Advertisements

Tag Archives: Deaf Culture

OAD-NAD Release Statements

Advertisements

In Memory of Magidel Sanchez: Who Says Deaf Was “Irrelevant?”

-7.jpeg

The state of Oklahoma has decided not to charge police officers for the murder claimed that it was justified aka “good or legitimate reason” shooting. In Michelle Alexander’s book, The New Jim Crow: Mass Incarceration in the Age of Colorblindess:

“Most striking, perhaps, is the overwhelming evidence that implicit bias measures are disassociated from the explicit bias measures. In fact, studies indicate that people become increasingly harsh when an alleged criminal is darker and more “stereotypically black”; they are more lenient when the accused is lighter and appears more stereotypically white. This is true of jurors as well as law enforcement officers.”

It is a real tragic what happened in Oklahoma City where Magdiel Sanchez, a Deaf Disabled Latino man were killed by police which its job was sloppy and unprofessional. It was all about about stereotypes because Magdiel was Latino and Deaf. It could have been avoided. It could have easier for all of us. It could have better compassion. It was unbelievably, without question, what David Prater, District Attorney for the state of Oklahoma, created Audism, by saying: “the fact that Sanchez was deaf was “irrelevant”….you don’t need to hear to know what these officers are saying to you.” OUCH! That’s really low! Maybe one of the lamest excuses ever coming from District Attorneys anywhere. The definition of irrelevant:

Adjective. Not connected with or relevant to something. Of course, Deaf people are not connected with the social acceptance! Seeing Audism is not the problem, how will we accept and learn how to care for the people we see which people would see it as a problem? Why is that? How can it be irrelevant? Mr. Prater does not know what it feels like to be Deaf. That is not his place to say that. Totally not necessary. Not so cool.

Do you think David Prater is a Audist? It is not the first time he said that. He said same thing about Pearl Pearson, a Deaf Black man. He does not even care about Deaf people. The letter Prater writes about Pearson, “he was either hearing impaired or that he couldn’t hear due to the loud traffic noise…” shows that he lacks awareness about Deaf culture. That is the problem that there are not ENOUGH awareness training about Deaf people in police academy. They’d fuck you over.

Suppose, if we follow the quote written by Jose Zalaquett Daher:

If you close a wound without cleaning it, it will fester and reappear.”

How can Deaf community heal a wound when a Deaf man who was unarmed and completely innocent was shot several times when he cannot hear the commands? Will it re-appear somewhere in America when a Deaf person gets killed by police for being “Deaf”? It is a high probability even if it is unpredictable in the hidden statistics, yes, it will be. The double oppression in this police brutality, it was also added Racism played a big factor in this scene.

Dr-E-Psychological-Evaluation-in-Manila.jpg

Ready for the bigger problem? In Oklahoma, if someone wants to be a police officer, they’d have to pass psychological evaluation by licensed psychologist in the state of Oklahoma, and that was the iceberg of the ignorance. So, if it comes to psychological evaluation, was there a question mark down, “How would you deal with Deaf person?” It is critical! They cannot IGNORE that question. Deaf people cannot be left out of the social acceptance. We must not forget sensitivity training.

What works to get Deaf community to build trust with police by having a policy from Deaf community to make a statement, “our policy is take four years ASL classes, Deaf Studies, and Deaf Culture as a requirement for police departments.” It would keep build better awareness. It is not that hard. Deaf people have lived enough to deal with the fact they are living in strong-dominated hearing community. Is that not hard to see that?

We do not need Trump’s policy to beef up harsher police brutality and harm Deaf people. Police brutality is one of the greatest social problems; we shall explore the social position of oppression (Audism and Racism) in Deaf community and discuss how Audism and Racism intersects with Deaf community, and what is involved to talk more about Audism and Racism? Then we can consider the position of oppression in the institutional areas of Deaf people. We can conclude the awareness with an examination of social movements and social change.

