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Successful Deaf Black Advocates. A Short History of National Black Deaf Advocates.

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successful deaf black advocates

Successful Deaf Black Advocates

Transition Services Preparation & Training

a short history of national black deaf advocates
A Short History of National Black Deaf Advocates

* The story of Black Deaf Advocates goes back to 1980, where the idea was brought up to a small group of locals in DC, meeting with the board of the Deaf Pride. They were concerned about identifying Black Deaf people, problems that prevent Black Deaf from achieving their potential, and the lack of leadership. Since motivation brings together shared experiences, ideas, hopes talents, and abilities, it was apparent that isolation was a key factor. Goals were developed, and other skills that are usually ignored were discussed.

  • In July of 1980, NAD had its convention in Ohio. A Black Caucus was developed. Though several members of the DC group were there, this was not a part of the BDA movement. These two events should not be confused.
  • In August of 1980, Charles ( Chuck) Williams came to DC to file a class action suit against the National Democratic Convention; seeking to force the convention to televise a sign language interpreter throughout the meeting in order to make it accessible to the deaf people. Chuck was invited to work with the local BDA planners. From this, the theme "The Black Experience" was born. A mini conference was held for planning in November of the same year. The chairperson of the conference was Ms. Lottie Crook, Vice Chairman, Lindwood Smith, and Interpreter Coordinator, Ms. Shirley Johnson, and Mr. Robert Howard as the trainer and consultant.

Transition Services Preparation & Training

slide3
Nearly one year later, on June 25 - 26th of 1981, the conference became a reality. The conference brought together nearly 100 Black people from the deaf community, who met at Howard University.
  • In August of 1982, the Cleveland conference took place, attracting nearly 300 people from across the United States. Topics were related to section 504, Mental Health, Substance Abuse, Social Services, and Hearing Parents with deaf children.
  • A debate was held as to whether a national organization should be formed. The idea was accepted. The national executive secretary, Mr. Albert Couthen was elected to coordinate the efforts to form a national office. The vote was cast that Philadelphia, Pa would host the next conference with Ms. Elizabeth Moore-Aviles as president of that chapter.
  • So, in August of 1983, the second conference was held in Pennsylvania with nearly the same number in attendance as the previous year. The focus was on leadership and education. The first beauty pageant was held, and Ms. Ronnie Mae Tyson was chosen as the reigning Miss Black Deaf America. During this time, New York asked to be recognized as chapter #4, and they were chosen as host of the conference for 1984. Ms. Patricia Johnson was president of the NY chapter. Also during that time, Al Couthen resigned after successfully helping Philadelphia with their conference.

Transition Services Preparation & Training

slide4
Following Al Couthen's resignation, Sheryl Guest-Emery was elected as the continuing national executive secretary. Under her administration, she was challenged to develop a set of national by-laws and incorporate the organization, as well as to develop procedures to make sure that the by-laws would be implemented. Dr. Seth Tetteh-Ocloo was appointed as acting treasurer and greatly assisted with the development of the bylaws and incorporation. Ms. Pamela Reichelle Anderson of Detroit Michigan set about to obtain the 501 (C)3 tax exempt status for NBDA and was successful.
  • During the conference of 1983-1984, Atlanta joined as chapter #5, and Detroit became chapter #6 and Chicago was #7. All of the newly formed chapters were using the structure of the newly developed by-laws. In 1986 Nashville TN became chapter #8, and Memphis became chapter #9 in 1987. Tennessee was the first state to hold two chapters.

Transition Services Preparation & Training

deaf black success stories
1. Alesia Howard

2. Angela McCaskill

3. Donald A. Tinsley

4. Fred Beam

5. Glenn B. Anderson

6. Isaac Agboola

7. Joanel Lopez

8. Marvin “Timothy” Albert

9. Michelle Banks

10. Nathie Marbury

11. Thomas Samuels

12. Toronja Williams

13. Tyese Wright

Deaf Black Success Stories

Transition Services Preparation & Training

alesia howard
Alesia Howard
  • *Graduated with a Bachelor of Science degree
  • in Psychology from Rochester Institute of Technology (RIT) in Rochester, NY.
  • She's performed in theater productions at RIT's National Technical Institute for the Deaf, was a member of the Gospel Ensemble, worked as a resident advisor, and worked on different committees that fostered a sense of community and promoted cultural diversity. But her favorite extra-curricular activity was being a member of Ebony Club, and she served as President for one year.
  • * Her advice to others? “There is so much support out there these days, that there is no excuse you cannot do it,” Alesia affirms. “Yes, it's hard. But you can do it, and never give up.”
  • More on Alesia…

Transition Services Preparation & Training

angela mccaskill

Angela McCaskill

Received her Ph.D May 14, 2004 at Gallaudet University in Special Education Administration.

