Creating Inclusive Space to make Jr. NAD welcoming with Malibu Barron. Jr. NAD Advisors Academy logo is on the left. Background is rainbow gradient.

Is your Jr. NAD chapter inclusive and welcoming to all students? In this webinar session, Malibu Barron will share how to create an inclusive space within Jr. NAD chapters. We will send out a survey with specific questions to help identify topics and specific issues for Malibu to discuss during the webinar. Come with an open mind and an open heart!

PowerPoint Slides

>> Chanel: Hello, good evening, everyone. Happy Tuesday to all of you. Thank you for joining us tonight. As usual, our Jr. NAD academy webinar series, we’re going to give you audio and captioning access. If you want captioning access, turn on captions at the bottom of your screen, or you can see it in a separate browser and you can do that by going to the StreamText link that will be in the chat momentarily.

This webinar is set up as a meeting format, meaning you can show video if you choose to, but I would ask during the presentation, if you please do not turn your cameras on until you are called upon by the presenter and then you can share your video and be seen. I want us to get started, so without further ado, I would like to introduce Malibu Barron who is our presenter this evening. Come on up.

>> Malibu: Thanks, everyone. Before we get started, I want to give a description of my background. I have a bookshelf behind me. I do have a candle lit. I have a printer; I have short hair and I am wearing a sweatshirt that says you are enough with a rainbow on it. My name is Malibu Barron. I use she/her pronouns and I’m thrilled to be here with all of you and talk to you about how to create an inclusive space. I want to talk about how it is we can make Jr. NAD more welcoming.

Now, we do have an agenda, and at the end, we are holding time for question and answers. Mind you, if during the course of the presentation or maybe you miss something, please do e-mail me. I’m happy to do consultations. The key is, you know, providing access for the students and that is part of being a self-advocate. Jr. NAD is a tremendous resource, but we have to figure out the steps to make it more welcoming, so I’m happy you are here with me tonight.

Next slide. So, something for y’all to keep in mind is that these are things to live by on a daily basis. It is something that should be part of your core values as a human being trying to be committed to DEIA access. Now, the actions and everyday activities should be something that you incorporate as an everyday value. There are far more than these, but these are basic just being a part of inclusivity and a sense of providing that space, open hearts, open minds, you know, be mindful of where you are and what space you’re in. Keep your hearts open, because you cannot create change without your heart being ready for it, without your mind being ready for it.

Be more passionate. Be ready for that change and it starts with me. There are multiple truths and with the years I have been involved in this work, there is no one single truth at all. There are so many perspectives that come from various directions, life experiences, things that people have witnessed and acquired throughout their lifetime and these truths can happen through multiple places, maybe it is through oppression and discrimination to the sense of not belonging and our world is not that simple.

So, in order to honor the different truths that do happen today and going forward, we keep this in mind. Be the change that you want to see. And if we want the society to change, we have to be the change. And, I have a lot of other values, but I’m going to hold off on them. I’m sharing these three with you tonight. Next slide.

Today, we will be covering three areas. Some we may jump back and forth depending how the vibe goes tonight, but we want to cover issues of inclusion and creating a welcoming space, which are two completely different things. They are connected, but how and what do the processes look like?  We want to include some surveys that you did answer prior, we will include that data in the discussion going forward. If time permit, we can have you come on video and open up a dialogue. We do have three top areas, marketing, how to create the welcoming space and policies and procedures. And these are the things that we’re going to be connecting our conversations tonight and how to implement them. Mind you, implementation could be complex depending on state, school, and the climate you come from, so the keys are the top two and if there is time, I will expand more on the policies and procedures.

Okay, moving forward. Now, before you can create change and to make progress, you have to recognize where you’re at, where your mindset is currently, where is your framework, and if you see an issue, do you see it as a problem?  Is it something that is ongoing?  Maybe something that is systemic and that perhaps isn’t ready for the change, and if that’s the case, then you know the change cannot happen. Before a change could begin that process, you have to ask yourself, who am I?  Identify yourself, you know, I’m multiracial with African lineage. I’m fair skinned, so I do have access to many, many things. I have education, and I’m in a PhD program currently, which provides me access to another multitude of things.

