31 Jan NAI National Conference 2023!
Last November I had the opportunity to go to Little Rock Arkansas to attend the 2023 National Alliance of Interpreters Conference. I was so excited to learn from the nation’s best interpreters. This year’s theme was Building Bridges. As Interpreters, we are always trying to build bridges with our audience. We also have a responsibility to build bridges between communities and provide access to underrepresented communities to our sites.
I was so excited to hear from the conference keynote speakers. Minnijean Brown-Trickey. As a member of the Arkansas Nine in Little Rock, Brown-Trickey is a force of resistance and activism. Her dedication to diversity in education and activism was clear through her speech, an amazing way to start the conference. The closing keynote speaker was Spirit Tawfiq, Brown-Trickey’s daughter and a leader in antiracist education and activist herself. For 10 years she worked at the Little Rock Central High School National Historical Site. Here she interpreted the historic event for visitors. She shared her passion for telling these stories, and what it was like to share a story so personal to her family.
There were so many amazing workshops I was able to attend at the NAI conference. Some of my favorites focused on how interpreters worked to uplift and center indigenous stories and voices at their sites and in their programs. I was also able to take a workshop on Nature Bathing. It was great to be able to slow down from the commotion of the conference and just be in nature. I want to include these practices into my own programs in the future!
This year, the conference held the first ever workshop for Spanish speaking interpreters. I was so excited to see it on the agenda! It was so helpful to talk with other interpreters that faced similar obstacles and rewards as I did. This past year at the SNRA was my first giving structures programs in Spanish. It was invaluable to hear that I was not alone in some of the issues I faced.