Real Talk, Good Action: The Healing Process

March 24, 2022

>> Kirsten: Good evening. My name is Kirsten Poston. I'm an appointed member at NAD. I'm happy to be here with you tonight. We are here to discuss part two and continue the dialogue on Real Talk, Good Action, The Healing Process Part 2. Next slide, please.

So, we will be using the chat. If you would like to ask a question, you can raise your hand, if you would like to ask with ASL, and the chat will be left on for other comments and information sharing. Please be respectful in the chat. Next slide, please.

I want to recognize the native land which we gather. We are gathered on the land of the indigenous Native Americans, and we ask that you join us in acknowledging their community and elders, both past and present, as well as future generations.

Next slide, please. As a reminder, please respect everyone here, including in the chat. Any disrespect may result in removal from this forum. Next slide, please. It is my pleasure to introduce the panel moderator tonight, Crystal Kelley Schwartz. Please welcome, Crystal. Thank you so much, Crystal. Take it away. Thank you so much.

>> Crystal: Good evening. Hello, everyone. In tonight's discussion, Real Talk, Good Action, The Healing Process Part 2 is for all of you here. We, the community. First, I will give a description. And we would also like anyone on video to give a description as well for complete accessibility and for our DeafBlind attendees as well. My name is Crystal. I am a black woman. I have blue earrings and black hair with a scarf and sheer sleeves and I'm sitting next to a table with a plant on top with a small hand drum. I'm sitting in front of a blue background. Again, welcome, everyone.

What the purpose for tonight's meeting? Well, this past January, we engaged in a discussion with three deaf professionals, and we engaged in a dialogue on race and color. We had an in-depth discussion. I had asked the panelists to share their experiences with racism, and their viewpoints on the healing process. And it felt like a very natural conversation with them, and it was very authentic, and at times, I forgot there was an audience here, so for the healing process, it is important to have that authenticity brought to the table, including the time and the process as well.

So, tonight's session is going to be very similar. There's going to be opportunity for everyone here to also engage in conversation after the slides. There is a team that is working on dismantling racism in the deaf community, and it is a team effort. And we have done a lot of planning and sharing of ideas, and we really need you as well, so we can heal together as we progress through this process, which began -- the discussions began in January, February and now here we are in March.

So, I'm Crystal. I have been a long time NAD member and it is something that's become a part of me and part of my journey. I'm very grateful for NAD. it is an opportunity for me to come and chat with all of you for the past two sessions and focus on racism and the healing process. We want everyone to be engaged, but it is not an easy process. I am not a professional, and I want to be -- share that disclaimer, but I had personal experience, my life experience, and there are many that understand so much about racism based on their research, as well as their experiences that they have, and they have been able to share and I'm very fortunate to be connected with those persons.

Tonight, I am an expert in healing, and NAD and all of you as an organization and the community and members of it are going to be engaging in this dialogue. We're not going to be talking about the system, but we do have to recognize that the system is an integral part of where we are today, and that history does impact where we are now, and so this is a safe space to talk about that. There isn't much opportunity to have those dialogue, but tonight is one of those opportunities. I did mention safe space. I cannot define what safe space is for everyone, so I can't claim this as a safe space, but I can say in our efforts, we are going to have a dialogue that you feel comfortable engaging in and if you do have something you would like to share, please do share. As moderator, I will be moderating the discussion, you may be wondering, there is no panel. It will be a discussion with all of you. We would like all of you to be panelists, so to speak, so thank you for your willingness to engage in conversations tonight.

I was born and raised in a suburban area, Illinois. It was predominantly white area, and I grew up privileged in many ways, because I recognized many people over the years telling me, wow, you're lucky. You're lucky. And I oftentimes had to consider people of color and white people and their distinct experiences and what they face and notice that there is a distinct division between those two groups.

And I didn't want them to be two distinct groups. I wanted them to be able to work together in advocacy and education efforts and everything that happens together. I remember in terms of us getting along, the more and more people that were in denial of racism, more and more people who didn't acknowledge racism, it wasn't successful. We have to think about how we are dismantling racism within our communities. It's not just within our workplace, but it is everywhere. We all have to band together to work together to get along with each other.

We can't continue to work in a way where oppression is in our midst, separation is in our midst, segregation in our midst. We have to come together, we have to work together, so we can change and dismantle the system. Racism has a myriad of perspectives or interpretations. It is important that we actually understand what racism is and making sure that we are all on the same page of what racism is and how we are to dismantle it.

It's not a one size fits all, but again, it has a myriad of perspectives. So, again, as I mentioned, we had our meeting in January, and we closed off, but we wanted to actually have further discussion with some of our panelists. We wanted to have some last words in terms of healing and how we can move forward. So, what I did, I had an interview or video session with Cizzy, one of the former panelists in January. What she shares, I hope you are able to connect with her and know where she is coming from. I asked her a series of questions and I want you to hear what she had to say, her wrap up and take-home message from that session. If we can show that video, please.

Again, thank you for being here. I know we didn't have a chance to go further after our discussion, but I would like us to have conversations about racism. So, having some dialogues, we're realizing that there are different viewpoints on what exactly is racism. So, we need to have a definition of racism and what does that unleash in us when racism is discussed? What does racism mean to people and what does that elicit from people?

>> Cizzy: I think it depends on who is engaging. Everyone can be triggered by racism, even that word in and of itself is triggering. For people of color to experience racism and try to feel a disconnect from it, if you understand what I mean. There are some individuals out there that are unwilling to change, and as a black woman, as a deaf black woman, I feel fear. And just because I'm black and I'm deaf and I'm a woman, I understand my path can change. For example, I apply for a job. I was hired by a white person. I recognize that some, not all, but some while I was going through the process were making uncomfortable comments that were microaggressions, and they said, you're paying for my time, you're paying for my skill, so they said, we have earned your loyalty and you should be loyal to us because of those things.

>> Crystal: No, that is very clear what you just shared. What you mentioned about healing is very crucial, it is also important for us to take time out to understand what we're feeling, and what we're feeling and how can we educate as a result? Taking the time to actually share how you feel and also educate that is part of the healing process, so I'm wondering what are other ways that can help us heal?

>> Cizzy: Education is important, but at times, I feel it is a bit, to use an analogy, hitting a brick wall, because some are not willing to accept. Healing is a two-way street, so you have to be able to recognize it as a recipient and I'm sharing my experiences, you have to be willing to accept. They are not willing to do so, because they feel like they are going to lose something. The system is giving them an advantage, so they are at risk of losing something, so they feel quite resistant to accepting some of the comments, and accepting responsibility for some of the impact, and it is important to accept that. And yes, it is absolutely a two-way street, and this is something we have to do together.

>> Crystal: So, Cizzy mentioned that people have a tendency to have misunderstanding of what bias means, racism and xenophobia. Many confuse and muddle those terms. We're here to unpack, particularly racism. We have another panelist, we had Nida Din and she shared how she feels, and it is very important. She was saying, it is important for all people of color. There's a process in terms of healing. First is acknowledging racism and your personal experiences with racism and confronting that, not allowing it to sit under a rug. That is the first, acknowledgment.

