Erasing the barriers

Gabriela Rivera

A little bit about the work I do...

         As the daughter of immigrants and a former ESOL (English for Speakers of Other Languages) student, I have grown up understanding and experiencing the barriers that marginalized communities face. I am passionate about the work I do because I feel that I am inspiring other young bilingual women to give back to their communities and the parents that brought them here by informing and empowering them.

In my position as an editorial associate under the Equally Informed initiative at Resolve Philly, it’s my job to make resources and information visible for the Spanish-speaking community in Philadelphia while considering the language, tech, and information barriers that exist. There are a few ways that I do that; I incorporate community engagement strategies in my work whether through social media, our Equally Informed Philly text line, or community events. Through our social media accounts, we amplify the voices of other community organizations and stay in the loop about different local resources. Through our text line, my colleague Lily Medosch and I share information about the different city, community, and state-based programs and events that could be helpful to community members who otherwise wouldn’t have access to this information. We also make ourselves available to the public to answer questions about the resources available to people within the city of Philadelphia.

We also supplement the work we are doing with our text line by participating in in-person, community tabling events called “Café and Empanadas.” These events give my team and me the opportunity to get to know people in the community and to engage with them on a deeper and more personal level. We also participate in virtual community events called Sound Offs that bring people together to discuss current issues, community perspectives, and solutions to problems.

We just started doing a new show through PhillyCam with Reclaim Philly called Re:Imagine airing once a month and centered around addressing real issues that impact our communities and organizing for change. We have touched on topics like the primary election and policy and will be allowing our audience the opportunity to send in questions to the text line about topics they would like us to discuss on the show.

My objective is to make sure that the information I provide, whether via social media, our text line, community events, or Re:Imagine, is easy to understand and that I am available for questions should they arise.