Navigating Parallel Universes: Why Translation Alone Isn’t Enough

How do you conduct effective outreach to communities where English is a second language? Engaging thoughtfully with these communities requires an understanding of their unique institutions, norms, and information networks, which is often not represented in traditional communication resources. Diving in deeper, the way people receive information, who they trust, and how they take action can vary widely even within sub-groups of populations that speak the same language.

In this session, BayREN will share insights on how to effectively engage with communities where English is a second language. We will discuss our successes, failures, and lessons learned in our experiences working with a range of communities and discuss how our process entails collaboration with our own mothers to internationally recognized celebrities.


  • Jennifer West, Program Manager, StopWaste
  • Jeffery Liang, BayREN, Single Family Program Manager
  • Yeymi Rivas Reyes, BayREN, Communications Coordinator
  • Tonya Veitch, County of Santa Clara, Senior Sustainability Analyst