Now, I’m a mother of two and a third on the way in about four weeks, so I am fertile, which means I’m able to have children. My partner is male, so we are in a straight relationship, however we do have fluidity in our identities. now, I’m not saying I’m a professional and I am expert in DEI, no, I do identify as someone coming from an oppressed group and I also know I do have privileges, but it is something to keep in the forefront of your work. Where do you place yourself?  Say in a school system, what position do you hold?  Are you an advisor?  Are you an advocate?  Do you have a position of power?  If you have access to certain things, how are you perceived by the people around you?  Who am I?  What is my placement in the community?  Who are we as NAD?  How did we get here?  How are we identified?  Are we diverse?  Do we fit the newspapers — numbers within the school population?  If not, maybe we should ask ourselves, how do we identify ourselves daily, currently and in the future?

Going forward, what are our goals?  What do we want to create?  Do we want to create a welcoming space?  If we do, what does that look like and what will that space look like?  What are the goals that we have to establish, and finally, how do people feel around me?  Do people feel safe around me?  Do people feel I’m approachable and will accept feedback from me?  You have to have really good insight on what your skills are and maybe the areas where you need to improve, and once you can acknowledge specific people that I see are avoiding me or tend to give me extra space that is an important thing to notice, because sometimes I do mill around, and people will come up to me and say, I just love you. When you show up in this space, you know people are going to be held accountable and hold me accountable. I will never call people out and have a confrontation.

I always want to be sure I check in and I say hey, are you okay?  You know, is there something that may have caused some harm?  I want to open up a space and people always know I will come in and check in. I want people to feel safe around me, to feel warm and feel they can tell me anything on their mind or heart. I want to behave in such a way within the community when I talk about things and, you know, maybe it could conflict with my inner values. I need to continuously ask myself and start with that frame before I do any other work externally. On a personal note, you know, there is somewhat of a separation between what I do and my person self, because that is what society has taught us, and that is okay, but you can never, ever disconnect 100% from yourself. I could never do that and disconnect from who I am, because that is going to affect my work with other youth and other leaders. That is what I have to acknowledge, number one, who am I?  Next.

I love this quote. So, this is one that I feel resonates true tonight. Diversity is a fact. We know and we see, we know in our world it is full of diversity in race, ethnicity, sexual identity, gender identity, LGBTQIA, height, weight, being a human being involves diversity and it is beautiful. That is a fact. We as humans are diverse, but if I choose to be inclusive, because inclusivity is not automatic. It is not something innate that I can feel included, and I can make one simple documentation and say, okay, I’m inclusive. No, that is something you consciously need to do every day. With every person you meet, it is a choice. Do I choose to proceed?  Do I choose to overlook specific people?  Sometimes it is not intentional, and sometimes I believe people, I would say 99% of the time, people may want to make the effort to include everyone, but sometimes feel like it is an improbability, but if you make a commitment to do this every day, it is possible. I thought this quote was ideal for tonight. It does acknowledge that diversity does occur in your schools and any membership of NAD.

These are common things that happen throughout the year. It is just a question of what has been happening thus far and how do we do the specific work to make sure everyone is included at the table, so we can recruit more members, and we need to start asking these hard questions? Next slide, please.

So, before we know it’s easy to say, it is easy to say than it is to do, right. Historically, for an organization to acknowledge the root, how was an organization first established, right?  How was it first promoted, what was the legacy of it to what it is today in 2023?  That’s the first question is to ask, how did this organization get first established?  How, and who started the movement?  Who led the organization?  So, want to see the change and who led, who were the folks that maybe — it could be the donors, founder, who started, who led this organization the Jr. NAD?  In your school, was it recently established, some people say I don’t know, but there may be some things are documented, but it is important to hold that knowledge, because as you pass that on, it has a lot to do how it does works in the future. Did you meet first thing in the morning?  Did you meet during lunch?  Did you meet after school?