As for the police officers and David Prater, who refused to accept the fact that they created Audism and Racism—isn’t that a double standard? The American spirit: the history of hidden Audism as a way of looking at life? Whatever happened to the circle of freedom? Such questions like that were necessary because in the case of Deaf community, pain is seeded as originated from the viewpoints. Do American spirit define Deaf community as a people and nation? That includes immigrants, too. Any one.

Seeing Deaf people gets killed by police—may have caused us all to deal and suffer at what a long way we have come. It is not the first time that police got away with the murder of unharmed Deaf people. It could happen to one of us.

tick-tock-day1-e1419845032153.jpg

Blink. Blink. Blink. Tick. Tock. Forgotten soul. We must not forget Magdiel Sanchez. We must remember this from Magdiel’s family initial press statement dated September 22, 2017:

“We are devastated by Magdiel’s death and the fact it occurred at the hands of OKCPD even though he was not a suspect for any crime, was not breaking any laws, and was standing in his own front yard with his trusted walking stick.”

***OKCPD stands for Oklahoma City Police Department***

-JT

Copyright © 2017 Jason Tozier

This text may be freely copied in its entirely only, including this copyright message.

References:

Alexander, Michelle. The New Jim Crow: Mass Incarceration in the Age of Colorblindess. Page 107.

 

 

 

 

Understanding Stigma About Deaf People

51SUb1XmhxL._SX305_BO1,204,203,200_.jpg

Remember the book I was reading few weeks ago, Stand Up to Stigma: How We Reject Fear and Shame by Pernessa C. Seele–finally finished reading the book and has put many questions that needs to be seen in Deaf community.  Once promoting the culture of stigma means to defame others. At the same time, however, stigma have some kind of social rule in what the members of a society are forced to taught when they are growing up.

The eyes of xenophobia about Deaf people are once again invisible.

One of the most difficult issues for the survivors of stigma is thinking how widespread the stigma is. As bad as stigma in Deaf community may be, where is the direction of making some effort, through community help, to reduce stigma about Deaf people and increase awareness for Deaf people?

In all likelihood, Deaf people have been the survivors of stigma—ignorance in the society. Life had not easy for the lives of Deaf people, their future should have been looked bright. In the spirit of renewed activism and social justice, Deaf people should be generally more willing to share their stories, even if it means suffering in the shadows of stigma.

ACTIVISM-icon.jpg

Has stigma take a backseat to tolerance or ignorance in today’s society? In the spirit of tiredness activism, are Deaf people generally more willing to express their experiences through the stages of stigma? Even if it means suffering through the acts of stigma and…..hate. Life had not been easy for Deaf people; the future should have been bright for each of them.

Finally, as a form of stigma, what kind of it would serve the society a purpose?

-JT

Copyright © 2017 Jason Tozier

This text may be freely copied in its entirely only, including this copyright message.

Eyes to the Knowledge of Interpreters

-2.jpeg

Thank you, DEAF LIFE for giving me the opportunity to write an editorial column called Interpreters in Deaf Education: Them and Us for November 2017’s DEAF LIFE. If you are curious what the article is about, please subscribe DEAF LIFE. Interpreters are important assets in our every day life. Without interpreters, it would be not so quite triumphant as it ought to have been. Imagine in a higher education environment, interpreters are also critical in our eyes.

-JT

Copyright © 2017 Jason Tozier

This text may be freely copied in its entirely only, including this copyright message.

 

Why You Should Pick Gallaudet To Be Your Home

265-1416203-1.JPG

Let’s begin in the beginning where we are on our own. When you are walking across Gallaudet University, you will see a rise of a gleaming memorial to discover your Deaf identity in this time line. The old bricks of great hands built Gallaudet University together, the ambitious effort to create a Deaf-space integrated, so connected, ASL continue to flourish. With the sidewalks that has hold the foot prints of Great Hotchkiss, Foster, Draper, Amos, Veditz, Tiegel, Fay, Hanson, McGregor, Clerc and list of game changers had found their home.

