NADmag Fall 2020 | Volume 20, Issue 2
A Publication of the National Association of the Deaf NADmag | Fall 2020
ABOUT THE ©2020, is published by the NAD (USA), and is sent as a national membership benefit. For membership information, contact Member/Donor Relations at firstname.lastname@example.org or complete the contact form at: www.nad.org/contactus. Subscriptions: Libraries, schools, and similar institutions may subscribe to NADmag. For more information, complete the contact form at www.nad. org/contactus. Requests for Permission: Materials in this publication may not be reproduced in any form without written permission. Complete the contact form at www.nad. org/contactus or email email@example.com. Advertise in NADmag: For more information, go to www.nad.org/ advertise or email firstname.lastname@example.org. Publication of an advertisement in the NADmag does not imply NAD endorsement of a product or service. The NADmag is not responsible for advertisement contents. The National Association of the Deaf and the NADmag do not endorse or recommend any article, product, service, opinion, advice, statement, or other information or content expressed by third party authors. The views and opinions of such third party authors who have submitted articles to the NADmag belong to them and do not reflect the views of the National Association of the Deaf. ABOUT THE NAD The National Association of the Deaf (NAD) was established in 1880 by deaf leaders who believed in the right of the American deaf community to use sign language, to congregate on issues important to them, and to have its interests represented at the national level. These beliefs remain true to this day, with American Sign Language as a core value. As a nonprofit federation, the mission of the NAD is to preserve, protect, and promote the civil, human, and linguistic rights of deaf and hard of hearing individuals in the United States of America. The advocacy scope of the NAD is broad, covering the breadth of a lifetime and impacting future generations in the areas of early intervention, education, employment, health care, technology, telecommunications, youth leadership, and more. For more information, visit www.nad.org. ABOUT DESCRIBED & CAPTIONED MEDIA PROGRAM Described and Captioned Media Program 1447 E. Main Street, Spartanburg, SC 29307 800.237.6213 / 800.237.6819 TTY 800.538.5636 F email@example.com / www.dcmp.org The DCMP is funded by the U.S. Department of Education and administered by the NAD.
NATIONAL ASSOCIATION OF THE DEAF
8630 Fenton Street, Ste. 820, Silver Spring MD 20910 301.587.1788 / 301.587.1789 TTY firstname.lastname@example.org / CFC Number: 10356 MISSION STATEMENT
To preserve, protect, and promote the civil, human, and linguistic rights of deaf and hard of hearing individuals in the United States of America. CONTACT / LEARN MORE
To contact the Board of Directors, complete the contact form at nad.org/contactus. For information about the Board, visit nad.org/board.
THE BOARD President Melissa Draganac-Hawk Vice President Richard McCowin Secretary Jenny Buechner
Region II Linsay Darnall, Jr. Kevin Ryan
Treasurer Michelle Cline
Region III Steve Hamerdinger Holly Ketchum
Appointed Members Alicia Lane-Outlaw Benro Ogunyipe
Region IV Amy Gomme Martin Price
EDITORIAL TEAM Publisher NAD Chief Executive Officer Howard A. Rosenblum Editor in Chief Lizzie Sorkin Editor Anita Farb Advertising / Sales Donna Morris
Region I Liz Hill Steve Lovi
Desktop Publishing Jill O’Leske, Graphic Designer impactdesign.biz Guests Kyle Amber Clark Theodore “TeddyBoy” Dorsette III Carrie Lou Garberoglio Nia Lazarus Richard McCowin Benro Ogunyipe Lissa Ramirez-Stapleton Transformative Deaf Education Team Martreece Watson
5 7 11 33 35
From the President // Melissa Draganac-Hawk From the CEO // Howard A. Rosenblum School Spotlight
// Georgia School for the Deaf
Donor List In Memoriam
FEATURES How NBDA Pivoted Through the Pandemic Theodore “TeddyBoy” Dorsette III
Going Beyond the Data: Anti-Blackness at School and Work
What Do You Want Out of Your Apology?
Lissa Ramirez-Stapleton, Carrie Lou Garberoglio, Martreece Watson and Kyle Amber Clark
The Transformative Deaf Education Team
Contributions of Black NAD Board Members and A Hope for the Future
Creating Uncomfortable Dialogue Leads to Change
Richard McCowin and Benro Ogunyipe
12 25 27 NADmag | Fall 2020
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FROM THE PRESIDENT
President Melissa begins the 2020 Virtual Meeting, Council of Representatives Session 1, in October, 2020.
How to begin dismantling the system of racism BY MELISSA DRAGANAC-HAWK This NADmag focuses on the Black Lives Matter movement, with the goal of assessing the role of the NAD in the larger discussion on racism, our historical contributions to racial inequality within the deaf and hard of hearing community, and our efforts to become inclusive and equitable in our programs. The NAD must do better. We all, including readers like you, must do better.
All of this work has to begin individually. As we unpack our biases, we can then begin to work together. In this column, I want to focus on how each one of us can begin to think about racism and our role in racism. Again, dismantling racism requires each one of us to do the work – together we can begin to address racism, individually and systemically.
Before I continue, I want to caution readers that the content in this issue may upset some of you. Please take caution.
We may feel overwhelmed with everything that is happening in our world today and – feel that there is never a perfect or right time to do this work. I’ve learned we must look inside of ourselves and identify the steps that we must take towards a more inclusive world. The Black, Indigenous, People of Color (BIPOC) community has told the world more than once that it is time to put in the work to become responsible and contributing members of an equitable society.
Racism is not just one person’s problem and it is not just someone else’s problem; it is a problem within the system that we all must dismantle together. It is not enough for anyone to say, “I’m not a racist, so I do not have to do the work.” Racism is part of every system, and each one of us must do our part to remove racism from those systems.
NADmag | Fall 2020
FROM THE PRESIDENT
You may ask, “Where do I start?” Each one of us has different ways of learning and evaluating ourselves. Choose whichever way of learning you find yourself most comfortable with to learn about racism. The topic of racism is complicated and contains multiple, interconnected layers, and requires you to do an uncomfortable evaluation of yourself. Depending on what works for you, some may prefer processing information with others; this may mean social groups like State Associations, religious organizations, or neighborhood opportunities. Others may prefer processing information alone, this may mean you benefit from following social media pages discussing racism, webinar events, reading articles, TV programs, or books. The NAD is not taking on the role as the experts on this topic. The NAD Board and Staff are like you, continuing to learn and change how we behave. I recommend learning from many Black Deaf individuals and organizations who are the experts. They have lived through racism and studied different parts of racism. Naturally, we may want to ask them to share their experiences with us, and some may be willing, but it is their story and their experience, so it is for them to decide when they want to share and with whom they share. We should never force them to share their experiences and relive their trauma. Below are several resources that include individuals and organizations that we can learn from and support; keep in mind this list is not exhaustive – there are more out there.
• Black Deaf Center blackdeafcenter.com • Transformative Deaf Education transformdeafed.org • A ndrea Sonnier Babin, Ed.S andreasonnierbabin.com • David Player dplayer84.medium.com • Joseph C. Hill, PhD josephchill.com • Nakia Smith aka “Charmay” instagram.com/itscharmay • G allaudet University’s Center for Black Deaf Studies gallyshare.com/center-for-black-deaf-studies It is important to remind ourselves that racism is a huge ongoing national issue that needs all of us to dismantle. Every day we all learn something new. Even if you have started unpacking years ago – keep learning. As Black Deaf individuals and organizations continue to share, it becomes our responsibility to actively expand our minds. With this work, we understand our privileges more – in that process, we are able to make better decisions. Through unpacking and using tools, we will know how to address a racist comment a neighbor makes, a microaggression incident at work, an overlooked member, apologize better, act, and do better. NADly yours, Melissa Draganac-Hawk
• National Black Deaf Advocates (NBDA) nbda.org • Black Deaf Senior Citizens of America bdsca.org • Monroe Pedagogy monroepedagogy.com
Melissa Draganac-Hawk has been on the NAD Board of Directors since 2008 and now serves as President for 2020-2022.
FROM THE CEO
One of the first Zoom meetings NAD staff had as we pivoted to working from home, Leah brings a special guest! (March 2020).