Who tends to come and attends our meetings and who doesn’t?  Do we need to adjust the schedules to honor the athletic program. Who was in the room, who is committed in that space?  During Jr. NAD meetings, what were the topics that were discussed, right. For instance, if we’re talking about racism in the classroom and folks want to talk about that or maybe they want to talk racism in society. Who was leading that conversation?  Was it a white student?  Were we centering BIPOC students and try to get their opinion or were we tokenizing that BIPOC student?  Did that BIPOC student feel they had to tolerate that, because they were nudged about providing information doing emotional labor. They may say, I’m not in the mood to have this conversation because it is an emotional toll and causing an emotional burden.

Last time I attended Jr. NAD was back in 2006. Times have changed and if that is the case, I don’t know, because I haven’t been a part of it in a long time, but I know it may have changed and talking about what facts or assumptions that people may have made about your organization at your school?  Are they assuming oh, that Jr. NAD is just like student body government?  It is important to have conversations of clarity and have a better understanding of where the organization is today. Once you answer these questions, then you know where your baseline is. It is important to know where you started and where you are now, and it will allow for more captions to be answered in the future moving forward.

I do acknowledge when something comes up in terms of data, maybe uncomfortable things, it might be the same things being said over and over again. Folks might say, oh, this again.  And then they go, we want to talk about something different. We want to have a refreshed feeling about this topic. It is important that we name what is going on. Once we name it, we have to validate it and say it did happen or it is happening. And then you want to say, okay, let’s recognize the gaps and opportunities for others. What are the gaps?  Identify the gaps and look at the opportunities that are maybe often missed, because if they are being missed then maybe folks are being denied the opportunities.

It is important that it may not be Jr. NAD, it may be the school, policy, procedure, it might be the climate, cultural climate, students might be experiencing something overall from the community at large that might not be a positive experience. If that is the case, then how does it trickle down to the ways of being oppressed?  So, when you look at that and say, yeah, we’re talking about racism, this is racism. We need to name it. Once we name it, we can move through and see actual change. What is important is you actually acknowledge it, name it and recognize the gaps, not because you want to achieve the gaps, those are two different things. You want to identify the gaps. We have plenty of students who they, themselves have been successful in academia, sports, in a variety of activities, right, and typically they have access to the organizations for very specific reasons. So, they know it might benefit in leadership and they might be inspired in the community to be a leader, they might be pulled to say these are your interests, but there might be stop gaps where students are feeling they are struggling, and they are experiencing barriers because of racism in schools.

They might not be able to experience other things where they might be knowing it is happening. Maybe black lives movement that we know is happening and it is still actively happening but how are we honoring those black and brown stories, because they are coming from marginalized communities and they are still hitting walls and barriers upon barriers, maybe it is because the academia is not available or they are getting suspended, whatever the barriers are. Maybe they are not able to participate in Jr. NAD, why is that?  Maybe the narrative is, the school told me, that is not good enough. We need to investigate it, validate it and name it and identify the gaps because students are not able to participate in Jr. NAD.

Feel free to comment or ask questions. If you need me to communicate anything that I mentioned. I welcome disagreements and I welcome more conversation as well. I also want to make sure the interpretations are good; the Interpreter is good.

The “what,” the survey that we sent out was to find out common trends that we’re seeing the barriers occur again and again, one is transportation. If it is a weekend or evening, it tends to conflict with wanting to attend Jr. NAD. Recruiting mainstream students is another factor. Welcoming the entire body student to come and feel like they are invited into Jr. NAD. Students who don’t identify with Jr. NAD, they don’t see themselves in Jr. NAD that is another one.

The process in the “how” going from the “what” is not linear. It is a complicated process and the reason being, it is a harder question. For instance, transportation, why is it specifically that some programs can easily get funding and others do not?  Sometimes funds are automatically attributed to certain programming, and it happens faster, and some students and organizations and certain clubs have leadership opportunities, but the fundings may not necessarily be provided. It goes back to policy and procedures, and that might need to be discussed at a more macro level with the school. Did the board make that final decision?  You need to have a conversation and find out where and why the funds are being allocated the way they are.

