Proud of where I teach. Mid-Pen High School! Here's why

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A friend of mine is looking for help for the organization that she is working for, African Continental Deaf Women Empowerment (ACDWE). If you are interested, please contact me and I will forward the information to you if this is something you are interested in pursuing.
I hope all is well and that you had a great weekend. Do you know of any friends, family, roommates or co-workers who would be interested to become involved in African Continental Deaf Women Empowerment (ACDWE)?  Someone is out there scratching their heads on how to be a part of this good work that is purely voluntary.  Currently we have two positions on the board open, Financial Director and Facebook Regulator!

I want to update you further about ACDWE.  Ayisha Salifu Mamudu (founder of ACDWE) has done several workshops in Ghana. The latest one was in Tamale, northern Ghana with another ACDWE member named Rose and with support from Robert, a deaf man from a support department in Tamale representing for Action On Disability and Development (DA rights org based in UK).

Ayisha shares with Ghanaians on what she learned in Burlington, Vermont when I went with her to Justice for Deaf Victims National Coalition (JDVNC) conference in March 2009.  Deaf
professionals on domestic and sexual violence (D/SV) shared of tips, policies and actions needed to be done with clients.  Ayisha has networked with several successful women, including Marilyn Smith from Abused Deaf Women Advocacy Services (ADWAS), who is the mother of all in (D/SV).

Several months ago, Ayisha has paid out of her pocket to fly to NJ/NYC from Ghana to attend Global Deaf Women (GDW) Expo which was unique to bring deaf women together ~ motivating each other on their business growth.  Since then, Ayisha has been staying with her cousin in Philly, PA and meeting Sofia Seitchik (founder of GDW) once in a while. They are both planning a fundraiser event and more details are TBA on that.

From the funds raised on Jan 31, 2009 at Peace Over Violence's (POV) fashion show in LA called One Love Over Violence: Heels on Halt, Ayisha was able to get a laptop, digital camera and cell phone credit cards.  Nash Abdulai, who you remember from RIT, was in PA helping
Ayisha purchase these products from Best Buy.  Big thank you goes to Emily Blachly who donated laptop and case, received by Ayisha in PA, that will be used in Ghana on a program towards literacy and typing skills support.

Peggie Reyna is a D/SV survivor who lost her hearing from her ex-husband banging her head against the wall.  Much to her name, she is not only POV's Project Director on Disabled and Elderly services for the past 25 years, but also she serves as Director of Advocacy on ACDWE
board.  Since POV is a proclaimed sister agency with ACDWE, the generous gift recently given to ACDWE is a devotion of 10% raised funds from POV's Denim Day.  Denim Day will occur in the month of April 2010 and is not a single event, but of many events happening nationwide-several in Los Angeles at the universities, colleges, high schools, corporations and businesses... even City Council.  People register on line and donate $5 to wear jeans to work and POV will do many rape prevention education events.   10% will mean a couple of thousand dollars for ACDWE at the least. Check out the web site for further information on Denim Day in L.A. and Denim Day USA.

By far, my role in ACDWE has been significant as a Director and Assistant to CEO.  I've gladly taken on the temporary duty as a Financial Director and opened ACDWE's business account at the bank, as well as ACDWE's PayPal account online.  This was to facilitate financial transactions for the former fashion show.  Once I sent a check of all the fundraised funds to Ayisha's cousin in PA to get business technology products, I shut down the ACDWE business account and PayPal online account.  This was last month. The reason was I felt that I had enough to do with my involvement at ACDWE that being a Financial Director was:

1) It was extra load of work on top of other things I had for ACDWE.
2) A great opportunity for another individual to be involved, practice their skills and make a difference. The more people in ACDWE, the more the community will know of ACDWE.

With the upcoming fundraisers between ACDWE and GDW, and Denim Day -the main thing required here is a viable bank account for GDW and POV to send the money to ACDWE.

Below are displays of the 2 open role descriptions.  Please consider or share with others.
African Continental Deaf Women Empowerment (ACDWE) is an agency recognized by the
government of Ghana as a service agency for Deaf women and children in fostering their health, emotional well-being,  and self-confidence, educational opportunities,  and communication rights.

ACDWE is a unique human rights organization in that our Board members reside in USA, Africa and UK.  Because of this we have a special set of challenges in communicating and maintaining contact with each other.  Below are the descriptions to the two positions now available, Facebook Regulator and Financial Director.  When ready to apply, contact and let us know why are you interested to be involved in ACDWE.  In the same email, please let us know your answers to the Pre-screening questionnaire.

-Responsible for handling all financial transactions and record keeping.
-In charge of opening a new ACDWE account at a bank (there will be NGO documents provided by the board to help you open the ACDWE business account) and tracks on what goes in/out.

-Has a legal photo ID (license or passport), stable address to provide as info for the bank, and is able to show up to the bank in person or to communicate with bank representative in other way.
-Informs the board of small details, ie: monthly account fee payment, what some board members want to do, etc.  Makes sure that ALL board knows, not just a few.  Put board members in CC for their awareness on email communications.

-Collects monthly financial reports from the Financial Director on the Africa side and reports total summary to ACDWE board.
-Will be opening up new ACDWE PayPal account with the ACDWE bank account info.  Communicates with webmaster on PayPal icon in

-Checks with the board before allowing any money to be taken out for workshop, travel, printing, technology related bills, government document fees, Western Union transaction charges and certain miscellaneous needs.
-Deposits checks/money that has been donated or fundraised into the ACDWE business account at a bank.