Worked as Coordinator of Residence Education at the Model Secondary School for the Deaf and Gallaudet University and Assistant Principal at the Model Secondary for the Deaf.

“The road to success is not straight. There is a curve called Failure, a loop called Confusion, speed bumps called Friends, red lights called Enemies, caution lights called Family, and you will have flats called Jobs. But, if you have a spare called Determination, an engine called Perseverance, insurance called Faith, and a driver called Jesus, you can make it to a place called Success.”

More on Angela…

Transition Services Preparation & Training

donald a tinsley
Donald A. Tinsley
  • *Former National Black Deaf Advocates (NBDA)
  • Treasurer and Board member, Mr. Donald Tinsley,
  • made history at the Indiana Association of the Deaf
  • (IAD) biennial conference in April 2003 where he was
  • elected IAD first Black president. IAD has only once
  • before had a Black officer—Joe Kindred, who was
  • elected IAD Secretary in 1963.
  • Donald is the Program Director of Deaf and Hard of
  • Hearing Services (DHHS) at Indiana Government Center in
  • Indianapolis, Indiana.
  • He graduated from the Indiana School for the Deaf in 1969
  • and attended the National Technical Institute for the
  • Deaf (NTID), in Rochester, NY. He also earned an
  • associate degree in Electrical Engineering Technology
  • from Indiana University—Purdue University at
  • Indianapolis (IUPUI).
  • More on Donald…

Transition Services Preparation & Training

fred beam
Fred Beam
  • Fred was the first ever to have a Deaf African American
  • leading role in the history of hearing theater. He was also
  • the first Deaf African American actor to have a leading role in
  • Equity Theater in Chicago, possibly in the nation.
  • Beam is dedicated member of the National Black Deaf
  • Advocates— he is a former President of DC Area Black
  • Deaf Advocates (DCABDA), former DCABDA Board member
  • and has chaired numerous DCABDA committees.
  • Beam is the founder of Invisible Hands Inc., which is made
  • up of a number of different companies including: The Wild
  • Zappers, an all male deaf dance company which has toured
  • nationally and internationally; National Deaf Dance Theatre,
  • a mainstream dance company for both deaf and hearing
  • communities; and I Didn’t Hear That Color, a deaf African
  • American touring theater troupe.
  • More on Fred…

Transition Services Preparation & Training

glenn b anderson
Glenn B. Anderson
  • *The U.S. Senate confirmed six of President Bush’s
  • nominees to the National Council on Disability
  • (NCD) on September 26, 2002. Among those confirmed
  • was Glenn B. Anderson, Ph.D., of Little Rock, Arkansas.
  • * Dr. Anderson is director of training at the University of
  • Arkansas Rehabilitation and Training Center for Persons
  • who are Deaf or Hard of Hearing.
  • He is a professor in the Department of Rehabilitation,
  • Human Resources, and Communications Disorders and
  • he also serves as chair of the Board of Trustees at
  • Gallaudet University.
  • More on Glenn…

Transition Services Preparation & Training

isaac agboola
Isaac Agboola

* Was appointed chair of the Department of Business at

Gallaudet University effective May 2003. He is the first

deaf African American chair of an academic department

at Gallaudet University.

*Was the secretary of the District of Columbia Black Deaf

Advocates and Workshops Chair for the 2003 NBDA

Conference.

*He is involved in numerous community activities including

serving on the Maryland Governor's Advisory Board for

Telecommunications Relay (GABTR), Treasurer of the

Gallaudet University Alumni Association, and advisor to the

Zeta Sigma Psi fraternity, a new fraternity established by

black male students at Gallaudet University.