ENGAGING FOR EQUALITY BY HOWARD A. ROSENBLUM The Devastation of 2020
Life as we know it has completely altered since the last NADmag. We have experienced many lifetransforming events all at the same time, each of them marking the largest change in a century. Across the globe, every country has been seriously affected by COVID-19, the worst pandemic in more than 100 years. This has dramatically impacted businesses, restaurants, hospitals, courts, schools, universities, and workplaces, with most people staying home to reduce the risk of infection. Yet, front line and essential workers, including staff at hospitals, grocery stores, delivery services, transportation services, and schools, have had to put themselves at risk every day. The effects of COVID-19 have been the highest in the world in the USA, with more than 6.7 million infected and nearly 200,000 deaths. The health pandemic created the worst economic downturn since the Great Depression (1929-1939),
as unemployment rates have risen to as high as 14.7% as of April 2020, which is the highest since May 1933 when it was 25.6%. Notwithstanding the drastic effect that the twofold impact of a worldwide health pandemic and economic downturn has had on everyone, the experience was more profoundly felt by Black, Indigenous, and People of Color (BIPOC) in part because many BIPOC are front-line or essential workers who often have no opportunity to work from home. Moreover, the rate of unemployment was already much higher for BIPOC prior to the health and economic impact of the COVID pandemic, and now is exacerbated so that many BIPOC are experiencing more devastating adverse health and economic outcomes. As if this unjust racial inequality was not enough, the horrendous video of the killing of George Floyd by police officers as well as many others that were NADmag | Fall 2020
FROM THE CEO
2020 may well be the most catastrophic year in centuries, but such challenges are also an opportunity for change. It is up to each one of us to join in this change so that all of us can live without fear or hate. also caught on camera, as well as others that were not on camera, but became widely known, sparked Black Lives Matter protests across the country. This is a racial reckoning that has been overdue since the marches led by Martin Luther King, Jr. in the 1960s. Such shocking and tragic deaths have forced many Americans, particularly those of us who are white, to face the reality of pervasive racism throughout every system in this country, including not just the police system, but also prisons, courts, businesses, schools and universities, banks and loan programs, real estate, media, history books, statues, language, and organizations. The protests against racism have led to necessary and often uncomfortable discussions and dialogue for white people to assess their role in contributing to a racist society, and our collective realization that it is not enough to be non-racist, but absolutely necessary to be actively anti-racist to tear down an unjust system. The NAD of 2020
The National Association of the Deaf was established 140 years ago in 1880, but this year – 2020 – has to be the most challenging we have ever faced. We have had to temporarily close our offices and have everyone work from home. We have received and responded to many more calls and emails than ever – with more than 1000 contact calls/emails from people in the first 30 days of the COVID-19 pandemic in March, compared with about 1,300 contact calls/emails in all of 2019. The NAD has worked tirelessly to develop new guidelines to make sure deaf and hard of hearing people are not left behind with the shift to a remote and digital world, including remote education, telemedicine, 8
remote work meetings, and remote court hearings. The necessary use of masks has also created more communication barriers for many deaf and hard of hearing people. Our position statements and guidelines are available for everyone to use to advocate for improved communication access and are found on our new coronavirus tab on the nad.org website. Like many other organizations, we had to change our in-person biennial conference, originally set for July in Chicago, to a virtual conference consisting of the Council of Representatives (COR) on October 1-4, 2020. Such a switch has presented a new set of challenges; never before have 200 deaf and hearing people from all parts and demographics of the country come together in a virtual meeting to vote on the NAD’s priorities, resolutions, bylaws amendments, and new Board members. The NAD Board and staff have been hard at work to establish a working and accessible virtual conference platform and have provided training to our delegates in advance, as well. Because of the pandemic, we also had to postpone 2020 Youth Leadership Camp session that would have trained and empowered 64 deaf and hard of hearing youth from across the country to become our future leaders. Our Youth Program quickly switched to online webinars to provide workshops and training on leadership skills for deaf and hard of hearing youth. Our ongoing work on all issues, including webinars, advocacy guidelines, and conferences could not continue without our facing and addressing the racist nature of many programs and services.
FROM THE CEO The Black Lives Matter movement has brought to the forefront how the NAD has failed to be anti-racist. The NAD began as an organization only for white deaf males and has had to repeatedly confront its own racist history. While progress has been made in terms of the diversity on the NAD Board, and the more inclusive nature of the NAD’s Youth Programs as well as its conference presentations and events, we recognize that much more needs to be done to ensure all vestiges of racism are removed from every aspect of our organization. We are committed to making every change necessary, both internally at the NAD and throughout the entire Deaf community and the whole world until all Black, Indigenous, and People of Color are fully and equitably welcomed, included, and are fully participating on all levels. 2020 may well be the most catastrophic year in centuries, but such challenges are also an opportunity for change. It is up to each one of us
to join in this change so that all of us can live without fear or hate. On September 23, 2020, a federal court for the first time in history ordered the White House to make sure their press briefings that cover COVID-19 include ASL interpreters in their video feed. This is one example of how we all together can effectuate change for the better through persistent advocacy. We must continue to work together not only to eliminate barriers of audism from government and society, but also to fully remove all forms of ism’s, especially the most pernicious of all – racism.
Howard A. Rosenblum, Esq. has served as the NAD Chief Executive Officer since 2011.
NADmag | Fall 2020
Each of us has a unique part to play in the healing of the world. ADWAS is located in Seattle, WA and is striving towards a healthy community that is free of violence and oppression. We provide services to Deaf, DeafBlind, DeafDisabled, Late-Deafened, and Hard-of-Hearing survivors of domestic violence, sexual assault, and stalking. We work with all ages and genders. Check out our website adwas.org for more information: • • • • • •
Our services Supportive housing How to donate Job opportunities How to get involved Our January 2020 E-Magazine
Contact Us Office VP: 206-922-7088 firstname.lastname@example.org Local Crisis Line VP: 206-812-1001 Follow Us @ADWAServices @adwas_seattle @ADWAS1986
The National Deaf Hotline provides services and referrals to Deaf, DeafBlind, DeafDisabled, Late-Deafened, and Hard-of-Hearing survivors of domestic violence, sexual assault, and stalking. The safe and strictly confidential services that our hotline offers Deaf survivors can be life-saving. Deaf advocates at the hotline can be reached 24/7 through Videophone (VP), live chat, or email. Services Provided • • • • • • •
Listen and provide emotional support Information and referrals Domestic violence and sexual assault education Brainstorm with callers on ways to stay safe Advocacy Develop safety plans Outreach & prevention work
The National Deaf Hotline is for anyone: survivors, family & friends of survivors, and service providers. 10
Contact Us VP: 855-812-1001 email@example.com Live chat: thedeafhotline.org Follow Us @The Deaf Hotline @thedeafhotline
Why Do Black Lives Matter? GEORGIA SCHOOL FOR THE DEAF
DARISON DAGGETT Senior
RUSIA SAIDI Senior
JACQULINE WILLIAMS Senior
Of course, I support Black Lives Matter. I’m Black. Black Lives Matter because without oppression and hatred, Black people can be successful and achieve their dreams.
Black people are fed up with oppression and discrimination, especially by police. It has been happening forever. It is the same for Deaf people, including Black Deaf people. Black people are sick of not being treated equally like they should.
I respect Black lives and culture. I am Mexican American and once a person told me to “go back to your home.” It really impacted me, and I felt empathy for Black Americans and what they have experienced. I want to see all people become equal in America.
I’ve seen on the news how Black people are oppressed. I don’t like it. We are all humans. Yes, we are different races—but we should all be equal. We all have different experiences and it is ELIZABETH BYRD important for us to help each other. Junior
Black Lives Matter because Black people experience too much oppression. People of all races should be treated equally. RAUL REAL Sophomore
Black Lives Matter because we need to work together, and we need equality for all. ALEX MULLICAN 8th Grade
SHAWN REED 7th Grade
We have to stop killing people. We need to help each other and be kind. Discrimination against Black people must stop.
Black Lives Matter because all people are different and important! KEMUEL MCALLISTER 5th Grade
Black Lives Matter because life matters. George Floyd was killed by a police officer kneeling on his neck. It is one of many ways Black people have been NOLAN JOHNSON abused, murdered, and oppressed. This should not be happening. Junior NADmag | Fall 2020
A group of YES students at the 29th National Conference “Building Together: A Community of Strength, Knowledge and Power” in Oakland, CA, on July 31 - August 4, 2019.
How NBDA Pivoted Through the Pandemic BY THEODORE “TEDDYBOY” DORSETTE III In the 1980s, a group of dreamers and advocates met in the District of Columbia with the DeafPride group and expressed their desire for a collective organization that served the Black Deaf community in the United States. This Black Deaf group wanted to create an organization where they could promote leadership as well as share experiences, ideas, talents, and visions for the future. At the NAD 100th anniversary celebration in 1980, the Black caucus was developed. The Black Deaf Caucus members in attendance brought up the issues of the NAD’s refusal to address the concerns of the black deaf community, as well as the lack of representation as delegates of the NAD.