Funding does affect services, access, and it does make the space whether or not it is welcoming, and funding is a huge factor. Recruiting mainstream student, I never experienced that myself personally, but being able to process and go further in depth for me, I made the assumption that school districts were ready to, hey, mainstream students are welcome. They are ready, but the conflict, is it because of language they are not able to participate, cultural differences or do they feel they are not she to have the conversations in the spaces, so we have to ask harder questions about how does audism play in this space?  How our language experiences play in this space?  Cultural spaces?  Those who went to a mainstream school, people have different experiences. Do we have the space to talk about the cultural differences before the Jr. NAD conversations to happen. Is there an opportunity for that to happen, if so, there may be allowing multiple views to be presented in the space and that may lead to a deeper space of how do we make sure people feel welcomed and invited into the Jr. NAD space?

To make sure it is more inclusive in Jr. NAD space, we have to go back and look at what harm has been caused at that space, and what I mean by, that how the students start to feel not being welcomed in that space. What was it?  Was it many incidents, was it is a common occurrence that students were told, Jr. NAD does not fit you. It could be a teacher, a staff member, community member, a peer, anyone who is around that student all day, every day, and says, I don’t think it is a good fit for you. It is not worth it for you. I don’t see you as a leader. Students could feel like, oh, I can’t be a leader. That could hugely make an impact on their decision making. We can’t prevent every conversation that could have a negative impact on their perspective, Jr. NAD, whatever that is. We know we can’t do that, but it is important to have conversations outside of that space.

If folks are having and co-creating that space, you want to make sure you step outside and think, what is another perspective here?  Learn more about other students that may not be “typically part of this community” but ask why. Gate and find out what their sense of identity means and that comes with trust and understanding and knowing they won’t be judged. They can still be their full selves and if you don’t know anything about Jr. NAD, that’s okay. There are certain spaces that I myself wouldn’t want to go into, I don’t want to participate in, because I don’t want to be made feel less than. Who wants to be in a space where they don’t feel heard and valued?  To honor self-advocacy that is a huge part that is a missed opportunity that Jr. NAD could offer. That is a larger conversation that needs to be happening in this space.

And if a student doesn’t identify and doesn’t feel like they affiliate with that space, you can still collaborate. You can still do self-advocacy work with Jr. NAD, and you can have an organization that says, let’s co-collaborate. You can curate an event together, right?  Folks can say, wow, what are you doing?  You’re doing that, oh, is that how you run your meetings?  How does your officer meetings work?  Okay, you have collective, those conversations happen organically, and it fosters a more natural, genuine, relationship-building type of space. It is a great way to think bigger, right, and do more. It is not the same way that we used to do. It would be simple. Folks come in, they want to be together, be in community. With technology, there are so many savvy things you can do and utilize to be in community together. You don’t have to be stuck on one particular thing or one space, there might be barriers for students.

We need to use technology to our benefit and not forget that. Again, this process is very, very complicated. It is not easy. It is certainly not linear, and it will never A. plus B. equals C., but it does not always work like that. We need to trust the process. Okay, great, next slide, please.

I love workshops. I love giving presentations in person, simply because of these reasons. It is about the experience. Wanting people to take advantage of the time, today, this week, the next month, to really contemplate what it is to have this mission and purpose for Jr. NAD. Does it mean clearly that other people are included?  Is it purposefully done?  Are the values and the beliefs and so forth included?  If it is, then we can follow through with those values. We can move forward, and sometimes holding us accountable, whether it is systemically or in an organization that we need to be inclusive.

If there is none, we need to make the time to create change, but we have to stop and think. How did your organization align with the current vision?  Because if it does not then we are misaligned and we need to have further conversations about that, and that should be the core of the organization and why it is so very crucial for our young leaders.

