Vlogs Reference:

Watch and learn from Black Deaf Vloggers as they share their personal narratives, stories, and knowledge.  

Black Deaf individuals are encouraged to submit their vlogs to be featured. Use button below to contact us.

Black Deaf Person Story
Featured Vlog

Black Deaf Person Story
Educational journey
05:26
LGBT+ Experiences: Asteria's Story
Deaf Counseling Center

LGBT+ Experiences: Asteria's Story

Transcript: [id: Asteria is sitting in a kitchen with a row of wooden cabinets visible on the wall behind her, signing her story.] Hi and good afternoon! I’ve been thinking a lot and would like to explain what Pride means to me, especially at this particular time when Black Lives Matter and Pride intersect, with each representing different parts of my identity. If you haven’t met me before, my name is Asteria Summers. I identify as a Black Deaf transgender woman. To me, Pride means more than just a celebratory occasion. It means that every day, I can do ordinary things like work, hang out with friends, go shopping. Just being able to do regular things, to live and exist, is a form or pride. People don’t realize that Black transgender women have an average life span of only 35 years. I’m 28. Being able to live and go to places where I feel safe, knowing that I have the support of friends if something were to happen to me, is a really important part of Pride to me. These are friends from both the LGBT community and the straight community. So many times, people think that Black transgender women have no support, but we actually do have support and people who will advocate for us. It’s important to recognize that Pride is not only about coming out and being ourselves, but also about having the support of people who have our backs 100%. Again, this is important because people often think that if you are Black with intersectional identities, there is little support available. It is not only important that you have your own personal strength, but also that it is alright to be vulnerable and ask for help from the community. This is important, because at the end of the day, it doesn’t matter if you are Black, white, purple, or whatever. Yes, It is important to recognize that people who are Black or Brown may experience more oppression, but it is important to show support from each community, from all, not just one like the LGBT community. The Black community supports me. The Deaf community supports me. All of my identities are interwoven. It’s not a matter of picking just one. For me, the point of Pride is having 100% support from a diverse community and being accepted as part of each community, even though I may have intersectional identities and my experience may be a little different. It’s important to support and uplift Black Deaf transgender women. That’s what Pride means to me and what is important to emphasize this year. Thank you for watching, and just remember that if you feel uncomfortable or upset right now, things do get better. Right now, things are really chaotic and all, but it is important to reach out and lean on the community. This doesn’t have to be in person, but it can be reaching out online for support. It’s important to remember that it does get better. I love you all! Disclaimer: The videos featured by Deaf Counseling Center (DCC) are contributed on a purely voluntary basis by community members and shared with permission. DCC is not responsible for the content or accuracy of the videos. Our sharing the video does not imply our view or endorsement. www.deafcounseling.com
Racism and Oppression in our Deaf community
Pamela Lloyd-Ogoke

Racism and Oppression in our Deaf community

Hello everyone, My name is Pamela Lloyd-Ogoke. Greetings to you all and this message is intended for every single person. Whether you are Deaf or hearing or whether you are black, white or brown. The last few weeks have been hard. I’ve heard you all. Like many of you, I grew up living a life with daily racism and oppression. Like you, I’ve seen racism and oppression in our Deaf community. And like many of you, we find strength through our families, our friends, and our faith. The death of George Floyd and the multitude of deaths before him has been difficult. Some of us have experienced that knee on our neck, that torture in our heart, that pain of injustice. Some of us survived because of that support. We must vent, we must self-analyze, we must push for – no demand – the removal of systematic racism in our community. This is a message for every organization that serves people who are Deaf. For example, our Deaf schools. Our children enter schools at a young age and should have every right to experience people that looks like them, people who can guide their education, people who can be their mentors and their role models. But where are their role models? Leaders, teachers, teachers’ assistants who are Black or POC are scare. What happens to our Black and POC who have no access to leaders, no role models and no incentive to strive for academic excellence? What happens when that student’s family has not seen leadership that will help them reinforce to their children the possibilities of success? Now is the time for true change. For years we heave heard schools saying they cannot find qualified teachers and leaders. We have also heard of qualified teachers and leaders being denied job opportunities and promotions. Two different stories! Schools and organization – its time! You have listened for the last few weeks to the painful vlogs, examples of racism and oppression so now is time for us to listen to your plans Our Deaf organizations such as VRS providers {such as Sorenson, Purple,) CSD, NAD, state Commissioners or their equivalents, VR, I occasionally check your website to glimpse the face of your organization. Black and Brown people representative a large percentage of American population. We will not be a “minority” for long. Yet your website showing your organization leadership is mainly white Deaf or white hearing. LEADERSHIP – yes leadership roles are we you have the capacity to influence, have the capacity to empower, have the capacity to be a part of change. Leadership roles matter. Yes, all roles in an organization are important and some organizations have Black and POC Deaf people in roles but leadership… where are they? Where is the true commitment to equity, diversion and inclusion? Placing one person in a role for tokenism is not acceptable. Where is your true commitment to show your values? There is inequity within universities and organizations. True partnership between the Black Deaf community and you must be genuine. The foundation for success will rely on genuine respect, genuine commitment, strategic planning and follow through. -Accountability will now matter – excuses will not.
BLM: Systemic Racism
Warren Snipe

