Mayor’s Office for Immigrant Affairs hires Dr. Monica Lakhwani as first-ever Language Access Coordinator

November 15, 2023

The Mayor’s Office for Immigrant Affairs is pleased to announce the appointment of Dr. Monica Lakhwani as the city’s new Language Access Coordinator.

“The Office for Immigrant Affairs is committed to facilitating equitable access to city programs and services through our Language Access program,” said Amos Izerimana, director, Office for Immigrant Affairs. “Dr. Lakhwani will lead this program to help ensure that Louisville continues to be a welcoming city for all residents.”

In her role, Dr. Lakhwani will work with city government agencies to improve engagement with limited English-speaking residents and ensure meaningful access to programs and activities. The Language Access coordinator will support efforts to develop a comprehensive city-wide language access infrastructure, including the creation of agency-specific plans, reports, evaluations, and recommendations to implement the language access program.

“Dr. Lakhwani's work with newcomer students and families along with her personal experiences continues to inspire her,” said Mayor Craig Greenberg. “We believe that her expertise and experience will be invaluable in ensuring that all members of our organization and society have access to the language services and resources they need to thrive.”

Dr. Lakhwani is a National Diversity Council Certified Diversity Professional (NDCCDP) with years of experience both in education and program development. She comes to Louisville Metro Government (LMG) from Jefferson County Public Schools where she served as the former Multicultural Specialist. Additionally, Dr. Lakhwani has worked with the U.S. Department of State, leading intensive English language projects at the international level. She is a Seeking Educational Equity and Diversity (SEED) trainer and has facilitated justice education cohorts empowering positive change.

“I am excited to be in this new role working with the Office for Immigrant Affairs and the community,” said Dr. Lakhwani. “A new role is not a new beginning; it is part of the journey and a new opportunity to create a new ending.”

Dr. Lakhwani received a bachelor's degree in Psychology and a master’s degree in education from University of Louisville, as well as a doctorate in leadership from Spalding University focusing on cross-cultural studies. Her interests lie in socio-cultural norms, refugee resettlement, and multilingual learners. She is a Fulbright scholar (2022) and received an Emerging Scholar Award to present at University of São Paulo, Brazil (2023) on community equity, access, and opportunity.

She serves as a Humanities/EL adjunct for Jefferson Community & Technical College and on the Programming Committee for Asia Institute-Crane House. She is active with Kentucky Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages (KYTESOL) and continues to participate with the World Affairs Council of Kentucky and Southern Indiana in hosting international hospitality and homestays for students. In her spare time, Dr. Lakhwani loves to read and travel; she is married with three children.

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About the Office for Immigrant Affairs

The Office of Immigrant Affairs is dedicated to promoting the well-being of immigrant communities in Louisville, KY. Our mission is to support and celebrate the importance of our local immigrant communities and help Louisville compete in an international and multicultural world. In June 2018, Louisville became the second city in the U.S. to be named as a “Certified Welcoming City” by Welcoming America, a leading national nonprofit around immigrant support and economic inclusivity. The city obtained its recertification in October 2022. This certification recognizes our commitment to creating a welcoming environment for all residents, regardless of their background.

As a result of Louisville's commitment to equity and inclusion the city’s foreign-born population increased nearly 50% from 2011 to 2021 This growth has added to our cultural vibrancy and contributed greatly to the city’s economic growth.

For more information about the Office of Immigrant Affairs, please visit our website at https://louisvilleky.gov/government/office-immigrant-affairs.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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