As Laurent Clerc writes, “A knowledge of history is extremely useful; it lays before our eyes the great picture of the generations that have preceded us; and in relating the events which passed in their time…it lays before us the precepts of the wise…of all ages.”

Just any time you see the flag of Gallaudet University, the welcome would be your entrance to your home. The flag flap in the wind at the at the entrance to each of our eyes–for the higher learning mecca in Deaf world. That is where the most attractive piece of human being and the state of being Deaf.

For the purpose of the journey for Gallaudet University, the most important Gallaudetian motto: There is No Other Place Like This in The WorldBy far came in the year of 1864, the search for home to empower Deaf people, no longer in the sullen silence of despair had found hope in National Deaf-Mute College now known today as Gallaudet University. What is Deaf Space and why should Gallaudet be your home? One of its key ideas, the creation of having Gallaudet as your home, helps to continue the future of Deaf stories there, and will not be forgotten. Let’s carry the flames of 1864 to today.

To make it even more real home, it would take a breathtaking in its sheer scope to make radical changes, for example, get involved and in repealing Audism on Gallaudet campus. Let’s end the witch-hunt. Funding is the name of the game. Tough-on-hate policies. Work to defeat fear-mongering culture. Ban hearing privileges.

Stop allowing propaganda style to infiltrate our common senses. Gallaudet University needs to bring ASL ethics and philosophy back into Gallaudet’s higher learning system. Today on the campus of Gallaudet University, I was told that it is only 50% of people who works there do not know ASL. Is there any validity why we should bring it up in this dialogue in a concrete reason?

If we do not take action above then why are we still creating a culture of fear? How would you pick to make Gallaudet your home? Even today, the energy of Gallaudet viewed as an important “cardinal” chapter in Deaf community, the glory years of ASL stories, and the old Deaf souls, still carry satisfying memories around Gallaudet community. Then it is time to think whether you should pick Gallaudet University as your home. Hey, are you home now?

42e77c29-f3f3-44c0-bb89-2be2409acdfb.png

-JT

Copyright © 2017 Jason Tozier

This text may be freely copied in its entirely only, including this copyright message.

 

The Gallaudet CI Lab

-1.jpeg

When I saw this advertisement at Gallaudet University the other day, the administration and Gallaudet Institutional Review Board [IRB] approved the idea of “The Gallaudet CI Lab”—is another good example of oppression spiral. Perhaps the university administration started getting what could be called “bored” only in their time. Might it be connected with the oppression?

Oppression? Yes, it is! This is the world in progress. Deaf people are already in progress. Oppression is not a progress. The Gallaudet CI Lab is not a progress. This is Gallaudet University, one of the most popular places to be Deaf. Being not Deaf enough is not very clever. It is simple and serious. It is not even a rhetorical question; it is a plea for a pity—progressing away from progress. Why did the advertisement say, “Hey, CI Users! We need your help!”–yes, the kind of help to make Gallaudet rich. It is all about money.

Well, if progress means change toward the best, and being Deaf is the best, then progress means change towards ASL. Do we agree that ASL is the goal of progress? No, CI is not the progress. Bomjun Kwon—Laboratory of Auditory Perception and Cochlear Implants, encouraged The Gallaudet CI Lab idea.

Who is Bomjun Kwon? He is currently an associate professor in Hearing, Speech, and Language Science department at Gallaudet University. He published eight articles or more about cochlear implants. In an overview, Kwon writes, “We often compare experimental results across listener populations: for example, normal hearing and hearing-impaired listeners (for a further classification, hearing-aid users vs. cochlear implants users)”

In a Gallaudet website, ‘the research in the laboratory of auditory perception and cochlear implants has been funded by an NIH grant awarded to Dr. Kwon on perceptual effects of stimulation configuration of cochlear implants.’