Secondly, dealing and sitting with that emotion as opposed to holding on to it and not addressing it. Because if you hold on to it, it will destroy you later. Thirdly is to be kind to yourself. Do what you enjoy that can help you release those negative emotions that are associated with that experience of racism. And remember, you are not alone. Connect with your support system. Allow yourself to vent and to be heard by that support system, so those are the four truths of healing process that our former panelists, Nida Din shared with us that will help us heal through our experiences of racism.

Yoon Lee was quite a busy individual, but one thing he shared with me to share out, again, he was here on the panel in January, and it was something that opened up his eyes in a very significant way. He mentioned he learned a lot about his own emotional journey while he was on the panel. And so, that was what he shared about his experiences from January, and so I want to thank those three panelists for their vulnerability, for their openness to be raw and to share their experiences with us. They had no fear in sharing what they shared. they weren't fearful of potential retaliation or revenge that may come against them in the future, they were open, and I want to thank them for their openness and their authenticity in terms of what they shared.

I thank them for their courage. So, we spoke about the different viewpoints on racism. So, way on the show you one particular individual. They are a member of NAD. They are quite an activist within the community. They have a strong voice, and he shared their thoughts on what racism means. The individual's name is Nunu.

>> Hello, I'm Nunu. So, what does racism look like? Everyone knows what racism is, however, it's still rampant, so hopefully, this picture will give you some insight as to what racism is. It is a picture of a landfill, garbage. That's what people of color experience, being tossed out. How can we heal racism, essentially being tossed out like garbage? It's one word, intersectionality. The problem is intersectionality is cast aside. It's southwest under -- swept under the rug. It is not brought to the forefront and discussed. Genocide is a huge barrier and does not enable us to heal. We have to bring that to the forefront and unpack that.

From our heart and our mind and that way we can recognize what people of color are experiencing. Without leaving them, so to speak, in the proverbial trash and bringing their voices to the forefront and allowing them to discuss and heal. But that takes every single one of us and it takes our own recognize of ourselves then racism can be resolved or dismantled, but that requires work for you and for it. We have to do this together. By recognizing all of these things that make us who we are and unpacking it. And BIPOC persons will appreciate that. Thank you. We will make this happen and it is because of all of you.

>> Crystal: NAD is a leading organization, and they are partnered with the community, with various stakeholders. We heard from Nunu who shared about racism and some of you may have been watching that and thinking what does intersectionality actually even mean? Intersectionality also has a number of different interpretations of what it actually means, and so how you watch and interpreted her comment about intersectionality, if you have questions or have comments about it, save that for the Q&A.

I want to show you one perspective about intersectionality and one of it is perseverance. The acknowledgment of knowing the history behind racism and it is not a novel concept, it is not a novel experience but acknowledging there is a perseverance intertwined with racism and intersectionality. Intersectionality contains a number of different identities of who I am, who an individual is, and that's an example of racism. Can have a number of different definitions, but that takes away from the focus if we're trying to argue about what that actually means. It destroys connection. It destroys relationship. Relationship divides. It destroys community. We have to work together to dismantle racism and that is when we start talking about racism.

Next slide, please. I want individuals to feel safe to participate in our discussion this evening. So, I have a poll question for the audience. Your answers will be seen, and we on the back end will not know specifically who responded to what question. We will just see the percentages, so I'm asking you that the questions that we will ask in the poll, if you really understand that, answer as honestly as you can. Our poll questions will actually ask those same questions throughout the presentation, and I ask that you participate for your own good to be quite honest. The first poll question asks, are you a racist? Yes, no, or I do not know.

So, it seems like the results are in. But I can't see the results on my end. So, I see that 43% answered yes, 40% said no to that question, and 17% said I do not know. Thank you. So, I want to thank those that participated. So, we think about when we were young and how we learned to ride a bike the first time. We were quite unbalanced the first time, but it became easy overtime. Later on in life, when we get back on a bicycle, it may feel uneasy, but the body knows exactly how to ride a bike, just like something we have done for years. Our mind remembers what you learned. And racism, we think about where it begins from, where does the seed start grow from? It is in the mine and -- mind. It is learned. It is based on what you see, it has been internalized and it is part of who you are.

One word I like to use when I'm talking about racism is the word in view. So, I saw one of our committee members for dismantling racism committee just came on. Nonetheless, going back to what I was sharing on. So, my sign for that. To dirty or to Sully, I see it as something that sticks within us. And sometimes, it can be against a group of people, a particular race and not the human race. We have to think, sometimes, people don't always see everyone as a human race. Some people are particularly against a particular race, because what they have learned based on superiority or that they are better than another group. And racism is based out of pride. Racism starts in the mind, and they see that a particular race is less than or inferior, but at the end of the day, they are all human. They are part of humanity. Racism, as we can see has existed and there is really no way, but we can talk and as we see, as we have grown up, we have learned, we have taken in information. And some individuals don't want to change the way they think or the way they have learned.

So, that means healing won't happen. Because we can't change people, what people have learned stays within them, and change doesn't happen. However, my hope is that eventually, a person would understand going through that process of understanding that racism is wrong, and I'm saying that here again that racism is wrong. No if, ands or buts, racism is learned in the mind, and it is from a sense of pride and it is wrong. Racism triggers. It triggers emotions, so now my question to you is, well, who exactly experiences racism? Again, there are different viewpoints on what that could actually look like.

So, remembering the definition that racism starts in the mine, and it starts with you thinking that you are better than another race. The superiority that exists within you over another race, but if you ask yourself where did that thinking come from? Did it come from your upbringing? How you were educated when you were younger? Is that coming to be your operation in life and you have ignored it all along and you have lived life going about triggering other individuals based on that superiority, based on that experience. Now, is the time to recognize and unpack your own self to see how you can trigger other people with your racists behaviors and that is the first part of this healing process. Naming it, recognizing it, that racism exists within myself and asking yourself the question, why, do you wish to do something about it or do you wish to remain the same? And that can apply to a specific race, and also can apply to cultures as well.

We think about critical race theory. It started based on the understanding of how -- that is the educational system, police brutality, law enforcement, et cetera, there are barriers that are in place based out of race, and racism. For wanting to dismantle racism, it starts in your mind. It starts with how you think. It starts in terms of how do you unpack your old ways of thinking and what will you do about what you have found in your old ways of thinking? Next slide, please.

I want you all to take a moment to read this slide and then I will actually sign what is on this slide. Instillment, you must be wondering, what am I talking about? What does that mean for us? Instillment is what our parents have instilled within us or installed within us and it carried on with us into our adult life. There are various values within us that connect us with people and how we relate to other people, so it is important for every child to have segments of instillment, so they can actually understand their better and understand how to behave within a world and how they can connect to others and how they feel.

So, those segments of instillment can look like honesty. So, if we think about honesty as it is related to racism, were our parents honest with us in terms of how race applies and what that look like to other people. Their reactions to certain race. Did they hide that or did that broadcast to their children? How is that honesty in terms of racism or race instilled in a child? Accountability, being responsible or being held accountable for the actions and the consequences that come from the actions that one takes. Curiosity, it is important for you to of course be curious in life, that is not a bad thing. However, when it pertains to racism, it's very important how one navigates their curiosity and the questions that are asked and how things are approached and the assumptions may be made, it is important how you approach your curiosity in terms of racism.

