Youth Leadership Camp: Rejection of Mainstreamed Deaf

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Reclaiming the Youth Leadership Camp

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This coming weekend (May 24-27th): Youth Leadership Camp (YLC) Alumni Foundation 50th Years for the search of the Leadership experience.

When I first learned about YLC while I was an attendee for Deaf People of Color Conference in 2010 where it was held in Portland, Oregon. I was 34 years old that time. Oh, I was hurt not to know about it that long. There is need to make a CHANGE for the betterment of Deaf community.

Yes, it is a late start to learn about the most important event and once-in-a-lifetime memory for Deaf Youth and the day to celebrate hard work even as Deaf youth who went through mainstreaming system, their leadership to push for justice, is the most painful for those who does not even know anything about YLC because they did not get “privileged” information. Mainstreaming Deaf students do suffer and they have the right to explore their human rights to advocate for leadership in the Deaf community. Yet, they are shunned in the face of Deaf community. Why? Mainstreaming. It’s not their fault.

When YLC was founded in 1969, it had been focusing on Deaf families, Deaf schools, adding the fuel of Elitism, and would get information about YLC first hand before whoever Deaf students who thrive for personal growth in leadership coming from hearing families and the status of mainstreaming system would easily get rejected in the name of favoritism. Even Deaf students in Deaf schools who come from hearing families would get rejected, too.

Mainstreaming Deaf students do suffer for so long until current society we live in, the Deaf community is not same as ever, and where is the real leadership for Deaf students who were part of mainstreaming system as victims which it was never their fault to attend mainstreaming schools instead of Deaf schools?

The Deaf leadership has decisively ripped apart and did not give Deaf mainstreamed students a chance to grow has largely blamed on National Association of the Deaf (NAD)—and the leadership, scholarship, and citizenship brought up by the idea in YLC’s mission is the crisis of our time now and tomorrow. It is a serious problem.

Today and in the future ever, Deaf mainstreaming students would need help more than ever. Deaf schools are shrinking because of politics, and I do not support the idea of closing Deaf schools because they are important in educational system at every juncture.

The Deaf community’s most prominent change makers and activists join together to push for stronger idea for human change. In those stories we may see or not seen, it would reduce the problem of favoritism and elitism, and challenge our very change in equality, and challenge the very start of the leadership reform, giving Deaf students from mainstreaming system, to make all the difference in political and cultural change. It would make Deaf America stronger.

How do we make all the difference as in change? Why reject those Deaf mainstreamed students and Deaf school students from hearing families would deal with emotions firsthand? Remember, the month of May is Mental Health Awareness and it does influence them very much.

Is this also considered a bullying? From eliminating to end bullying, from ending favoritism to abolishing elitism, from reforming justice to changing the public view of the Deaf community, will it ever get equally that can rooted in fairness and personal growth in leadership? The information is very important for Deaf mainstreaming students to get stronger leadership as much as Deaf schools do; it makes Deaf community stronger only if they put it in their mind to believe in good fight.

Can you imagine that for decades that Deaf mainstreaming students and Deaf schools coming from hearing family lineage, have suffered appalling language and cultural oppression and the devastating consequences of educational and leadership sanctions?

When I learned about YLC at Deaf conference in 2010, it hit me the hardest part when it was moved to Stayton, Oregon from Minnesota in 1990, it was almost two hours drive from town in state of Washington to Stayton, Oregon, and the same 1990 was when I was 15 years old, I never knew anything about it. Why is that happening to several Deaf mainstreaming students alike like that? Language oppression?

It was the responsibility of National Association of the Deaf (NAD) who had failed Deaf mainstreaming students or Deaf students from Deaf schools coming from hearing families that so inured to actual human-to-human “compassion” by the ignorance and paradoxically blasé, judgment quality of “leadership, scholarship, and citizenship”—that they no longer readily feel the biased.

Of course, it shows that Deaf school leadership fare better than Deaf mainstreaming leadership because they did not get the same expose and experience and lack the information that they never knew about YLC. Is it their fault? Is it so invisible by the society even in Deaf community?

Deaf mainstreamed students were most and severely deprived from the information age about YLC in the past, and they are also part of the most important among them—as far as future of leadership is concerned—is the philosophy of leadership which lies away from the false dilemmas of “leadership” and is what would it be closely connected to?

It would be a good and healthy discovery one way to empower those students above; YLC might be as well as their way to make new meanings and inquiries.

What is YLC leadership is like in current climate this time in 2019?

-JT

Copyright © 2019 Jason Tozier

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

Mirrors of Destruction: Genocide in Deaf Community

 

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After watching Carey Ballard’s ASL video about 10 stages of genocide in Deaf community, it was very good video! Deaf people need to stand up and oppose genocide laws. How many prominent stories would need to criticize the practice of genocide before the courts will listen to us? We all need to remind ourselves that sharing a story is powerful. It starts with you. United States Supreme Court motto: Equal Justice Under Law. We need to study International Court of Justice Seal carefully and examined.

