Who We Are

The ALJC members consist of experienced interpreters, interpreters-in-training, and other language justice advocates. We are part of a wide network of like-minded interpreters throughout the US, including the language justice teams for the US Social Forums in Atlanta and Detroit, and the Boston and DC interpreter collectives. We share ideas and curriculums to build a deeper understanding of the politics of language justice.

Our members come from a variety of cultural, linguistic and national backgrounds. Many of us have professional degrees, master’s degrees, and have received substantial levels of formal education. All of our members have lived, worked, or studied outside the United States, which gives us insights into the particular nuances of languages and cultures that inform our everyday work.  We have all completed interpreter trainings in both formal and informal settings.

We are united under the same commitment and vision of living in a world where language barriers do not infringe on peoples civil rights, and where people who speak different languages can communicate, share their common lived experiences in order to build strong social movements.

Check out the bios of our interpreters below:


Julia Duranti-Martínez

Interpreter and Translator

Julia Duranti-Martínez grew up in Seattle, WA and is currently pursuing dual Master’s degrees in Latin American Studies and Community and Regional Planning at the University of Texas at Austin. Prior to moving to Austin, Julia worked in Colombia for over two years facilitating experiential education delegations, providing human rights accompaniment, and interpreting and translating as part of her work with Witness for Peace. She has also worked in family and emergency services for undocumented Latinx immigrants in Portland, OR, volunteered in Bolivia, and studied abroad in Chile. Julia received her B.A. in Anthropology and International Peace Studies from the University of Notre Dame, where she was involved with campus and community activism related to LGBTQ and immigrant rights. Having interpreted and translated as part of her nonprofit work, Julia joined the Austin Language Justice Collective in 2015 and is excited to be part of a group that brings an explicit social justice focus to interpretation practice. She was trained as a Social Justice Interpreter in 2016. In her free time, she enjoys running, cooking, biking, and dance in all forms.


Alejandro Márquez

Interpreter and Translator

Alejandro Márquez is from both Chihuahua, Mexico and El Paso,TX. He holds  BS in International Politics from Georgetown University as well as a Masters in Latin American Studies and Global Policy Studies from UT-Austin. Currently, he is pursuing a PhD in Sociology at UT-Austin. He took part in a three-day training with the Roberto Tijerina, a national leader in spreading the language justice movement. Alejandro has several years of interpreting experience in Austin. Interpreting is important to him because he likes to contribute in making grassroots organizations stronger. He thinks interpreting is crucial in building coalitions and spreading the word about important issues in the community. For him, language access is not about understanding and being understood, it is about learning how to live and share with others. In his free time, he likes to read, watch movies and TV, and cook something that takes more than 30 min to prepare.


Susana Pimiento

Interpreter and Translator

Susana Pimiento is a Colombian attorney with a MA in Public Policy from the Institute of Social Studies in The Hague.  For over two decades, she has done research and advocacy work in the fields of human rights, demilitarization, environmental justice, arms control and indigenous peoples’ rights. Susana has interpreted at academic conferences for the University of Texas at Austin, at community forums for the Central Texas Democratic Party and for other groups in Austin, at City Council hearings, Town Hall and Austin Police Department meetings, as well as religious services at the Cathedral of Hope, in Dallas. Susana has ample experience as a translator. She has translated technical texts into Spanish, including certification exams for the Texas Department of Licensing and Regulation, materials for the implementation of OSHA standards, papers on biotechnology and legal correspondence, among others.


Patricia Zavala

Interpreter and Translator

Patricia Zavala is a native Austinite—proud to be born and raised in Austin. Despite the fact that her father is an immigrant from Peru, she did not grow up speaking Spanish at home, however, that did not stop her from acquiring native fluency. She relentlessly dedicated herself to learning the language of her Latin American relatives by traveling extensively and studying in Argentina, Bolivia, Spain, Mexico and Peru. She holds a B.A in Global Studies from the University of California, Santa Barbara and is currently pursuing two mater’s degrees at the University of Texas LBJ School of Public Policy and the Lozano Long Institution of Latin American Studies. Patricia was trained as an interpreter in 2012, which transformed her understanding of interpreting as more than just providing a service to non-English speakers but as a way of defending civil rights. Passionate about language justice, Patricia helped to found the Austin Language Justice Collective and currently serves as the group’s Director of Organizing. In her free time, Patricia dances samba with the Austin Samba School, plays Brazilian music and hangs out with her lively 100 year old grandma.