Respect, I was taught that if you want to earn respect, you are to give it. Empathy, how does one understand or sit in another person's shoes to understand how they feel? That starts with listening, being able to hear another person's perspective and their life experience and what that means to you. Another segment is determination. How does one persevere through life and continue to move forward without a mindset of determination, oftentimes people can stay within the status quo of negativity in their life? But if our parents, as a small child teach us about determination, it gives us the power and courage to continue to soar in life opposed to waning and wallowing in negativity.

So, if we think about determination and its application to racism, it applies to individuals who are white and how white individuals can understand themselves better and how they can understand that their actions can have a negative impact on people of color. And people of color have a mindset of determination to continue to be heard, to continue to be vocal, to continue that their voices and their experiences matter. So, both sides of the coin, whether they are white or people of color, they all have a mindset of determination. And lastly, is open communication.

We're taught that if we have nothing to say, we won't get anything in return. But again, open communication is key. It is not a walk in the park. It is not something that is easy for us to do. But that tension, we have to think about where does that tension come from? If you feel tension, what have you received that has caused that tension? So, again, it is important for us to identify what action has caused a particular pain. Is it coming from a place of pride that you're superior to another? Questioning yourself, what should I do to make things different? Next slide, please.

And the slide reads, core of racism versus shades of racism. Racism is layered, and at its core compared to its external, superficial layers, it is quite different. History cannot be ignored. It can't be relived, of course, but it has to be faced. It has to be addressed with courage. Right? According to Mya Angelou. Mya Angelou, who I just shared that quote was a wonderful advocate and poet and how she shared and when she did share, people felt it. So, we need to really heed her and bring it to the forefront and take a look at it. And really use our soul, our heart from that lens really unpack the history and understand how it is viewed in our current society. It is a stain. And it is debatable whether or not someone asks for it and there are -- it is debatable if someone overt racist or just by circumstance, it is debatable. How does racism come to be? That is also debatable. I would ask you to look at the present and not delve into that conversation of how that came to be, but what came to be.

And if any of these that you see here on the slide are actually present and existent, you need to unpack this. One is a superior pride, which is a trigger. Grief, and grief is for people of color as well as white persons. Because when a white person realizes, they come to that realization that I have this trait that is an innate trait within me and I need to unpack this, they can experience a grief. A grief of trying to erase this old part of them, because that may have been all they have known from their childhood onward, and it has become a part of them. Of course, people of color experience the grief, because every time they are triggered, they feel this pressure, this external pressure upon their values and who they are. And they don't want to talk with a therapist and sometimes do not seek the professional help they need to heal, and they feel like dying at times and that is very grieving.

Racism can cause a very strong penalty, depression, self-harm, suicidal thoughts, so these are the resulting penalties from racism. Lastly, society of prejudice. It is real. It is reality. Prejudice is when you make a decision about a group or judgment about a group based on things that you see, and even if a person is not amongst that group, you identify them as a member of that group, and then make a decision based on their membership of that group, which is prejudice.

I have seen on a regular basis. I ask you, am I talking to only white persons? It is a matter of perspective. I am talking to you. You, that are watching this right now, attendees, you have to consider your thoughts. You have to consider where you are and if you have, in fact, been a proponent of racism or an agent for change and dismantling it. So, you have to consider what you -- how you participated in that. Next slide, please.

This is a trigger warning for everyone, not just white person, but persons of color. There are various potentials for triggers, and this is part of the healing process. I'm going to first explain the three images that you see on the slide. The first is a warning. The warning could be either as a recipient or a deliverer of something that could be triggering. You could receive something triggering or say something that inadvertently or overtly trigger someone. When you notice that, stop. Sit in that feeling. The next picture is a magnifying glass. So, analyze that feeling as it comes up, as the magnifying glass denotes. Ask yourself, why is this trigger occurring?

And everyone is on a different journey, not everyone is on the same path like snowflakes. No one snowflake is the same. No one journey the same. You can't just take a look at a book and heal and read a publication and heal. It is a process. And the process, part of the process is to recognize within yourself why you're feeling a certain way, if those feelings, do, in fact, arise. When they do, accept it. Accept that truth. Truth does hurt, but it is a necessary step in the process. Be mindful of self-care and even if you are feeling uneasy, consider that feeling as an opportunity to unpack and analyze that feeling and you will eventually get to where you need to go in the journey and that process of analysis, you can oftentimes experience bitter feelings. And it may find it difficult to work with others that are also experiencing bitter feelings.

How can we dismantle racism, if we are stuck in the analysis phase of the healing process? Give yourself permission to sit in that feeling and to experience that. I recommend you record those feelings, take note of that, perhaps approach a colleague or someone that you feel comfortable unpacking with and sharing with, so that feeling does not come as I alluded to earlier, a stain. Something that sits with you and I'm not only speaking to white people. I'm speaking to everyone here. You may wonder why I am continuing to emphasize that I'm not talking to one particular racial group and that is because we are all human and we may, at times feel a certain way about ourselves and our humanity. But it is an important step that you get it, that you understand it, which leads us to the third step in the process, which is one illuminated light bulb amongst several other light bulbs that are not illuminated.

Once you come to that enlightenment, that realization, you need to let go of your old ways and accept that. So, that step in the process comes with accepting, and changing your mindset from a fixed mindset to a growth mindset. I am not white. My husband is white. And we grew up with many white friends, unfortunately they oppressed me as well, but I'm thankful for my family members. I'm thankful that I felt a sense of belonging. I am grateful for those who also, outside of my family, made me feel a sense of belonging. Even though I have experienced racism, I have healed and here is how. I will give you one example.

Recently in my job, which has a lot to do with families, students, Interpreters, those in the mental health field, very often, I will get acclimated that said, Crystal, you make me feel like I matter, and that feeling is reciprocated. I make you feel like you matter, and you make me feel like I matter. But if a new person, a person that perhaps doesn't know me, makes an assumption about me, and that is something that I have experienced quite often and one way that is manifested is them speaking over me. And I may share comments and they cast my comments aside and they ignore what I'm saying, and that is a trigger for me, because I experienced that in school when teachers would ignore or oppress the comments from students or students that wanted to share. I have seen that with adults throughout my youth. And I keep telling myself, I engage in positive self-talk that I can heal, and I can get through this.

So, when I am triggered, I go through the healing process. I ask myself, why am I feeling this way? How am I feeling? And I sit in that moment, in that feeling. I am present and I know that I can speak up and I know I can advocate for myself, which leads me to the third step in the process, which is that enlightenment, that aha moment that I have where I have now analyzed my feelings and recognize that I can speak up for myself. And later on, I did talk with this person who was in education, an educated person, and I had to analyze whether or not that person was open to change, and I noticed that person also experienced oppression of black persons in their education in their history. And I had a conversation that led to an understanding and a mutual understanding and an empathy of sorts, which did lessen the grief, the grief was still existing, but it led us on a path to the healing process, after I gave the opportunity to have an open dialogue with that person. Once I gained an understanding of this person's background, I could complete my healing process and then react after I had done some analyzation. It is important to make a decision after you have gone through these steps and have a reaction.