Do not be surprised if Karl White supports this idea—and also, do not be surprised if Kwon and White keep in touch with each other. We all know that Karl White had the effect of creating a series of false images, and the dismissal of Deaf people with goals to collapse of the Deaf community. Why is that we were not informed about Bomjun Kwon? Could he be the next Karl White at Gallaudet University? Are you aware that Kwon holds two United States patents regarding coding strategies of cochlear implants? Gallaudet University must pay him a lot of money to make Gallaudet University proud. How much are they paying Kwon to create another patent?

What happened to intellectual life of the Deaf into the 21st century? ASL belongs in higher education of all the Deaf. Within probing intelligence, scholarly rigor, and humanist concern, Deaf people continue to be at the forefront of the struggle to bring the knowledge of past and present users of ASL in the rest of the world. Gallaudet University should be always—ASL-centered. Not CI-Centered or CI Lab.

-JT

Copyright © 2017 Jason Tozier

This text may be freely copied in its entirely only, including this copyright message.

References:

http://www.gallaudet.edu/department-of-hearing-speech-and-language-sciences/research/auditory-perception-lab

 

 

From Rejection of Deaf People in Hollywood Industry

38a.jpg

Ah, people has asking me what are my thoughts about the latest movie, “Wonderstruck” from what I understand that there were hearing people who pretended to be Deaf– has shed light on what hearing privileges really mean when they attack Deaf people and steal the image from them as well as free speech, too. I am not writing about the law or the Constitution, I am writing about how hearing actors or actresses hijack the system and using it to amplify oppression as a message. The illustration above was drawn by Brian Selznik.

I continue to be amazed by the unnecessary cruelty of the Hollywood industry, which has again taken aim at the most vulnerable members of the society in the name of language hegemony. Isn’t Hollywood industry was supposed to be the “civil rights and human rights” safeguard to protect Deaf people from unequal treatment? Obviously not. It is not the first time what Julianna Moore has continue to be ignorant about the importance of Deaf Studies in recent memory.

11377098_468997496601495_2069871123942095199_n.jpg

A graphic created by Amber Zion–Deaf person with plenty of talent!

This is the time to think about that there are plenty of Deaf talent can do to stop exploitation of Hollywood to hire hearing actors or actress to act as Deaf. We need to educate them in anti-bias and anti-bullying discourses. Can we educate them with effective tactics that defuse exploitation before they can trigger over time into the kind of systematic oppression?

When Deaf people show the world that they have talent in acting with better eye movements, learns of people with hearing privileges and deceit, they essentially disowns Deaf citizens and implore them to shut up and stay in the cell in order to allow them to beat their appearance up and harm their reputations. Again, when Deaf citizens learn that the oppression in Hollywood have been returned to be practiced, they are suffering in the hands of oppressors. Oh, the sentencing of their fate!

We are tired of the worst oppression over the past year that a well-known Hollywood actress has again stepped over Deaf people just like stamped out Audism! Did Hollywood really acknowledge their errors? No. Instead, in the days since, oppression of Deaf people in Hollywood scenes, they would probably refuse to acknowledge their mistakes. All evidence to the contrary, Hollywood have continued to insist on Julianna Moore’s false version as a Deaf person, ignoring the grief of Deaf community, who are trying to make an attempt to educate the society that there are plenty of Deaf people who can show their talents.

Even a Deaf administrator and moderator for Deaf Talent Guild News wrote, “I do not wish to see any more posts critical of Julianna Moore for taking the deaf adult role nor discussing plans for a boycott of the movie Wonderstruck, which frankly in my opinion would be counter productive. I know some of you may not have fond opinions of her after reading the news of what she did…she may have already realized by now she made a mistake; let her be.”

Umm, excuse me, what about the pain what Deaf community has suffered? Where is the compassion? This is a disgrace. We are talking about the opportunity—no longer in the invisible hand. Isn’t Hollywood supposed to be the land of the opportunity? Deaf people on Mother Earth have a reason–know no life other than America. Can we even recognize Hollywood’s America?

