As a member-driven organization, NAJIT is only as strong as the involvement of its members. Serving on a committee will allow you to know more about the life of our Association and, at the same time, NAJIT will greatly benefit from your insights and contributions.
Committee work is usually carried out under the guidance of the Chair (or co-Chairs), who in some cases is a member of the Board of Directors. Communication will be via email and periodic conference calls. The time commitment will vary based on the specific projects and on the time of the year. For example, the Conference Committee will be busiest from October to January. If you have any questions about the time commitment for serving on any committee, please contact the committee chair.
The following committees have been created to help in the advancement of the association and the translation and interpretation professions. Ad Hoc committees are created as needed by the board of directors, and all others are permanent committees named in the Bylaws.
Sandro Tomasi, Chair
Barbara Hua Robinson
Robert Joe Lee
Sandra DeJeux, Chair
Andy Benzo, Chair
Armando Ezquerra Hasbun, Chair
James Plunkett, III
Steven Mines, Chair
Garrett M. Bradford
Francesca Samuel, Chair
Ismail Bawdin Charania
Cherubin Nadège Merceron
Carmelina Cadena, Consultant
Hebba Abulsaad, Chair
Heidi Cazes-Sevilla, Chair
Editor-in-Chief- Salua Kamerow
Editor & Proofreader-
Editors & Researchers-
Giovanna L. Lester, Co-Chair
Francesca Samuel, Co-Chair
Blog Sub Committee-
Giovanna L. Lester
Jennifer de la Cruz
Armando Ezquerra Hasbun
Giovanna L. Lester
Teresa Salazar, Chair
Lili Selden, Chair
Maria (Charo) Gamez
The Advocacy Committee focuses on policies that affect the profession, including access to language services for individuals with Limited English Proficiency (LEP). The committee helps monitor and analyze public policies, government initiatives, and press coverage of matters relevant to the legal interpretation and translation professions. The committee also advises the board of directors on responses to issues and requests for comment by government agencies. The advocacy committee educates the general public regarding Title VI LEP policies and works in conjunction with the Bench & Bar committee in support of their educational efforts in that same area. Medical Advocacy is a new sub-committee of Advocacy. See the description provided.
The Bench and Bar Committee has a particular interest in educating judges, attorneys, and other legal professionals on the importance of using certified/qualified interpreters in the judiciary. This committee has already completed a training module for judges and lawyers, including infographics that are easily distributed in person and online with the purpose of improving the attorney-client interaction that requires the use of an interpreter.
The Bylaws and Governance Committee reviews NAJIT’s bylaws and recommends changes to the board of directors as appropriate. It also proposes policies and procedures for strengthening NAJIT governance and consults with the Nominations Committee to ensure the best possible practices for NAJIT elections.
The Conference Committee plans, schedules, and organizes NAJIT’s annual conference in close coordination with NAJIT’s Executive Director, Administrator, and Board of Directors, including recruiting and selecting speakers, exhibitors, advertisers, and sponsors. The committee collaborates with NAJIT’s Administrator and Treasurer to prepare the conference budget and P&L projections for Board approval. Additional duties include brainstorming entertainment activities, coordinating with local T&I groups, and providing outreach to colleagues and members of the legal community. The committee also coordinates volunteers who assist NAJIT staff members at the conference.
The Elections Committee works in conjunction with the Nominations Committee to ensure the annual election of board members is held within the parameters of NAJIT’s bylaws, and announces election results during the annual meeting.
The Immigration Interpreting Committee contributes to strengthening NAJIT’s voice in policy related to interpreting and translation in immigration-related settings. The committee also has an interest in training interpreters and translators who provide services in this field.
The Languages of Limited Diffusion Committee focuses on providing support and guidance for interpreters who speak African languages or indigenous languages of the Americas, including training for interpreters and court administration and staff on the identification of regional variants of various African languages or indigenous languages of the Americas. The committee is working to set forth best practices in the use of interpreters on-site, as compared to remotely by phone or video, and to educate the membership and public as to the languages of limited diffusion that are common to their region and how to identify the specific languages. They will also prepare position papers as requested by the Board of Directors, in conjunction with the Advocacy Committee.
This subcommittee will monitor developments affecting the practice of translators and interpreters in healthcare settings while promoting both professions in coordination with the Advocacy Committee. The committee will help to keep the board apprised of current events and collaborate in supporting the interests of the membership.
The Membership Committee works to increase awareness of NAJIT among a wide array of stakeholders by working on initiatives to increase and retain membership; ascertains that NAJIT membership materials are available at translation and interpreting events; staffs the NAJIT table at major conferences; and helps develop a database of potential members.
The Nominations Committee assures member awareness of and involvement in NAJIT’s electoral process, by:
The Position Papers Committee is the authoritative repository of academic, peer-reviewed research and reference materials that explore standards of practice, best practices, ethics and technical issues related to interpreting and translation. Existing position papers can be found on the website under the Resources tab. Position papers are invaluable tools for educating stakeholders, the public, and for empowering members to promote best practices. Members are encouraged to contact the committee chair to suggest potential topics, and to collaborate in developing new position papers, as well as updating existing ones.
The Proteus newsletter is one of the major benefits to NAJIT members. The work of the Proteus Committee is to:
The Social Media Committee is tasked with keeping the flow of communication between members, stakeholders, and the Board across all platforms. NAJIT currently has a presence on Twitter, Facebook, YouTube, LinkedIn, and our blog, The NAJIT Observer. The Social media committee members contribute research, editorials, blogs, social media posts, and other forms of communications as appropriate. The Social Media Committee also coordinates the posting of other committees’ events and publications on all of NAJIT’s social media platforms.
The Education and Training Committee develops a range of education and training opportunities for members (and non-members), including webinars and workshops on topics such as translation, transcription, note-taking, among others. An additional goal for the 2018-2019 year is to establish criteria for continuing education requirements for all legal interpreters and define the requirements for NAJIT CEUs.