Racism does exist and comes up and it is important to understand how to react to these persons and to remove some of these negative thoughts, and how to address some of these feelings that you may be feeling. And work together effectively with those persons. I'm not an expert, so I want to emphasize that again, I'm not an expert. I can go into great detail about racism, if you want to understand more about racism, reach out to me and I will connect you to the right people to have conversations. Conversations are so important, because it's important to have conversations with people who are not the same race as you, so you can learn about each other, so the old way of think canning be replaced with a new way of thinking. And a part of that process is to make a decision and you can make the decision that your process will be beautiful, or maybe the opposite of that.

There is a quote on this slide that says "for it isn't enough to talk about peace. One must believe in it, which is peace. And it isn't enough to believe in it. One must work at it." That quote is from Eleanor Roosevelt. Her quote is a great way to explain how we can actually effectively collaborate as a community. How do we respond? Agreement is a part of that. You agree that your experience and another person's experience are different. You look at each other as humans and you agree to dialogue. You agree to have conversations for the purpose of connection. It all takes place in agreement. Value, what's the purpose of having two individuals come together, these individuals are different, and each other look at one another in disdain or in disagreement with each other. What is the value in that? There is pain in that. There's rejection in that. But we bring people together from different backgrounds for the purpose of understanding each other, so that change can actually happen.

And we do that through patience and faith. Lastly is celebration. We think about dismantling racism and what does that really mean? Dismantling is taking away. So, let's look at racism as let's say there are different layers to racism and as we remove the various layers of racism, it may never go away, but if we think about it, if there are more individuals that actually have a stronger understanding of racism and is doing the work and removing the layers to understand that it actually becomes less. So, our hope and we have faith that more people will join in in understanding what racism is and do the work to actually remove those layers from one another.

We have to put the work in it to make this actually effective. We can't be distracted by negative and grievances and complaints, but we have to have a dialogue. We have to have a connection with each other in order to actually see effective collaboration happen. We have to remove the pride within ourselves. Slowly, but surely, we will see the layers removed and NAD and the deaf community can see less racism in their front. It is not just racism, but we have other ISMS as well, but tonight, we're talking specifically about racism. That there is racism within the deaf community and at the end of the day, we're all human. We all live and breathe, and we have to understand that not everyone is the same. We all are one -- we are all individuals. We are not clear cut, and we understand that we are different by having conversations.

If we experience a trigger, process it. Process it, understand it, and make a decision to change and understanding that change is not easy. Change is hard. We also have to understand shame. Shame happens. But we have to remove that shame, remove that shame and replace that with forgiveness regardless of your skin color, whether you're white or black or brown individuals. Forgiveness is a key in terms of unlocking and removing negativity. We must do that together to have effective collaboration. Again, I go back to the word embus. If we're dismantling racism within the deaf community, it means our deaf members have been stained with racism, if you will, but our goal to remove that. Our goal is to dismantle and remove those stains and celebrate with you. That is why we're here. The point is for us to recognize that we're here. You are seeing me for who I am. You're not seeing me because of my race. You're seeing me for the gifts that I contribute to tonight.

But at the same time, you can't ignore that race is not art part of me and I'm happy and grateful that NAD invited me here to share my thoughts on racism. thank you for hearing me and thank you, NAD for inviting me. I don't want to go on and on, I want to give the audience some time to ask questions, share their comments. Again, I am not an expert. We have other members on this team that can share their expertise here as well. There are deaf professional in our community, that we want to celebrate, because they have that expertise. If you have a question, you are welcome to click the chat or raise your hand. You come on screen, we want to make sure your background is clear and not distracting for individuals who are looking at you or our voice Interpreters who are here tonight and also for individuals who may have vision impairments, so if you just be considerate about it, we will appreciate it. Now, I want to turn this over. My part is done, but I want the turn it over for the next poll for our audience members.

And again, going back to thinking about that question, are you a racist? After everything I have shared, I want to ask that same question again. Can we show the poll, please?

Again, the question reads, are you a racist? Yes, no, or I do not know.

So, I see the results have come in. So, again, are you a racist, yes, is 43%. We have 51% at no, I am not racist and 5% at I do not know. Again, thank you to everyone who participated in this poll. I noticed that some people did change their answers based on awareness and where you have gotten your information from, I.E., this workshop or a number of resources that are out in our community. Again, please feel free to reach out. We're here to help. Our goal is for everyone to have a better understanding about healing from the negative tensions and experiences from racism. Remember, equality. We think of equality, it means equal opportunities. Equity means equal results, and what do we want here? Again, we want to unpack those layers and we want to dismantle racism.

So, if you want to have the same results then your mindset won't changer but if you want different result, your mindset will change. I don't want to go on an on. I want to hear from you all who have been here this evening. If you can go ahead and raise your hand if you have a question.

So, someone says that I am a privileged person, because I grew up in a white neighborhood. And so, how can that -- how can I -- how can that be so? How is that? I have to remember that I do have white friend, but I also do have friends that are people of color. Again, if you don't know me, it takes the process of getting to know me and realizing that you can't make assumptions about me. Again, I am privileged, yes, because I had a good education. I realize that my mom had placed me in a neighborhood that actually had great educational students and I was surrounded by American Sign Language. I grew up in a rural family, but again, my dad -- my dad didn't sign. My dad didn't sign, whereas my mom, she was very oral and so, again, I have the opportunity to be in a neighborhood where I made a lot of friends and I was privileged because of my network, so some people may look at me and say, oh, my gosh, a black person can have privilege, but that again depends on how you look at it and how the system views that. Because there are ways that if people don't recognize color, they can see that oh, "I have privilege," but the moment that you see I'm a person of color that where there is a disadvantage because of the color of my skin.

My experience has not been a walk in the park, and it has been because of the color of my skin as well. So, Anthony Johnson wants to ask a question. They are a panelist, so if we can have Anthony Johnson come on screen, please.

There seems to be several Anthonys. Give me one second. I'm just having a side conversation with the board. Welcome to the panel, Anthony. So, what is your question?

>> Anthony: Can everyone see me clearly? Even with my background? What about the DeafBlind participants as well?

>> Crystal: Do you mind giving a visual description Anthony?

>> Anthony: My name is Anthony Johnson. I work for NBC universal studios in Florida. -- in Orlando, Florida. I love working there, especially on Halloween night and there are a lot of parades and there is Mardi Gras and a lot of events, shows that I really enjoy participating in. Thank you for inviting me. My apologies -- inviting me to the screen and participating in this conversation. My technology was giving me some issues, but I was born and raised in New York City. And there are many black people there. I'm just used to the demographics there and growing up in the 60'S there are a lot of persons in the deaf school that were of Hispanic heritage, white person, black persons. My family moved to Baltimore, Maryland. And I lived with my grandfather there and there was a mix of white and black persons, and the neighbors were mixed. There was some white, some black persons, and I wasn't used to that, because I grew up in a predominantly black neighborhood. There were white persons in New York, but they were few and far between. So, it was a bit of a culture shock. My father was Bermudan and grew up in a predominantly white area, and in that time, Bermuda was under the British regime and then moving to America, persons viewed my father with respect, because he had a British accent, because it was controlled by Britain. And at that time, the police were supporting white persons. They were more -- they were more likely to support them and not black persons, and it was quite frustrating for me, especially growing up at the School for the Deaf in Frederick, there was a lot of black persons, and it was quite an awful, awful experience of oppression, racism, and even white teachers that would ignore our hands being raised of black students trying to share. And it was very oppressive. We were cast aside and ignored, and I remember even the use of the N-word in school and there was a white woman that did finally advocate for me and stood up for me and said to that one person who used the N-word to not do that. But regardless of that one advocate, there was still other experiences of oppression, racism in the 60'S and 70's. The 80'S were fairly good and the 90's progressed further. Fast forward to a couple of years ago with the George Floyd situation and everything changed. It ramped up dramatically. And we have been chasing the dream of Martin Luther King since his speech, and it felt as though we finally reached a pinnacle, because Dr. Luther King had a dream of peace, but change was minimal, and for a period of time, there was quite a bit of frustration that I had experienced, and my mother taught me that I need to face the fear in the world. That's what I was taught. to be resilient and have courage and not be afraid even if I'm called the N-word, even if I am oppressed by white people, to have courage and fight.