BLM: Systemic Racism

Transcript: “Well… Hello beautiful people. Um, I want to say thank you – to many of you who shared really kind words about the loss of my cat yesterday. It really, honestly happened very fast. It has been tough on my family and I. So thank you to those who messaged me online. That was much appreciated. Hold on, I just need to adjust the camera down a little bit. Shhh (to someone right off-camera) Ok. Ok sorry. I have had oh I feel like – about a week, or week and a half of almost no sleep, tossing and turning. Of course about Black Lives Matter and the chaos with KP and with, with Gallaudet University, and many people going at each other and throwing blame. There is a LOT of fighting, and a LOT of very angry people. We all know tension is really high right now. Many people are feeling very excited about many things. Um… As I’ve been watching all this, I decided to look at certain things again – some good points, some ridiculous but we know better, and some pose interesting questions. Uh, but I need to… ask you a question. I will expand a little bit on the reason why I’m posing this question too. We know about people in general. Again, tension and sensitivity is high right now, so people are sensitive to so many things. And sometimes a sentence, or a post, can be misconstrued (/twisted/misunderstood) so fast without people asking for clarification on what was meant or intended. Or, sometimes someone does clearly understand what was meant, and it is offensive. Ok, alright. You know. So… we’re angry. We’re confused. We are distrusting of one another. But here’s my concern. Someone… or…. Actually let’s put it this way. I’ll give a brief example of what I’m talking about. “KP” Kappa Gamma, the fraternity body. We already know there are some Black Deaf involved – POC involved, and we know many white. We know about the posts that said “We’re sorry for everything that happened” and everything like that. NOW we have people reacting to how you react to that – their post. Some people refuse to believe or accept it, some people are ok with it, some say they’re not really sure if they ‘buy it’, kinda hard to trust it. Some people are just plain mad and trying to outdo one another and go at each other, calling for resignations, and all sorts of things. I understand! Ok – I get it! I’m reading it and – you can’t NOT say that, I get it.
Miki's Second Vlog
25:14
Call out Deaf Community Services (DCS)
Jesse Jones III

Call out Deaf Community Services (DCS)

EDIT: I deleted the word "visual" from the "visual description" because that word is oppressive for some people who are blind and/or Deafblind who do not rely on visual culture. [Description: Jesse Jones III, a dark-skinned man with locs pulled back, a beard, and blue eyes, wearing off-white long-sleeved buttoned shirt, in front of white cupboards.] TRANSCRIPT: Hello, my name is Jesse Jones and I’m a Black Deaf person living here in San Diego. I want to voice something about DCS - Deaf Community Services - here in San Diego, CA. There was a video made recently about Black Lives Matters from DCS, but I felt that they were hypocritical because of the awfully bad systemic racism there at Deaf Community Services (DCS). Examples (of systemic racism) include their hiring; Black Deaf people tend to have a hard time getting hired for jobs. If Black Deaf people by chance get a job there, they’re probably the first to go. If Black Deaf people by luck get a job, their chance of getting promotions is very slim. Those problems are symptoms of systemic racism currently still existing there. DCS, for the past week, laid off two Black Deaf employees, which is of consequential severity. There were altogether of only three, before this week’s two layoffs, ONLY THREE Black Deaf employees there. Now, with the two layoffs, imagine how that one remaining sole Black Deaf employee must feel. Think they feel safe? Also, the two Black Deaf employees who got laid off will have difficulties finding employment. Now, look at other BIPOC people who may attempt to apply for jobs there at DCS- that will be difficult. Their attempts at getting promotions will be difficult. They’ll also probably be the first to go. My heart aches for them. There are a few BIPOC Deaf staff working at DCS. I ask that the DCS executive team, and I ask that the DCS Board of Directors must develop action plan how you WILL dismantle systemic racism at DCS. Show that you will earnestly do the work to ensure that systemic racism is not there anymore, dismantled for good. Systemic racism has to go because Deaf community is important. Black Deaf people, BIPOC Deaf people are both a big part of the San Diego Deaf community. Deaf Community Services serves Deaf community, which is very diverse. Deaf Community Services (DCS) is being led by a hearing person. This is NOT OK. I ask the hearing executive director of DCS to please resign now. Deaf Community Services needs a Deaf executive director. Thank you. #RepresentationMatters #BlackLivesMatter #BlackDeafLivesMatter #SystemicRacism
Black Deaf People are living in fear
Candace Jones