Number one, I want people to reflect on how and what the purpose is. Next, how our meetings run, and how have they been done thus far?  Do they follow parliamentary procedure or are they informal or maybe is it just a social discussion talking about goals and announcing events they want to practice, or is it more formal?  Are there bylaws?  And are there specific ways to do things?  And when a person might have an interest in Jr. NAD, is it hard to navigate through the school system, say maybe with one class, maybe you should do Jr. NAD, they may ask, what is that?  If you can’t respond that is an automatic barrier. There needs to be a clear venue on how a student can find out information, at the very least direct them to the person who can answer these questions and allow them easier access, because it can be easier or harder.

Next, what does the space look like physically?  Is it something that you can, see?  Is it clear?  I can look back to a Jr. NAD meeting they went to. There were two or three people at the front who were running things and we had rows of people in U’s and people were sitting on tables and right toking run the meeting, but in that space, it was so overwhelming. It did not feel comfortable. I did not know the parliamentary procedures, I did not know the bylaws, I did not know what they were talking about. I guess I did okay, but I did not feel good in some of the meetings. You need to take a look at your meeting space, if you have a large amount of students, do you do it in a circle?  Do you do it in rows, like a horseshoe?  The people running the meeting, the advisors or sponsors, who is running it?  What does the physical space look like?  Is that something you can adjust or is that something that you’re restricted to?

Maybe you need a larger space and so the physicality is really important to how it fits with the parliamentary procedure and the agendas and the voting. Just the experience of being a part of the organization, and that equals the experience of being accessible and having the space. Can everybody see clearly?  Does the communication expectations, are they met?  Are people standing up to sign?  Maybe you could be an emerging signer?  It is about making sure a student feels included in the conversation. Do you have information you can share ahead of time and perhaps share the agenda and people will know what items will be discussed, maybe they can introduce different ideas and topics for the agenda?  So, while we’re going through the space, what assumptions are there that there are students, staff, teachers, community, and administrators, what assumptions do they have about Jr. NAD?  They could assume, oh, you know, they automatically put a check mark. Student leadership, that will be part of the student’s profile and maybe a person who once was a Jr. NAD member and really wants to promote and advertise for these kids and just say, oh, no, check, it looks good on paper. I was a part of it. I can take it to my college application.

But no, it is about the Deaf youth and how they become leaders. And maybe, and most importantly, it’s a much harder discussion that might need to happen. Is there any unwritten or written policies about becoming a member of Jr. NAD?  And/or has the school set up anything?  Perhaps the school may have no idea, or some type of intuition and teachers may have some specific unwritten rules that people don’t know about. Could it be connected with bad grades or suspensions or just reputation?  Maybe someone who is a little unsure of themselves, oh, no, they can’t join. Should it be free?  Is there is a membership?  Maybe there are dues and what are they used for?  It needs to be very explicit. People need to know, what do I need to know to qualify to get in. Perhaps you can put out a flyer, but you have to clearly state what is expected. It says qualified, but what does that mean?  If it is unwritten, they can never assume these things. Maybe someone can say, oh, maybe how often a student might experience these types of things. These are the questions we need to ask. Next slide.

I will let you go ahead and let the Captioner get caught up. Okay. Now, with all of that in mind, it is possible that maybe on my end, I could be aware. Maybe I agree, disagree, yes, no, but I think maybe more work needs to be done and for me, when I read these bullet points, I think what are the possibilities?  What things could come up on a personal level, in my conversations, and look at the common things that come up, as well as putting up a survey to think of the possibilities for me. These are some for me, what is the purpose of the mission?  Do they need to be revamped or revised?  What is the mission, the purpose, if they do, how does it work for the organization in your school to be inclusive of everyone?  Is that even possible?

And that will allow more accessibility. Okay, we have a goal that we made. Yay, we did it. We can put that in our file, check it off. But never discuss it again or is that something you talk about every single day at every single meeting?  These are our goals. This is our purpose to make sure it is presented in ASL or interpreted or in Spanish, so it is more accessible to everyone.