The first Black Deaf conference was held in the summer of 1981 in Washington DC. Over 100 participants attended and touched base on the following topics: Education, Family, Social Services, Health and Mental Health, Employment, and Interpreting. At the first national conference in 1982, the organization, National Black Deaf Advocates (NBDA) was officially formed. In the past 40 years, this organization has grown from a small group of idealists to over 30 regional chapters, a full board of directors and staff. NBDA recognizes that advocacy is most effective when backed by legislative action. Therefore, NBDA participates in a number of legislative and
The Civil Rights Movement is not a battle… It is a war. Which side are you fighting for? #BlackLivesMatter policy-oriented coalitions. One such affiliation is the National Black United Federation of Charities (NBUFC). The organization also provides many different resources tailored for the Black Deaf community. The organization does not provide legal services. but is able to direct community members in need to appropriate programs or services. NBDA offers many wonderful programs such as the Black Deaf Senior Citizen Program, Black Deaf History, College and Youth, and Scholarships. The scholarship program, for example, is built on helping to provide funds to Black Deaf youth to attend college and further their education. The NBDA views these
programs, partnerships and advocacy efforts as ways to help build up the Black Deaf community and give our youth the role models they need; to show the next generation that we support them and want them to become tomorrow’s leaders. National Black Deaf Advocates has been at the forefront of community issues since its inception in the early 1980s. This organization was designed to help Black Deaf Americans come together in times of crises and blessings. There have been many events over the years affecting the African American community, such as the inauguration of the first Black American president. The NBDA feels it is important to keep up to date on important events affecting the Black community and furthermore the Black Deaf community. In the summer of 2020, in response to the death of Black American George Floyd, the Black Lives Matters movement intensified and sparked nationwide protests. NBDA watched these protests with great respect and joined the movement by hosting various town halls and events to address racial issues in different parts of the Black Deaf community.
A workshop presenter shares important information at the conference.
The COVID-19 pandemic has forced many events and everyday life to go to a virtual format. With this, many things have become inaccessible to the Deaf, Deaf Blind and Hard of Hearing community due to lack of closed captions, Sign Language interpreters and other communication methods. Even TeleHealth medical appointments are facing compliance issues in regard to the Americans with Disabilities Act: Many medical offices utilizing the new TeleHealth system NADmag | Fall 2020
are completely unaware there is an option to add an ASL Interpreter to the call, and will often mistakenly inform their Deaf and Hard of Hearing clients that the services isn’t available. This does more harm than simply being unlawful: It sets a precedent for other medical professionals. If this gap in communication is not sought out and fixed the ramifications can affect millions of Deaf and Hard of Hearing patients, and their ability to seek out medical care. Inaccessible care in medicine is just one example how the current world has become difficult for the Deaf, Deaf Blind and Hard of Hearing community. The NBDA sought to bridge the communication gap for their community during the critical Black Lives Matter movement. These events were virtual and fully accessible with closed captioning and presented in American Sign Language. It is thanks to these webinars that we are able to expose modern racism, particularly in schools and Deaf communities, and teach our allies how to better support our community and our movement. These virtual town halls were held via Zoom and Facebook Live, drawing in more than 34,000 viewers worldwide. People commented that these events were powerful, and they felt empowered and educated after watching them. The town halls are located on the NBDA Facebook and YouTube page. A virtual Juneteenth celebration event hosted by Lawyer, Claudia Gordon and Filmmaker, Storm Smith which was held to celebrate the Freedom Day (June 19th) of African Americans through love, hope and UNITY through community. This event showcased the artistic talents of members of the Black Deaf community through many creative mediums. This celebration was also held over Zoom and Facebook Live, and drew in over 14,000 viewers from all over the world. A viewer from Uganda expressed solidarity in the comments section. This event was live streamed by a Deaf owned business, called Def Lens Media, which is run by employees 14
YES students work on a project together.
of color. This event is also listed on YouTube and Facebook for those who want to tune in to this popular event. The NBDA also answered the call to provide updates about COVID 19 for the Black Deaf community. Over 2,000 viewers tuned in to see updates about the pandemic explained in ASL. Many Black Deaf Americans use a Black ASL (BASL) dialect, which is distinctive from ASL. Having information shared in BASL helps to reach this population. These videos in BASL provide examples as to how to reach and educate the Black Deaf community in important matters. Above all, National Black Deaf Advocates exists to dismantle modern racism, the discrimination against the Black community and those that are disabled. For the entirety of American History, minorities have suffered bother vocally and in silence. Progress is made slowly and only at the expense of immense social change and restructuring. Lives are still lost. Basic human liberties are still violated to this day.
Theodore “TeddyBoy” Dorsette III is an entrepreneur, filmmaker, non-profit organization leader and social justice advocate.
What Do You Want Out of Your Apology? BY NIA LAZARUS I would like to talk about something that I have been noticing in our Deaf community that needs to be addressed and clarified so we can better understand each other, ourselves, and, ultimately, our cherished community. But before I go ahead and do that, I have to ask: have you ever experienced apologizing for your past racist actions and were confused when you got negative reactions and wondered, “But why are they still mad at me? I apologized!”? Or, have you ever experienced witnessing another person apologizing for their past racist actions and you were confused, wondering, “Why are they angry? That was an apology! Why are they mad?” Either way, you’re in the right place to get your answers. I want to be particularly clear about the general purpose of an apology that I believe most of us can agree on. When you apologize, it is to acknowledge that your action(s) was harmful, unacceptable, and caused pain or trauma in another person or group. Just as equally important, your apology is also to acknowledge the pain or trauma that you had caused the other person or group to experience as a result of your behavior. There’s simply no agenda behind an apology other than to inform the person you hurt that you recognize that your behavior was not okay and that you take personal responsibility for hurting them. An apology does not come with any expectations of getting something in exchange. It does not include anything like the following scenarios: your action being instantly forgiven and forgotten by the
An apology does not come with any expectations of getting something in exchange. other person, them declaring to others that they should now consider you a “better person,” or them welcoming you with open arms into their space. All of those things are considered expectations. Any expectations should be thrown out the window for one reason: your expectations should be for yourself only. An apology is truly effective when you make it your goal to simply focus on yourself, looking within yourself in order to identify and unpack any of your harmful behaviors and habits and biased thinking that influence how you treat people. Once you do that on a daily basis, your daily actions make it clear to the other person or group whether your apology was truly genuine or not. That way, you can figure out how you can become a better person, grow, and improve. We are all familiar with the fact that actions reflect on a person’s character more strongly than their words. It is also especially important to keep in mind that it’s up to the other person or group to decide how to respond to your apology. The reason for that is simple: it’s their pain and not yours. You were responsible for causing the pain. And now, they have to carry the burden of the pain and deal with NADmag | Fall 2020
An apology is truly effective when you make it your goal to simply focus on yourself, looking within in order to identify and unpack any of your harmful behaviors and habits and biased thinking that influence how you treat people. it in a way that is the most comfortable for them. In other words, they are fully within their rights to figure how they feel, how to repair that pain, how long healing will take, how they create their personal boundaries with you, what kind of relationship they want to maintain with you—civil, friendly, strictly professional, no contact—whatever. It’s their decision. Now, let’s get back to the topic of apologizing for past racist actions. I understand that it can be quite brutal to get negative reactions after apologizing. I understand that it can be confusing and make you wonder, “Did I do the wrong thing? I was trying to do the right thing. I don’t get it; I thought I was being anti-racist.” You might also be thinking, “Well, if I stay quiet and don’t apologize, then people would be angry with me, asking, ‘Why are you being silent about this? That must mean you’re racist.’ Or ‘You’re not showing any accountability, you must think what you did was okay.’ But if I do apologize, people would be still angry with me, not believing me and calling me a hypocrite. What am I supposed to do?” I understand that. I would like to share some advice: ABC. The A stands for “acknowledge” and “apologize,” as in, “acknowledge the harm of your racism and the pain that you caused in the other person or group and apologize.” That is the concept I just finished covering above squeezed into one sentence. The B stands for “brace yourself ” and “bear the brunt”— with “brunt” being the barrage of negative reactions 16
from people—as in “brace yourself and accept any negative reactions and comments from Black people.” You might be wondering, “But why would I do that?” It is because we are angry, doubtful, and distrustful amongst other painful feelings as a direct result of a very long history of experiencing injustice and dehumanization in countless aspects of our lives as Black people. We have been receiving insincere apologies, vague resolutions, broken promises, and lies when it comes to justice being served for Black people in education, hospitals, housing, banking, law, media, and so on. All of our feelings, as widely varied and negative as they can be, are valid. All of that has been happening for 400 years, so how can we know for certain that your apology is sincere? Therefore, all of our feelings, as widely varied and negative as they can be, are valid. We have a hard time trusting someone’s words without seeing every day, consistent antiracism. That’s the only way we can confirm and trust that your apology was sincere. The C stands for “challenge,” “change,” and “cancel,” So, I urge that you “challenge yourself to change”—changing for the sole purpose of improving yourself, which will result in contributing to a better society. As well as “cancel” any expectations for Black people to approve of your apology and consider you as “no longer a racist” and any expectations of outsiders— non-Black people, that is—to put you on a pedestal for doing something for which you should not seek external validation to feed your ego.