Black Deaf People are living in fear

It has been difficult for me to post this video on my platform. My heart is broken into pieces to see our community is divided by two groups of people who support and not support the basic principles of justice. Don’t lose focus on the big picture of what we are fighting for.....fight against the systemic racism. Coretta Scott King’s quote stated: “ Struggle is a never ending process. Freedom is never really won, you earn it and win it in every generation.” Transcript Credit to Emily Friedberg: 0:00 For the past two weeks, I’ve had a chance to view various posts and vlogs about stories relating to Black History, #BLM, GF (George Floyd), Gallaudet, KG (Kappa Gamma), PKZ (Phi Kappa Zeta), African American, American-born… After viewing them all, I was not sure where to start. Have you noticed that Black Deaf People have started to share their stories relating to racism? Have you noticed that when they start to share their stories, they confess that it is painfully difficult yet they need their stories heard and to be shared. Some of their stories were buried deep in their souls for a long time. Now it’s the time to stop holding back their stories and time to tell what has been happening thus far relating to their experiences growing up: School, work, organizations, and various settings. 1:00 What saddens me the most about this. America is one of the MOST diverse places. I have traveled around the world. I’ve had a chance to visit different countries. Most of the countries I’ve been to have “one culture”, “one homogenous race”, all of them identifiable through each country. In America, we are beautifully diversified, Latino, Black, White, Deaf, Hearing, and many more, Gay, Lesbians, LGBT, Straight, and MANY more groups in one beautiful place in America. It’s really one of the CHAMP places. But sadly, when it comes to Justice, it’s very archaically unjustified. 1:44 I have been cautious about how I present my posts and my stories. Perhaps too cautiously…. People are living in fear and I get it. Some of you know me as a teacher, SIGN1News Anchor, friend, family member. My name is Candace Jones (sign name). People who share their stories have been called out, ridiculed, lambasted, and more on their platform of concerns. Factedly YES. I have no doubts or dissuaded them from sharing their stories. It is their experience and THEIR journey. I completely get it. It is akin to Hearing people trying to tell Deaf people what is best for them, their concept of better education, telling them what to do, that speech/spoken language is better for the Deaf people. Hearing people’s indoctrinations after indoctrinations upon Deaf people. Deaf people are saying ENOUGH, stop telling us what is best for us, or tell us what to do. It is MY (Deaf person) journey, MY experience, and I know what’s BEST for me. Allegorically akin to the Black Deaf people. Maybe you all don’t get it 100% yet how truly a Black person feels inside and what they had to endure in their daily lives 24/7. Just as a hearing person doesn’t understand a Deaf person’s life 24/7 of daily oppression, manipulation, and assumptions. Do hearing people understand it 100%? No, not really. Never! However they can develop SOME empathy and a degree of understanding, learn as they go along, thus providing better justifiable support. This allegorical comparison parallels our Black Deaf people AND Black people needs.
Reflections by Demara Jeanty
Patti Durr

Reflections by Demara Jeanty

Hello, my name is Demara. My namesign is Open B handshape to A handshape near right forehead (demonstrated twice). I am the former NTID Ebony Club (EC) president from 2016. Did I feel like I was “PRESIDENT” – no! Instead I saw us as one big family. We were a collective entity – EBONY CLUB. We were like any big family unit. We would all feel equally welcome to bring any issues to the table to share our feelings, experiences, and put our heart out for all to see. I noticed a pattern to these issues being brought forth, a commonality. We were constantly asking “Where is the access?” “Where is the diversity?” “Where is the inclusion?” There was none around campus. None. Thus, we felt it was time to address these issues and to solve them. We wanted to face them to improve our access and our sense of belonging within the NTID community. And this was not only desired by EC alone – the Latin American Deaf Club, Asian Deaf Club, and other groups had this in common with us. We all looked at each other and agreed YES this is a repeated pattern of exclusion that we share and we EC decided we needed to do something about it. We decided to write a letter. Yes, indeed. We put it all together and when we were done we felt, “yes, this is important to inform NTID President GB (namesign for Gerry Buckley) and all of the NTID community so they are aware of what is going on within our community. Not only were we concerned about the Black and Brown community – no, we were inclusive of all People of Color too. We sent this letter and there was some bustle and an urgent meeting was called. We re-affirmed that YES everything we wrote is the truth and we poured out our raw feelings and experiences, confirming that yes we totally see there is a problem here. Case in point, there are not many diverse faculty/staff members. Where are the people who are the same as us, who fit us? There are little to none. For example, myself as a Black Deaf woman, there are no counselors who really get my personal issues. When I scan the NTID counselors, all I see are White counselors. No Black or Latinx counselors. There is no one like me. I don’t feel any good matches. There is no comfort zone for me there. I have to vent and process my issues to with my friends or my family but with family members there is often communication barriers. NTID is the perfect place to have full access to language via sign language, plus if the person also had the same cultural background as me and similar lived experiences, that would be so beneficial. We really feel the time is now on this. Another issue we expressed is the lack of any Black ASL course offerings. We have a right to know where we come from, our roots. So where, where are these courses for us? Not only BASL but other sign languages and cultural courses. We all agreed and wanted to see NTID be truly inclusive for all. We wanted to see our rights met in a variety of settings such as counseling, clubs, employment and educational along with language rights so we could fully be included. They should not be excluding us. How things transpired – it started with the letter, people talking about it, having meetings, a committee was formed DEI (Diversity, Equality and Inclusion). DEI was formed and the team shared ideas and reviewed different plans with a diverse group of people. It was growing and generating ideas – was it successful? I don’t know but I really hope you keep up the good work, don’t give up. Keep fighting for our COMFORT and sense of HOME. NTID should be a second home because language and communication is there along with friends and a sense of family as we find our common ground and what we have to offer. Where I stand – yes it is TIME to address the need for diversity & inclusion. We were successful in getting the Chief Diversity Officer post created, where Stephanie was hired. A Black Deaf Woman took the post! And we started to see more diversity here and there. That is where we started to see a good effect on NTID’s community and I hope it will continue to grow more and more in the future – for Black, Latinx, Asian, many different races involved. This includes all types of people – different sexual orientations, etc. We really want to include everyone. That is how things started while I was President of EC. We just gave it our all – It wasn’t me alone – it was an amazing team of unity. Remember we all become ONE family and this is our home. Bye bye.
Call out NTID/RIT Part 2 of 2
Franly Ulerio

