The Duality of the Sign Language Interpreter

June 5, 2012

Interpreters live with a constant internal struggle between intent and impact, perception and reality, Jekyll and Hyde. Aaron Brace confronts some of these pitfalls and realizations while taking stock of interpreters’ relationships to whom we serve.

Before I can even consider being an ally to Deaf people in the face of societal audism, as a sign language interpreter I must address another overlooked and, at times, more pernicious enemy—the sign language interpreting profession itself.

Enemy is, perhaps, too strong a word for the darker side of my role in Deaf people’s lives, but as it stands in counterpoint to the term ally, I find it opens a useful a window into the duality of my role. I’d like to share some traces of this shadowy figure that I’ve spotted in the mirror over the last thirty years in both my interpreting process and my doing business as an interpreter. I learned to manage parts of this enemy long ago, while in other ways he will always challenge me.

The Enemy Lurks in My Interpreting Process

Inspiring trust and delight in my customers happens, rather paradoxically, more easily when they feel I understand that there’s no real reason they should trust me, and that the reason for my presence, at all, is something less than delightful. They need me to be aware that I come with potentially harmful side effects.

Put another way, I sometimes feel I’m like Dr. Jekyll, keeping Mr. Hyde on a strong, short leash.  As did Dr. Jekyll, I have to keep this lurking enemy to heel, because he:

Tends to Monopolize Deaf People’s Time, Attention, and Space.

I’ve come to understand that my habit of making a bee-line to a Deaf person’s cubicle and cheerily plopping myself down in the guest chair to start establishing our working relationship is often, well … annoying. The first time I took it upon myself to acknowledge he might be busy and offered to wait elsewhere, the Deaf person’s sense of surprise and relief was palpable. This has led me to look for other instances where my presence or my good intentions get in my customers’ way and can be managed less obtrusively.

This tendency also manifests itself in how I approach prep. My insistence on time to prepare with a speaker may prioritize my need for confidence in the quality of my product over the speaker’s need for confidence in hers. Insistence on advance prep can also have the effect of implying either that I’m not confident in my comprehension of the source language or that I suspect that the speaker won’t express herself well. Also, I may over-estimate how much my product improves as a result of the preparation I demand.

Overestimates His Centrality to the Relationships Between Deaf and Hearing People.

I think he must have had a hand in writing the RID Philosophy Statement:

The philosophy of RID is that excellence in the delivery of interpretation and transliteration services between people who are deaf or hard of hearing and people who are hearing, will ensure effective communication.” 

On some level I truly want to believe in this. If I don’t, how do I have the nerve to interpret at all?  But my customers are not well served by a quasi-messianic philosophy that valorizes my role far above theirs. It’s also simply inaccurate; customers often communicate effectively despite my excellent service rather than because of it. They also, due to forces beyond the reach of my service, can end up not communicating effectively.

Is a Fundamentalist in His Adherence to Interpreting Models.Duality of the Sign Language Interpreter

I am tempted to embrace new wisdom on effective practice in a way that stigmatizes older wisdom as outdated and oppressive. I believe that fully empowered customers may still request that I perform more like what we’d call a machine or a conduit. Even as I understand that some customers express such a preference because that’s all they think sign language interpreters can do, or they think they’re doing me a favor in making my job “easier.” My Mr. Hyde and I go ’round and ’round over whether it’s more oppressive to comply with requests that might stem from internalized oppression or an incomplete understanding of one’s options, or to presume that it’s even my place to try to “diagnose” such things.

Is Wired to Privilege Auditory Input Over Visual Input.

I realized at one point that my default strategy for managing turn-taking was to always finish what the hearing person said before attempting to get the floor for the Deaf person. On one hand, it merely revealed my auditory bias.  On the other, it perpetuated the notion that the hearing person was the holder of knowledge, and the Deaf person was the needy receptacle. Once I realized this input bias and its implication, I over-compensated by stridently talking over hearing people the second a Deaf person raised her hands. While I’ve since greatly improved the equitability of my turn-taking management, I’ve only very recently learned that I maintain eye-contact in a way that doesn’t accurately convey the availability of the floor in ASL-discourse, depriving Deaf people of cues that would help them manage graciously taking the floor for themselves.

The upshot:  The choices I make in the name of effective practice almost always come with potentially dangerous side-effects that I must predict and be prepared to mitigate.