WHAT DO YOU WANT OUT OF YOUR APOLOGY?
To summarize: A: acknowledge and apologize; B: brace yourself and bear the brunt, because our anger is valid; C: challenge yourself to change and cancel any expectations you may have. I will admit that when I saw the apology videos and posts on social media, I was unfazed. I was indifferent. It was hard for me to trust whether the apologies were authentic or not. The reason being that one of the first things that came to mind was: “Would they have admitted that if they were feeling embarrassed, exposed, or caught?” I wondered if they were apologizing for the sake of saving their reputations. When it comes to apologies like that, I am never sure what to think, other than to say, “Good on you to acknowledge your racism and apologize, yes. But, that’s only the first step. I need to see the next step, which means consistent antiracism from here on out and your intentions for following through with your apology. I cannot trust your intentions, no matter how good they may be, behind your apology without seeing action. Also, I cannot help but question whether you feel relieved to have an audience to witness your apology out of hopes that they would absolve you of your racism. I cannot tell what you are thinking, however, I can see what you decide to do next. Actions are more powerful than words. If you ever find yourself feeling defensive about you or someone else receiving angry reactions, then that is a problem for two reasons, which I will pose as questions. Do you remember what I said about having expectations out of your apologies? Your negative, defensive reaction is a sign that you are disappointed because you had expected something else, other than our reactions. After a long, painful history of racial injustice, we have the right to decide how to react. Throw out your expectations
about how we should react to your apologies and instead focus on yourself and how to be anti-racist. Your apology is for us and is not about you after all. If you don’t understand our negative reactions, then do you truly understand why we are angry and why we feel so uneasy in the first place? If your answer is something along the lines of, “No, but—,” then it would be useful to re-read the article from the beginning and dig deeper into your introspective anti-racism work. It is important to acknowledge our pain, acknowledge the harm of your past actions, apologize, accept all of our feelings as valid, and ultimately focus on improving yourself moving forward. That is precisely what will reflect your true intentions. To wrap up, it is a great thing that people are openly acknowledging and apologizing for their past racist actions because it takes a lot of courage and maturity to do that. I have to recognize that. That is the reason why I strongly believe that it should be normalized to admit to and name your past racist actions without waiting until the second that you are exposed and embarrassed with an obligation to make a statement. It would be much better to openly talk about what you did without the need to be prompted. That is a step in the right direction, encouraging others to also look inwards, unpack negative thinking, racist thinking, and biases. That is one of the best ways to be anti-racist. Nia Lazarus, a native of Oakland, California, is currently living in Germany working towards her Ph.D. in Sign Language Linguistics with a focus on language acquisition and bilingual Deaf Education and is also involved in Social Justice to help spread awareness and empower other BIPOC in the Deaf community.
NADmag | Fall 2020
Going beyond the data: Anti-Blackness at school and work BY LISSA RAMIREZ-STAPLETON, CARRIE LOU GARBEROGLIO, MARTREECE WATSON, AND KYLE AMBER CLARK The Black Lives Matter (BLM) movement started with three Black women, two of whom are queer, Alicia Garza, Patrisse Cullors, and Opal Tometiand, after the acquittal of Trayvon Martin’s murder in 2013. From the very beginning, this movement has been intersectional or more than just about race. As the organization’s website states: “We are guided by the fact that all Black lives matter, regardless of actual or perceived sexual identity, gender identity, gender expression, economic status, ability, disability, religious beliefs or disbeliefs, immigration status, or location” (https://blacklivesmatter.com/what-webelieve/). This belief, among many, is at the heart of the BLM movement, including an international force to push back against anti-blackness, violence against Black people and the erasure of diverse Black experiences. Anti-blackness is a specific type of racism that intentionally targets, oppresses, and impacts Black people around the world (Dumas & ross, 2016). It may be a new concept to some, but BLM and many activists within local and international organizations 18
have shown the world multiple examples of how antiblackness has infiltrated all aspects of life, including federal policies and practices, voter suppression, police violence, healthcare, educational systems, workforce opportunities and the perspectives of media outlets. Anti-blackness is historically rooted in systemic racism. As we entered the year 2020, we once again witnessed anti-blackness at the heart of two pandemics, Covid19 and the Black Racial Uprising, and the nation and world are being called to do something more. Acts of Black systemic oppression have been met with continuous resistance and resilience by Black people. Black deaf communities across the U.S. found their place in this movement through involvement in protests, virtual educational community panels, social media campaigns (i.e., #AmINext) and much more. As we investigate and highlight systemic antiblack oppression, two areas rise as major concerns for Black deaf communities: education and workforce opportunities.
GOING BEYOND THE DATA: ANTI-BLACKNESS AT SCHOOL AND WORK
Throughout time, there has been a continuous devaluing of Black deaf people in our education and workforce from a delay in access to schooling before 1869; to segregated and underfunded schools; to a lack of Black deaf mentors and teachers for Black deaf children; and to overlooking and underpaying Black deaf labor. This historical legacy has had a disproportionate impact on Black deaf communities’ current reality. Black deaf women, Black DeafBlind and Black deafdisabled individuals have additional layers of social oppression; thus, all Black deaf individuals are not having the same Black deaf experience. We take this opportunity to show the impact of this oppression on Black deaf communities, not to reinforce deficit thinking or individual weaknesses, but to highlight the ways in which the educational and workforce systems are broken. What do we know? National data demonstrates how systemic anti-black oppression has failed to support the achievement of Black deaf people in education systems and undervalued Black deaf people in the workforce (Garberoglio et al, 2019). Those systemic oppressions
are visible in the education system where only 78% of Black deaf people completed high school compared to 87% of white deaf people, and continue on to college, where 12% of Black deaf people complete a bachelor’s degree compared to 20% of white deaf people (Figure 1). Among Black deaf people, Black deafdisabled and deafblind people were less likely to have completed high school and college degrees, while Black deaf women are more likely to have completed high school and college degrees than Black deaf men. Systemic oppressions in the education system and beyond are preventing Black deaf people from completing their education to be more competitive in the workplace. Anti-blackness in the deaf education system has a real and life-long impact on the lives of Black deaf people, especially as they enter the workforce. We know that as people complete high school and get more education and training, they are more likely to get a job and earn more money. This is true among Black deaf communities, where employment rates and earnings increase for those who have finished high school and go up even more for those who have attended college or completed college
Overall Educational Attainment 86.9% 77.9% BLACK DEAF
HIGH SCHOOL DIPLOMA / GED
PH.D., J.D. OR M.D.
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degrees. National data shows that Black deaf people continue to be underemployed and underpaid in the workplace. This happens even despite the fact that more Black deaf people are actively looking for work than white deaf people (6.9% vs. 4.1%). Only 38% of Black deaf people have a job, compared to 54% of white deaf people (Figure 2). Once Black deaf people start working, they earn $14,000 less a year than white deaf people ($36,000 vs. $50,000). Fewer Black deaf people are self-employed or own businesses, and more work part time, than white deaf people. Black deaf people do not all have the same experiences. While Black deaf women work at the same rate as Black deaf men, and are more educated, they earn $7,000 less a year than Black deaf men. Only around a quarter of Black deafdisabled and deafblind people work, and they earn $1,000 less a year than Black deaf people without additional disabilities (Figure 3). Black deaf people navigate environments steeped not only in racism, but also in audism, while Black deaf women and Black deafdisabled people also have to navigate sexism and ableism. Lower employment rates and earnings among Black deaf communities are also found among Black hearing communities-- systemic antiblackness is pervasive across all levels of the system.