Call out NTID/RIT Part 2 of 2

Institutional Racism, a kind of systemic violence, in the College of Transcript: Everyone congratulated them and I hoped that their awards would show that their positions are so important to keep. Nope. They shut down the position. The administrative team did not care. They don’t care about diversity and inclusion in SLT. They closed the assistant director position first. Here is the story behind this. The assistant director used to be the advisor for the Ebony Club (EC), a fully Black Deaf organization/club. EC wrote up 6 demands and sent it to the administration. The EC advisor, a white man, joined them to give them perspectives and act as a sounding board for ideas. The Ebony Club executive board was the one who wrote the demands and worked on clarifying the language. The advisor just worked to support that. For some reason, the administrative team found out that that person was the EC advisor and closed that position as a retaliation, not hiring that person again. That completely threw me and students off. We were extremely upset that they closed the position. We needed that position! That position is critically needed, their services and responsibilities are needed. When they cut that off, it threw off so much. To be clear, I know that the administration said they closed it because of financial issues, which is not true. NSC at that time was led by white LGBTQIA students. Those NSC leaders had a dialogue with the administration and made it clear that money is not the issue here. They lied when they blamed it on financial issues. Its not true, simple as that. SLT was struggling with money and understaffs, and they know they need to expand, period. That is when the 2-year position was opened, as a way to pat our heads and hands, to shut us up. Did they plan to keep that position after two years? Not at all. So now, both positions are closed. The system became unstable and unhealthy. After the two year position was closed, they reopened the assistant director position and hired a white person with a PhD. He had no knowledge of community-based leadership. They took that position and shut the wall between them and the community. Many students objected and put in complaints. I don’t need to expand on it further, it is done. We are not satisfied with the current assistant director. Who is their supervisor? NTID administrators, especially VP of Student Affairs and Academic Services. That woman, white woman, allowed that kind of behavior to happen. We’ve already seen clear examples of racism. Any support is quickly cut off and diminished. They control our lives, our voices, our movement, our beliefs. They are aggressively controlling. Now I will move on to another topic. I will talk about my current experiences. When I was president, my NSC VP was a white man. He had an idea to change community structures, and the idea was to label groups. For example, ALANA means race, such as Latinx, Asian, Indigenous, Black people, etc. He wanted to lump them all together and give them one vote. Before they could vote as individual organizations, getting one vote each. He wanted to change that. I stepped in and did not permit that to happen. I knew it would cause many problems and reduce accessibility and would increase miscommunication. I have seen racist systems pit together groups to cause more problems. When I said no to this idea, it became more hostile for me. It got to the point where I did not feel safe. He had to leave. We had to heal and fix this mess. Thats why the community meetings name is NTID Student Congress Assembly (NSCA) was not entirely supported by both of NTID community members and club representatives. There was a lot of missing information. A lot of ownership problems and ego mentality. How did this come up? It goes back to the administrative team, the same three administrators I mentioned before. They loved the idea and the VP of Student and Academic Service, white woman, fully supported it. She went to Student Government calling to change the structure of my community meetings. Does SG know about my community? Absolutely nothing. SG, NSC VP, and the VP of Student and Academic Service had that dialogue without me. I told NSC VP that I said no to this idea. He decided not to tell SG that I said no. They went on without me. When I arrived to the meeting, my NSC VP was not there and when I told them that I said no to this idea, they were shocked and disappointed. It was a huge mess, very bad. The NSCA name was wrong, it used to be called NSA, NTID Student Assembly. This was originally set up by the community, with no influence from the administration, and no influence from SG. The NTID Deaf community decided on this. In this situation, it was not the same. It was not fair. They wanted to show that community meetings are owned and are operated under NSC. It is impossible for them to be structured like that. They must share authority, communicate with each other equally. One cannot control the other. They are like a life force, a breathing living thing, that must share and live together, period. The same concept applies to the Student Life Team department. SLT cannot overtake NSC, and NSC cannot dictate and punish SLT. Both departments must work together. Why? Both of them share resources. Once both have built a stronger relationship, it will become more healthy. Then they can succeed together. If the SLT department is ineffective, then NSC will be struggling. Is that clear? So back to that situation, when the administrators found out- I will back up. As NSC president, working my VP, we can often talk with the VP of Student and Academic Service alone or with other people on either side. When my NSC VP left, I remain stand with my voice and beliefs. I knew I wouldn’t back down, I would keep going. After the administrators found out about that, VP of Student and Academic Service never met with me alone. She always had more than two people to meet with me in the room. Occasionally I would bring in NTID Senator and NSC director of Academic Affairs. But most of the time I would butt heads with the HR lawyer person. Keep in mind, I was only 24 years old and a college student. They treated me as if I was a lawyer myself. That’s how I feel battling with them. It was an ongoing hostility for me. That interaction was no good. It got to a point where enough was enough. I was done. The only witnesses of this were NSC advisors, the director of diversity and inclusion saw this happening too. The director of diversity and inclusion are not here too. They already saw this. It is very concerning and very frightening. That is why the current SLT team is not healthy and not stable. Why? They are choked. They cannot breathe. They cannot get support from the administrators because they are against each other. That is institutional racism. That impacts students of color the most. Back then, the population was majority white, but now it is changing to be more diverse and healthier. But the admin wants to spite that and suppress it. Hiring clueless people, closing positions, weakens SLT’s ability to support all students’ needs. The SLT team already knows they need more staff, but they are controlled by the administrative team. It is hostile for SLT too. That is my perspective.
Call out NTID/RIT Part 1 of 2
Franly Ulerio