And you know, I’m just thinking of all of the different possibilities, maybe there is a Jr. NAD meeting, say a one-on-one and that is to expose people to what is Jr. NAD?  What is the purpose?  Anyone can come, students, community, staff, teachers, it has nothing to do with school, but talking about the organization. Educating people what Jr. NAD is. Invite the principal, the superintendents, let them be a part of the meeting and emphasize why this organization is a benefit or just an FYI session to say, hey, we provide these things. These are different opportunities. You can meet new friends. What is the benefit of participating?  Learning how to run an organization. What does it look like from the inside out?  Not a secretive club where people don’t know what is going on.

And trying to educate people on what it is about and how it can benefit their lives. And then, just an FYI session, so one-on-one. It is similar to when you go to college, if you’re not sure what you want to major in, perhaps you are interested in one area, you can take a one-on-one class and realize, yes, this is for me and go ahead and major in psychology, for example or I will take a 101 level class and see if you have an interest and want to pursue. It is making it available to recruit people to want to be a part of it.

Third, to create a space so anyone can talk about whatever it is and strategize and it starts with the dialogue with the students, the staff, the community, administrators to create a welcoming space at Jr. NAD. It cannot be one person coming up and making a list of beautiful bullet points and this is how we make a welcoming space. It is not going to work that way. We have to include the whole community in this conversation. How do we make this space welcoming?  And oftentimes, it is not about Jr. NAD. It is about stepping back and looking at the macrosystem of the whole school. Does the school make people feel welcome?  And that is going to lead to different strategies that could allow for an alignment to uplift the school system, so our schools are more welcoming for everyone. And that will be welcoming in all spaces on campus. This is just an opportunity to model. This could be a great opportunity.

And then lastly, back to my previous thoughts, to identify what possibilities or barriers exist. Is it implicit or explicit?  And you know, it is about being a member and participating to identify what the possibilities and the barriers are, and then we can also identify the trends within our students. Next slide.

I guess, we’re going to shift a little bit now to do some open floor dialogues, meaning anyone who wants to participate in these three different topic areas, we could speak on those today. One would be for marketing, and then policies and procedures, and the culture of belonging. We do have specific questions under each of these areas, maybe we can wait for people to join or let me know how we want to proceed with this.

I won’t bite. Not to worry. You can jump up in this conversation. You know, we can dig deeper, maybe ask more thoughtful questions, and maybe if you listen to other people’s questions, it can lead to other answers and other questions. I do really want to foster this conversation though.

>> Heather:  Hi, there. I will — maybe folks are busy and that could be a reason, too. I don’t know — I — my students, all the dorm activities, they come up to my meetings. If problem is that the groups don’t always pay too much attention. They like to talk, of course, they love to chat, makes sense, right?  I try to make sure we move the meeting along. I guess I want to know your suggestions on how to improve that. Middle school and high school students come together, and they are chatting.

>> Malibu: Are you doing this alone or do you have support?

>>> Health ere:  There are three of us and I have a national honors society advisory who is not necessarily choir, but they are always there, and we support each other. There are three of us, if you will, supporting one another.

>> Malibu: Okay, you work as a trio. Right now, there is a lot of competition with technology, and that is the culture of our students these days. Their attention span is minute. We have to find some type of value in being part of the change and supporting that and the students will not be there if they didn’t feel it was important, they wouldn’t show up.

>> Heather:  Right, right.

>> Malibu: At the same time, our students crave socialization, because the school system and the scheduling with all of their classes, being there all day long, having to attend, by the end of the day, they are worn out and they just want to be chilling and talking, but I think if you structure it in such a way where you can say, hey, we’ve got 15 minutes, free time, talk about anything you want to with food.

>> Heather:  That is a good idea. Can’t beat that, right?

>> Malibu: Food is a beautiful way to connect people, and it could be something that could be delivered and tied into the conversation. Say, for example, if you want to have a conversation about how things are not going well, say, financially, fiscally, any issue really that Jr. NAD might be facing. What are you doing?

>> Heather:  Right now, we can’t figure out what games to play.

>> Malibu: St. Patrick’s Day, right, right. Bring green food and say, hey, people might realize that we’ve been struggling hard for this kind of a decision, so do you have parliamentary procedures?