With genocidal practices going around Deaf community in America, the rise of cochlear implants is not even funny, we must continue to resist and believes in empowering Deaf community harmed by cochlear implant companies. We believe in sharing truth to power and it is the merit key to pursuit of happiness. When a former cochlear implant user share their stories to carry their lived experience suffering against this dehumanizing system, the stories will make all the difference.

To resist against the fast-spreading genocide practice—Deaf community need to build an important movement and be strong. I believe in the power of invisible stories. It would bring cochlear implant survivors together to build powerful change of agent whom of them suffers against corruption. We also need to bring up discussions and understand more about the stages of dehumanization, pedagogy of the oppressed, and marginalization. We need to overcome the ignorance and culture of fear about Deaf people.

The hearts and minds of Deaf community do not need to be viewed as weak people and easily targeted for profits. The stage of genocide needs to be challenged in attitudes and beliefs that created fear, oppressing Deaf community directly impacted by the larger, if not, biggest dehumanizing system. MJ Bienvenu wrote, “We need to ask a larger question……why do we need Deaf Studies?” in Bienvenu’s article quoted from ‘Deaf Studies in the Year 2000: New Directions.’ It is indeed a critical thinking question that we all need to set a good leadership for better directions to stop the mass of cochlear implants.

I believe it was written in 1993 or 1994. Now it is 2018, and the surge of cochlear implants is becoming a global genocide. The state of cochlear implants is raking in big cash these days. It is becoming a booming economy that helped push genocide to record high. And….it is only beginning.

The goal of wiping the term, ‘Deaf’ off the face of Mother Earth is a reflection of oppressive and hateful leadership. Cochlear implant companies and the leadership of Alexander Graham Bell Association remains a lying dweller in education rankings, the divide between Deaf people has grown into a different picture.

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Deaf babies are being targeted for profits, and I am dismayed how the status quo carries around Deaf people. Cochlear implants are the biggest financial dysfunctions that are hurting the vulnerability of Deaf community in the long run. The treatment of Deaf people is not the only, or even the most grossly neglected injustice flowing from mass of lies.

There are plenty of hate crime, hate speech and biases against Deaf people every day, largely invisible in the biased media that would guarantee stakeholders, ignorant minds, and deficit thinkers to make sure Deaf community shall be oppressed daily is held accountable. The genocide practice also treats Deaf people as forgotten citizens, and it is an injustice that needs to examine by the fact that the majority of oppression to wipe out the term of ‘Deaf’ for the pleasure of advantaged would make them feel safer.

Why is that? Why Equal Justice Under Law? How come Deaf people no longer equal for the roots of justice?

-JT

Copyright © 2018 Jason Tozier

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

 

 

 

The Power of Positive Leadership

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When President Cordano wrote a statement:

“President Cordano has decided to place the position of Vice President of Student Affairs and Community Engagement on hold. This will give us the space to engage in a deeper dialogue about what is in the best interest of the community. The ultimate decision about this vice president position will be determined, in large part, by the input gathered from the entire community. A campus-wide email message with a vlog will be issued soon.”

As immediately as I saw the statement, the members of Deaf community at Gallaudet University is increasingly tired of being marginalized including Deaf returning citizens. It is true that Foster auditorium was full house; I would like to thank Bobbi to make right decision that Dwight is not the effective person for the position: Vice President of Student Affairs and Community Engagement.

However, I became puzzled the fact that Dwight Benedict has not been let go of the campus. When Bobbi said in her presentation, “I recognize a lot of pain.”—Where did the “pain” actually come from? Dwight’s policies are so oppressive that he would not able to give someone a chance to breathe for some air. Also, Bobbi’s signed,

Dwight Benedict is a victim of the system”

Hello? How can it be irresponsible excuse? Why did Bobbi need to say that? What’s up with that? Political cover-up? Lack of admitting systematic racism? Lack of institutional racism? Educational oppression?

Whose responsibility is it from the administration system? Should we believe that Dwight is a victim of the administration system? Where is the apology from Dwight himself on the stage what he had done to many survivors? Someone informed me that person has confronted Dwight sitting next to Bobbi in office this morning what he had done, Dwight admitted to the fact he did. Yes, he actually did. What does it mean to you?

Whoa, that was fast! Rome did not built overnight. It takes a lot of unpacking, I mean, the size of the Great Wall of China is so big that would stretch from Washington, D.C. to Wichita, Kansas. That is where Dwight needs to unpack his privileges that much for the last 37 years.

Was it good enough? Will Dwight ever “man up” or own it up what he had done to underprivileged Deaf people of color, Deaf people, and Deaf returning citizens?