I want to make it clear that this is not hoax or an exaggeration. I have been personally embarrassed by this whole ordeal, but out of continued frustration, I find it now necessary to write about what occurred in Hollywood. I feel that least writing this post could help start healing process. When I had been chosen to as an actor for Deafhood Monologues in Washington, D.C.—I understood the importance of Deaf talent where Julianna Moore has twice oppressed the Deaf community—with the quote below:

You will know you are completely done with something when you give it up and feel freedom instead of loss”.—Emily Maroutain

-JT

Copyright © 2017 Jason Tozier

This text may be freely copied in its entirely only, including this copyright message.

References:

https://www.neh.gov/humanities/2012/januaryfebruary/feature/deaf-meets-wonderstruck

 

Can Deaf Returning Citizens Exist Without Deaf Community?

 

il_340x270.1189917083_fb0w.jpg

Can Deaf returning citizens exist without Deaf community? I do not think so. I believe that is important for information, knowledge, and communication. No one can take away the attribution of success and breach human rights. Bringing awareness about the term of “Returning Citizen” would make all difference.

No more “felons”—no more “convicts”—no more “offenders”—no more negativity. Returning citizen is a positive term. Can Deaf returning citizens deserve to be let alone to resume their life without the haters breathing down their necks? It goes way too far in the continuous punishment. As a nation, I believe that the failure of ignoring hard facts and expert opinions to be discussed in many public policy issues even in Deaf community.

When you see someone bully a Deaf returning citizen, how will you react to it? Does it make it an impressive train wreck? Makes you feel good about it?

I can bully and make Deaf returning citizens ashamed….I bring hatred to their faces…I make them cover their faces by how cyber-bullying can solve problems. I am the greatest bully, and they are inferior. I can do a good job by teaching bullies because it is awesome feeling to do this!”

Have we forgot about the importance of liberty and justice for all? Remember, the society has been trying to teach us the awareness of how to stop bullying including cyber-bullying and end the same way: suffer and humiliation. Do we really understand the Eighth Amendment to the United States Constitution: Cruel and Unusual Punishment?  This is the real epidemic out there that needs to be addressed and examined. Break the stigma.

10-Awareness-Pictures-on-Road-Safety-5.jpg

Please be aware about October as National Bullying Prevention Month. If you know someone who is a Deaf returning citizen who is in need for counseling for well-being, please feel free to get in touch with Deaf Counseling Center for more information.

http://www.deafcounseling.com/contact-us/

-JT

Copyright © 2017 Jason Tozier

This text may be freely copied in its entirely only, including this copyright message.

National Bullying Prevention Month: Deaf Returning Citizens

bystander.jpg

I would like to focus on writing about Deaf returning citizens and how to support them instead of bullying them. Deaf returning citizens recognize the society’s described behavior as a form of bullying which is and has been normalized in Deaf community, like competition over sharing. It is important to call out bullying as the social sickness it is.

That said, the Deaf community is now exposing the emotional hurt of their world and in this writing, tied it into fear of bullying drivers. As a member of Deaf community and a returning citizen who had experienced bullying and dealt with the bulk of the public accusations were kicked off in a style. October is National Bullying Prevention Month.

Since the bullying popped into my life scene and become part of my social and professional landscape. My life routinely overlaps at events and social media. I say hello friendly to each other in the way that you are friendly to someone who shares your goals and a generous portion of your friend group, but maybe not a lot of mutual respect.

To me, bullies have always been a pitch-perfect caricature of the haters. While I truly respect some people’s energy, and most of their goals, I have found their political tactics clueless, and their grasp of bullyinh tenuous. Some of my friends recognized this, too, and either steered clear or took an “it takes all kinds…” attitude towards those people with privileges.

