is unique among Washington DC organizations in its outreach to the diverse communities of DC rather than serving one demographic group. MCS is proud to participate in the Combined Federal Campaign (CFC # 38517).
Our core programs include:
Language Services -- MCS' Language Services Program provides oral interpretation and written translation services in more than 20 languages and trains bilingual community members to be professional interpreters. MCS' language service clients range from local organizations to heads of state. The program provides one-on-one community interpretation and simultaneous interpretation for events and meetings based on the United Nation's model.
Parental Engagement - DC Parent Information Resource Center
MCS lead the city-wide efforts of the DC Parent Information Resource Center (DC PIRC). Supported by the US Department of Education, the DC PIRC served as the one-stop shop in the District of Columbia ensuring that Washington, DC parents took on a critical, informed and supportive role in the education of their children.
We hope you can help by spreading the word about our innovative work and by making a tax deductible donation to support our cause. Thank you for your consideration.