Call out NTID/RIT Part 1 of 2

Transcript: Hello, my name is Franly, here is my sign name. Some people know me as (different sign name), because it is an old sign name. I am ok with both sign names. I want to talk about institutional racism in the College of NTID and RIT. Both, yes. Before I begin, I want to acknowledge and be aware that there has been a lot of false information spreading. Often, those are lacking information, and students and people perceive half of the information, and there are no other perspectives provided. Who spreads that information? NTID administrators, faculty & staff, students, and alumni. Those 4 groups of people reinforce institutional racism. I want to be clear: those situations you’ve heard about are typically not true, and there are a lot of misconceptions that are causing confusion and stickiness. It is difficult to address that. That chaos is becoming more violent. It is at the point where trust has been broken at many levels, between me and other white students who hold positions. There is a lot of hidden information that the community doesn’t know. I am choosing not to share because it is not my goal to expose each individual. I am not going to be a part of hunting for others, holding others accountable. Why? That hunt is a part of institutional racism. They are playing us against each other. I want to be clear about where I stand. So now, I want to expand on my background. I served in several different leadership positions. First, I was NTID Student Assembly (NSA) speaker and ran community meetings. Second, I became involved with Latin American Deaf Club, LADC. I also was the student advisor for NTID Student Congress. Lastly, I was also the president of NSC, NTID Student Congress. Those 4 positions plus my job experience. I served on the Student Life Team, SLT. If you don’t know them, you can look at their website. I served one year, but with two different job titles. Each semester was a different title. I also worked as an ambassador, leading tours for prospective students who were curious about the RIT campus and what it looks like, what NTID looks like. That was one of my jobs. I’ve won many awards from community votes. One award, the NTID administration, academic chairperson from different departments voted to pick me as an NTID delegate for RIT’s graduation ceremony in 2015. This is important because RIT has a total of 9 colleges, and their delegates represent them on stage. The NTID delegate, who was me, sits in front of the RIT graduation crows, over 3,000 people, deaf and hearing people mixed. Those people will see the delegates on stage, and each delegate gave a speech on behalf of their college. This meant I gave a speech during the NTID graduation ceremony only. I also forgot to mention that I have also served for Student Government, SG, as a NTID senator. My role focused on the college of NTID as a whole, and any issues within, academic issues, teachers, academic committees, etc. I participated with that and also made sure that NTID had access to other RIT courses by working with senators who represented other colleges.
Crowdsourcing on Deaf schools in USA
Antines "NuNu" Davis