More on Isaac…

Transition Services Preparation & Training

joanel lopez
Joanel Lopez
  • * Lopez is a Lexington School for the Deaf graduating senior
  • who has his mind set on enrolling at Howard University
  • in the fall. Only once before in the 140 year history of
  • Lexington has a graduating senior applied, got accepted,
  • and elected to enroll into Howard University, a historically
  • Black college.
  • * He participated on the Lexington soccer, softball,
  • and wrestling teams. He also served as his class
  • representative to the school’s student government.
  • His goal is to study politics and science in the hopes to
  • protect the environment.
  • More on Joanel…

Transition Services Preparation & Training

marvin timothy albert
Marvin “Timothy” Albert
  • *He become the first Deaf president of a hearing
  • organization, overseeing all of RIT’s black Greek and non-Greek
  • organizations. Also, he pledged Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity,
  • Inc., an international black Greek fraternity.
  • While juggling school, Tim served on several local and national
  • NBDA committees. He received two national awards from NBDA
  • and also holds the distinction as being the NBDA’s first and only
  • King. Today, he is the President of District of Columbia Area BDA
  • (DCABDA) and on his ninth year as NBDA Youth Empowerment
  • Summit (Y.E.S.) Director. He also serves as the only man on the
  • Board of Directors for Deaf Abused Women Network (D.A.W.N.).
  • He is graduating with a Masters of Social Work degree, and is
  • talking about getting a Ph.D in the future.
  • More on Timothy…

Transition Services Preparation & Training

michelle banks
Michelle Banks
  • *Michelle Banks is the founder and artistic director of Onyx
  • Theatre, Inc. Her films credits include Malcolm X and
  • Compensation.
  • *Played in her first television role last fall in a popular Black
  • television series called "Soul Food."
  • Serves as the Cultural Director for LABDA.
  • * She attended Kendall Demonstration Elementary
  • School (KDES), the Model Secondary School
  • for the Deaf (MSSD), and Gallaudet University.
  • More on Michelle…

Transition Services Preparation & Training

nathie marbury
Nathie Marbury
  • Her face is familiar—it is on the cover of videotapes about sign language storytelling. But Nathie Marbury, who has finished the coursework for her PhD in Applied Linguistics at the University of California, Los Angeles, considers herself primarily a teacher. Marbury has taught deaf and hearing students throughout the United States. She is part owner of a sign language videotape company, Building Bridges, and teaches at Shoreline Community College in Seattle.

More on Nathie…

Transition Services Preparation & Training

thomas samuels
Thomas Samuels

* He was the first Chairperson of the National Black Deaf

Advocates (NBDA) Board of Directors and also served

as NBDA Vice-President for three years.

*Also a Black Deaf history researcher, Samuels has given

numerous Black Deaf history presentations/workshops

locally and nationally to Deaf and hearing organizations,

Deaf Senior Citizens, Schools, Colleges, Libraries, and

social groups.

*Thomas is a professional videographer and photographer

and is currently working on developing Black Deaf related

literatures, videotapes, photos and CD of Black Deaf history.

More on Thomas…

Transition Services Preparation & Training

toronja williams
Toronja Williams
  • * Was crowned Miss Black Deaf America (MBDA)
  • 2003 during the 19th Annual NBDA Conference in Detroit.
  • A graduate of the American School for the Deaf (ASD)
  • in West Hartford, Connecticut, she currently attends a
  • community college and hopes to transfer to University of
  • Pennsylvania for her bachelor's degree in Political Science.
  • “You've got to have a positive self-esteem and believe
  • that you can be anything you want to be!"
  • More on Toronja…

Transition Services Preparation & Training

tyese wright
Tyese Wright
  • *Graduated Valedictorian and received the Linwood Smith Award and the Kendall Cup which is Kendall's most prestigious award, for excellence in academics, leadership and extracurricular activities.
  • She currently teaches kindergarten at Kendall Demonstration Elementary School (KDES).
  • At the tender age of nine, she recited the Pledge of Allegiance in sign language for President Ronald Reagan at the bicentennial celebration of the United States Constitution in front of over two hundred thousand spectators.
  • At age eleven, she served as a U.S. delegate in Paris, France for the Children's International Summer Village, a volunteer organization that promotes peace, leadership and long friendships and was featured in the 1995 issue of World Around Us Magazine, entitled "An American in Paris." She's also featured in the first book written on successful deaf women.
  • More on Tyese…

Transition Services Preparation & Training

references
References
  • http://www.deafweb.org/bdahistory.htm
  • NDBA website: http://www.nbda.org/index.html
  • http://clerccenter.gallaudet.edu/WorldAroundYou/nov-dec97/interview.html

Transition Services Preparation & Training