I also asked the person if Dwight would happy to start unpacking his white privileges. Dwight gives the surprising answer—you need to guess the answer. If Dwight ever owns up and demand the apology from Gallaudet community, alumnus, and alumni through video without written script, but his own sincere apology, will it ever happen? The motto for state of Kansas: Ad Astra per Aspera which means in Latin, “To the Stars through Difficulties” and the motto for Washington, D.C.: Justia Omnibus which means in Latin, “Justice for All”

Where is the JUSTICE for ALL Deaf survivors who experienced Dwight’s power of oppression? I am asking for his apology including the fact that he did not quickly complete his civil duty when an alumnus faces a life and death situation last November 2016. The silence continues to understand the stars through difficulties for those people. We need to break down the great wall of silence. Not only the apology for I seek for, the apology goes to the survivors for the last 30+ years. Overstayed, overpriced, and overconfident is long due.

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All we are asking for a fresh change at Gallaudet in the healthiest environment as possible. We need Justia Ombinus. Positive Leadership. That is the kind of Community Engagement we are looking for. 

-JT

Copyright © 2017 Jason Tozier

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

 

 

Protest and Kneel Against Dwight Benedict

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Dwight Benedict “Deaf Trump” wearing American flag tie

There are times that I seriously question the leadership by Dwight Benedict even many of my fellow Deaf citizens were ignored and marginalized. If the oppression and bullying by Dwight as an oppressor representing Gallaudet University and all that it truly stands for, then we should be kneeling down to defend an oppressed Gallaudetian right to higher education, bias-free, and pursuit of happiness.

I think it would be wise for all of us to protest Dwight’s new leadership role that which we see it as wrong, for that is a constitutional right even with our choice to kneel against the Gallauadet Administration in hand-picking Dwight without proper channels through Gallaudet community.

Dwight is not a true Gallaudetian—with the idea, I think Gallaudet community (faculty, staff, students, alumni, alumnus, and GUAA) should kneel and protest Dwight’s position. Stop favoritism, nepotism, and privileges. I think it would be wise for students to walk out of classrooms and protest–and kneel. We must remember our rights to freedom of speech under United States Constitution. Nothing is wrong with that.

Gallaudet University cannot punish students for that even Dwight will be in full charge of Department of Public Safety (DPS) starting October 1st, 2017. We cannot let Dwight’s “power trip” oppress students. Dwight knows better than that!

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-JT

Copyright © 2017 Jason Tozier

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

Is Dwight Benedict Best Qualified for the Position?

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Le Toudjida Allara, a Deaf People of Color (POC) shares his concerns about Albert Dwight Benedict:

This is unbelievable to hear the unhealthy news stating that Gallaudet Administrators have decided to automatically promote Dwight Benedict as the new and historic Vice President of Student Affairs and Community Engagement of our beloved Alma Mater–see the officially announced vlog presented by President Roberta “Bobbi” Cordano here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=T5CSaEX3FsU) without going through the national search process. This has been surprised us so big time.

As a POC, international alumni and former long student of Gallaudet University, I have sincerely so tired to hear, see, learn and receive that Gallaudet Administrators have not taken their serious action to change their institutional system for the good health of our whole community and eliminate the uncomfortable/unwelcome environment for FSSA (Faculty, Staff, Students & Alumna) because Gallaudet has:

1- Made us to increase our loss of trust toward its administration team

2- Continued to make POC members of Gallaudet Community feeling down with its decision to appoint Mr. Albert Dwight Benedict as the VP of Students Affairs & Community Engagement without going through job application process, national search process and various interviews process with the community AND even he does not have a good record of leadership toward international and POC FSSA during his recently long tenure as Dean of Student Affairs

3- Proven us that certain “Deaf” White Privilege (DWP) members as part of the Gallaudet’s dominant coalition do whatever they want unprofessionally and unethically in order to show us that we POC folks are like a garbage or worthless people to them

4- Disrespected its mission and vision statements that have a true intention to produce Deaf and Hard-of-Hearing students to be great and professional because it has failed to provide fair, respect and chance to qualified deaf professionals to apply for the VP position through the national search

5- Clearly shown us that it is not for us, belong to us and through us

6- Encouraged the division and destruction of relationships within its internal environment

7- Continued to promote favorism, nepotism, racism and misleadership in its institutional politics and system

I can say more of what I have known about Gallaudet but the school has indeed a lot lot lot to work on fixing its hugely institutional issues since the 2006 Protest. If Gallaudet University especially its top-leaders, GUAA – Gallaudet University Alumni Association and Board of Trustees seriously care about us as valuable Alumni and other important members of the community, I would like to challenge them to seriously consider to reopen and re-advertise the VP position (then Mr. Benedict has to understand that he has to go through the application process with respect of other potential candidates and prove us why he is the right candidate for the VP position) and going through its formal national search process. Also, I hope they will take this matter so soberly for the GREATER GOOD OF GALLAUDET COMMUNITY. Sigh… What a sad and unacceptable news!