Language Opportunity Coalition Named Nonprofit Excellence Award Finalist

Boston, MA (May 3, 2018) The Massachusetts Nonprofit Network (MNN) is pleased to announce that the Language Opportunity Coalition has been selected as a finalist for the 2018 Nonprofit Excellence Award in Advocacy. The Excellence Awards will be presented at MNN’s annual celebration of Nonprofit Awareness Day: A Celebration of Nonprofit Excellence presented by Citizens Bank, a statewide holiday that highlights the work of the nonprofit sector and raises awareness of causes throughout Massachusetts presented by Citizens Bank, at the Massachusetts State House on Monday, June 4.

“The Nonprofit Excellence Awards honor the important work being done by nonprofits in every subsector and region of Massachusetts,” said Jim Klocke, CEO of the Massachusetts Nonprofit Network. “We are excited to celebrate the effectiveness and diversity of these impressive finalists and the dedication and impact of the 33,000 nonprofits and more than half a million nonprofit employees in Massachusetts.”

The Excellence Award in Advocacy recognizes a nonprofit organization whose work has resulted in significant progress on a public policy or awareness issue in the last two years. The Language Opportunity Coalition was founded to bring together diverse organizations in Massachusetts to increase language learning opportunities for learning English, native, heritage, and world languages, and to ensure that all learners have equal access to a high-quality education and professional opportunities. The Coalition advocated for the expansion of bilingual program options for English learners through the LOOK Act, and opportunities for all students to pursue language study with the Seal of Biliteracy. The Coalition also coordinated the Seal of Biliteracy Pilot Project from 2014-2018, prior to approval by the state legislature.

Seal of Biliteracy Celebration at Muñiz Academy in 2016. (Photo: Boston Public Schools)

The LOOK Act with the Seal of Biliteracy was signed into state law on November 22, 2017, representing a major victory for the Coalition and bilingual education advocates across Massachusetts.

“We are honored to receive this recognition on behalf of the educators and stakeholders who collaborated in the work of this Coalition,” said Helen Solorzano, Steering Committee Member of the Language Opportunity Coalition. “We hope that this recognition will help spread the word about the Seal of Biliteracy, the value of multilingualism, and the opportunities for language learning in our public schools.”

This year, MNN’s independent panel of nonprofit and business leaders reviewed over 150 Excellence Award nominations that highlighted the incredible work of nonprofits across the state. The finalists range from large education providers to small arts organizations. These 27 nonprofits and individuals are improving communities across the Commonwealth, representing every region of Massachusetts from the Berkshires to the Cape. One finalist from each category (Advocacy, Collaboration, Innovation, Leadership, Small Nonprofit, and Young Professionals) will be announced as a winner during the Nonprofit Awareness Day: A Celebration of Nonprofit Excellence event presented by Citizens Bank on Monday, June 4.

Nonprofits across the state will also be engaging in a social media campaign on Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram leading up to June 4 using hashtag #MAkingadifference to highlight their unique contributions to their communities.