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Celebrating Multilingual Champions and Creating a Vision for the Next 25 Years 

Last week, Californians Together was proud to host an event commemorating twenty-five years of policy and advocacy wins by honoring legislative champions of multilingual education. Over 100 education policy professionals convened at the California Museum in Sacramento to learn about California Together’s work to improve education for the state’s 1.1 million English learners. Even our strong coalition cannot do that work alone. 

That is why we honored four changemakers with our Multilingual Champion Award:

  • Asm. Eloise Gomez Reyes, Assembly District 50, Assembly Majority Leader Emerita
  • Tanya Lieberman, Chief Consultant, California Assembly Committee on Education
  • Asm. Luz Rivas, Assembly District 43
  • Asm. Kevin McCarty, Assembly District 6

These champions are responsible for legislative victories that expand access to multilingual programs, prepared educators, and other supports that set our students up for success in school and beyond. Our awardees recognize that California’s strength is in its diversity—and that home languages and cultures are an asset, not a deficit. 

The event also served as a launch for The State of English Learners—a first-of-its-kind report sharing data on California’s diverse population of English learners and recommendations for improving their experiences in the education system. 

Additionally, a panel featuring Lucrecia Santibañez, Professor, UCLA School of Education & Information Studies, and Michael Wiafe, Assistant Deputy Cabinet Secretary, Office of the Governor, and moderated by Californians Together Deputy Director Xilonin Cruz-Gonzalez, set a vision for the next twenty-five years of policy. We are grateful these experts could share their perspective on state efforts to generate new victories for multilingual learners and those who support them. 

We are always happy to convene and hear from advocates across the state. This event was energizing for our staff, our coalition, and our partners in government. It is so encouraging to engage with a community that is dedicated to improving outcomes for multilingual learners.

View photos from the event here.

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