Posts tagged ‘NAD12’

Call for Removal of Bobbie Beth Scoggins as President of the NAD

A Call for the Removal of Ms. Bobbie Beth Scoggins as President of the National Association of the Deaf (NAD)

Dear Board Members of the National Association of the Deaf,

I call upon the Board of the NAD to undertake a due process hearing in order to remove Ms. Scoggins from her position as President of the NAD.

One basis for my call for Ms. Scoggins’ removal falls under Article Four (4.14) of the Bylaws of the NAD which governs the Board of Directors. This states: “no member with a personal or financial interest of a material nature in the affairs of the Association shall be eligible to serve on the Board of Directors of the Association.”

The NAD has a close relationship with Communication Services for the Deaf (CSD), a long time major sponsor of the NAD and a significant sponsor of the 2012 NAD Conference. Ms. Scoggins is currently the Chief Operating Officer of CSD. CSD has a close relationship with Governor Daugaard of South Dakota. The relationship between Gov. Daugaard, CSD, and Ms. Scoggins’ position as an executive officer of CSD casts questions upon her objectivity.

The membership cannot be confident in her ability to remain wholly objective in meditating communications between the membership and the Board given her personal and financial stake in the matter as an employee of an organization that has a close political relationship with Governor Daugaard. The membership is not confident in her ability to remain objective in order to make decisions that puts the NAD and its membership first and foremost.

Gov. Daugaard is a divisive figure who serves the antithesis of the NAD’s core values and missions. One core mission of the NAD is to preserve schools for the deaf. Gov. Daugaard oversaw the closing of the South Dakota School for the Deaf. Gov. Daugaard has also acted in ways that exclude or narrow civil and human rights which is in contrast to the NAD’s core value of inclusion and diversity.

There is clearly a personal conflict of interest that may be and is interpreted as one of a material nature between Ms. Scoggins’ employ at CSD, its relationship with Gov. Daugaard in South Dakota, and her service as President of the NAD.

Furthermore, according to 4.13, elected members may be removed…”for other good and sufficient reason.” Ms. Scoggins has damaged the public’s trust in her by failing to give careful thought to the public image of the Association in the view of the public. By doing so, she has damaged the reputation of the Association and its standing amongst civil rights organizations. As President, she bears the penultimate responsibility for the selection of speakers and the public image of the organization among other responsibilities. She authorized the selection of a highly divisive political figure to present at the NAD conference without sensitivity to the diverse composition of the NAD membership or to understand the deeper nuances of the significance of giving a prominent platform to someone with Gov. Daugaard’s record on civil and human rights.

By overseeing and authorizing the selection of Gov. Daugaard, Ms. Scoggins has failed to honor and uphold the motion passed on diversity at the January 2012 NAD Board Meeting in Louisville, KY.

On the basis of the language of the diversity motion, Gov. Daugaard’s invitation works against the building and maintaining of a totally inclusive environment.  This invitation also works against expanding membership, participation, and leadership that reflect the diversity of the American deaf community. This invitation also clearly does not adhere to the highest standards of diversity and inclusiveness. This invitation demonstrates that the Board did not work closely with all affiliates to further this commitment. Ms. Scoggins, as President of the NAD, has a duty to uphold the motions passed by the Board.

I call for the immediate removal of Ms. Scoggins as a demonstration that the NAD is committed to honest, open, transparent leadership absent of conflicts of interest along with diversity and inclusion. There cannot be questions as to whether our President is serving her employer’s interests in regard to the Governor or the Association’s best interests. This must be addressed before the Conference and irreparable damage is done.

T. Robinson

The relevant bylaws:

§ 4.13 Removal from Office.

Elected and appointed Board members may be removed after due process hearing for failure to carry out their duties or for other good and sufficient reason by a two thirds (2/3) vote of the Board of Directors present and voting.

§ 4.14 Conflict of Interest.

No member with a personal or financial interest of a material nature in the affairs of the Association shall be eligible to serve on the Board of Directors of the Association.

The diversity motion in full which was motioned, seconded, and passed:

“The National Association of the Deaf (NAD) embraces diversity and inclusiveness as one of its core values in achieving its mission. We are committed to:

-encompassing a wide range of human abilities and perspectives that includes, but are not limited to language, culture, race, gender, age, sexual orientation, ethnicity, religion, national origin, disability, and socioeconomic status

-building and maintaining a totally inclusive environment where differences of opinions, beliefs, and values are sought, listened to, respected, and valued

-expanding membership, participation, and leadership that reflect the diversity of the American deaf community; and

-enhancing its policies and practices to adhere to the highest standards of diversity and inclusiveness, and to work closely with all affiliates to further this commitment.”

