About Us
Our State, Our Languages (OSOL) is a coalition of grassroots community organizations that came together in the summer of 2022 following a decade of advocacy related to language access compliance in the state of Tennessee with a focus on drivers’ licenses.


The OSOL collaborative launched as a solid group of organizations that model solidarity across linguistic and cultural backgrounds. Our founding members are: the American Muslim Advisory Council, API Middle Tennessee, Elmahaba Center, Ethiopian Community Association of Nashville, Never Again TN, and Somali Community Center of Middle Tennessee.

Together, we represent hundreds of thousands of taxpayers in Tennessee.


OSOL’s mission is to safeguard national origin civil rights when accessing Tennessee’s Driver’s Services. We achieve this by taking action to request full compliance with language access requirements as mandated by federal law, so that it is representative of the linguistic diversity within our communities.

Why Is Language Access Vital
According to the Migration Policy Institute, in 2022 there were more than 46 million foreign born New Americans legally living in the US, who have come here for varying reasons, including for being displaced because of national disasters, because they are being persecuted, or because they are fleeing armed conflict. Learning a language – such as English – takes a long time, and it is an impossible expectation to ask of someone when they are running for their life.

The unprecedented growth of limited English proficient (LEP) individuals over the last 50 years, has created a communication crisis that affects both newcomers and host communities alike, as they engage in conversations about their needs such as education, finances, health, and safety.


Public transportation in Tennessee is limited and, in a vast number of areas, nonexistent. One must drive to work, drive to buy food, drive to take a sick child to the hospital, and drive to pick up medication for an elderly parent.

Not being able to legally drive means crippling an individual’s opportunity – and their family’s - to be self-sufficient, and thwarting their chance to become productive members of our society.


Additionally, not being able to appropriately communicate when serving those who are LEP, means not being able to perform one’s job at the expected level.

In Numbers

For Tennessee, the data in the table below from the 2022 American Community Survey (US Census Bureau) shows that more than 200,000 New Americans in TN “speak English less than very well”.

Although Kurdish is not identified in the ACS or the US Census Bureau’s data, estimates in media and research papers state that the Kurdish population in Nashville, TN, alone is close to 20,000. See: https://www.tandfonline.com/doi/abs/10.1080/14649360600715151 and https://www.tennessean.com/story/news/local/2023/01/21/kurdish-community-nashville-historical-marker/69828776007/

However, the driver’s license test in Tennessee is only available in English, Spanish, German, Korean, and Japanese. Federal regulations require all other languages listed above to be included as translations for driver’s services – a program of a federally funded department of the state of TN. 


OSOL advocates for language access rights. OSOL advocates for compliance with the law. We take action to safeguard newcomers and receiving communities’ rights alike to live and thrive in Tennessee.

Our Ask
We would be humbled if you showed your alignment with our efforts by providing a ‘Letter of Support’ from your organization. Here is a sample template. Please email your completed and signed letter of support to SANCHEZVEGADIANA at GMAIL dot COM.

Together, let’s drive TN forward!

Our Supporters