Crowdsourcing on Deaf schools in USA

hello all. How are you? Hope you all are doing well. I am well. My name is Antines Davis, known as NuNu…. from where? Of course! Maryland!!!!! The reason why I’m making this vlog is I want to get a pulse/do some crowdsourcing on what? Deaf institutes/schools to get a feel for/see the school systems around the USA with three important questions. I’m curious to know if yours are the same. First question is what? Your deaf institute/school- is it under the state department of education or not? Second question – does your deaf school have a good/strong union that can protect their employees or no protection? Third question – Does your deaf institute/school have a Board of Trustees? If yes – is it a good Board of Trustees that gathers information from parents, students, staff, deaf community all across that state? Can grievances be brought to the Board of Trustees to be recognized and is action taken or does the Board ignore the grievances? Which? That is what I want to ask you. I am very curious. Now I want to discuss the first question – the state department of education. I am an alumni of Maryland School and am a proud graduate of the Class of 1985. (*smiling* ~asl many many good memories – that year champ~?) I love that class. Wow. Now I wonder – this bothers me. FYI – Maryland School has two campuses – (signing the names for the two campuses - Frederick and Columbia) – Frederick, MD and Columbia, MD. Two deaf institute/school campuses I wonder if you’re aware that Maryland School for the Deaf does NOT fall under MSDE (Maryland State Department of Education)? I didn’t know that. Maryland School for the Deaf true biz is cut off/independent of MSDE. I have a letter to prove this. (showing printed letter with address of receiver redacted/blacked out). *scratching ear* Let me read to you *putting glasses on and adjusting them* Excuse me. Okay. It states “Maryland State Department of Education and Maryland School for the Deaf are separate.” Maryland School for the Deaf does what? Runs on their own. *scratching nose* “Any questions you want to know or (related to) structure, how it is run, any questions reach out straight to who? Maryland School for the Deaf administration and Board of Trustees.” That’s it. *nodding head* Wow. I want you to know about this. *shaking head with a slight smile* okay… I’m confused. This is not clear. I want to understand this. Maryland School for the Deaf is on its own and is separate from MSDE. Remember MSDE stands for Maryland State Department of Education ok? Will abbreviate it all the way for the rest of this vlog. MSDE is separate…. Ok fine… Now I wonder *who* is watching Maryland School for the Deaf? Who is facilitating and supporting the school? Who? Maryland School for the Deaf is independent of MSDE. Ahhh clear! Makes sense. I’ll tell you who – that is OAG watches Maryland School for the Deaf. OAG is who? Office of the Attorney General. That letter I showed you has the information. *waving paper* I will expand on this. Excuse me while I get my glasses to read. *putting glasses on and adjusting them* OAG – Office of Attorney General… OAG assigns an Assistant Attorney General – abbreviated AAG. AAG does what? Advises Maryland School for the Deaf administration and Board of Trustees. AGG’s role is independent. Independent. So if Maryland School for the Deaf wants to know specific questions, information, etc, they can ask OAG. *reading* OAG itself. Now second question – union and third question – board of trustees are no good/weak. No wonder they have no strength because of OAG/AAG… FYI – OAG/AAG do do? Focus on the top at Maryland School for the Deaf – who? Administrators. Others at Maryland School for the Deaf – staff, teachers, teachers aides, dorm supervisors, janitors, cafeteria workers, etc etc are insignificant/pushed to the side. That explains why union and Board of Trustees are weak *nodding/head shake* Oh and OAG more of protects Maryland School for the Deaf administrators not the “other/lesser” employees. That is why the union and Board of Trustees are so weak. For example, remember on June 26th 2020? Do do? Maryland School for the Deaf Board of Trustees meeting *takes glasses off* - during meeting, they went from open to closed to open to closed sessions and pushed away/ignored the Black deaf staff’s list of demands that had been submitted. What to do about that? Something is not right. *shaking head* I want to show you something important associated with the OAG/AAG. Doesn’t make sense. *brings paper with an organizational structure on it – two sections are circled – one in the middle and one in the upper right hand corner* *points to upper right hand corner* *rubs nose* *puts glasses on* *points to middle of paper* The Division of Early Intervention and Special Education Services for the whole state for the State of Maryland *points to middle of paper* *points to upper right hand corner* - OAG. Since Maryland School for the Deaf is separated from MSDE, right? *pushes glasses up* but…… *points to middle of paper (Division of Early Intervention and Special Education Services) – now where to go? *same paper but with a maroon arrow pointing up from Early Intervention to OAG* OAG. No wonder OAG has more control. That is why Board of Trustees and union struggle – can’t stand, can’t voice or fight due to OAG/AAG who ignores them and pushes them aside to focus only on top Maryland School for the Deaf administrators. *clasps hands, kissfist, praise, thumbsup, push aside lesser people* That’s a problem. Why? Maryland School for the Deaf consistently has problems/issues because of that. So what is the solution? You tell me what to do. I want to show you something. A video…. vlog. That person vlogged on last June 3rd, 2020. I want you to watch. His name is James E. Tucker, Superintendent of Maryland School for the Deaf. *nodding* JET vlog starts: ‘Hello, MSD community. I have a letter in front of me by the camera so I will be looking a bit off camera to read it. Okay. We now grieve at the recent passing of three individuals – Ahmaud Arbery, Breonna Taylor, George Floyd, as well as many many other Black individuals who passed away over the years. These deaths caused a lot of pain for many Americans who already are traumatized by a long history of senseless killings in our country. MSD stands to collaborate with the Black community, including our Black staff, students, and families in protest against racism, bigotry, and systematic violence against Black individuals. We support the Black Lives Matter movement and we hope that movement will form a new path to start as many dialogs among ourselves and begin systematic reforms of American institutions to eradicate racism for once and for all.’ NuNu: Well! See the vlog I just shared – see what he said? *shaking head* My mind is blown because this does not fit in with his actions/behavior over the years. He said MSD stands strong against racism, bigotry, blah blah blah blah…. *scratching behind her ear with pained expression* (pause) I don’t get it. (pause with puzzled expression looking off camera with hand on lower face) Thirty years total *shaking head*
my RAW vlog about Phi Kappa Zeta
https://www.facebook.com/isabella.albertdwarikasingh.1/videos/121997749565258/

