The RID Board is delighted to announce the selection of Erica West Oyedele as the new Region V Representative. She will serve out the remainder of the term from LaVona Andrew, who was elected as Member-At-Large.
We wanted to share her application materials to the Board, so you can get a better idea why we’re excited to welcome her. She will be at the RID National Convention (RIDNOLA15), and will be sworn in there.
Here’s her submission to the Board in support of her candidacy.
Erica West Oyedele
Certified since 2008
RID member since 2004
Vision Summary: To collaborate with multiple communities, to acknowledge and understand their cultures, and to encourage a multicultural dialogue that leads to a more effective organization and more culturally competent practitioners. I believe this vision is shared among many within Region V.
Vision for Serving as RID Region V Representative
(Image description: Erica West Oyedele, a Black female, is wearing a black shirt with a gray jacket. She is signing in front of a solid pale green background.)
Vision for Serving as RID Region V Representative – English Version
Hello, my name is Erica West Oyedele. I am from Northern California and I was raised here in Sacramento. I was formerly involved with my local affiliate chapter SaVRID (Sacramento Valley Registry of Interpreters for the Deaf) and held the positions of Treasurer, Vice President, and President. Each was a two-year term. I was also an active member on the RID Region V President’s council during my term as President of SaVRID.
In responding to the question of “what is my vision for RID?” I think about the boards identified values from 2013: roots, respect, relevance and results. Roots means remembering our history. For me, this means that we need to acknowledge our full range of history within RID, including that of the consumers we serve. This also means reaching out to various communities to understand more about their histories and experiences. Taking the time to pay attention, listen and learn from these communities is a sign of respect. This allows us to strengthen our interpersonal relationships and opens us up to new possibilities.
In terms of relevance, I would like to see more candid discussions about the impact of culture. Culture impacts all aspects of our work such as how we provide services and the way we make decisions while on the job, and therefore, there is an impact to the consumers we serve as well. Our field has a history of focusing on the Deaf-hearing binary in terms of culture as evidenced by comments such as “we are a bi-lingual, bi-cultural community.” I argue that being bi-lingual and bi-cultural is the minimum requirement for being effective as an interpreter. There are plenty of interpreters who know 3 or more languages, and most of us have multicultural backgrounds, and we bring all of this with us while we are on the job and when we are making decisions about the direction of the field and RID as an organization. For this reason we need to consider more deeply, how culture impacts our work, and that’s intersectionality; how does who I am influence the field?
Finally, with the above in mind, as far as results go, I would like to see us become more culturally competent as an organization and as practitioners. This means more than just an awareness of other cultures, but seeking to understand their values and taking action, which requires that we pay attention and listen to the communities that we serve, as I referenced earlier. This will allow us to change as an organization, how we provide services and how we understand the field of interpreting.
Paying attention to what it is that our communities have to say, learning, and then taking action is my vision for RID, and I believe that many in RID Region V share this vision. This is why I look forward to becoming the next RID Region V Representative.
Erica West Oyedele, MA, NIC, EIPA
Certified ASL-English Interpreter