The Gracious Mind would like to explicitly acknowledge the lack of visible racial diversity in our workshop presenters at our upcoming Connect2Care Virtual Conference. We recognize that this is problematic, and it is representative of the greater issues related to attracting and engaging diverse professionals in interpreting fields, which is primarily comprised of white, abled, cisgender women.
The primary reason for the selection of presenters is related to funding, as our conference has not been able to allocate payment for presenters this year. Due to lack of funding, our volunteer presenters come from within the TGM organization, and many of our BIPoC team members are otherwise committed on the weekend of the conference (check out the conference to see their work). We do not believe it would be just or appropriate to ask BIPoC professionals outside our organization to provide their labor with no compensation, as this has historically been a method of perpetuating white supremacy. We do, however, believe it is appropriate to clearly identify this barrier to diversity, and to state our intentions around it.
Just this week, we received a generous sponsorship donation from SWOP USA. We are incredibly grateful and humbled to receive this support, and we stand committed to justice and equity alongside SWOP and our other sponsors. Because of this donation, we will now be able to compensate presenters and interpreters, in addition to developing other types of outreach!!
All presenters at this weekend’s conference have agreed to donate their unexpected compensation back to C2C in order to launch a new fund designed to support and elevate BIPoC interpreter trainees via scholarship funds, mentorship, and/or support for expenses such as books and fees. The structure of this program is in process right now, however, we would like to be transparent about our intentional outreach and advocacy efforts to reduce barriers to the profession, address white supremacy and ableism in the field, and to continue to uphold our commitment to investing in our communities.
We are excited to grow this conference and the C2C mentorship program into a robust, diverse, and inclusive experience, and we will not shy away from discussing difficult topics. For more information about how Connect 2 Care is addressing systemic barriers in the field of interpreting, please visit our website at thegraciousmind.com/c2c, and you can read more about our values and mission here.