>> Heather:  No, we don’t have formal meetings. We don’t typically, no.

>> Malibu: So, you could role play. No, create a space where you have two different meetings going on, maybe in the same evening, right. One is going to be, what we have always been doing, same old, same old, fumbling around a little bit, very casual and unable to make a decision. And then say, wait, we’re going to follow the parliamentary procedure. We’re going to have a chairperson running it. Everyone is going to have roles and we need to have new business. We have to vote. This is a process. This is what it looks like and ask them at the end, how you do you prefer the meeting to be run. After the discussion, if there is time left over, we can socialize, but the key is, the first 15-20 minutes, give them an opportunity to connect with each other and maybe they feel like, okay, okay, I can pay attention in this space again. You know, you want to make sure they are there and that students will show up, and if they are showing up.

>> Heather:  They all come. They all come through. Dormitory parents and staff say, go, go, and this is the activity.

>> Malibu: So, I think, perhaps — try to practice my recommendation and see what happens to make a comparison and you can say, this is how it works in politics. They have rules. There are steps, you have to follow things in order and after you graduate, you have to know the parliamentary procedure, because you may encounter it in your adult life. If we’re efficient enough, we can get over it quickly and you have more time to hang out. What would they prefer?  Do you know what I’m saying? If that were the case, look at, this is our current process, and the students, you know, I am sympathetic with the students who are in class all day long, following the same routine, and they are needing an outlet and that is the organizations and the clubs.

>> Heather:  That is so true. Thank you so much, Malibu. Thank you.

>> Malibu: Oh, absolutely. Okay, we’re at 46 after the hour, so I want to be mindful of the time. I think it is key that you take a look at how you’re advertising, how you’re marketing. If you’re struggling with recruitment, you need to promote Jr. NAD and how can you do that?  What do your flyers look like?  Are you posting on social media?  Do people follow you?  Do they know where to find you?  How do you get the word out?  How do you encourage people to become members?  Do you once a year?  Do you do it throughout the year?  Do you have a booth?  Are you visible at homecoming?  How can you promote, because that is crucial. Marketing is a huge part of inclusion.

What message and what brand are you putting out?  What are you saying?  We want XYZ to happen, but you have to emphasize, we can’t do this without you. To make people want to be a part of the change. Give them that inspiration. I think that is number one as a key marketing point, what does that look like in your organization?  And then with policies and procedure, what is written and unwritten as far as participation?  Are they allowed to participate regardless of having a suspension recently?  Because that could become part of a reward system, and that could be, you know, avoiding that school-to-prison pipeline. Maybe giving them a space where they can still attend, but having the conversations, of course, having a restorative approach, and giving them a place where they can commit to change.

If the kid feels inspired by the leaders, I think they might be inspired to change if they realize that, you know, some harm may have been created in certain spaces, maybe they got in trouble for a specific reason. You know you have to look at it as a case-by-case basis. Do they get their funding from fundraise centers are they not allowed to fundraise?  Do they get a stipend that is ready and waiting? All of these things are going to create different conversations.  What kind of barriers exist in your organization?  Maybe too many people are competing for attention. Maybe they are committed to other clubs and organizations where they have to pick and choose, and they are involved in five and they are overwhelmed, and they have to prioritize. Which one can they meet more requirements or expectations?  Do they feel overwhelmed?  Do they feel they have to participate in every club that exists and what benefits do they receive by their participation and being in so many different places — spaces?  We need them to be reasonable and realistic and the culture of belonging.

It is a question to ask yourself as advisers or advocates. What system do you have?  When they show up, do they feel good?  Do they feel good around you or are there students that are clearly resistant?  What types of relationships do you have with the students?  Do you, yourself hold multiple roles?  As teachers, plus an advisor. Teacher, plus as a parent or advisor or organization manager, plus all of the other things I do outside of the school that I committed to. If you have multiple roles in the community, and then how do people look at me as a person?  How do I carry myself all day long?  What do I do?  How do I proceed after school?

