Lady Justice May Be Blind, But She Can Hear You!

The cover of Ingrid Piller’s 2016 book, Linguistic Diversity and Social Justice, features an interesting twist on the iconic image of blindfolded Lady Justice holding her scales while wearing earmuffs because she “would have to be deaf as well as blind to be truly impartial […] As long as Lady Justice can hear, she will be able to form a view of the speaker’s socioeconomic status, their level of education, their ethnicity, their gender, their…

MCIS’ Board of Directors: Experiences, Learnings and Scaling Social Impact

  We believe that great non-profits are built by great staff and great board and committee members. In this video, incoming Chair of MCIS’ Board, Gautam Nath, outgoing Chair, Cambria Ravenhill, and Secretary, Soussanna Karas, share their experiences about serving on MCIS’ Committees and the Board and their perspectives on how the Board’s strategic and advisory activities, guided by a clear mission and vision, have been contributing to positive social impact in the communities MCIS…

The Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms (Constitution Act, 1982, “Charter”) – A Reflection on its 35th Anniversary

As we go about our daily lives we pay scant attention to the laws of this land and the guaranteed rights and freedoms we enjoy under the Charter.  We forget the protection it offers us so we can live our lives with dignity. Critics are quick to point out that the Charter is there in name and not really available to the average person.  Others say it is abused by criminal defendants who use the…

Here is How Our Interpreter Helped Out 10 Syrian Families for Free

Ten Syrian refugee families celebrated Easter at a gathering held at the Tzu Chi Foundation and guess who interpreted for them; our very own interpreter Maisaa Sahloul. Hold on, the best part is yet to come, she did it all for free. She spoke about what motivated her to do this. “Language barrier is a huge challenge for Syrian refugees and I want to help my countrymen, which is why I volunteered to interpret for…

MCIS’ Language Independent Translator Training Program – 5 Years in the Making

On Tuesday, March 21, MCIS launched its Language Independent Translator Training Program. It was the culmination of all the hard work of the team led by Gabriela Rodas in strong collaboration with Victoria Radvan over the past year. It is hard to even try to describe the amount of work that went into developing this comprehensive training curriculum consisting of 40 modules that cover all aspects of providing translation services, from the conceptual and theoretical…

MCIS Team Brainstorms at Strategic Planning Session on March 11

Video Courtesy: Martin Jimenez, Testing and Training Assistant On Saturday, March 11, 2017, we had an energetic and invigorating strategy session, facilitated by Mark Ellwood, a volunteer Consultant from Management Advisory Services – a wonderful organization that does great work.  I did not know how we were going to accomplish our set objectives within the 3 hours we had set aside for this purpose.  However, I was not disappointed.  17 people came together with the sole purpose…

Homelessness and its Perils

As of February 28, 2017, Toronto reported a 95% occupancy rate in shelters opened for the homeless. “I don’t have a choice. I have to do this,” the blue-eyed girl on the pavement told me holding out her arms for money. Here is a prelude-five minutes earlier I asked her what she was doing in the freezing cold. If our readers recall, it was a day when temperatures dipped to as low as -11 degree…

Even as Canada welcomes newcomers including refugees, many struggle to find jobs

Even as Canada continues to welcome newcomers including refugees, a staggering number is still finding it tough to land a job. A Statistics Canada report updated earlier this year paints a rather grim picture and says that immigrants who landed 5 or a few years earlier reported an unemployment rate of 10.2% at all education levels. Immigrants with no degree, certificate or diploma reported an unemployment rate of 14.8% and high school graduates reported an unemployment rate…

Why A New Vision, Mission and Tagline?

Every non-profit must review its Vision and Mission once in a while to confirm they reflect its activities (outputs) as well as its intended social impact (outcomes). I recall sitting with my Director of Internal Operations, a glorified title for a recent Rotman MBA graduate, in 2006, and reviewing the Vision and Mission that MCIS Language Solutions’ (MCIS) founding members had crafted way back in 1995.There was nothing wrong with them. They were not even…

MCIS’ Executive Director, Latha Sukumar speaks about the refugee experience, Lifeline Syria and much more

Shy and fearful, Mohamed, 2, seldom ventures from his family’s tent without holding tightly to his cousin Malak’s hand. Both his parents died in Syria. For the past five months, he’s lived with 13 aunts, uncles, and cousins in a homemade tent in Lebanon’s Bekaa Valley. (©2016 World vision/photo by Jon Warren) The Syrian Crisis Syrian refugee crisis: Fast facts 5 million people in Syria need humanitarian assistance due to a violent civil war that…