Social Impact (sōSHəl\ \ˈimˌpakt) is a significant, positive change that addresses a pressing social challenge. Having a social impact is the result of a deliberative set of activities. MCIS Language Solutions advocates for improved access to critical information about local schools, job opportunities, civic and political rights, and access to health and legal services to make it possible for people to fully participate in civic life and for communities to remain prosperous. Our social impact strategy focuses on three key areas:
- ADVOCACY through programs, policy and funding for access to critical information and services as a basic human right, language and social data sharing, social innovation and professionalization of language services while continuously increasing internal research and external partnerships capacity (for the purpose of influencing public debates and policies).
The most recent work in this field includes free services to qualified recipients of translation and interpretation, free language professional training; community hackathons e.g. Language Policy Hackathon and MigrahackTO (#MigrahackTO Report, blog); language justice advocacy awareness events (e.g. Language Justice Series: Localization Sprint – Psiphon for Translators and Language Justice Activists) as well as partnering on joint initiatives related to social and non-profit innovation.
- CAPACITY through strengthened capacity of the professional language services field for improved access to critical information and services, maintaining ad diverse work force and leading the language services sector through providing specialised training and awareness about “social” procurement practices.
- GROWTH through the business supports programs to increase access to rights, services, safety indirectly promoting general health and well-being (here is how our growth is guided by our intended impact emerging from our Theory of Change).
THEORY OF CHANGE
MCIS’ Theory of Change framework demonstrates how the relationships among our primary beneficiaries, stakeholders (staff, volunteers, partners, customers) as well as the strategies, activities and the outcomes we produce guide us to achieve our intended impact.
MCIS was initially created to remove language barriers for victims of domestic and sexual violence. Today, we are a comprehensive language solutions hub with the highest quality, most responsive and most cost effective services, and also provides funded services, social benefits and engages in advocacy.
MCIS’ primary commitment is to vulnerable persons and their rights to access important public services. Since its inception in 1989, MCIS has been facilitating communication in the public sector (shelters, law enforcement, healthcare and criminal justice system), continuously reframing narratives around diverse linguistic communities, especially in relation to language rights and language advocacy.
WHAT IT TAKES TO SETTLE A FAMILY
Over the years, MCIS’s growth from a staff of 3 in 1993 to over 60 full time employees in 2018 was supported by hiring policies that created opportunities for immigrants, newcomers and refugees. Today, 85% of MCIS staff identify themselves as 1st generation immigrants and 95% of our language professionals as well as our students are either immigrants or have parents born outside Canada. Presently, close to 5000 individuals directly associated with MCIS are able to find lucrative opportunities in the language industry while sustaining themselves and their families. As a non-profit that prides itself on being a social enterprise, MCIS believes that the humanitarian cause that inspired the organization to make the challenging but rewarding decision to sponsor a Syrian refugee family in 2017 was also economically justified, based on the lived experience of how refugees and immigrants have contributed to MCIS’s growth.
#MIGRAHACKTO, Community Hackathon
At #MigrahackTO, we combined data & journalism to delve into immigration issues. They will form diverse teams and use the power of data visualization to tell stories driven by data. Most journalists and community members have never attended a hackathon. Most programmers have never worked on immigration issues. Migrahack brings together diverse groups to work jointly on the issues that affect us all.