Torus bridges gaps between people and communities by facilitating transformative experiences of language and culture exchange.
Our primary activity is to offer free one-on-one and community-based, multilevel, group English classes tailored to immigrant and refugee communities which help them develop language and life skills simultaneously to ease how they navigate the US culture and systems.
Bottom Line for Portland
Torus’ programs support our community collectively and build power with other community-based organizations by providing a path to foster learning and growth, ensure an equitable distribution of resources, and build capacity. We do this by providing power to our immigrant and refugee community to teach their language at our weekly language meet-ups, volunteer, and serve as a board member.
This approach of civic engagement promotes ownership that is essential to change and mitigate the barriers of feeling isolated, disconnected, and powerless in a new country. As a result, the long-lasting effects are that immigrant and refugee communities are directly involved in making decisions that affect their communities, feel a sense of belonging and language ownership rather than imitation of the dominant culture.
You can also make a difference in your community by volunteering as a virtual or in-person English class teacher to immigrants and refugees with Torus! Interested applicants do not need to have prior experience as an ESL teacher to get involved.
"Hello, my name is Ruslan, and I’m from Russia. When I arrived in America, I already had a basic understanding of the English language, but I struggled with conversing with people. The Torus language group helped me improve my oral communication skills and gave me the confidence to engage with others.
During individual lessons, I was able to concentrate on areas that were crucial for me. For example, I needed to find a job considering my experience and knowledge. Therefore, the teachers assisted me in honing my knowledge of professional terms, reviewed my resume, and tailored it to local norms. Moreover, they aided me in refining my cover letter and even conducted practice interviews. The teachers at Torus are exceptionally courteous and knowledgeable. They not only make corrections, but also explain why a particular phrase may not be suitable and offer guidance on how to improve it. All of these lessons played a significant role in my successful interviews and ultimately landing a job."
“Hello, my name is Elizabeth, I am from Guerrero, Mexico. I came to the US 17 years ago. I have to work, so I appreciate being able to schedule online classes with Torus. My experience with Torus has increased my confidence in speaking English and I couldn't write via email now I can and I’m available to do an interview. I learn what I can say in the not said. I recommend Torus.”
"Hey guys! My name is Jaqueline and I'm from Brazil. I want to start my testimony by saying a huge thanks for this program. The teachers I've had helped me beyond improving my English skills. Together, we customized our classes according to my personal goals, for example, in my last classes my teacher focused on my job search, so we practiced specific vocabulary, reviewed my resume, and also I received a lot of encouragement. As a result, in few days I got a job! I strongly recommend Torus, and I encourage you to have this experience."
Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion
As an immigrant/refugee led organization, we are creating immigrant refugee leaders who can responsibly address the needs and goals of these communities. We intentionally ask our learners and community leaders of different backgrounds to join us at a board, staff, and volunteer level because we serve those communities. We actively recruit new Board members and specifically, diverse members.
We uphold the following principles in order to advance and expand diversity, equity and inclusion in all our actions & operations:
● Explore underlying, unquestioned assumptions that create or sustain an exclusive environment.
● Embrace diverse peoples and experiences and foster a welcoming environment for all people.
● Identify and dismantle barriers that create and sustain inequities.
● Challenge assumptions about what it takes to be a strong leader at our organization, and who is well-positioned to provide leadership.
● Practice and encourage open and transparent communication in all interactions and encourage a culture wherein oppressive or exclusive policies, practices and behavior will be identified, interrupted, and their negative impacts to all parties repaired and reconciled and that will replace them with liberatory policies, practices and behavior.
Year Founded: 2020
Tax ID: 843045861
Torus is in the Community category which is sponsored by Willamette Week.
They're a little-sized organization with activities in Clackamas Co., Multnomah Co. and Washington Co.