>> Crystal: I wanted to pause you, because I think many individuals can relate, going to a deaf school and being in that environment and what is beautiful is you are proud of what you are, what you have accomplished and you see where you are right now and you are sharing it from a positive lens and you are able to teach those around you that you value yourself. They can look at you, a black man and see value within that and have a great epiphany about that. So, again, you're right, your children and your family look up to you. They esteem you.

>> Anthony: Right, right. My one deaf son had recognized that during my time, times were hard, and things have gotten better, and now he is more willing to be proud of himself and who he was. And there were dark times and traumatic times that are very hard to let go of, for me.

>> Crystal: Yeah, and it is good that people are watching the raw experiences that you are sharing with us today, because people can become aware now that this is still happening even after many years, so I'm glad you are sharing that. And my advice to you would be the best way in the healing process the letting go. I know there is a lot of angst, there is a lot of uneasy feelings, and I can hear that in what you shared in your experience with racism. I want to encourage you to try to release that, try to have a mindset of positivity to change, because people are watching how you behave, people are watching how you react and people will be inspired and take away how you have changed and be inspired to change as well. Thank you so much, Anthony. I want to give other people an opportunity to share as well. So, yes, one quick second. Go ahead.

>> Anthony: I work for an African American network in Florida, and it was a pretty big group. I have met various professionals and I learned to unite with white persons, and so my advice to you, is don't just stand by. Face the fear of the world. Thank you.

>> Crystal: Yes, having courage. Anthony Johnson, thank you so much. It was nice to see your face. Again, thank you for sharing. Give me one moment, I wanted to have a quick offline chat with an NAD member. We have a number of questions that are coming through and just checking in on time. So, we want to also limit individuals in terms of how much they share, so I want to call on James Scott. And be mindful how much you share. James Scott. Yes, James, you have the floor. Welcome to this panel discussion. So, James Scott is a white man with glasses, and they have a green background. Go ahead, James.

>> James: Thank you. I'm the President of the association of the deaf. I moved to New Jersey near New York City for the past eight years, I have lived here. I found that the community is quite divided, and so we need to continue our collaborative efforts with the BIPOC community. I remember back in 1967, Newark, New Jersey, there were the Detroit fires and hearing about the news in the Detroit fires and Martin Luther King being shot. I had asked when all of these things came up in the news, why. I remember getting in the national business grant there were 98% of persons that were working in the post office. So, I recall engaging conversations with them and getting feedback, and having a mutual respect and that came from my understanding from what they were sharing.

They shared not to call them boy, call them man. I learned a lot from them and also the Civil Rights movement in 1964, and that protesters and those that fought for their rights led to the passing of the ADA law.

>> Crystal: You're right. You're right. James, I want to ask you a question. You asked yourself, why. You wanted to make a connection. Did you feel as though that feeling has gone away? Do you feel like that question of why has been answered?

>> James: I did not answer that until I entered into the service, and I had a different perspective at the post office, and gained their perspective and the experiences of, you know being in a position of privilege and gaining mutual respect of my colleagues, and getting a better understanding of the black community, and not just the deaf community. Of course, I'm involved with the deaf community, and even before I graduated from high school, I had a black roommate that engaged in conversations with me and shared feedback and I remember after graduating, the employment opportunities were limited. I moved to Florida and became the President of the association of the deaf and I asked for BIPOC persons to participate in the association of the deaf and raise their voices and I didn't want to be the only person working in the association. I did have to first recognize my privilege.

>> Crystal: So, you wanted to feel a connection with them and so you invited them, in because you wanted them to work together. You wanted yourselves and themselves to work together, because people are watching you, James. People are going to look to you more, because we see you are a white man and you talk about the question of why, why, that shouldn't happen, etc. So, as you're sharing, people are listening. People's eyes and ears are attuned to you and how we can work together to dismantle racism. Again, racism starts within the mind and as you grew up, you ask those questions of why, you got some answers and you got those answers by having conversations, and by making connections. You know, my grant father work -- grandfather worked at the post office for many years. They said, we love the post office culture. It seems like there is a special culture that was there and there were many deaf individuals that used to work at the post office and we're trying to bring that unity spirit back. There are challenges and we're seeing more and more challenges for black and brown individuals, yet people can see there is a perseverance and there is an overcoming spirit. I applaud Florida. It is nice to see the work that is being done there and how you're at the helm of that.

>> James: Thank you. Correct me if I'm wrong, there is a diversity task force that works on advocacy tools, and that was formed to help with some of these efforts, and I'm not sure if I was in the wrong.

>> Crystal: We're looking to actually have -- getting our resources out to individuals, and I'm thinking about, in terms of getting involved in a committee here at NAD. We need to have white individuals that are also with us as well, so I want to encourage you to maybe be involved with NAD at some level.

>> James: I'm always willing and happy to be on the board if need be. Thank you.

>> Crystal: Thank you. So, we see Paulina Ramirez has a question or comment they wish to share. Can you come on screen? Hi, Paulina. Welcome. Join the panel. Yes, Paulina? So, Paulina, do you mind giving us a visual description of yourself.

>> Paulina: Yes, I'm sitting in front of a tan-colored brick background and to the right of me there are various shelves with wine glasses and there is an outlet behind me on the wall. I have black hair with black glasses, and I have a wine-colored, long sleeved color top and I just noticed I have this white piece of fuzz or lint on my shirt.

>> Crystal: Thank you for sharing that.

>> Paulina: I'm Paulina Ramirez. This my name sign. Yes, and I did feel the tremors of sorts after the large impact just the past couple of years and it made me recognize that I did bad things to my friends in high school. Unintentional, of course, innocent in nature, but after the BLM movement, I started to engage in conversations and approach some of those persons that I had wronged and asked them for forgiveness and to have a dialogue with them. And I said, I was really subject to my parents' upbringing, and their teachings and understanding the history of the society, and at the time of the 30's and the 40's, you know, that was the era that my parents had grown up in with the Asian community and the Hispanic community and so on and so forth and their experiences back in the 30's and 40's. So, I was subject to, of course, inadvertently sharing comments that were on an impulse and I asked for forgiveness.