The Enemy Lurks in the Business of Interpreting

For several decades, interpreting has been a viable profession for me due to my having appropriate education, skills, and credentials. Because it has been viable for so long, I’ve never been forced to think much about this Mr. Hyde-like enemy and his conception of what I do as a profession, a career, and a business. There is a need to confront this enemy because he:

Expects His Degree and Professional Credential to Command Respect. 

I wonder if it was necessary, in order to put forth the immense effort needed to earn a degree and professional certification, to believe that these things say more about my ability than they really do. Hearing people, including my family members and the people who are usually responsible for hiring me, typically consider me an expert because I have a degree and a certification after my name. It’s tempting for me to do the same. It’s tempting to resent having to prove myself anew to each customer and each colleague I meet. It’s tempting to feel betrayed by the institutions that authorized my entry to practice, knowing that savvy customers consider me competent in spite of my paper qualifications, not because of them.

Is Rigid About Best Practices and Industry Standards.

There’s a fine line between what I need in order to do my work well and what I want in order to make it easier. I often lose sight of that line. I insist on industry standards like going rates, cancellation policies, two-hour minimums, and best practices like requiring a teammate and prep materials as if these were all cast in stone, even at times when there might be a good reason to waive or modify them. I also don’t want to legitimize disreputable agencies that don’t follow standards, even when this may cause customers whose are stuck with those agencies to suffer. This is another issue on which this Mr. Hyde like character and I go ’round and ’round.

Maintains Faulty Expectations of a Profession, a Career and a Business.

I was raised to expect that a profession would provide all of my material comfort, and that at some point I would cease having to defend or prove my expertise. I expected I could pursue a career ladder in my own best interests, and that there would always be a higher rung to reach for. I expected that as a businessman I would be expected to prioritize maximizing profit, at least slightly, ahead of all other considerations.

These unexamined expectations clash with my reality even during flush times, but significantly more so in the current economic climate, with an ever-expanding roster of gatekeepers to the work. The situation has become dire for some colleagues, and the volume of my work is trending in same direction. What happens when my profession can no longer provide the same income? How do I continue to provide customer-centered service while dealing with the financial hardship, the blow to my professional ego, and the feeling of betrayal by my industry?

I think that understanding and seriously altering my expectations, learning to live with less to the extent that I can, is the best thing I can do to avoid having to make choices out of desperation while I work with my community to make things better. I also wonder whether it’s viable to continue bringing new practitioners into the field, or into specific markets, expecting that we will all continue to be able to support ourselves solely as sign language interpreters.

The upshot:  A schema roughly bounded by concepts like profession, career, and business fosters expectations of the rewards for my work- expectations of which I’m mostly unaware, yet which can thwart the interests of my customers.

Living With Duality

One last observation about this enemy in the mirror: he resists thinking about issues like these because he thinks they entail a life of constant apology.

I’m not sure I’ll ever fully understand my duality as both ally and enemy in the lives of Deaf people without some measure of guilt. Like many members of privileged groups, I hope to learn the right way to behave toward an oppressed group—once— and never again have to feel unsure of myself or guilty about my privilege. I seek constant validation as “one of the good ones.”  I believe this takes a psychic toll on Deaf people, though—even those who know me well and truly value what I have to offer—when I deny there’s a shadow cast by even my worthiest efforts.

I can only hope to be an effective ally against an enemy opposing Deaf people’s interests when I understand how “he is us,” and in some ways always will be.  When I demonstrate a fuller understanding of both what I give and what I take, it is returned by Deaf people, not with a sneering pleasure at my knowing my place, but with greater trust, friendship, and welcome.

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51 Comments on "The Duality of the Sign Language Interpreter"

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Member

I LOVE this take on our profession! I was often at odds with my “other self” as I began this career 16 years ago and the battle wages on. Thank you for this article and putting these thoughts down on paper so eloquently.

abrace
Member
Aaron Brace

Thanks for reading and responding, Sharon. You know what they say: Keep your friends close and your enemies closer. I think that the biggest stumbling block we often face is the hope that at some point we can win the battle and be free of this “enemy”.
Thanks again,
Aaron

Member
Marina McIntire

Aaron! You give an old woman hope for the future. I (and my colleagues) have experienced the same dichotomies and have discussed them at length. It is a joy to know that I don’t have to polish the writing, since you have said what I wanted to — and did the job so much better!

It is reassuring to me that you and others like you are still active in the field.