It is important to recognize not only the racism in play, but also other intersecting oppressions that create barriers for Black deaf people in the United States. So, what should we do? FIGURE 2
Employment Rates 38.2%
NOT IN LABOR FORCE
NOT IN LABOR FORCE
Median Annual Earnings
$1 WHITE DEAF MAN
77¢ BLACK DEAF MAN
77¢ WHITE DEAF WOMAN
67¢ BLACK DEAFBLIND
67¢ BLACK DEAFDISABLED
63¢ BLACK DEAF WOMAN
GOING BEYOND THE DATA: ANTI-BLACKNESS AT SCHOOL AND WORK
As we move towards the future, the heart of this movement for change is the humanization of Black deaf lives, improved educational experiences and more equitable work opportunities. Self-Work and Relationship Building To be a part of the change for equitable access for Black deaf people, we must start with unpacking our biases. In order to do that, we need to recognize and acknowledge the harmful practices that contribute to the system of power afforded to whites. In other words, deconstruct the white deaf identity ideology and reframe what it means to be deaf. In fact, David Player crowdsourced and developed a list of white deaf privileges that show examples. His Dear white Deaf people (https://whitedeafprivilege.wordpress. com/) blog post created a ripple impact on social media and sparked dialogues among people in deaf communities. These dialogues ask us to pause and question what we have been taught, to re-evaluate assumptions and norms. This is an essential part of self-work. A critical conversation with ourselves is a starting place and it should not stop here. Social media can be a way to critically disrupt anti-blackness narratives in deaf communities and amplify Black deaf stories. In recent months, Black deaf people have been increasingly using social media platforms to share and discuss their experiences with racism, which has led to others being emboldened to share their stories. However, in deaf communities, such reflection and respect for the stories go unnoticed or challenged. That in itself devalues and supports anti-blackness in deaf communities. To engage in allyship with Black deaf communities, we must act with intention to unpack, unlearn, relearn and be part of the change. It is not someone else’s responsibility to fix systemic racism, it is our collective responsibility. There is
much work that needs to be done. As we move towards the future, the heart of this movement for change is the humanization of Black deaf lives, improved educational experiences and more equitable work opportunities. Black deaf people must not only be centered but leading this charge. Through building relationships, we are all transformed. Enlightenment and liberation are achieved as we interact with and are shaped by worldviews, which we teach to one another. We (as a community) need to recognize that Black deaf people have positive contributions, ways of knowing and doing that they bring into the classrooms, workplaces and our communities that need to be valued and acknowledged. Practical Tips In addition to self-work and relationship building with Black deaf people, we must fight against attitudes of anti-blackness. Here is what you can do to affect change: • Build authentic mutual and engaging relationships. • Decolonize education by adding Black deaf culture and/or materials that have Black, Indigenous, People of Color authors to get beyond celebration and engage with cultures/identities/languages other than white that inform your practice. • Practice honoring Black deaf culture within employment environments.
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• Use your voice to speak up against racist and antiblackness situations when they happen. • Identify and reach out to more Black deaf role models. • Train allies to be culturally competent mentors & professional coaches. • Re-assess how “professionalism” is defined by norms of White supremacy. • Increase expectations of Black deaf youth in schools and create real opportunities for Black deaf youth to lead and succeed. • Crowdsource for anti-blackness resources, participate in virtual and local deaf communities’ dialogues, and educate yourself on local and national race-based issues. An example of such a program in higher education that builds relationships and provides mentoring support is the Academic Learning Lab for Student Achievement and Readiness (ALLSTAR) that was started in 2018. The mission of ALLSTAR is to strengthen comprehensive learning, to cultivate academic skills, to foster independence, confidence and to inspire lifelong learning of deaf, culturally diverse, students of color by providing mentoring and tutoring services in a collaborative, studentdriven, learning environment that promotes student success, college/career readiness, enriching the student experience, providing tools to achieve students’ academic and life goals. Since its inception, ALLSTAR has served deaf BIPOC resulting in 73% of students matriculating on to credited coursework within the first year.
Final Thoughts There is no one way or quick fix to address antiblackness in deaf communities, deaf education systems, or in the workforce. We have access to technology, virtual communities, and social media to empower us to do more and do better. We must unpack the ways in which we individually and systematically perpetuate anti-blackness and violence through our attitudes, policies and practices. We do not need to reimagine or reform our current system, we need abolition. We need freedom, we need new ways of thinking and doing things because in the last ten years not much has changed and THAT is unacceptable.
Dumas, M.J. & ross, k.m. (2016). “Be real Black for me”: Imagining BlackCrit in education. Urban Education, 51(4), 415-442. doi:10.1177/0042085916628611 Garberoglio, C. L., Stapleton, L. D., Palmer, J. L., Simms, L., Cawthon, S., & Sales, A. (2019). Postsecondary Achievement of Black Deaf People in the United States. Washington, DC: U.S. Department of Education, Office of Special Education Programs, National Deaf Center on Postsecondary Outcomes.
GOING BEYOND THE DATA: ANTI-BLACKNESS AT SCHOOL AND WORK
To read the full data report, go to nationaldeafcenter.org/blackdeaf. To learn more about the ALLSTAR program, go to @GUALLSTAR19 on Twitter.
Lissa Ramirez-Stapleton is an associate professor of Deaf Studies and core faculty in the Educational Leadership and Policy Studies program at California State University Northridge.
Carrie Lou Garberoglio is the associate director of the National Deaf Center on Postsecondary Outcomes, based at the University of Texas at Austin.
Martreece Watson is an assistant professor in the Department of English at Gallaudet University and director of the Academic Learning Lab for Student Training Achievement & Readiness (ALLSTAR).
Kyle Amber Clark is the Chief Equity and Inclusion Officer at The Learning Center for the Deaf.
NADmag | Fall 2020
THANK YOU Virtual Meeting Sponsors LEADERSHIP
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Creating uncomfortable dialogue leads to change BY THE TRANSFORMATIVE DEAF EDUCATION TEAM Founder Victorica Monroe reflects, “As a former educator, one of the unforgettable situations I witnessed was a horrendous one between a Black deaf male student and a white teacher. I stepped in and dealt with the Black male student’s emotional distress for an hour. I won’t forget that one lifechanging hour. That was a spark of ignition to push even harder to form Transformative Deaf Education (TDE). Many years ago, as an intersectional student in Deaf Education, I experienced my own obstacles, and others have witnessed the narratives of many marginalized students who left Deaf Education with trauma and pain. Many of our marginalized students experience the same things now. They should not.” TDE was formed because the only way to create solutions is by opening up uncomfortable dialogue and promoting the practice of transformative pedagogy in Deaf Education and deaf programs. Its purpose is also to give back power to past, current, and future marginalized students. Opening uncomfortable dialogue creates possibilities for us to learn, unpack and do the work to eradicate all forms of oppression. Change will reveal itself as we fully commit to transformative justice in Deaf Education.
TDE is continuing to fight for transformative justice in Deaf Education. We must do the work. We must fight for what is right, so every marginalized student can heal, grow, and shine. A movement of change cannot happen without every one of us dismantling all forms of oppression. It starts with us. The mission of the Transformative Deaf Education (TDE) is to promote the transformative pedagogy in Deaf Education and deaf programs from birth to high school. In order to continue our fight for transformative justice in Deaf Education, we ask for your donation to help us develop projects, webinars, and financially support marginalized students. For more information about TDE and to donate, explore transformdeafed.org/donate. Thank you from the bottom of our heart from the Transformative Deaf Education team.
NADmag | Fall 2020
Why do I keep hearing that question?
by poet and teacher Raymond
Antrobus illustrated by Polly Dunbar
A lyrical #ownvoices story about a little bear with deafness learning to navigate his world “I want this children’s picture book to be something useful to the parents of deaf young people, but also deaf young people themselves. . . . I’m really proud of it. It’s a collaboration that’s been illustrated by Polly Dunbar, who is a deaf children’s illustrator, so it feels like a great justice for us to have been given the opportunity to work together on something that is, I think, both useful and beautiful.” —Raymond Atrobus in the London Magazine (UK) Illustrations © 2020 by Polly Dunbar
CANDLEWICK PRESS • www.candlewick.com
NAD board member Hubert Anderson (sitting) joined in the group picture for a newly launched Telecommunications Relay Service (TRS) in the District. Standing behind Hubert is former Gallaudet University President I. King Jordan and former D.C. Mayor Sharon Pratt Kelly. (This picture was featured in Jet magazine, December 21, 1992.)