>> Crystal: That is a good example of how we heal. We have the opportunity to recognize patterns and ask the question of why and it is to take the first step, open the door of conversations and after having the conversations, negative thinking, negative emotions can start to be released. You know, obviously the goal isn't to identify yourself as a bad person, I mean, we all have had those moments where we question, right, whether you are white or person of color, racism affects everyone, and it is a trigger point. That particular word can unleash a feeling that isn't good, and so it's something that, you know, everyone is, you know, singing and chanting about racism, right, that is not something that we're doing. We're singing and chanting about ending racism, so again, Paulina, thank you so much for sharing about that and the results that happened when you had those conversations and asking for forgiveness, you became feeling light again. Feeling the burden of what you did to them, no longer sat with you and again, the first step is to find that person who you feel comfortable sharing out with, and I'm glad that you came on to show your face, Paulina, and share what you did. I'm hoping to see you at the conference this year.

>> Paulina: Thank you for inviting me to engage in this dialogue. I actually had left my former workplace, because of COVID, and then of course, it reopened, but I hadn't returned. And later on when I actually did return, which is with the person I knew quite well, their behaviors triggered me. They didn't say hi or anything, just we were very -- very quiet and when I passed by, I didn't understand why their behavior was that way. And my boss is white. My colleague is white, that one staff person, and when that staff person, that colleague of mine didn't say hi to me, I thought that might be how they were, until my boss who was also white and they greeted my boss and not me. I just understand that maybe that person chose their actions, and it was premeditated.

>> Crystal: It seems like your eyes changed. Yeah, it seems like your eyes changed after COVID, right, as you went through COVID. It seems like you were more open with who you are and you were doing some unpacking and cleaning up and as a result of that, you saw things from a different light, and again, --

>> Paulina: True.

>> Crystal: Again, it requires courage from people, and we want to celebrate the more courageous people are, we want to acknowledge and celebrate that. We also want to remember forgiveness. It is on both sides. It applies to both camps, for the white people or the people of color. We don't want to hold that heaviness of grudges or what have you, we want to release those. Thank you for the beautiful example of your healing process. Thank you, Paulina.

The Interpreters are gracious enough to stay another 15 minutes. I was just informed by the board, so thank you. So, we now have Anthony Davis who has a comment and question. So, I want to make say it correctly, Antines Davis is Nunu.

>> Antines: Can you see me? I did not realize I was on screen. I pressed the button in error.

>> Crystal: We can see you. I don't think you can see us.

>> Nunu: How do I do that? I am not tech savvy.

>> Crystal: We are not tech savvy, that's right.

>> Nunu: Wait if I do that.

>> Crystal: Can you see us, Nunu? I don't think she can see us. I don't think she can see us.

>> Nunu: I don't understand. I'm sorry. I'm not sure what to do. Should I just go ahead and share.

>> Crystal: She can't see us, so she can't see that I responded to say yes.

>> Nunu: I can't see Crystal at all, but I'm going to go ahead and share. Let me log off and let me leave this meeting and rejoin. Oh, this pisses me off.

>> Crystal: She is being herself. Authenticity right there before your eyes. So, someone asked a question in terms of what is colonialism. So, Cookie, are you here? So, I will go ahead and answer this question. I did want the members of the committee to come on screen and to actually speak about colorism, excuse me, Interpreters, it is not colonialism, it is colorism. What is colorism? Does any of the board members want to come on and explain that. Nunu, are you back with us? Seems like no, no one from the committee. Okay, I will go ahead and jump in here and answer that question.

>> Can Nunu turn on her camera?

>> Crystal: I know Nunu had their hand raised. I wonder if they can come on and turn on their camera. Let me answer the question about colorism. So, colorism is a form of oppression within a race, and color is politically constructed. So, there are certain groups that are segregated based on racism or based on oppression. Oh, we see Nunu.

>> Nunu: This is too much.

>> Crystal: Nunu, can you see me? I don't think she can see us.

>> Nunu: I'm in my bedroom. Bear with me. Yeah, my name is Nunu, let me give you a visual description. I'm in my bedroom, I have a high ceiling, I have a paging in the background. I'm wearing a white jacket with a dark gray stripe running along the side of the sleeves with some orangish color piping. And I'm wearing a fitted cap facing backwards with the NFL logo on front. I recall -- there was a vlog and I really let white persons have it and a white person told me, they seem racists, and they asked, are you racist? I considered that question that they posed to me, am I racist as a black person? So, how can I do that based -- how can I be that based on my vlog, as a black person, really letting the white community know my two cents? I let them have it. Does that make me a racist?

>> Crystal: Nunu, can you see me? If I respond, can you see me? Okay, I'm hoping that Nunu can see me, because I want to respond to Nunu's comment. What you have said is valid, many people of color, they go ahead and share, and they question, was that racist? We have to think about, what black people have gone through historically and we can't ignore history. Does that take away the chance to share those racist experiences? Yes, we can share that, I mean racism, we go through and those comments or those experiences need to be respected. Who can be racist or who can be participants of racism? It doesn't become focused enough in the deaf community. Deaf community needs to focus on where their mind is at and their thoughts, if they are negative thoughts towards a particular group of people and labeling them as a racist. Think about why. What is the benefit of labeling a particular group of people as you're a racist and you're starting to point the finger? I'm black and I can't be racist or you're black and you can't be racist. You're taking away from the meaning and the intent of racism, which is to oppress because of the color of someone's skin, someone's race. So, Nunu's question about how can we share that without having the viewpoint of, oh, then you are racist or you're saying I'm racist. There's a moment that you have where if you feel that aha triggering moment, unpack that, sit with that. And take the next step to address it. Address how you're feeling. Address what you're experiencing if someone calls you a racist, because again, we have experienced racism from the other side. So, again, going back to Nunu, remembering our black brothers and sisters, they might be you trying to forget and that is valid. What you shared is valid. Being labeled is not important. Right now, you have to think about our mine and our heart and that is what matters, and that, again, you're not the only one that is actually, oh, they are black. They are racist. Oh, no, I am not racist. You lost the train. You missed the train and you have been distracted, because we're losing the point of the conversation. I can't see Nunu's response to what I just shared. Oh, she is on her phone. Okay. So, Nunu, if you are on the phone, if you swipe to the left or to the right, you may be able to see me. But again, I want to say thank you so much for being involved in this panel discussion. It was really, really nice to see your beautiful face. Thank you for sharing your perspective with us.

Just checking to see if there are more questions. Thinking about ISMS. ISM is a space of pride. It comes from a feeling of superiority and that you're better off or better than another group of people, whether that is based out of color, which is racism, you, yourself think yourself is better than another person because of the color of their skin. Racism and colorism, I want to emphasize again, I am not an expert. There are individuals who can go into detail about racism, bias, colorism and that is one of the reasons why we're hosting the monthly seminars or webinars that is. For us to understand -- a better understanding of those terms and at the same time stop hate. Once you think yourself is better than another that is not actually changing anything. And we have to do this together. We have to become more inclusive. We continue to reject people, marginalize individuals then the work of collectivism is not happening, so we want to embrace a new way of thinking to see that change happen. I'm grateful to see NAD is letting go of their old way of thinking and embracing a new way of thinking, a new way of leadership and how to run this organization most effectively. So, again, I want to emphasize that together we can win. We will be hosting another workshop or another seminar in April. The former panelists that were in January will be joining us again in April. And I'm hoping community members, friends and families can join us on April 21. Again, we want to see the various viewpoints on racism and how we can work together. I'm hoping to see you again next month for our last part of the series. We had January. We've had now in March and we're hoping to continue this conversation in April regarding racism and the healing process. Thank you again for joining us.