Thanks for your observations!

abrace
Member
Aaron Brace
Hi Marina, Thanks for the vote of confidence! This is actually an effort on my part toward become more active in the field, beyond my direct work as a practitioner. I’ve been reticent, as the only way I can think to do it at this point in my life is through self-disclosure, which may or may not be as helpful as academic insight. I figure, though, that if I sense internal conflicts that people feel but don’t acknowledge, or acknowledge but don’t share, it’s up to me to take a stab at it by bringing my own internal conflicts into… Read more »
Member

I applaud your courage, Aaron and am grateful for your willingness to step up and self-disclose – I personally find it very helpful indeed. I don’t think self-disclosure and academic insight have to be mutually exclusive, but can, in fact, inform each to the other. Only when we see the Truth of each, can we begin to move forward in new and insightful ways. Thanks for initiating this dialogue and giving us all reason to pause and reflect.

abrace
Member
Aaron Brace
Thanks, Amy. I agree that self-disclosure and academic insight are both crucial for our continued understanding of this work we do, and I think that too few people, once established in their careers, attend to either. We have to get at the root(s?) of why such things appear threatening to so many of our colleagues. At a panel presentation here in the San Francisco Bay Area last fall, entitled “Interpreters through Deaf Eyes”, Deaf people shared their frustrating experiences with interpreters at different times in their lives. While I believe that most of us found it illuminating and were grateful… Read more »
Member

It’s tempting to focus on the clever, concise, exact, and frankly enjoyable prose in Aaron’s polished article. The content is, of course, even more important than the skilled presentation. Aaron’s way of clarifying this duality with the Jekyll/Hyde metaphor is helpful to me in my continuing struggle of adapting my practice to needs of the diversity of individuals for whom I work at any given time in any given situation. These judgements are exactly why we are professionals. Great article!

abrace
Member
Aaron Brace
Hi, Bill, My thanks to you, as well, for taking the time to read and comment on the piece. I’d love to take credit for its conciseness, but that’s largely due to Brandon’s invaluable input. I sometimes think of Dr. Jekyll as the brains and Mr. Hyde, the muscle. In some ways I think I *do* need some of my faulty expectations and lofty opinions of what I do; without them I might not have the necessary confidence and energy to do much of anything at all. My, I do have a way of wringing every last drop out of… Read more »
Member

Very well-done, Aaron! Thank you for articulating the struggle. I particularly appreciated your comments on trust, and on prep time.

abrace
Member
Aaron Brace
Thanks, Rubin. The dynamic of trust could be (maybe already is?) a book unto itself. I’m constantly amazed by how much of it we get from both Deaf and hearing people- though I guess it’s mostly because they don’t feel they have any other choice. Rare instances occur for them to get useful data when live captioning is being provided as we interpret, or when, as one extremely savvy Deaf person has arranged, one interpreter transliterates back what the other interpreter is generating from ASL into English. Mostly, they have to derive their trust in us in a way similar… Read more »
Member
Karen Malcolm

Thank you so much for a moving, eloquent and thought inspiring piece. I, too, have been in the field for 30 years, and am also an interpreter educator. You’ve articulated misgivings that I’ve had, in a much clearer way than I’ve been able to. Much gratitude!

abrace
Member
Aaron Brace

Hi, Karen,

I’m so glad you connected to what I wrote. One hopes that with longevity in the field comes greater understanding of the scope of what one doesn’t know, and that the task of interpreting up to the standard set by the RID Philosophy Statement is, ultimately, impossible.

Cheers,
Aaron

awilliamson
Member
Amy Williamson
Aaron, A big hello to you and an even bigger thank you! You have said many things in your article that resonate but I am compelled to reply after reading two things in your responses to others that resonate even more for me. In your response to Marina (hi Marina), you speak of self disclosure as a way to move the field forward and get involved. I, too, have taken this tack more and more often with interesting responses. This ‘softer’ side of the work we do is actually the most important aspect of our field. Impossible to measure, to… Read more »
abrace
Member
Aaron Brace
Hi Amy, It’s wonderful to hear from you! Self-disclosure and grasping how little one knows are both antithetical to the ways I was taught to think of who I am as an interpreter. I was actually trained to think as little about myself as possible; let alone feel- or worse, express- doubts about myself and the larger endeavor I’m engaged in. This level of false confidence, that I think at some level I’ve always known was false, closed me off from the people who relied on me. Being able to remain accessible and responsive in the broadest possible range of… Read more »
Member
Lynetta Martin

