Johanna Valle Sobalvarro is the elected Vice-Chairperson of the Interpreters Guild of America, a CWA unit that represents freelancer Interpreters in California. The Guild lobbies to advance language access rights, fair wages and working conditions for contractor interpreters, and the maintenance of high professional standards for interpreters so that vulnerable immigrant communities in need of language services are protected.
Ms. Valle Sobalvarro is an experienced interpreter, an immigrant, a mother, and a life-long advocate for the oppressed. She has worked as a freelance interpreter since 2011. Her experience includes work as a bilingual representative in industries, including telecommunications, banking, and sales. Her personal story explains her drive and passion and her powerful voice she has as an advocate for language access rights. As a political refugee of the Nicaraguan Civil War, Ms. Valle Sobalvarro remembers the frustration, vulnerability and disempowerment she felt upon arriving in the U.S. unable to speak English. That memory stays with her to this day and accounts for the exceptional devotion she brings to her work. From the start of her career as a freelance interpreter, she has volunteered her services to several organizations fighting for immigrant rights, including the asylum program of Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights of the San Francisco Bay Area, the Kids In Need of Defense Fund, (KIND Fund) and the East Bay Sanctuary. All of this work gives her direct and personal experience in advocating for vulnerable individuals.
Ms. Valle Sobalvarro obtained a Legal and Community Interpreting Certificate of Completion at Laney College. She also received an A.A. in Behavioral and Social Sciences from Berkeley City College, and an A.A. in Mexican Studies from Laney College in Oakland, California.