Languages are fundamentally linked to arts and culture, and ELA is deeply engaged with the music, literature, performance, and artistic traditions encoded and expressed in endangered languages.
ELA's network provides community-based translation and interpretation services to government agencies at both the local and national level in a wide range of Indigenous and minority languages that few for-profit translation companies support.
ELA is committed to mapping urban linguistic diversity, representing many of the smaller, minority, and Indigenous languages that are primarily oral and have neither public visibility nor official support.
By researching and advocating together with minority language communities, ELA seeks to change policy, in New York City and other multilingual cities, to improve municipal support for linguistic diversity.
Part of ELA's mission is to offer a range of public programming for a general audience interested in language issues and specifically lesser-known languages and language endangerment.
In addition to its community work, ELA is a research hub for scholars working on a range of issues from language documentation to multilingualism, language policy, language and health, and much more.
ELA assists with community-based language revitalization efforts when possible, bringing linguistic knowhow and resources to where communities need it most.
ELA serves as a platform for a range of special projects depending on community interest and on circumstances that may arise, such as the COVID-19 pandemic.