This is a hard lesson here. Deaf returning citizens need to be more vigilant and protect themselves and their allies, but they hope not to lose trust and not lose their edge by building walls that protects them from the utmost extreme bullying at all times. We need to break down bullying dominance of Deaf community and look at their own behaviors that contribute to it, protect it, or are simply just bad behavior.

Working harder to break the social norms can go a long way. And what happens when we have a person or acquaintances that callously do not follow that rule in our midst? Then we protect others, as we would want to be protected. We do it with courage and tenacity. It starts all with you.

A+silhouette+of+a+head+with+the+words+What's+killing+me+written+inside+with+words+floating+all+around+the+head+Some+words+are+Shame,+guilt,+rage,+obsession,+stress,+disgrace,+insecurity,+depression,+anger.jpg

Shame? Guilt? Revenge? Anger? Hate?

Upon the community initial call-out, the bullying is not accepted and encourages the community to take full responsibility if they ever wanted to continue to play in a role in the community. No body has really come forward.

1) Especially in a time of transition, Deaf returning citizens are very important part of the Deaf community.

2) Can Deaf community embodies the qualifications, character, and commitment to empower Deaf returning citizens that are essential to success and high achievement?

3) Will we empower Deaf returning citizens as members of the Deaf community to see the present is a new opportunity for bold change that cannot imitate the past if it is to ensure the future?

-JT

Copyright © 2017 Jason Tozier

This text may be freely copied in its entirely only, including this copyright message.

 

 

Le Toudjida Allara’s Open Letter

From: Le Toudjida Allara, MPA
Gallaudet Alumni UG’11 & G’14

To: Gallaudet University Board of Trustees 800 Florida Avenue NE,
Washington, DC 20002

Subject: My Concerned Letter to the Gallaudet BOT Related to President Bobbi’s Recent Appointment of Mr. Benedict to be our Alma Mater’s Historic Vice President of Student Affairs & Community Engagement

Dear Honorable Members of the Gallaudet University Board of Trustees,

Good morning,

When I just learned that President Roberta “Bobbi” Cordano has made a surprise announcement with her decision to appoint of Mr. Albert Dwight Benedict to be Gallaudet University’s first and history Vice President of Student Affairs and Community Engagement who will start effectively on the Sunday, October 1st, 2017, I have been so concerned and disappointed to receive this news due to several essential reasons.

As a former English Language Institute (ELI) Student and ELI Student Organization (ELISO) Officer (Vice President, President & SBG Student Congress Senator) from February 2004 to December 2005 and Spring 2008, I had a long fight to:

  •   Eliminate the SBG’s intention to restrict ELI Students participating in various student activities and their eligibility to vote any president candidates during SBG Election Weeks provided by Campus Activities because SBG and Student Affairs could not justify with my challenge on why we should not participate in those activities even though we International Students did paid the school’s unit fee.
  •   Eliminate SBG’s policy to prevent ELI Students participating in sports activities and represent Bison during Gallaudet/NTID Rockfest and Brickfest weekends
  •   Open door to numerous ELI students to enjoy SBG Spirit Weeks, recreational activities provided by Gallaudet Intramural staff and so forth before I transferred to Rochester Institute of Technology for my studies in Microelectronic Engineering in March 2016.When I returned to Gallaudet University in Spring 2008, I discovered that SBG continued to limit ELI Students who were eligible to participate in its activities (including the 2008 SBG Election Week) and I took a prompt action to challenge SBG officials on the repeat election issues before they changed their plan to allow eligible ELI students to participate in the election in the very last minute.
  • When I was recruited to work for Campus Activities as Front Desk and Staff Assistant during Aug 2008-Aug 2009, I discovered that Campus Activities had a list of eligible students from Student Affairs to vote for any candidates in 2009, but there was no eligible student from ELI on that list. I assisted the Campus Activities to ensure that ELI students who did pay their unit fee to Gallaudet University were included on the list and eligible to vote for candidates during the election weekAs a former 2010 SBG Presidential Candidate and finalist, I received numerous complaints against the SBG Election Week Committee, the election was rigged with a number of duplicated paper votes, oppressed and prevented UG and Graduate students to willingly assist ELI students who asked more info about candidates’ background and identification. After I was defeated by my SBG opponent, I decided to write a letter to Gallaudet Administrators by demanding them to change the SBG election system from paper to electronic and demanding them to deal with the oppressive climate against international and diverse students who were victimized during the 2010 Election Week. That was where the Gallaudet Administrators were involved and took a serious action on this election situation.