Contributions of Black NAD Board Members and A Hope for the Future BY RICHARD MCCOWIN AND BENRO OGUNYIPE In the wake of Black Lives Matter movement, many people in the deaf community discovered that the National Association of the Deaf (NAD) prohibited Black membership until 1965 (McCaskill, 2011), a year after the passage of the Civil Rights Act of 1964. Civil rights and advocacy organizations play an important role benefiting members of the marginalized community by influencing public opinion and policy, and ensuring educational, social and economic equality as well as eliminating a form of discrimination. Because of the denied
acceptance and membership in deaf organizations and clubs that were exclusively for white deaf persons, Black Deaf people looked elsewhere to form their own organizations and clubs in the 1950s and 1960s in the urban cities with large numbers of Black Deaf residents (Ogunyipe, 2016). The Black Deaf community faces the challenges of securing better education, more promising employment opportunities, and social advancements similar to those already acquired by members of the Black community at large. (Aramburo, 1989). NADmag | Fall 2020
CONTRIBUTIONS OF BLACK NAD BOARD MEMBERS AND A HOPE FOR THE FUTURE
At the National Association of the Deaf (NAD) Convention held in Cincinnati, OH in 1980, the 100th anniversary of the founding of the NAD, a group of Black Deaf leaders presented a list of concerns to the convention delegates. These included issues such as the NAD’s lack of attentiveness to the concerns of Black Deaf Americans as well as the lack of representation of Black Deaf individuals as convention delegates. Lead by Charles “Chuck” V. Williams of Ohio, Sandi LaRue and Linwood Smith of Washington, D.C., they specifically requested the NAD to take action to communicate better with the Black Deaf community, encourage the involvement of minorities within the national and state organizations, and recruit more Black Deaf children in the Junior NAD and NAD Youth Leadership Camp. Not being involved hindered Black Deaf people’s goal of achieving their full potential. (Ogunyipe, 2016). The July 6, 1980 Cincinnati Enquirer newspaper published an article on the needs of Black Deaf people at the NAD convention in which Sandi LaRue stated “We would like to get on the cover and front pages.” (See upper right.) Two years later, the National Black Deaf Advocates (NBDA) was founded in 1982. It would take the next eight years for the NAD to have its first ever Black member of the NAD Board of Directors. The Black NAD Board Pioneers Dr. Nathie Marbury was the first Black person to serve on the NAD Board of Directors. Nathie was an appointed board member under two presidents, Dr. Roz Rosen (1990-1992) and Dr. Bobbie Beth Scoggins (2006-2008). As a true pioneer, Nathie broke the color barriers in various capacities as a Black Deaf woman. In 1978, she was the first Black Deaf woman to become an instructor at the Kendall Demonstration Elementary School for the Deaf in Washington, D.C. She was 28
Jet magazine article published on December 21, 1992 featured Hubert Anderson who made history as the first elected Black member of the NAD Board of Directors in 1992.
the first Black Deaf woman to be admitted to the National Leadership Training Program for the Deaf at California State University-Northridge. She earned her doctoral degree in 2007 specializing Deaf studies/Deaf education at Lamar University. In recognition of her distinguished career and outstanding service to the Black Deaf community, the American Deaf community, and the Professional Interpreting community, the NBDA Board of Directors awarded Dr. Nathie Marbury with the NBDA Lifetime Achievement Award, awarded posthumously in 2013, when current NAD Board member Benro Ogunyipe was President. In 2018, to honor her memory and legacy, the NAD established the Dr. Nathie Lee Marbury Leadership Award to recognize individuals who have demonstrated leadership in bridging differences and building inclusive communities across individual and intersecting identities.
CONTRIBUTIONS OF BLACK NAD BOARD MEMBERS AND A HOPE FOR THE FUTURE
Hubert Anderson became the first elected Black member of the NAD Board of Directors in 1992, elected as Region I Representative. Hubert served as the chairman of NAD’s Minorities Outreach Committee. Hubert also served as the chairman of the Telecommunication Relay Services committee for the District of Columbia. He would later become the Executive Director of the West Virginia Commission for the Deaf and Hard of Hearing in 1992. Hubert was re-elected to his second fouryear term as Region I Representative in 1996, but he passed away before completing his second term. Hubert was actively involved in sports and sociopolitical associations and World Games for the Deaf. He coached the gold-medal-winning 1985 American basketball team.
Past Black Board Members Earnest Okwara became the third known Black member of the NAD Board of Directors. He was elected to serve as a Region I Representative from 1998 to 2002. Earnest also served as the chairman of the NAD Development Committee. A champion known for advocating for changes within the Rhode Island Deaf community, Earnest worked with others to convince the legislators to pass the “Deaf Children’s Educational Bill of Rights,” the “American Sign Language Act,” the “Rhode Island Interpreter Licensure Law,” and a law that created a new Board of Trustees for Rhode Island School for the Deaf. Earnest served as President of the Rhode Island Association of the Deaf from 1993 to 1997. Earnest was one of the 10 recipients of the 1999 Paul G. Hearne Leadership Awards for People with Disabilities. Among many awards, Earnest received the “Spirit of NAD” Award in 1998. Kirsten Poston was an appointed board member of the NAD from 2008 to 2012. In 2012, she made history as the first Black person elected as an officer on the NAD Board of Directors, serving as Secretary for the 2012-2014 term. As a self-proclaimed “Jackie” of all trades, she never worked on the same tasks from one day to the next. Kirsten is a Disability Program Manager at the Federal Highway Administration. She is a passionate advocate for supporting, promoting, and protecting the rights of individuals with disabilities including deaf and hard of hearing in federal employment. Among her many leadership roles, she was the Vice President of Federal Employees with Disabilities and Executive Director of Deaf in Government (DIG).
Image of an article from the July 6, 1980 Cincinnati Enquirer published on the needs of Black Deaf people following the 1980 NAD Convention held in Cincinnati, Ohio.
NADmag | Fall 2020
CONTRIBUTIONS OF BLACK NAD BOARD MEMBERS AND A HOPE FOR THE FUTURE
Pamela Lloyd-Ogoke was an appointed board member of the NAD Board serving from 2014 to 2016. Prior to serving on the NAD Board of Directors, Pamela served on the NAD Fulton III Leadership Committee from 2004 to 2006. Pamela also served as Co-Chair of the NAD-RID National Task Force on Interpreting Issues from 1995 to 2002. Pamela has been an active advocate of the National Black Deaf Advocates, served two terms as President from 1993 to 1997, an active President Emeritus, and chaired three NBDA national conferences. Pamela served as a member of the Gallaudet University, Board of Trustees from 2006 to 2015. She was honored with the NAD’s Honorable Order of Knights of the Flying Fingers. In 2018, Pamela was the first ever recipient of the Dr. Nathie Lee Marbury Leadership Award. The Present Black Board Members Richard McCowin is the longest serving Black Deaf NAD Board member for a total of ten consecutive years. Richard was twice elected as Region II Representative from 2010 to 2018 and made history as the first Black Vice President of the NAD in 2018. Richard has been active in various capacities within the deaf community for more than 30 years as part of his lifelong passion for advocacy and community activity. Richard was President of Nebraska Association of the Deaf; Vice President of the National Black Deaf Advocates; and Vice President of the Midwest Athletic Association of the Deaf. Benro Ogunyipe is presently an appointed board member of the NAD Board. Benro attended the 2012 NAD Conference in Louisville, KY where the NAD passed a resolution formally 30
apologizing for its past denial of equal rights to Black Deaf individuals on the basis of race. Prior to 1965, NAD did not permit Black Deaf individuals to join as members and have voting rights. aA the 2013 National Black Deaf Advocates (NBDA) Conference in New Orleans, LA, NAD CEO Howard Rosenblum and NAD President Chris Wagner presented the NAD’s apology, in the form of a resolution, to NBDA. Benro, as the NBDA President (2011-2013) at that time, accepted the resolution on behalf of NBDA and the Black Deaf community. In 2014, Benro was the recipient of the NAD’s Frederick C. Schreiber Distinguished Service Award. Racism and Barriers for Black Deaf Leadership within the NAD There is no question that structural racism is embedded within American society. “Black Deaf [people] face a number of social prejudices, high unemployment and underemployment, stereotypes, educational disadvantages, under-representation in political leadership, and a shared heritage” (Mauk, 2009). A lack of Black Deaf representation and attainment of leadership positions within the NAD could be attributed to the roots of racism. Ample Black Deaf leadership in various capacities within the NAD could adequately contribute to the NAD as experts in removing racial barriers that historically hinder the opportunities and representation for Black Deaf people, including Deaf youth. However, there are invisible barriers for Black Deaf individuals striving (and opted not) to hold leadership positions within the NAD, including, but not limited to: fear of failure as a change agent in combating racism not only in the NAD, but also in the greater deaf community; fear of becoming a burden to the Black Deaf community as a black board member of the NAD; and few black members in the NAD making it harder for a Black Deaf person to win votes to leadership seats from the overwhelmingly white membership.