Thoroughly enjoyed the article! The section on wants vs. needs in regard to industry standards gave me a reason to stop and think about the reasons for standards, when and how the standards came into being, and when and how to be flexible. Very interesting.

abrace
Member
Aaron Brace
Hi, Lynetta, Thanks for reading and posting. I’m glad you mentioned how our standards “came into being”, as I’ve long had a theory about that. I believe that Deaf people largely supported our nascent professionalism, hourly rates and industry standards because they felt that was all fair exchange for our volunteer work and other investments we made in the community. That and the fact that community interpreters couldn’t count on billing anything near 40 hours per week when there first started being full-time community interpreters. But our opportunities grew. Hiring us even became required by law! The more we pushed… Read more »
Member
Susan Stange
Hello Aaron, This is, for me, a thoughtful and thought producing article. Two points you make, one in the piece and a second in the comments thread, struck me hardest. ” My Mr. Hyde and I go ’round and ’round over whether it’s more oppressive to comply with requests that might stem from internalized oppression or an incomplete understanding of one’s options, or to presume that it’s even my place to try to “diagnose” such things.” I don’t know how many times in the last 20 years I have smugly thought and even audaciously said out loud “oh, he wants… Read more »
abrace
Member
Aaron Brace
Hi, Susan Thanks for sharing your own internal struggles. The first point you responded to is an example of what I think of as our “multi-valent cognitive dissonance”. We have to be prepared to hold several conflicting truths in our minds and hearts all the time: I’m the expert/Except when I’m not/XYZ choices foster Deaf people’s empowerment/ABC choices are what this individual wants/ABC and XYZ are mutually exclusive/maybe this individual has just never seen XYZ/maybe this individual knows more about ABC than I do…. and it goes on and on. Even as we learn from our local Deaf community and… Read more »
Member

Thank you for your thoughtful and transparent reflections Aaron! Jekyll and Hyde are alive and well in many professions where collaborating with others is part of the job. Working with ‘communities’ always opens the door to generalization, assuming everybody’s preferences are the same. Awareness of this tendency along with the ability to ‘read’ the other person and inquire as to their personal preferences is ideal. Thank you for bringing this topic to the surface. I’m sure many interpreters can relate.

abrace
Member
Aaron Brace
And thank you for reading and replying! Forgive me if I’m taking your words to an extreme you didn’t intend, but they brought to mind things I’ve encountered in myself at various time throughout my career. I’ve found myself trying to understand the challenges facing me in terms of what I already knew about collaborating in general or of working with any community other than my own. The nature of our collaboration and the community/-ies we serve, though, require a very different approach, with introspection that goes beyond an understanding of “me” and “generic other” (my term, not yours). This… Read more »
Member
Laurie Meyer
Aaron – It is so inspiring to again hear your wisdom. Street Leverage is offering conversations that have been missing, and are vital, to maintaing a profession that aspires to remembering the very privileged and delicate place we have in the lives of Deaf people. Your contribution is one that invites both introspection and a how-to approach. Though any verb describing our relationship to the role of ally will always be coupled with “-ing”, you have, as you did almost 20 years ago, gracefully and graciously reminded us of the challenges we can easily overlook. I’ve forwarded your article to… Read more »
abrace
Member
Aaron Brace
Hi, Laurie! While I won’t pretend that I’m just thinking out loud here- I do hope there’s some inspiration and wisdom to be found in what I’ve shared- I am humbled by any and all who it take that way, and welcome those who don’t to share their thoughts, too. If there’s one thing I want us all to consider it’s that in order to do our work effectively and with the appearance of simplicity, we must never stop rooting around in its booby-traps and contradictions. Do you (or does anyone reading this) know of curricula in any IPPs that… Read more »
Member
Terri Hayes
Greetings Aaron (wow long time – dont know if you remember me) – but yes – I am not a formal IPP – but I am now teaching interpreters (and have been for about 10 years)… and many of the ideas you have presented in both your article and your followup comments are ideas that I speak with to my students – regularly (and redundantly – so they say – smile & wink!). It has been occasionally difficult for me to express the HOW when speaking of the need to be comfortable with the “cognitive disonance” that laces itself into… Read more »
abrace
Member
Aaron Brace
Hi Terri! Thanks for posting! I’m not sure the “how” of navigating our cognitive dissonance can even begin to be understood until one personally knows a lot of Deaf and hard of hearing people and clocks a lot of hours of service to a wide variety of people. The analogy that keeps coming back to me is the story of the blind men and the elephant. When I visited the Wikipedia page on the story (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Blind_men_and_an_elephant), two quotes really struck me: Denying something you cannot perceive ends up becoming an argument for your limitations. (unattributed) “We have to remember that… Read more »
Member
Terri Hayes

