Toc Soneoulay-Gillespie as Keynote for Language Access Virtual Event

WASHINGTON - March 2, 2021 - PRLog -- Toc Soneoulay-Gillespie has over 20 years of experience working with and advocating for refugees and immigrants. As a 1.5 generation refugee, she brings a unique perspective for understanding the strengths and complexities of this community. She holds a bachelor's degree in Anthropology/Sociology from Eastern Oregon University and a Master of Social Work from the University of Alaska Anchorage. Her graduate research focused on the disparities in language access for limited English proficient individuals in healthcare and the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services naturalization process. As an interpreter, consultant, trainer, and community organizer, she believes strongly in raising awareness about meaningful language access and when introduced with humility, can reshape the narratives of historically underserved limited English proficient communities, and ultimately transform systems.

Ms. Soneoulay-Gillespie was appointed by Governor Brown to serve as commissioner on the Oregon Commission on Asian Pacific Islander Affairs and as a council member of the Governors Behavioral Health Advisory Council. In her current role as the Social Services Manager for Population Health at Care Oregon, she works to identify opportunities to collaborate with community partners regarding social determinants of health strategies and promote health equity to improve health outcomes for vulnerable populations. Prior to this role, she served as the Director of Refugee Resettlement at Catholic Charities of Oregon.
The theme for the NCIHC's 14th Annual Membership Meeting is "Trauma, Language, and Social Justice."  This work is not without its challenges and often faces strident opposition. We know that interpreters often work in less than ideal settings, and often interpret very challenging exchanges. As interpreters, we understand the importance of language, and indeed of a single word, especially when the consequences can be life-changing. Encounters such as these can be emotionally triggering, especially on top of events taking place on the national landscape from which none of us are immune.

We are thrilled to have such an outstanding Keynote Speaker who can bring her personal lens to this topic.

For more information about the NCIHC Virtual AMM, visit

Rosanna Balistreri, MA

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