So, we will meet again next month on April 21, 2022. Please join us next time. Thank you, everyone and good night.

Amy, Vice President (she/hers): Welcome to tonight’s webinar! You can turn on CC in the Zoom menu bar or you may use https://www.streamtext.net/player?event=NAD-Real-Talk-Good-Action as a separate browser.

Suzann Bedrosian: Hello from the Boston area. Crystal, what are you feeling privileged with living in white neighborhood in suburban ILL? Can you elaborate some more for the audience . . . .

Amy, Vice President (she/hers): My advice for BIPOC to heal from racial tension: 1: Acknowledge racism that you have encountered instead of minimizing your experience and shrugging it off.

Amy, Vice President (she/hers): 2: Get connected with your emotions. If you are sad, be sad. If you are angry, be angry. Do not internalize your feelings because it will destroy you at a later date.

Amy, Vice President (she/hers): 3: Be kind to yourself. Do things that you enjoy to release your negative emotions and be happy again.

Amy, Vice President (she/hers): 4: Most importantly, remember that you are not alone. Find your support system and use that opportunity to vent out, share your stories, and hear their stories.

Amy, Vice President (she/hers): Thank you to Nida Din for her advice that was shared tonight!

Andrea Berry: what is that one word? I missed it

Amy, Vice President (she/hers): Intersectionality

Elisa Mlynar: Andrea, "genocide" (is that the one?)

Andrea Berry: Thanks, Amy! Intersectionality

Amy, Vice President (she/hers): Happy to help!

Dew Drop: Link to Open letter in ASL about intersectionality https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JcTYXpofAI0

Sophie-Shifra Gold: Thank you for the insightful words and tips tonight Crystal and all

Margaret Jennings: I appreciate your thoughts. I admit i struggle in relating to what I should be admitting. I try to listen and be sensitive. I am a white person.

Andrea Berry: Thanks, Dew!

Sophie-Shifra Gold: I am a white person dating an African American woman and I want to learn about this issue to understand their culture

Suzann Bedrosian: What an honest bunch!!

Jennifer Witteborg: How many are participating?

Amy, Vice President (she/hers): @Margaret Jenning—This is why we have our NAD webinars monthly. This is an opportunity to keep an open mind and an open heart to learn about Racism. We all are continuously learning.

Andrea Berry: hmm... darn, I don't see the poll...

Suzann Bedrosian: @Dew—thank you, will look at that YT later....

Sophie-Shifra Gold: this poll is helpful

Sophie-Shifra Gold: I am in PST time zone so I am needing to leave at 4:55 pm my time

Amy, Vice President (she/hers): @Sophie-Shifra Gold—This webinar is not for learning culture but for learning, unpacking, and doing the work of dismantling racism within our community.

Sophie-Shifra Gold: yes thank you Amy. I work in district and work with diverse students

Elisa Mlynar: I believe that most of us white people are racist (some more/less than other people) cuz it's in the culture of America; even if we think we're not!

Suzann Bedrosian: ^ geo-political systemic racism ^. that

Elisa Mlynar: It can be unlearned, yet it takes work 🙂

Sophie-Shifra Gold: Yes "unlearned" and "unpacked"

Margaret Jennings: just by being born as a white baby I’m automatically a racist that is what s happening now. I want to understand how i am a racist.

Sophie-Shifra Gold: yes very true @Margaret Jennings

Amy, Vice President (she/hers): As @Jennifer Witteborg asked, how many are participating? Right now, at this time, there are 42 participants tonight.

Alan, Co-Chair (he/him): That's a common misconception. You are not racist just by being born white. Racism is learned. However, you DO have privileges because you are born white. That's often confused when discussing racism.

Sophie-Shifra Gold: Thanks for the clarification

Margaret Jennings: i agree that i have more advantage in general as a white person. what do i need to unpack? what am I looking for? How can I evaluate myself if I dont know where to start.

Sophie-Shifra Gold: be more sensitive?

Alan, Co-Chair (he/him): Unpacking begins by listening to BIPOC people and by examining your own biases, unconscious and conscious. Attending workshops like this is a good step.

Sophie-Shifra Gold: Agreed to Alan

Alan, Co-Chair (he/him): Just FYI, for transparency: I am the co-chair of the Dismantling Racism Committee working under NAD to work on this priority. I love seeing you all here! Thank you!

Suzann Bedrosian: 🙂

Elisa Mlynar: Self-examination. Be willing to look inside, and admit where we have been wrong. How many BIPOC friends do I/you have? More than 1?

Alan, Co-Chair (he/him): And do you discuss racism, prejudice, and experiences with your BIPOC friends?

Sophie-Shifra Gold: I am in Seattle, wanting to take this as a professional development because I work in a diverse school setting where racism has occurred and I want to be sure that I am doing my job by attending this webinar as a beginning and learning to 'unpack'

Sophie-Shifra Gold: I do admit I have more white friends than bipoc friends that is so wrong with that ratio

Alan, Co-Chair (he/him): FYI, this committee is working hard on a curriculum that will address racism and work on dismantling racism. Our intent is to offer this training to anyone that asks--we may come to Seattle, for example! 😉 Look for more information on this at NAD conference in July!

Sophie-Shifra Gold: Yes please do! I don't know if I can travel to NAD conference in Orlando.

Anthony Johnson: Self esteem, diversity and illusion

Franly Ulerio-Nunez: Hello everyone, can you please pause the conversation while the presenter is speaking.

Margaret Jennings: I agree. i am attending every webinar so far. i appreciate this time together.

Anthony Johnson: I am the member of AAN {African American Network} in Orlando, fla.

Amy, Vice President (she/hers): I’d like to also comment that the number of BIPOC friends you have does not mean you are NOT a racist. You can still be a racist and have BIPOC friends.

Sophie-Shifra Gold: true

Andrea Berry: what was that word... dismant…….? what does it means?

Suzann Bedrosian: Hi And…smile… the word is dismantle. You can ask presenter to explain it again or the committee.

Andrea Berry: Thanks Suzann,,, Im afraid I will forget later... and I need to know so I can connect the dots of her presentation

Elisa Mlynar: Dismantle- To take apart.. to breakdown racism.. to help us stop making decisions that hurt others.

Anthony Johnson: To face the fear

Sophie-Shifra Gold: Once face the fear of racism, then we become more compassionate

Andrea Berry: ahh... I see... thank you three! <3

Sophie-Shifra Gold: @ Andrea B, you are welcome

Amy, Vice President (she/hers): @Andrea Berry—the word “Dismantle” will be explained by Crystal soon to give you a better understanding.

Amy, Vice President (she/hers): She is explaining that now.

Andrea Berry: Thanks, Amy, much obliged!