I think we can learn to navigate “cognitive disonance” – not by pre-concieving what might cause it for us (that recognition and working through, indeed must come from experience and reflection)… but to undertstand that it will happen… and it is uncomfortable… but that, that discomfort does not mean you’re a terrible interpreter – it is a moment when, whether through mistake or success) you will come to be a better one.

abrace
Member
Aaron Brace
Hi again, Terri, I agree that we ultimately have to be prepared for a certain level of cognitive dissonance as a way of being, regardless of its source, but I’m wondering if, by identifying and analyzing some common causes of it, we can shorten the time it takes students and new practitioners to find their comfort with it in any form. I also agree that the discomfort with cognitive dissonance doesn’t make you a terrible interpreter (if there were no discomfort, there’d be no dissonance, after all). It’s the urge to resolve it (remove the discomfort) in one way at… Read more »
Member
Aaron – there is so much freedom provided in the honesty of this expression and self examination, and so much joy in the sheer beauty of your articulation of it; the bittersweet and unpleasant does not disappear, as it should not. Thank you for the impact and subsequent inspiration to, as you say, keep rooting about… your thoughts have cleared the path to new daylight on several subjects that are so very critical to my place in this work and community. “Multi-valent cognitive dissonance” – holding conflicting truths in heart and mind – this dialogue is a gift that keeps… Read more »
abrace
Member
Aaron Brace
Hi, Kendra, Thanks for your kind words, and for bringing your insight into DC-S into the discussion. I freely admit that I’ve spent far less time with DC-S than you or, I’m sure, many others who read Street Leverage. My exposure has always been to it’s application to the demands we face in the setting, the participants, our immediate internal factors, etc. I’m wondering if any curricula out there bring students through a formalized analysis of the things they may not realize they’re expecting from their Chosen Career based on their early enculturation, and the ways those expectations might best… Read more »
Member
Aaron, Thank you for bringing up this topic and discussing it so well. I wanted to comment on the “multi-valent cognitive dissonance” idea. After 35 years I am still deeply engaged with the interpreting process, still trying to figure it out, moment by moment, challenged in both good and bad ways. Your analysis is helping me clarify what those variables are – the stuff we juggle when we are making our moment by moment decisions. I agree with Amy Williamson – “our work is complicated, and I am not just talking about language competency in English and ASL.” It’s precisely… Read more »
abrace
Member
Aaron Brace
Hi, Dan, Thanks for your comment. Who, in our generation, knew going into this field that there was much more to it than “keeping up”? Do you (or other readers) feel that more recently minted practitioners have a better handle on, or at least comfort with, the complexity that we continue to find engaging? Certainly, we owe a debt to Robin Dean and Bob Pollard for getting D-CS into our collective consciousness and IPP curricula. I couldn’t agree more with your use of the word “privilege”. That my consumers trust me to so intimately handle their self-expression is more humbling… Read more »
Member
Hi Aaron! Thanks for the post! I have a couple of thoughts: 1. For me, not being the sole breadwinner takes the pressure off financially. I see interpreting as a great supplemental income but not something I would want to depend on, for some of the reasons you mentioned. I really like having the freedom to adjust my work/invoices/rates/timeframes to meet customer needs and not have any agenda besides earning fair wages for fair work. If work slows down, I cook more ;o) I am expendable. 2. I have often thought of the “equipment” analogy for my work. People want… Read more »
Member
Hi again~ Wanted to add: Example of making adjustments: When the state contract came up this year for annual renewal, I decided to reduce my rates a bit. The state employees are going on furlough here and there…seemed appropriate. Other professional fields often include an annual cost of living salary increase (3%?) Independently contracting interpreters do not have industry support for that kind of model. Second thought: I struggle more with the reciprocity issue and how to not have that look like favoritism or trying to curry business. Something I’m trying is having $5 Starbucks cards on hand so that… Read more »
abrace
Member
Aaron Brace
Hi, Shelly, Thanks so much for your thoughtful post. It’s great to see some specific examples of strategies you use to navigate the sometimes choppy waters of our “duality”. You raise a number of interesting points. Your first point brings me back to the idea that maybe we can’t truly be maximally effective with interpreting as the sole source of our income- at least not if we’re intent on making it as profitable as it can be. What other models, if any, might work better than the single-career interpreter? I was taken with the phrase “I am expendable”. That’s part… Read more »
Member
Hi Aaron! Cheers too! I agree about how hard we work to be a quality professional interpreter. I love my work, and know that in many ways it is a luxury for me to have pursued this career. If my husband wasn’t able to provide as well for our family of 5, I might have had to pursue a different, more traditional career. I’ve seen many interpreters struggle to make ends meet as a single parent, when injured, when trying to get certified, with a larger family etc… I am concerned about aging interpreters and their ability to retire. Regarding… Read more »
abrace
Member
Aaron Brace