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Address Racism in the NAD: My Letter to Affiliates

Dear Organization,

As an advocate for racial equality and inclusion, I am writing you to express my concerns about the National Association of the Deaf’s decision to invite Governor Dennis Daugaard to give a plenary presentation at the NAD Conference this summer in Louisville. Governor Daugaard’s legislative record includes the passage of legislation that impede or outright deny the civil and human rights of women, LGBTs, and people of color.
On March 12, 2012, Governor Daugaard signed an anti-Muslim bill, HB 1253 which reads, “No court, administrative agency, or other governmental agency may enforce any provisions of any religious code. The reasons why this is unconstitutional may be found at this website. This should concern all of us for a number of reasons. First, although this bill is not overtly directed at Muslims, it was generated by Islamophobia in the aftermath of the 9/11 attacks.
Islamophobia should especially concern you as organizations that advocate for the rights and inclusion of deaf people of color. Although Islam is a widespread faith practiced by people from all walks of life, Islam has been racialized in popular discourse. Due to fearmongering and mass media portrayals, Islam is now closely associated with south/west Asian brown skinned people. Furthermore, mainstream Americans cast a suspicious eye toward Islam during the 1960s and 1970s when Islam emerged in the African-American Civil Rights movement as African-Americans sought to reclaim the religion of their ancestors. Mainstream Americans associated Islam with the radicalization of the African-American Civil Rights movement. Americans have long had discomfort with Islam, not only because of theological differences but because they have associated Islam with non-white populations. The relationship between Islamophobia and Racism cannot be denied.
Governor Daugaard also signed into law on March 5, 2012 anti-abortion measures that limited a woman’s access to health care and reproductive rights. Those attacks on reproductive rights are often intertwined with attacks on poor women and women of color, women who have disproportionately lesser access to health care as compared to their white counterparts.
As affiliates to the NAD that represent deaf people of color, I urge you to make a stand for inclusion, equality, civil rights, and admonish the NAD for providing a prominent platform to a legislator who has actively legislated to narrow civil and human rights.
Thank you,
Tavian Robinson

A Sample Letter to Sponsors of 2012 NAD Conference

Folks, I am including my e-mail to Purple Communications as a sample letter of what you can e-mail to Sponsors of the 2012 NAD Conference. Please tailor your letters in consideration of each business/organization’s service mission. I sent this e-mail to Purple this afternoon.

Dear Purple,

My name is Tavian Robinson. I am a long time loyal consumer of Purple communications and its services. I appreciate your support of the National Association of the Deaf and support for the civil rights of deaf and hard of hearing Americans. Thank you for your financial support of an organization that works hard to secure our accessibility to telecommunications.
However, I have learned of some things recently in regard to the planning of the 2012 NAD conference that concerns me.  I am asking you to participate in the deaf community’s call for true equality and civil rights. The NAD is making a statement that sends mixed messages about civil rights and the place of minorities within the American Deaf Community. I believe that your organization stands for equality, diversity, inclusion, and multiculturalism. I remain a proud Purple consumer but believe that you can add a powerful voice of reason in persuading the NAD to reexamine its commitment its principles of civil rights and equality for all.
Thank you,
T. Robinson

Updated: May 30: Take Action Alert: TWEET SPONSORS

UPDATED ON May 30: For a Full List of NAD sponsors, visit this page http://www.nad.org/louisville/sponsors

Major Corporate Donors include Google, CBS, Verizon, Adobe, Blackberry.

For most sponsors, I include their Twitter and E-mail address. To prevent spam e-mails, I am using AT instead of @ and (dot). For example: john.doe@email.com is john(dot)doe at email (dot) com OR JUST CLICK on the Link and it’ll open in your email program. TAKE ACTION AND WRITE AWAY! TWEET. The more attention, the better!

Major Mainstream Donors: 

Google:
Twitter: @google or Contact Form

CBS:
Twitter: @CBStweet or Email Tiffany Smith- Anoa’i CBS Director of Diversity and Communications
See CBS’s statement on Corporate Diversity Commitment.

Verizon:
Twitter: @verizongiving or Email: no press e-mail.
Comcast:
Twitter: @comcast or Email: esl_corp at cable (dot) comcast (dot) com
Adobe:
Blackberry:
Twitter: @blackberry or online contact

VRS Companies:

Hamilton Relay:
Twitter: @HamiltonRelay or Email: info at hamiltonrelay (dot) com

Purple Communications:
Twitter: @PurpleComm or Email: press at purple (dot) us

SprintRelay:
Twitter: @SprintRelay or Email: Sprint (dot) TRSCustServ at sprint (dot) com

ZVRS:
Twitter: @ZVRS or Email:  zinfo at zvrs (d0t) com

State Commissions Serving Deaf and Hard of Hearing:
KCDHH:
Twitter: @KCDHH or E-mail: Contact Form: http://www.kcdhh.org/forms/
NMCDHH:
Twitter: @NMDCHH or E-mail: http://www.cdhh.state.nm.us/Contact.aspx
Educational Institutions:
NTID/RIT:
Twitter: @RITNTID or Email: krgpro at rit (dot) edu
NonProfits and Private Businesses:
CSD:
Twitter: @CSD_tweets or Email: Ben Soukup at bsoukup at c-s-d (dot) org
Kramer Financial:
Twitter: @kramerfinancial or Email: usa at kramerfinancial (dot) com
VITAC Captions:
Twitter: @VITAC_Captions or Email: No press email.
UPDATED LIST For Twitter:
CPC Captioning:
Twitter: @cpccaptioning
Ubiduo:
Twitter: @ubiduo
Deafvideotv:
Twitter: @deafvideotv
iDeafNews:
Twitter: @ideafnews
Tracfone:
Twitter: @tracfonecalls
Captel Phone:
Twitter: @captelphone