CONTRIBUTIONS OF BLACK NAD BOARD MEMBERS AND A HOPE FOR THE FUTURE
Past and present black board members may experience some forms of invisible barriers that affect them from fully contributing, including, but not limited to: being ridiculed by the Black Deaf community for contributing to a white deaf organization that previously excluded black people; being a lone black member of the board who tries getting white board members to address the racial inequality resulting in lack of opportunities available to potential black leaders; getting white board members to engage in uncomfortable conversations about race and racism within the NAD; and seeing that the NAD has had limited meaningful progress toward inclusion and social justice, encouraging white deaf people to fight with deaf people of all colors against systemic racism within the deaf community. In an effort to address and remove racism within the NAD, a motion was passed in the 2012 NAD Conference in Louisville, KY requiring the NAD Board of Directors to complete a 40-hour privilege and diversity training session every two-year terms. Today, the NAD Board of Directors continues to self-govern in racial training and making progress toward implementing anti-racism initiatives to actively remove the roots of racism. Hope for the Future The concerns brought by a small group of Black Deaf individuals at the 1980 NAD Convention to address a desire for attentiveness to the concerns of Black Deaf Americans and for increased representation of Black Deaf individuals have come a long way 40 years later. Current Black NAD Board members Benro and Richard both recognize that in light of Black Lives Matter movement, there is still more work to do for inclusiveness, brainstorming antiracism ideas and practices, and a desire for more black individuals in all levels of the organizational infrastructure including staff, youth programs, committees, and volunteers on a consistent basis.
Led by President Melissa Draganac-Hawk and Vice President Richard McCowin, the 2018-2020 NAD Board of Directors has never been more diverse. Nevertheless, the work to dismantle systemic racism within the NAD that historically parallels society continues. It is our hope that the “first Black (fill in the blank) of the NAD’’ would phase out as more Black leaders fill every role within the NAD. It’s also our hope that as each such “first” comes through, it would push the doors further open for more Black, Indigenous and People of Color (BIPOC), LGBQT+, DeafBlind and DeafDisabled representatives within all levels of the NAD to adequately reflect the growing diverse population of the deaf community and to ensure the inclusion of all marginalized communities in the programs, services, and privileges intended to benefit all Deaf people.
References • A ramburo, Anthony. 1989 Page 103-119 Sociolinguistic Aspects of Black Deaf Community. • Deaf Women in History - Blanche Wilkins Williams: https://deafwomeninhistory.files.wordpress. com/2018/03/4blanche-wilkins-williams.pdf, 2018 • Mauk, Claude. “Identity and ASL in the African American Deaf Community.” Sociolinguistics of Sign Languages. University of Pittsburgh, Pittsburgh. 11 Nov. 2009. Lecture. • McCaskill, Carolyn. The Hidden Treasure of Black ASL: Its History and Structure. Washington, D.C.: Gallaudet University Press, 2011 • S olomon, Andrea. 2018. “Cultural and Sociolinguistic Features of the Black Deaf Community,” Carnegie Mellon University. https://doi.org/10.1184/R1/6684059.v1 • Ogunyipe, Benro. “Black Deaf Culture Through the Lens of Black Deaf History” (2016). Published on Described and Captioned Media Program website: DCMP.org.
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CONTRIBUTIONS OF BLACK NAD BOARD MEMBERS AND A HOPE FOR THE FUTURE
ACKNOWLEDGEMENT: In 1899, a Black Deaf woman named Blanche H. Wilkins appears to be the first Black Deaf person to serve on the Executive Committee of the NAD. The
Richard McCowin, NAD Vice President 2018-2020
NAD and authors acknowledge that there are not enough historical papers to document possibly other Black Deaf involvement on the NAD Board and committees. However, the historical information in this article is written to focus on 1965 and beyond, after the NAD allowed membership to Black people.
Benro Ogunyipe, NAD Appointed Board Member 2018-2020
DONOR LIST The list below recognizes donations made by individuals and organizations to the NAD from January – June 2020. Donors are listed under the designated fund. If a fund is not designated, donors are listed under the general fund. Individual donors are recognized by their level of giving. Organizational donors are recognized by their member type. Individuals and organizations who are not members are listed as friends of the NAD. There is a Donor Key on the right for individual giving levels and organization member status. Roman numerals following Benefactors (B) identify cumulative donation amounts in $1,000 increments.
Annual Fund Campaign – General Andrew Adams, FON Dinaz Adenwalla, P Sean Alvarez, A Anonymous, FON Rena Jo Arnold, S Brenda Aron, A Glenna Ashton, BVI Thobernia Augustina, FON David Bader, FON Peggy Bagley & Rabbi Douglas Goldhamer, BI Barbara Bajurny, A Suzann Bedrosian, Bl Dwight & Beth Benedict, BII Paul Bert, C Alice Bianco, S Kevin & Sandra Bianco, P Vanessa Bishop, A Brian Blackstock, FON Arthur Boczar, BI Marcy Borneman, A Lisa Bothwell, P Michael Bourcier, BI Emil Bova, FON Eleanor Brown, A Marianne Brown, BI Meredith Brown, BII Thomas Bull, BI Frank Burckardt, P Alex Caddy, S Michael Cahill, C Deborah Carrington Howard, A Mirtha Castellano, FON Alison Chassin, A Nancy Ching, FON Ruth Cibo, FON
Ed Cohen, BII Robin Crispino, A John Daigle, BI Deborah Davison, A Arthur Deegan, FON Thomas & Shirley Desrosier, S Ian Dikhtiar, FON Melissa Draganac-Hawk, BXVII Marion Dramin, BI Roger Essi, FON Debra Etkie, FON Elizabeth Fazzolari, S Melchior Fernandez, A Vincenzo Festa, FON Stephanie Feyne, S Megan Floyd, FON Beth Forbes, FON Melissa Foster, A Lewis & Alma Fowler, BI Geraldine Francini, BIII Andres Gallegos, C Shamik Ganguly, FON Caelie Giapponi, FON Jerome & Janet Giesting, FON Molly Glauser, C John Godich, BI James Gordon, C Leslie Greer, BI Mary Griffin, FON Katherine Guernsey, FON Robert Haynes, FON Nicole Heger, A Erin Hein, FON Elizabeth Hill, BI David Hines, FON Hollis Hoffung, BI Inna Hoover, FON Susan Howell, S Charles Hubbs, FON
DONOR KEY B = Benefactor ($1,000 and up) P = Patron ($500-$999) S = Sustaining Member ($250-$499) C = Contributing Member ($100-$249) A = Advancing Member (up to $99) SA = State Association Affiliate FON = Friends of the NAD OA = Organizational Affiliate
Patricia Hulsebosch, FON Kelly Human, FON Timothy Jaech, BI Helen Johnson-Peterson, BII Priscilla Jones, S Travianna Jones, FON Peter & Nancy Kensicki, BIII Holly Ketchum, BV Brian & Jacqueline Kilpatrick, BII Kathleen Koransky, C Donald Kovacic, P Michael Kramer, BI Alan Lam, FON Scarlett Joy Larson, BI Jeff Lazar, FON Adora Lehmann, BI Julie Lehto, P Irene Leigh, BV Mitchell Levy, P Alexia Lewis, A Jean Lindquist Bergey, BII Glenn & Stephanie Lockhart, BII Matthew Lockhart & Julie Bourne, BV Alice Lodwick, FON Betty Lynch, BIV Linda Lytle, BI Bruce Makowski, BI James Manning, FON Gloria Matlin, FON Jennifer McCann, FON Andre McCoy, A Raymond McDevitt, C Marge McHenry, S Stephen McKenney Steck, A Brian McMahon, S June McMahon, BIII Laura Meyerhoeffer