Anthony Johnson: Eleanor believe that black pilot om Tuskgees Airman that could fly in the sky while she rode with black pilot

Sophie-Shifra Gold: Thanks for sharing Anthony

Sophie-Shifra Gold: Change is hard yes

Sophie-Shifra Gold: When is this webinar done ? Thanks. I am having to leave soon. 🙂

Elisa Mlynar: Time is going fast. Great workshop!

Sophie-Shifra Gold: Full of inspiration

Amy, Vice President (she/hers): This webinar ends at 8:30 pm ET

Jennifer Witteborg: Are you available to do this presentation again for State Association???

Dew Drop: Thank you, Ms. Crystal Kelley Schwartz. Unpacking is a lifelong work and this is a commitment in itself. I have learned that it is very layered and requires our constant vigilance to do the inner work. This cannot be something we simply check off on our ‘to do’ list. It needs to be a very intentional part of our day to day existence. While we continue to do our best to embrace & forgive each other's humanity, we still need to do our healing work to recognize and to END THE CYCLE OF HARM -dismantling racism and other forms of 'isms'.

Sophie-Shifra Gold: Will this webinar be shared on NAD

Sophie-Shifra Gold: Yes I AGREE with Dew

Mary Cannefax: Thank you very much!!😎

Anthony Johnson: My back wall is white. Is that enough for seeing.

Andrea Berry: @anthony... I think so.. depends..

Elisa Mlynar: Omgosh!

Amy, Vice President (she/hers): The ‘Real Talk, Good Action’ webinar series will be recorded and made available online for anyone. http://nad.org/resources/webinars

Andrea Berry: Question from Suzanne -- what are your feelings preivileged with living in white neighborhood in suburban Illlinois? can you elaborate?

Anthony Johnson: fair share

Jennifer Witteborg: As long as I am living in a racial society, I am a racist simply cuz my skin is whit and I learned racism from my childhood and all. Thank you Ms. Schwartz for this workshop. I really hope to bring you to Virginia for VAD

Suzann Bedrosian: Thanks for elaborating on that question, much in appreciation. I value your presence and leadership. I hope Reg1 or MSAD can have you over for a similar presentation/workshop!

Mary Cannefax: I thank my mother that always took us to church all the time. We learned to love everyone just like Jesus. My faith God made Adam and Eve and from then all, I believe we are all brothers and sister! {Family}

Elisa Mlynar: I love that Anthony! Face the fear 🙂

Elisa Mlynar: Can Crystal talk about "colorism" in America?

Franly Ulerio-Nunez: ……..

Suzann Bedrosian: 👍🏼

Andrea Berry: shoot, my laptop was disconnected... the conversations in chat box were gone. looking for a volunteer to send me the copy of the conversations?

Antines Davis: I want to say something related to racist

Andrea Berry: oh okay, whew! Thanks!

Karen Atwood: YES! We had a great union in the PO!

Elisa Mlynar: Allies!

Dew Drop: @James Scott - hope we’ll continue to keep asking ourselves ‘why’ so we do not get too comfortable with what we think we know or understand. We all have much to learn and am glad we are engaging convos to dismantle racism.

Franly Ulerio-Nunez: ^^^^^^^^!

Elisa Mlynar: Phenomenal voice interpreters NAD- Thank you!!

Dew Drop: *Thank you, interpreters!*

Suzann Bedrosian: I see you NuNu

Karen Atwood: Maybe turn off screen?

Andrea Berry: PIN yourself

Kimberley Scott-Olson: we see you

Andrea Berry: Technician, can you PIN Nunu?

Elisa Mlynar: Can NuNu read the captions??

Franly Ulerio-Nunez: yes

Dew Drop: Go for it, NuNu!

Andrea Berry: YES NUNU we can see you

Antines Davis: what happened?

Andrea Berry: can someone explain how to PIN Nunu?

Franly Ulerio-Nunez: we saw you on the screen perfectly fine, NuNu.

Andrea Berry: YAYYYY!!!

Elisa Mlynar: Sometimes white people accuse BIPOC of being racist, because they use it as an excuse to attack the BIPOC person, and distract from their (the white person's) own racist actions/words.

Antines Davis: THANK U CRYSTAL

Anthony Johnson: I would like to go back on zoom cam please.

Elisa Mlynar: Love WINS!

Dew Drop: Love & Awareness WINS!

Suzann Bedrosian: 👍🏼

Envie BOGAN: 👏👏👏😎

Suzann Bedrosian: 🙌🏼

Kimberley Scott-Olson: Thank you Crystal

Elisa Mlynar: Beautiful!!!

Karen Atwood: Thank you Crystal!!!

Anthony Johnson: Thank you

Kirsten Poston is signing the webinar description shown on the right.

The NAD’s priority to “Dismantle Racism in the Deaf Community,” kicked off in January with “Real Talk, Good Action: The Healing Process.” Attendees had the opportunity to learn from a panel of diverse deaf professionals of color in the community: Cicely “Cizzy” Boggan, Nida Din, and Yoon Lee with moderator, Crystal Kelley Schwartz. On March 24th, we are excited to continue with a profound discussion about racism and the healing process. Crystal will break down the impact and clarify the meaning between “racism” and “healing”. After this webinar, attendees will be able to define “racism” and “healing”; they will be able to identify the difference between the two.

If you are interested in attending this event live, please sign up to receive a link. If you’re not able to attend live, please do not register to allow others to participate live. The ‘Real Talk, Good Action’ webinar series will be recorded and made available online for anyone – we ask that you be mindful of this opportunity and sign up only if you are planning to attend live. Additionally, if you are hearing and interested in attending this webinar, we respectfully ask that you watch the recording when it’s made available after the event so Deaf people are able to participate live. 

Please consider a donation to the National Association of the Deaf (NAD) so we can continue our advocacy efforts and plan important events like this series. 


Crystal Kelley Schwartz

Crystal Kelley Schwartz is an educator, advocate, and sign language consultant. Her experience includes working as an ASL professor, mentor, tutor, and evaluator; as well as ASL Director for several prominent theatres in Chicago, Illinois. She holds several credentials in risk management and language mediation. Currently, she is contracted independently with several schools and organizations and also works as a family involvement specialist. She has traveled nationwide to provide motivational workshops and training for over 25 years. She is honored to be part of this historically ground breaking monthly series towards the NAD’s priority, Dismantling Racism in the Deaf Community, moderating a panel of affluent and profound individuals of color, on the impact of racism in the Deaf community.

Webinar Policies

We value access and strive to make our meetings accessible and welcoming to all participants. The NAD is committed to access and all of the presenters have been provided with guidance on making their presentations accessible. We also provide accommodations to meet individual needs during the webinars. If you have a question about an auxiliary aid or service you requested on your registration, please email [email protected]. All webinars will be in American Sign Language (ASL) unless specified.
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By attending a webinar, you agree and understand that you are giving permission to the National Association of the Deaf (NAD) to obtain and use screenshots, audio, and video recordings at the webinar, without restriction or limitation for such use. You also agree and understand that you will not be compensated for the use of such photographs, or audio, or video recordings. You further agree and understand that if you do not want to be photographed or recorded in audio or video, you will notify [email protected] before the webinar.
NAD webinars may be free (with a charge only for CEUs) or might have a cost for registration. Any payments made towards registering for a webinar and/or the CEUs are non-refundable except for a medical emergency or a death in the family (written documentation is required).