And we want to make sure we check in with how do students feel about you, their sense of belonging in the organization?  If so, who are you to certain students, especially black and brown students, right. We need to have more conversations about how we make sure we’re not only focusing or centering white students or cis students. We want to make sure we are honoring all students in that space. We don’t want to have any messaging that says no one belongs or certain people don’t belong here. What is that messaging? What do we need to decolonize?  What barriers do we need to break?  We need to move forward and live and breathe with intention.

So, when you’re ready and folks are wanting to close those gaps, we want to make sure everyone has access to providing services to Deaf youth, what needs to happen?  What resources can be created, so we can continue to close those gaps?  So, folks and students can access certain spaces and assistant resources to support their journey. This will be available for everyone to reflect, and anyone is welcome to contact me at any time. Next slide, please.

I’m going to open the floor for questions now and I will hand it over to the folks in the room.

>> Chanel: This is Chanel. It is a quiet room today. That is okay. It is a Tuesday evening and I know folks may be busy, so it is understandable. So, people can reach rout owe to me. Yes, thank you Malibu for coming through. Thank you for your workshop. It doesn’t just apply to the local Jr. NAD chapters, but the Jr. NAD on the national folks, the Jr. NAD conferences, our youth programs, as well as our camps and summer programming. in the past, we would connect the communities and say, if you’re going to Y OC, we have to be part of Jr. NAD and that is not necessarily true. Anyone can apply to be a part of YLC or be a part of Jr. NAD. Malibu, you mentioned a lot of points they really, really loved and I would love to see that happen in Jr. NAD spaces, especially with our big conference coming up in the fall. Thank you so much.

>> Malibu: Thank you so much for having me.

>> Chanel: Thank you so much. I want to close out with a few comments and quick announcements in regard to our events that are coming up March 6. What is happening March 6?  It is a national Deaf youth day that is happening, again. Often think the national Deaf youth day, this is for anyone and everyone to celebrate all identities, maybe your Jr. NAD chapter can lead something for the school or other organizations for the school, host an event at your school. We have a variety of different ways to celebrate national Deaf youth day. It is not limited to only the schools. It is in state organization, state associations and we welcome that.

And why are we doing this?  To recognize our Deaf youth that they can thrive in any space and become the future. We celebrate our Deaf youth, and we celebrate that on March 6 every year. We make sure to do that in full pride. We want to make sure folks are aware of that, NAD, National Association of the Deaf is hosting mock interviews. It is our way to celebrate national Deaf youth day. This year, we are putting on a pause on that for the mock interviews, and the reason being, because we will be moving those mock interviews to October in the fall. In October is national disability employment awareness month, so that day make sense because mock interviews will be happening in October to honor that month, and our communities.

So, next our next webinar we’ll be focusing on the youth planning, any event planning 101 and that will happen with Sean Norman who is our NAD former front desk manager, office manager. He has been a part of our office coordinator and helped support many of our events and planning many of our conferences. Sean is working for the D.C. mayor’s office for the Deaf and hard of hearing, DeafBlind organization, so he is a program coordinator there. So, that will be happening on March 15 at 8:00 p.m.

And we will make sure we share that registration and all of that information via e-mail, and we will send that out.

And the last announcement, as folks may know, I am the outgoing director. My role with NAD as full time has closed as of last week. I will still be here as your point person, your point of contact and help you facilitate and support the Jr. NAD programs. So, there will be a new person coming into my position. We will communicate who this person is and make sure this person will be connected with all of you here in the space. I want to ask folks to keep in the back of their minds, I may not be as responsive moving forward. I will try my best and do my best to respond quickly as I can and as efficiently as I can.

Thank you so much for joining us this evening. I will send out this recording, as well as the PowerPoints to everyone this evening, and as Malibu said, Malibu will share her contact. Have a wonderful ending. Have a great night. Thank you again.

  • DATE: Tuesday, February 28th at 8 pm ET
  • Voice interpretation and captioning will be provided.
  • No CEUs will be offered for this webinar
  • This is a free webinar that requires registration.


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