Monday, October 2nd, 2017

Then, later, the SBG president who won the election against me was in several government classes with me, he was asked to leave professors of the classes due to his tremendous absence and his disrespect of classes’ syllabus policy. However, he was granted to stay in classes and passed with a good grade despite of his continuing absences. Suddenly, the 2010-2011 academic year, he coercively asked me to serve the SBG Election Week Reform Committee (EWRC) to be part of the SBG and 2011 SBG Election Week Committee as a member-at large. I said no but when I was called for a meeting with the Campus Activities Staff, SBG advisor and the SBG election week committee, I agreed to take my voluntarily service for the sake of the diversity community at Gallaudet and the improvement of the election’s effectiveness. Then, the 2011 SBG Election Weeks was so successful and effective with the new and historic election system.

As the longest student-member ODES/Keeping the Promise (Program), we including students of colors (SOC) had over hundred discussions on lack of support from Student Affairs toward SOC victims in various issues on campus and lack of reasonable/fair punishment toward SOCs who admittedly violated Gallaudet University Student Conduct, and frequently shared concerns on diversity, institutionally systematic and unwelcomed environment, and many more. ODES/KTP has been a so important educational program at Gallaudet that have saved numerous SOCs who were victimized, innocent and guilt. Without ODES’s assistance and resolution, Student Affairs would have targeted and put most of those SOCs on Persona Non-Grata (PNG).

 

During the Business Bowl in Spring 2011, Mr. Benedict came next to me where I stood in the back of audience and watched the business competition game participated by qualified students. When he then asked me in person about my job application for the Coordinator of Residence Education (CRE) position and told me that the Director of Residence Life met him and was concerned with my application. He told me that he would work with her concerning my application situation. In fact, I personally considered this very unprofessionally and unethically because my application should be kept confidential and handled between him and the Human Resource Office. Otherwise, he made me to increasingly suspend on why I have not trusted him on his hiring decision on any candidate who have contributed to Gallaudet working for the department of Student Affairs under his leadership.

On the hand, with the evidence of my playing experience as a student-athlete for three seasons (2005, 2008-2010) and of my contributive employment record (Jan 2010 – May 2013) for Gallaudet University Men’s Soccer Program, I was victimized of Athletic Director’s malicious intention on my employment record and prevention of my job promotion. Why? Prior to hiring, my supervisor (Head Coach Luis Gendive who was part-time and depended heavily on my assistance for the soccer program), already made it clear to Athletic Director that I worked 40 hours a week as his assistant coach with various responsibilities during both Fall and Spring semesters for three years even though I got a limit of stipend (up to $5,000) per years without signing nor seeing a descriptive contract.

When I was informed that my application for the opening position of Women’s and Men’s Soccer Head Coach/Program Coordinator were not considered in Summer 2014, I asked the EEO Director to investigate on why I was screened out even though I had a record of services that met the positions’ job description so perfectly. Unfortunately, the EEO Director replied me back with her email below:

Hello Allara,

Thank you for your email. I have had an opportunity to review your inquiry.

My preliminary investigation found that information on your application that was not accurate. I was informed that you did not serve as assistant coach in Gallaudet’s Athletic Department but as a graduate assistant and not in a coaching capacity. The minimum requirements for the position are several years of actual coaching experience. I am happy to meet with you to discuss this further.