Josué Guillén

Interpreter and Translator

Josué Guillén grew up in New York City. He had the good fortune of having a Colombian mother who decided her kids were going to learn English anyway and taught them all Spanish first. He studied Spanish starting in Elementary School and all the way through College. When he started working for a community organization in Oakland, CA in 1991, a membership that had mostly monolingual speakers (English or Spanish) caused him to start interpreting, both consecutive and simultaneous. He has been interpreting and translating ever since. He was finally formally trained as a Social Justice Interpreter in 2012. He is also a social justice technologist, and currently works for the global organization Avaaz.org.


Lynn Wise

Interpreter and Translator

Lynn Wise is a native Texan and has been in Austin for more than 10 years. Lynn first became interested in language justice when she began boxing as a teenager. Many of the boxers were monolingual Spanish speakers, and as the boxing gym became her home, she became interested in their stories and struggles. The strong cultural, political and economic bonds connecting Texas and Mexico fascinated Lynn, but she was disturbed by the injustices that many of her immigrant friends faced. She became convinced that increased communication was key to addressing these injustices, and she wanted to help. The first hurdle was learning Spanish. Lynn began learning from her friends in the boxing gym and beyond and eventually earned an M.A. in Latin American Studies from the University of Texas at Austin. There she was introduced to the concept of language justice and was formally trained as a social justice interpreter in 2013. Lynn was a founding member of the Austin Language Justice Collective and currently works as co-director of the collective’s training team.


Diana Tavera

Interpreter and Translator

Diana is from Pachuca, Hidalgo, Mexico. When Diana first arrived to the U.S. she was monolingual Spanish speaker, along with most of her family. As an immigrant, she experienced first hand the need for language access in schools. Diana was formally trained as a Social Justice Interpreter in 2014, which increased her awareness of the importance of language access in her community to advance social justice. Diana is a first generation college student who obtained an associate’s degree in science from North Central Texas College and a bachelor’s degree in political science/legal studies from Texas Women’s University. Currently, Diana is working toward a master’s degree. On her free time, she loves to do outdoor activities such as hiking, running, bicycling. She also enjoys reading and watching basketball.


Charles Rand


Charles Rand  grew up in San Diego, California. He holds a BA in Spanish and French Comparative Literature from the University of California, and two masters: one in Spanish Literature from Harvard University, and the other in Language Education from the University of Texas, Austin. Having lived in Spain and Mexico for nearly 7 years, he has native-like Spanish fluency. He teaches Spanish at Austin Community College and Huston-Tillotson University. Charles has also completed classes in language interpretation, and views accurate interpretation as essential in providing assistance to those who cannot make their voices heard  without a linguistic intermediary. Charles loves reading in Spanish and traveling. He is a member of the board of the non-profit 501c3, Austin Tan Cerca de la Frontera, atcf.org.


Hilda Gutiérrez

Interpreter and Translator

Hilda Gutiérrez is a native of the Rio Grande Valley and the daughter of Mexican immigrants. The Valley is a unique community where culture and language expression in English and Spanish exist symbiotically. Many of Hilda’s family members are monolingual Spanish speakers living in the U.S., including her mother. As a result, Hilda is personally invested in ensuring language access to monolingual Spanish speakers.  Hilda began her contract work as an interpreter in 2006 when she was living in New Mexico where she received her Master of Arts in Latin American Studies from the University of New Mexico in Albuquerque. She began to translate documents from English to Spanish then to offer simultaneous interpretation at social justice events. She was formally trained as a Social Justice Interpreter in 2014 and joined the Austin Language Justice Collective later that year. On her free time, she loves to cook, practice yoga and go on nature walks with close friends.