my RAW vlog about Phi Kappa Zeta

Hello everyone! This is my RAW vlog about Phi Kappa Zeta. I pledged the sorority in 2016 during my last semester at Gallaudet University for about four months. I didn’t want to deal or participate with PKZ right after I graduated in 2016 but, I contributed to it anyway. I was silent about it for a few years but now is the time for me to share with you about PKZ. I’d like to thank Maggie Kopp for doing a transcript and caption for me. I apologize for the light due to the sunset in the video. TRANSCRIPT - Hello, my name is Isabella Albert, *sign name*. I identify as a Black Deaf woman. My pronouns are she, her, hers. *deep sigh* You know, right now, the Black Lives Matter (BLM) movement is elevating right now and everyone started to open up, share stories, discuss. I just joined FB last week, am overwhelmed but yes, I’m trying to take everything in. All your stories are heart-wrenching. Powerful, and I understand. This oppression is finished. Enough is enough. After some thinking, I feel it’s time for me to open up about my experience with racism at phi kappa zeta. I’m a pkz alumni, not a proud sister. The reason I joined? I wanted to do something new, something different, challenging, you know? I asked some BIPOC sisters/alumni what they thought of the sorority. They gave me a thumbs up. Told me it’s a rich & positive experience and I should join. I said fine, but they didn’t share the negative parts. So it seemed a good idea to me. You know, get out of my comfort zone. I applied, got accepted, and pledged in 2016…during my last semester of Gallaudet University. Just a little cute four-month period. I entered, and my world turned upside down. Wow. It wasn’t what I imagined at all. You know, the learning process always has pros and cons, but racism exists in pkz, like all other greek organizations. It’s in their history, culture, deep into the roots. Yes, I experienced racism. Implicit bias & unconscious bias, constantly, here and there. It really had a huge impact on my mental health. Let me give one example—this might be triggering. Okay, one example during the pledge program. A BIPOC pledge broke down into tears because they felt like nobody really did anything to console that person. I immediately checked in, supporting them to make sure they’re okay. But the other day, a white pledge broke down crying and everyone rushed to them, giving moral support and attention. Even pkz sisters checked in and gave good tips for their situation. I was appalled, yeah. When I look at that situation—one person was an international student, one person was from a Deaf family, from Maryland School for the Deaf. Fair? No. That whole picture is a perfect analogy for pkz sisterhood. Yup, that’s what it looks like. There’s so many stories, it’s heavy. Pros and cons, well, based on my observations after the pledge program, sisters of color feel marginalized, really like they’re disappearing in pkz. I saw this as wrong and racist. I already shared and told others my concerns repeatedly. You said oh fine, listened, and talked, but action wasn’t there. I got fed up, I’m not going to waste my energy on that shit. I don’t want to be a part of that elite organization, I was done. Honestly, pkz has 128 years of oppression and harm in many different ways. Doing the opposite of pkz’s “mission” of supporting all women, including non-binary and gender queer people. But they failed to do this for BIPOC sisters. It’s like they’re finally trying to get our attention now, “let’s fix this!” No, it’s too late. To fight racism, stop trying to fix the people, just fix the system that enables racism.Really, if we fix the system for Black people, we automatically fix it for everyone else. Honestly, I have a hard time understanding why some people have that idea of resisting Gallaudet University shutting down all greek organizations. Honestly! Wanna address racism? Let’s start with greek organizations, because the greek world reflects white control. It’s a broken system that divides students at Gallaudet University. It harms everyone regardless of their status. It puts the community at risk, really. I believe that students on campus would feel safe & welcome without greek organizations. Period. Know that greek organizations still reinforce the idea of legacy & generational favoritism in your recruiting. Same family, same race…of white people. You’re from a Deaf family, you’re in. From a well-known Deaf school, you’re in. It’s no secret, just look at the big picture. From the top positions in our community, who’s up there? Who are the leaders, who are in high positions, who are at the frontline of organizations? They’re all white. That’s clear. The message underneath…is that whiteness is considered valuable. The networks, the connections, the eye-winking, all that shit. Where does that come from? The answer is right there. I hope that greek organizations will address issues that have been ignored for so long. Swept under the rug, building up a pile that’s incredibly filthy. There needs to be accountability, and accept the shut down. Replace with a new program, new concept. What’s wrong with that? It always starts small, really whatever happens will have a domino effect. My heart is heavy for all pkz sisters of color who tried to get it right, and those who quit for good. White sisters, do the work. Thanks for watching and listening.
LGBT+ Experiences: Koko's Story
Deaf Counseling Center

