UCLA AASC and FSPH Launch COVID-19 Multilingual Resource Hub to Support Safety for Diverse Communities

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The worldwide COVID-19 crisis is far from over. Over 120,000 deaths have been attributed to the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) in the U.S. alone and at least 26 states have recently shown increases in infections.

Karen Umemoto

With states re-opening, the public has reached another critical point in living with COVID-19. It is important now more than ever to ensure that every individual — regardless of race, ethnicity, education, income or language spoken — gets accurate information about how to protect themselves and others.

The UCLA Asian American Studies Center launched the COVID-19 Multilingual Resource Hub (translatecovid.org), a freely accessible website with critical information about COVID-19 in 40 languages. Developed in partnership with the UCLA Fielding School of Public Health, this searchable site is specifically designed to provide information to immigrant and non-English-speaking populations who are often disparately affected by the current pandemic.

“The Asian American Studies Center has a legacy of serving the community,” explained Director and Principal Investigator Karen Umemoto. “When we were told in March that UCLA was shutting down in light of stay-at-home orders, we made a pivot to mobilize the center’s talents and resources to work with fellow faculty in Public Health to create this service to the public.”

Professors May Wang and Gilbert Gee in the Fielding School of Public Health are co-investigators heading the project. “COVID-19 is seriously affecting the way we live and we need to learn how to live safely in the midst of the novel coronavirus,” says Wang. Gee adds, “The pandemic has spread not only a virus, but misinformation, prejudice and other social problems. We need a resource to help communities come together.”

The materials and videos on the COVID-19 Multilingual Resource Hub contain essential information to stay safe and prevent the spread of the virus. The creators hope that people use the resources to learn basic facts about the virus and practices such as wearing a mask, properly washing hands, and maintaining physical distance with others, as well share these materials with family, neighbors, and community members who are better served in non-English languages. The current site includes materials in Vietnamese, Chinese, Armenian, Spanish, Tagalog, Khmer, and more. Additionally, the site has a form where visitors and organizations can submit online resources to help expand the multilingual collection.

With the virus disproportionately impacting communities of color, the hub also offers a collection of hate incident reporting sites, particularly around anti-Asian racism and stigma, guides for protesting during the pandemic, and lists of data sites, reports, and articles connecting race, ethnicity, and COVID-19.

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