Estate, FON Kenneth Mikos, BXI James Morris, FON Harold & Mary Mowl, BVIII Amanda Moyer, A Geri Mu, BI Susan Murray, FON Ronald & Melvia Nomeland, BVI Ernest Northup, BII Jana Owen, S Gloria Pagan, C Christine Pendley, A Anna Perna, S Lisa Perry Burckhardt, A Klaudia Persson, FON Jennifer Pfau, S David Phillips, BI Krista Pohlmeyer, FON James & Kathy Potter, BVI Pauline Prather, C Larry Puthoff, BII Nancy Rarus, BXV Scott Ratafia, P Anusha Reddy Pittu, FON Heidi Reed, BI Robert Reilman, FON Victoria Rentz Damond, FON John Ricciardi, BII Tiffany Richardson, FON Ritchelli Rodriquez, FON Jenna Rote, FON Bryon Rowe, BI Kevin Ryan, S Michael Saltzman, C Deborah Sampson, P Suzanne Sattergren, S Martha Saunders, BII Cheryl Schmidt, S M. Katy Schneider, A
NADmag | Fall 2020
DONOR LIST Kelly Schultz, C Andrea Schulze, A Mary Jo Schwie Loughran, C Cynthia Scott, P Patrick & Dorene Sell, BV Michelle Serres, FON David Sheneman, BI Jenny Lee Singleton, P Lorrie Beth Slonsky, A Janet Smith, P Krystalina Soash, S Ronald Sperry, BII Barbara Spiecker, C Donna Stanton Kirincic, A Paul Stefurak, P Wayne & Beverly Stokem, P James Stull, BI Ronald & Agnes Sutcliffe, BXX LeRoy Terrio Jr, BI Hartmut Teuber & Janice Cagan Teuber, BIII Lillian Tompkins, P Frank & Marlene Turk, BXVI Dan Veltri, C Karen Voss, BI Adolphus & Patricia Walker, FON Taylor Watts, FON Elizabeth Weyerhaeuser, BIV J Sterling White, BXXXV Taylor Wigglesworth, FON Samuel Williamson, BI David Wise, BI Allon Yomtov, S Erikson Young, A Marcia Zisman, S Stephanie Zito, A Amazon Smile Donations, FON American Charities, FON Communique Interpreting, Inc., FON Facebook Donations, FON Hormel Foods Corporation, FON IBM Corporation Employee Services, FON National Deaf News, OA Network For Good/Facebook Donations, FON Sorenson Communications, LLC, OA Target % Cybergrants, FON United Technologies Charity Programs, FON Your Cause, FON 34
Nancy J. Bloch Leadership & Advocacy Scholarship Eileen Goran, P Maureen Mazza, BI Leonard Peacock, BVll Lawrence Petersen, BIV Richard & Luisa Soboleski, BI BJ Wood & LeWana Clark, BX
Frank R. Turk Youth Leadership Scholarship Paul Blicharz, BIII John Mathews, BI Darlene Sarnouski, BII Terry Sasser, P Richard & Luisa Soboleski, BI Ronald & Agnes Sutcliffe, BXX Frank & Marlene Turk, BXVI
Annual Fund Campaign – Education Advocacy Jane Barnett, C Michele Berke, BII Megan Connett, A Cameron Crane, A Mary Katherine Dally, FON Geraldine Francini, BIII Elaine Gale, FON Patrick Graybill, BII Ericka Green, FON John Kirsh, P Alexia Lewis, A Janet Weinstock, C Amy Williamson, P Annual Fund Campaign – International Alexander Jacobs, A Ted Supalla, BII Annual Fund Campaign Law and Advocacy Sherry Atkinson, S Marianne Bragado, FON Brett Brashers, FON
Beth Casola, FON James & Ingrid Crites, BIII Renwick & Elizabeth Dayton, BII Derrick Earl, C Charles & Marilyn Harbison, BI Adrian Harley, FON Lynn Hastings, BI Alexander Jacobs, A Karen Kunkler, S Allyson Labban, FON Darcie LeMieux, BI Deidre Lipsicas, FON Daniel & Joyce Lynch, BV Carla Mathers, BI June McMahon, BIII James McPherson Jr, A Teresa Moon Flaherty, P Sharon Morency Bryant, BII Sean O’Donoghue, FON Caroline Partin, BI Diane Pryntz, FON Iris Salas, FON Richard & Luisa Sobeleski, BI Ronald Stern & Hedy Udkovich Stern, BII Jocelyn Thomas, FON Steven Weigandt, BII
Annual Fund Campaign – Youth Leadership Kimberly Anthony, FON Brenda Aron, A Joshua Beckman, BX Kim Bianco Majeri, C Shannon Callahan, FON Jack & Rosalyn Gannon, BXI Inna Hoover, FON T. Alan & Vicki Hurwitz, BXXVI Steve Lovi, BI Daniel Sonnenfeld, FON Castro Valley High School ASL – Sylvia, Stephanie, Sammie, Sungji, Mikayla and Peggy; FON Frank & Marlene Turk, BXVI
In Honor… COVID-19 Interpreters Kelly Butler, FON Whitney Weirick, A Daniel & Kate Cristol’s Wedding Beth Casola, FON CSD Fremont Students Daniel Sonnenfeld, FON Scott Daniel’s book, “The Road To Nirvana” Heather Skoll, FON James DePorre Robert Pierce, FON Deaf Studies Alexia Lewis, A Andrew Kovach Jonathan Kovach, FON Susan Rothenberg Carey Jeff Lazar, FON Joy Shill’s Birthday Christina Lank, FON
In Support… DeafBlind Section Mary K. Dally, FON Inna Hoover, FON Jeffrey Quiros, FON Deaf Culture & History Section Steve Baldwin, P John Knechtly, FON Brenda LeMieux, BI Education Section Stephen Hlibok, BV Brenda LeMieux, BI Interpreter Section Kelly Human, FON Judith Martin, FON
Lesbian, Bisexual, Gay, Transgender Section Shoshana Moos, FON Senior Citizens Section Eileen Goran, P Karen Holte, BIV Brenda LeMieux, BI Youth Section Frank Alatorre, C David Bruno, BIII Sheri Cook, C Robert Pierce, FON
In Memory… Michael Axel Jack & Jo Buxbaum, FON Ron & Micki Coppel, FON Shoshana Moos, FON
Matthew Corwyn Harris Brian Blackstock, FON Adolphus & Patricia Walker, FON Karen Hazen Allyson Labban,FON Alfred & Betty Hoffmeister Robert Hoffmeister, BI Edie Hotchkiss Pat McCullough,P
Edward Carey Vincenzo Festa, FON
Frank Pokorak Michelle Begendik, C
Mary Jane Carrier Mary Griffin, FON
Lilly Rattner Shirey Brenda Aron, A Michele Berke, BII Debra Etkie, FON Anita Farquhar, A Elaine Gale, FON Eileen Goran, P T. Alan & Vicki Hurwitz, BXXVI Katherine Jankowski & Karen Goss, BIV June McMahon, BIII James Morris, FON Caroline Partin, BI Janet Weinstock, C Maureen Whetham, A
Bill & Glenda Ellis John Ricciardi, BII Ina P. Ewan Richard & Luisa Soboleski, BI Rosemarie Fitzmaurice Anna Gonch, FON Julie Ann Giesting Dale Giesting, FON Jerome & Janet Giesting, FON John Knechtly, FON
Patricia Scherer Gloria Matlin,FON
Davonte Tindall Caelie Giapponi, FON
Jim Searls Diana Pryntz, FON
Joyce Wilder Robert Haynes, FON Judith Martin, FON Carl & Donna Martray, FON Western Kentucky University, FON
James Stern Richard & Luisa Soboleski, BI Ronald Stern & Hedy Udkovich Stern, BII
Marcia G. Parker Jennifer Wrzeszcz, FON
Gerald “Bummy” Burstein Joyce Linden, P Elizabeth Weyerhaeuser, BIII
Paul Craven Florence Davidson, FON
Kihong Stone Annabelle Stone, A
John Miller Ronald & Agnes Sutcliffe, BXX
Elizabeth ‘Libby’ Pollard Lisa Furr, P Floyd & Judith Gilliam, BVIII T. Alan & Vicki Hurwitz, BXXVI June McMahon, BIII Ronald & Agnes Sutcliffe, BXX Leandra Williams, P
Jamie Brunmier Kimberly Anthony, FON
Armando Saldivar Michele Mendyk, A
IN MEMORIAM Jamie Brunmier, Friend of the NAD Edward Carey, Friend of the NAD Mary Jane Carrier, Friends of the NAD Paul Craven, Friend of the NAD Robert DeVenny, Benefactor XXV Ina P. Ewan, Benefactor I Rosemarie Fitzmaurice, Contributing Member Jacquelyn Flynn, Friend of the NAD Joan C. Gormley, Benefactor I Matthew Corwyn Harris, Friend of the NAD Karen Hazen, Friend of the NAD Edie Hotchkiss, Advancing Member Martin Leff, Advancing Member john Miller, Benefactor II Marcia G. Parker, Friend of the NAD Elizabeth ‘Libby’ Pollard, Benefactor V Lilly Ratner Shirey, Benefactor I Patricia Scherer, Friend of the NAD Joyce Wilder, Contributing Member
NADmag | Fall 2020
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