About Us
In the early 1990s, following the devastating May 1991 riots that took place in the Mount Pleasant, Columbia Heights, and Adams Morgan neighborhoods of Washington, DC which resulted from tensions between the African American and Latino communities. Between both communities and area law enforcement, several community residents gathered to discuss how they could help empower the residents of these neighborhoods to view diversity as a strength, not a weakness. In 1997, these community members founded Multicultural Community Service. 

Since its founding, MCS has grown into a strong and stable organization, recognized for its effective research-based programs, commitment to the community, ability to reach and provide services to linguistically marginalized groups, and capacity to equally serve various segments and sectors of Washington's diverse population and professional community. In 2006, MCS was chosen by the US Department of Education to establish Washington DC's Parent Information Resource Center (DC PIRC), thus becoming DC's only organization to serve that function, along with 50 others like it, one in each state. This program ran until 2012.

MCS is unique among Washington DC organizations in its outreach to the diverse communities of DC rather than serving one demographic group.  Among the organization's specific strengths are the following:
  • MCS has earned the respect and trust of the community through its effective programs and successful outreach, which is known to serve those who are hard-to-reach through commitment to one-on-one contact.
  • Through its interpretation and translation services, MCS is able to reach community members in 21 languages, uniquely enabling it to interact with the community in a culturally and linguistically appropriate manner.
  • MCS is progressive and cutting-edge, basing its programs on current academic research and utilizing the latest technology for simultaneous interpretation based on the United Nations' model.

Youth Peace Makers Program

For many years, the Multicultural Community Service provided innovative programming for youth. Washington, DC youth face a number of challenges common to youth in America's inner cities, including family poverty, a sense of lack of opportunity or belief in their own ability to succeed, and exposure to violence, drugs and gang activity. The key to success for these at-risk youth is an understanding that they can succeed academically, economically and personally through positive civic engagement. 

In response to these challenges, MCS created the Youth Peace Makers Program that was implemented for three consecutive summers in 2007, 2008, and 2009. The purpose of Youth Peace Makers program was to provide youth with an intensive summer experience that:

  • Harnessed their energy, idealism and creativity.
  • Provided personal growth activities and forums.
  • Cultivated a sense of belonging to their community through civic engagement projects.
  • Provided college counseling aimed at renewing their commitment to attaining basic schools and focusing on academic achievement.

Lack of resources caused MCS to suspend the program, which it hopes to re-launch when funding becomes available.

Facilitation and Mediation

MCS has a long history providing facilitation and mediation services to the community in an effort to promote civic participation.  Examples include:

Korean Convenience Stores
:  MCS led a successful deep process dialogue to bridge the gap between the primarily Korean convenience store owners in the city and local residents, mostly youth.  This process minimized the conflict between the groups and led to greater cross-cultural understanding in local neighborhoods bridging neighborhood and community leadership.

Parents of Lincoln Middle School: Parents of children attending Lincoln Middle School approached MCS for assistance in identifying a temporary site for the school while it was under construction. MCS provided oral interpreters and facilitated a meeting between parents, DC Councilmember Jim Graham and DC Public School Board Members.

MCS Interpreter Addresses Parents & Youth In Texas

One of MCS' long-time interpreters, Roland Roebuck, conducted a series of parent and student educational workshops for Region 19 of the Migrant Education Program in El Paso, Texas in March 27, 2009. He addressed over one hundred parents of Mexican heritage working in the agricultural sector and with children in the local school system. Mr. Roebuck provided insightful expertise in the areas of parental school engagement, understanding school expectations, effective parental collaboration models and how to create a rich learning environment for their children.

Roebuck also addressed more than 200 High School students as the keynote speaker for the 18th Annual Migrant Student Leadership Conference/Career Day.  He stressed the importance of developing leadership skills, understanding the college application process, finding funding for college, neutralizing negative peer pressure, management of intra-family relations, effective decision making, avoiding at-risk behavior and effective personal planning as tools to success.

"Interpreting for the DC Parent Information Resource Center in the DC School system and dealing directly with Latino parents, gives me in-depth understanding of the critical role parents hold in advancing their children's academic responsibilities and achievements," Roebuck stated.  While Latino parents in the DC metropolitan area contend with inner city school problems, both parents in Texas and DC expressed interest in doing whatever it takes to provide their children with the best learning opportunities possible.

MCS is proud of the excellent work that graduates of it's Interpreter Training are engaged in from various professional fields. Mr. Roebuck received certification from the Language Services Program in Spring of 2008. 

MCS In the News

MCS' parent empowerment trainings and language services have received the following media coverage in the DC community.

December 24, 2009, El Pregonero
"Padres se capacitan para ayudar a sus hijos a lograr exito academico"
DC PIRC - Parents As Partners 

Septemer 25, 2009, Washington Hispanic
"Se graduan 22 interpretes comunitarios en DC"
Language Services Program

September 25, 2009, Tiempo Latino
"Hacer un puente con la comunidad"
Language Services Program

October 15, 2008, El Tiempo Latino
"Para romper las barreras del idioma"
Language Services Program

October 10, 2008, Washington Hispanic
"Se graduan como interpretes en espanol"
Language Services Program

September 15, 2005, Washington Post
"Ready to Speak for the Community"
Language Services Program

Copies of the Multicultural Community Services' IRS Form 990s are available through
www.guidestar.org.  To receive a copy of the organization's audited financial statements or other information regarding governance such as a copy of our conflict of interest policy, please send in your request by email to info@mcsdc.org.

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