Red de Voces Locales: Bridging the Linguistic Divide
Author Mathias Lemos Castillo
is Cortico’s Spanish Conversations Lead

At Cortico, we’re thrilled to continue our work towards bridging the linguistic divide and sharing perspectives from the different communities we’ve engaged in conversation. 

We’ve piloted our move towards expanding access to our services and platform with Spanish language conversations–building resources in Spanish alongside our expert partners, answering questions and working out the knots as we build. Introducing Spanish language materials and platform capabilities is one step closer to opening up the Local Voices Network (Red de Voces Locales), creating the space for community members to converse in the language that they are most comfortable with. 

As we approach our two-year anniversary since our very first Spanish conversation was uploaded on our platform, we want to take a moment to thank our partners who have played an important role in centering this work. 

The use of our LVN technology and process has allowed us to engage and capture the perspectives from various communities across the country as we reach 30 Spanish language conversations across over a dozen different collections. 

This work has allowed our partners to connect with more people in their communities, hearing more perspectives on issues that matter, and creating a more representative impact through new strategies, policies, reporting, and other types of sharing back learnings. 

As our Product and Engineering Team will tell you, we’re really just beginning the work of internationalizing our platform, expanding access across languages. Even so, our partnership work has benefited from early platform development in Spanish and the Cortico team has learned quite a bit from these partnerships as well.

Below are a few Spanish language highlights from recent projects with partners who are helping us to expand this work throughout the country.

Community Responsive Journalism

Univision is the largest provider of Spanish language television programming in the United States, with stations located in over 60 locations across the country. Our current partnerships with Univision Miami and Univision Fresno connect reporters to their public as they host conversations to record community experiences and concerns. Recorded content will be incorporated into Univision’s digital reporting and used to support a deeper understanding of what their audience wants to hear. Listen to a highlight from a conversation recorded with Univision here.

Public Process

As part of their process for selecting a new police chief, the City of Madison Police and Fire Commission (PFC) partnered with Cortico to pull perspectives from Local Voices Network conversations about the relationship between law enforcement and communities. Cortico supported the PFC outreach efforts, making sure that Spanish speaking communities were included at the table. Listen to a highlight from a conversation recorded with the Madison PFC here.

Strategic Planning

The Latino Academy of Workforce Development (LAWD) provides ESL, GED, job training, and job placement programs that strengthen the lives of Latinos in communities across Wisconsin. In early 2021, Cortico collaborated with LAWD for a series of 8 conversations engaging over 40 students. LAWD used these conversations to better understand how to support current and future students, identifying program priorities and opportunities. Listen to a highlight from our partnership with LAWD here.

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Cortico is a non-profit 501(c)(3) organization led by a multidisciplinary team of experts in community engagement, technology and non-profit management. We strive to meld two elements not typically found in one space: technological innovation and community-centered advocacy. We'd love to keep you up to date on what we're doing!