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Region I Representative Lewis Merkin
Region II Representative Randy Chappell

Board Meeting Day 5

Happy first day of Spring. This was our last day of meeting from a productive week full of discussions and decisions. You know, just as the spring represents the new phase of life of the earth around us, so too did our meeting this week represent the budding life of RID.

We started today discussing the future of the co-chair positions on the Transition Team. Currently the co-chairs are Region I Representative Lewis Merkin and Region IV Representative Connie Herdon. Both have decided that they will not be running for re-election for their positions on the Board so their term will expire this summer during their regional conferences. Both demonstrated a willingness to continue as co-chairs, so the Board is excited to report that keeping them on as co-chairs would be the best for the continued work of the Transition Team. They bring so much history, knowledge, and continuity to the work of hiring the Executive Director that we would be at a disadvantage if they did not continue.

Next we moved into power and privilege training with Deaf Member at Large Ritchie Bryant. What a wonderful week of thought provoking discussions he has led. As we talk about Spring, Ritchie plants the seeds for the awareness we need to grow our understanding of ourselves, our privilege, power and of others and their privilege, power and oppression. Today we talked about structural discrimination and how the systems in our world not only provide barriers for some along their journey but puts them at a disadvantage from the very start – and delays or even prohibits their achievement for success.  As we move along in the world, we all sometimes work under the assumption that everyone has the same access to opportunities and services that we have and that makes us jump to quick judgements of others. However, if we realize that their access may be different from ours, maybe we might be less likely to criticize or condemn.

Ritchie gave the Board the opportunity to break into small group discussions about RID’s policies as they to structural discrimination. For example, we looked at demographics as an indicator of our structural discrimination. For those self-identifying – 87% are Euro American/White. Are we satisfied with the demographics of our membership? Is that indicative of the profession? If not, what can we do to make our RID community and the interpreting profession more diverse? What prevents us from growing our diversity in the profession as well as in RID? How do we start the conversation? How do we start to recruit? We need to look at inclusion addressing a variety of areas including cultural norms, education, opportunities and more.

Next, the Board talked about the name for the new testing LLC. While we are still narrowing down the decision, we were able to create a starting point with a brainstorm session of what we want the name to represent to the community.  The Board has HQ to take those ideas and present more formalized names for the Board to consider.

The last item on our agenda was a discussion of our vision for the 2017 conference and provided HQ with some topics on leadership training that we would like them to explore for the agenda. We want to focus on creating an opportunity for people to engage their inner leader at the local, state, regional and national level.

Well, that is it for this Board meeting! Please look for more information in the coming weeks on these decisions and more. Happy Spring.