“MOVE and The Equity Center have partnered up to bring linguistic equity to our multilingual community. Everyone has the right to have educational and essential documents in the language they best understand, and MOVE is providing this free service to the community.”

The Multilingual Outreach Volunteer Effort (MOVE) brings UVA’s language resources together with community language needs to promote multilingualism and bridge linguistic barriers in the Greater Charlottesville Community. MOVE was established in response to COVID-19. We represent 30+ languages and translate critical resources to make them accessible to people in and around Charlottesville.

When COVID-19 hit our community, UVA’s English language learning service unit, The Center for American English Language and Culture (CAELC), recognized that many speakers of other languages at UVA and in Charlottesville struggled to access information about critical relief services, such as health, unemployment, emergency food, childcare, and shelter. Tapping into the abundant language resources in our UVA community, MOVE bridges this communication gap and promotes multilingualism at the University and beyond. MOVE volunteers are UVA language students and language faculty, heritage speakers, and immigrants, representing over 30 languages.  Translations are done collaboratively and by volunteers who are not necessarily professional translators.

What we do: 

  • Translate information on COVID-relief services, such as housing, health care, jobs, and unemployment funds in the UVA and Charlottesville communities. 
  • Interpret COVID relief services in our community via hotlines, community events, and online videos.
  • Some of our recent work:
    • Assisted multilingual families of elementary school students at Albemarle County Schools.
    • Extended mental health resources to speakers of other languages.
    • Communicated new and important pandemic-related information about food benefits.
    • Provided bilingual volunteers for local Latinx-led church food pantry.
    • Translate monthly “StreetSheets” in multiple languages with comprehensive information on COVID-relief services in the local community. 
    • Supported BRHD in social media campaigns to promote public health in various languages.
    • Created safety signs in other languages for front-line employees at UVA

What we do NOT do:

As a volunteer organization:

  • We do not translate medical documents or interpret medical procedures (We leave this to the professionals!).
  • We do not do work outside of the UVA/Greater Charlottesville Community.
  • We do not translate excessively long documents.
  • We do not require our volunteers to provide face-to-face interpreting during this pandemic. While there are some opportunities for masked & socially distanced interpreting, most of our opportunities are virtual. Each volunteer decides based on their comfort level. 
  • We do not do professional, paid translating and interpreting. All of our partners understand that we are volunteers, and we cannot guarantee error-free translations. 
  • We cannot guarantee a specific timeline or language.

If you speak another language and would like to volunteer with us, please fill out this form.

If you would like translation or interpreting services, please fill out this form.

If you are a language teacher and would like information about how to partner with MOVE for translation and interpreting projects for your students, please contact Elizabeth Wittner at ew3p@virginia.edu

Visit the MOVE page on the CAELC Website.