Thanks again, Shelly! As a brand new member of the AARP, I’m with you in your concern about interpreters approaching retirement. I don’t think we’ve seen more than a generation or two of interpreters actually move into retirement, so many of us don’t feel we have clear paths to follow. It does seem to be changing, as rapidly as the nature of our work and our opportunities to do it are changing.

I like how you summed up the reciprocity idea… couldn’t have said it better myself!

Cheers,
Aaron

Member

Thank you so much Aaron for your very thought-provoking article. I thoroughly enjoyed reading it, and have been excited to see the response from our colleagues. This is a problem that transcends continents and languages.

abrace
Member
Aaron Brace

Hi, Pip,

Thanks for your reply! I, too, have been gratified by all the responses that people have been kind enough to share, including yours. What languages do you work in, and primarily on what continent?

Cheers,
Aaron

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Lisa Jordan
Aaron, Thank you for having the courage to write this piece. It is eloquent, raw, heartfelt, and oh so true. As a late-deafened adult who interpreted part time before losing all hearing, many of your comments pertaining to the Deaf consumer’s feelings hit home for me from both perspectives. I was always aware of the power inherent in the interpreting profession, but those insiduous “auditory biases” often caught me unaware, at least until the oppression had already occurred. Going from being an interpreter to needing an interpreter for myself was an extremely difficult shift in both identity and power dynamics.… Read more »
abrace
Member
Aaron Brace
Hi Lisa, I do remember you and the conference you attended here in SF. Thanks so much for taking the time to read my essay and respond! And thank you for the incredibly kind words. We didn’t get to know each other very well then, so I didn’t know that much about your background. You’ve got a unique perspective as both a provider and recipient of interpreting service. I hope you find a way to put more of your thoughts into a piece to share with us as your colleagues and once (and future?) interpreters. All the best, Aaron
Member
Hi Aaron, we have worked together, and you put my thoughts into English at conferences. I remember very well your moderating one Allies Conference in New Hampshire in the late 1990’s. I think, I know your views of the profession, and I presume you do the same of mine. As I analyzed the issue in an article in the VIEWS of August 1996, there are three spheres to consider for an interpreter who strives to do a complete justice for the deaf consumer as a professional interpreter, so that he not only derives most benefit from the communicative transaction with… Read more »
abrace
Member
Aaron Brace
Hi Harmut, Thanks for contributing your wealth of experience and wisdom to the discussion. I agree with the three spheres you mentioned. The only thing that I would add is that, in addition to the knowledge and experience we need to *add* in order to be effective interpreters, we also need to identify what expectations and cultural norms we need to *subtract* from our reflexes. The interpreters who are best able to manage those subtle and covert ways of being agents for social change are, I believe, as engaged in *un*learning as they are in learning. Thanks again for your… Read more »
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bchall
Member

Aaron,
Thank you for sharing this perspective with such honesty and thought. The complexity of working within an oppressed group as an agent who intends to be an ally often leaves me fumbling. It is so refreshing, validating and thought-provoking to read about your experience and the insights you have gathered. You tackle the large theoretical issues as well as the practical details of our work and its context with such grace. I feel so much gratitude to Street Leverage for creating this space for us to dialogue, and am thankful for your meaningful contribution to the conversation.
Warmly,
Breana

abrace
Member
Aaron Brace
Hi, Breana, Thanks for taking the time to respond. I confess to being caught a bit off-guard by this article being “reprinted”, if you will. I’m grateful to StreetLeverage, too, for inspiring so much dialogue about issues that are very much at the heart of the work we’re all engaged in. In a couple of my replies to comments, I’ve been inspired by turns of speech people have used, not necessarily in the sense that they meant them, so thanks in advance for your indulgence. Part of what I think we need to examine is the degree to which our… Read more »
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