Organizing Dialogue, Experience and Knowledge for Complex Problem-Solving

at Angela’s table

July 15th, 2005

If I’m not mistaken, the consensus was that Angela’s invitation was intended as a spur to good behavior…it sure kept me in line all conference long! 😉 (I could have been in worse company; I remember Carolyn flexing her triceps for us at CIT last year…)
She’s a good prez, that chick – bringing in non-signing stakeholders to share in the inner workings of RID and bask in the glow of our professional camaraderie. The whole Board received acknowledgement throughout the conference, but I think what many of us are wondering is whether Glenace shaved off that purple hair or not?!

Apparently there was no way to count, but there was a deliberate effort to expand Deaf attendance and certainly some folk noticed it. It’s a positive trend in the organization, but I also noticed a lot of folk missing: people who’ve been advocates and activists for many years. There’s definite growth in ways that deepen the institutional clout of the organization as a professional lobby (which helps in advocating access and equality issues with other institutions), and . . . maybe I’m just unused (!) to such a large meeting occurring with only one major, public rift (the VRS/VRI debate yesterday in the business meeting) and that rift not rippling out to affect most members of the organization. I’m impressed. 🙂
And, I wonder – is this because of a certain maturing of the most active elements of the membership as a whole, a closure around the limits of dissent, some other factors that I’m completely unaware of, or a combination of these? Was the issue around the Video Interpreting Committee a kind of holdover “protest” transferred from other historical issues? I don’t know the people involved at all, so my speculation is just that – speculation at the most general level of macro-organizational dynamics.
At any rate, the conference felt calm, overall, and I think that may be healthy for us. A period of re-grounding, re-grouping, re-evaluating….as Angela listed, there has been an impressive list of accomplishments and new initiatives that are the culmination of years of discussion. Maybe there’s a bit of “wait-and-see”? I would say that we have a lot of which to be proud, and there’s still a long way to go.

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