LGBT+ Experiences: Koko's Story

Transcript: A description of Koko, a Black DeafBlind male, bald head, salt-pepper beard, wears his red jumpsuit, a silver necklace with a black zodiac sign “Virgo” pedant, and black ring on his right hand. Transcript: Hello to you all. My name is Koko. I’m a Black DeafBlind Gay man. Sharing with you, I have been out for about twenty three years. It was on Christmas Day in 1997, that I was trying to understand my feelings about how I had started to like men. It took courage to come out to my family. The most important person was my grandmother (my mother’s mother) who comforted me with her words. “Koko, we love you. Being gay doesn’t change who you are. And please be aware of yourself out in the world”. My struggle as a DeafBlind man is secondary. In the eyes of society, I’m Black and that is a huge challenge because of racism. People then learn the fact that I’m DeafBlind. Of course, I’ve overcome many obstacles where all layers of my identity are challenged. Tactile sign language & Protactile are huge factors. Sometimes people assumed that I was being fake as a DeafBlind person when I put my hand on a person’s hand for information. However, I have people from the community who are my allies. I keep my circle smaller, filled with people who I trust and who honor autonomy. Now, I look back twenty three years, I have become more wise and experienced. Being a Black DeafBlind Gay male is an embrace of my own autonomy. Just want to let you all know how important it is to welcome all Black DeafBlind people into the LGBTQIA+ community. Listen and learn, LGBTQIA+ community. Disclaimer: The videos featured by Deaf Counseling Center (DCC) are contributed on a purely voluntary basis by community members and shared with permission. DCC is not responsible for the content or accuracy of the videos. Our sharing the video does not imply our view or endorsement. www.deafcounseling.com
Raw feeling!
Jamal Garner

Raw feeling!

[Image Description: a Black bearded man is wearing a lime green shirt that also has an outline of city (St. Louis) skyscrapers, buildings, and a resemblance to the Arch, with a word in yellow: Garner above the buildings. He is wearing a black short, and he is sitting on a dark blue comforter. The comforter also has light blue stripes, and colors of green stripes can be seen. The background consists of a bright white wall. The video is vertical.] Transcript: Hello everyone. Happy Sunday. I want to express my raw feelings about this. [Jamal takes a deep breath]. Yes, I’ve had painful experiences with people. I’m a victim of death threats, bullying, harassment, cyber threats, and more. People are angry and calling me names because I’m a member of Kappa Gamma Fraternity. [Jamal takes a deep breath]. I admit I feel pain. I feel shitty. I’ve suffered a lot from these people. They are telling me that I’m part of a problem. [Jamal’s head slowly whips back and comes to front, facing the camera]. My question to them is: what did I do to them? Where did I hurt you? [Jamal shakes his head]. Look at me. I’m a Black man. You have forgotten about Black Lives Matter. B-L-M. Your focus are on fraternities, and you want to humiliate and shame them. You should shift your attention to BLM and Gallaudet. Again, Kappa Gamma is not the face of systemic racism. Shift your focus to Gallaudet. Gallaudet is the face of systemic racism. [Jamal looks down, shakes his head]. Right now, am I okay? No. It feels… it feels like someone is lynching and kneeling on my neck. It feels like I’m dying. [Jamal looks around, takes a deep breath, and mutters something]. Naw. This is not safe for me.