This was not only unacceptable and very offensive for me but also destroyed my record of service for the Athletics Department. Then, this put me to collect all my record of services at the department and fill a EEOC complaint against Athletic Director for his malicious intention that has ruined my career in soccer coaching at Gallaudet University. From there, I found out about two hiring letters, written by the Athletic Director and formally signed by Albert Dwight Benedict, I got from Gallaudet Payroll concerning my salary record, the letter showed that I was supposed to work from September 1st to October 31st (just up to two month and nothing more) for the specific stipend per season.

That was when I got that the Athletic Director lied to me by saying that I had to work for the soccer program during Fall and Spring semesters both with paid (20 hours per week till the stipend was out) and volunteering (other 20 hour per week without paid and then later “full-time” without paid when the stipend was out). As you may know, working for Gallaudet without getting paid is considered as a wage thief, and it is violated the Fair Labor Standard Act (FLSA) of the United States Department of Labor’s Wage and Hour Division (WHD). Fortunately for Gallaudet, I was told to drop my case against Gallaudet even though I got a right to sue letter from EEOC against Gallaudet University and an EEOC agent highly suggested to go for a lawyer after her agency reviewed my case again.

My point here is that I have served Gallaudet under the unit of Student Affairs headed by Mr. Albert Dwight Benedict for more than 10 years as (1) various officer positions of student organizations for at least 7 years; (2) tutor, Supplemental Instruction (SI) leader and Math Coach at Tutorial & Instructional Program (TIP) for 8 years, (3) Front Desk, Staff Assistant and (New Student Orientation) Week Bison Leader at Campus Activities for 1 year; (4) Student Conduct Board member at Office of Student Conduct for 2 years, and finally (5) men’s soccer program assistant coach at Athletic Department, I and many members of the Gallaudet Community have never trusted in Mr. Benedict’s leadership at Gallaudet because he has done with numerous inappropriate actions that haven’t protected me, SOC and other victims; inappropriate approaches with us, and inappropriately managerial decisions within the Office of Student Affairs. Also, he has avoided his greater accountability for his leadership failure and produced misleadership within the department and at our beloved Alma Mater.

Therefore, I as a Gallaudet POC and International Alumni do express my greater concern regarding of the 11th and historic female President’s decision to appoint and promote Mr. Benedict to be Gallaudet’s new and first-ever Vice President of Student Affairs and Community Engagement despite of his long record of misleadership and without conducting the national search.

By respecting of Gallaudet Mission and Vision Statements, I hope you honorable members of the Board of Trustees will consider this so soberly and work with President Bobbi, the Human Resource Office and external consultant(s) to terminate Mr. Benedict’s high-level appointment/promotion and readvertise the valuable job position by conducting a national search if you really care about your promise to see Gallaudet in the process of transformation for the greater good of our community, for the better protection of all students and staff of Student Affairs, and finally for the better community engagement.

I hope you will get a correct candidate with an excellent leadership record and excellent outcomes of higher education’s effectiveness & efficiency and excellent achievement of his outstanding student life program. Plus, s/he will produce all students and staff toward the greatness in academic, the greatness in professional Development and the greatness in school accountability. Mr. Benedict is definitively not the answer!

Thank you.

So Unpleasantly,

Le Toudjida Allara, MPA Gallaudet Alumni UG’11 & G’14

Cc: Roberta “Bobbi” Cordano, President of Gallaudet University

Carol Erting, Provost/Chief Academic Officer

Samuel Sonnenstrahl, Gallaudet Office of Alumni Relations Executive Director

Donalda Kay Ammons, President of Gallaudet University Alumni Association (GUAA)

Elavie Ndura, Chief Diversity Officer (CDO)

Edgar Palmer, Office of Diversity & Equity for Students (ODES) Executive Director

Olubenga Aina, Diversity and Equity Programs Director