-Provides new ideas on how to save money, or on what other way we should spend money on a situation for the best interest of the organization's operations.
-Participates in research to find better deals for products, fundraising locations or tickets.

-Involved in communications with individuals who are doing plans for fundraising to assure agreed ways on how to handle budget and keep the earned money safe.
-Asks questions when not sure or stuck, so that can do her/his job accurately to follow concepts/answers.

-Effective at checking emails often and being in touch long distance through the internet realm.  Access to Video Phone would be great.  Ability to travel from own budget pocket is a bonus- it would be nice if you can show up to the large fundraising events- only if possible.

-Responsible for ACDWE Facebook group.
-Establishes a personal Facebook account (your profile).
-Regular access to a computer/laptop/pager for internet use.  Keeping the group active and on-going.
-Able to type with clear messages so that others can read easily and understand.
-When informed with all info given by board members, be immediately ready to send announcement message to pass on info to members in ACDWE Facebook group.  Also can make postings on the group wall of updates.  Can come up with questions to initiate discussion wall to help people start thinking in different ways.

-Asks questions when not sure or stuck, so that can do her/his job accurately to follow concepts/answers.
-Informs the board of small details, ie: if someone made a posting saying she/he wants to help out-but doesn't know how, etc.

-Put board members in CC for their awareness on email communications that you use with someone in ACDWE.
-Positive attitude, friendly and believes that anything is possible!

Marriage is a complicated question that does nothing but comes out with a complicated answer. The debate on same-sex marriage is an extremely sensitive one. Most people acknowledge that marriage is an ancient institution that began with the beginning of mankind. It is uncommonly known that nobody really knows where the origin of marriage came from. One cannot assume that marriage came from religion, however, one can say that religion played a part in the idea of marriage. 

History confirms that government participated very little or none at all in the regulation of marriage. Most marriages, in most cultures, were done by mutual agreement. Yet, now, specifically in the United States, regulation of marriage is done by the US Government on a daily basis. 

Nerd in Denial breaks it down for us: 

First, let's address what marriage is in the United States. Marriage is a legal contract between to people (mostly commonly and historically between one man and one woman) to co-habitate and have children. There are a variety of government benefits that come along with being married. The biggest benefit of being married is probably the tax benefit. Other than that, the rest of the benefits are legal conveniences such as:

- joint parenting;
- joint adoption;
- joint foster care, custody, and visitation (including non-biological parents);
status as next-of-kin for hospital visits and medical decisions where one partner is too ill to be competent;
- joint insurance policies for home, auto and health;
- dissolution and divorce protections such as community property and child support;
- immigration and residency for partners from other countries;
- inheritance automatically in the absence of a will;
- joint leases with automatic renewal rights in the event one partner dies or leaves the house or apartment;
- inheritance of jointly-owned real and personal property through the right of survivorship (which avoids the time and expense and taxes in probate);
- benefits such as annuities, pension plans, Social Security, and Medicare;
- spousal exemptions to property tax increases upon the death of one partner who is a co-owner of the home;
- veterans' discounts on medical care, education, and home loans; joint filing of tax returns;
- joint filing of customs claims when traveling;
- wrongful death benefits for a surviving partner and children;
- bereavement or sick leave to care for a partner or child;
- decision-making power with respect to whether a deceased partner will be cremated or not and where to bury him or her;
- crime victims' recovery benefits;
- loss of consortium tort benefits;
- domestic violence protection orders;
- judicial protections and evidentiary immunity;
and more....

You'll notice that most of these are legal conveniences.

Nerd in Denial poses this excellent question: The questions is, is legal convenience a justifiable reasons to have the government strictly regulate marriage?

Yes and no. The legal convenience is there specifically for the tax benefit and everything else stated above. Never in the history of marriage will you ever find as many 'legal conveniences' available for those who are married, specifically in the United States, one of the most powerful nation the world has ever seen. Is this still a justifiable reason to have the government strictly regulate marriage? No, however, take a close at the benefits above. Think about it; those are quite amazing benefits to have. No wonder there is a push from the gay/lesbian community to push for the legalization of same-sex marriage. Who wouldn't want those benefits? 

Now, we must ask ourselves, should marriage go back as a religious ordinance? Marriage should just be a mutual agreement/relationship established between a woman and one or more other persons that should be recognized by religion, social obligations, or ceremony. Then yes, marriage should go back as a religious ordinance. However, what should be is not realistic. If the government decided not to regulate marriage, taking a hand-off approach, which included taking away the benefits as stated above, Americans will go on a murderous rampage until marriage is reinstated. 

And really, do you not want the government involved in marriage in the first place? Not even for the benefits...? 

Yes, already. We should be thinking about this day and what we must remember. We must remember how far we have come. We should be thinking about who we are and where we are. We should be thinking about why we came together. We should be thinking how we became united. One nation. We the People. 

Not black. Not white. Not brown. Not light black. Not light brown. Not straight. Not non-straight. Not deaf. Not blind. We the People of all color with the leadership of Martin Luther King, Jr. led this nation to address a troubling issue in our nation: discrimination, more importantly, racial equality.
"I have a dream that my four little children will one day live in a nation where they will not be judged by the color of their skin, but by the content of their character."
We have come a long way since 1963. We elected the first African-American president. Never in the time between 1963 to 2008 has America has had a prouder moment than this. Yet, we must remember that while we have gained much in racial equality; it still lingers among us. The generation that our parents grew up is not the same generation that we grew up in. Diversity in America has reach unprecedented interconnectivity with people of all race never seen before. 

In a speech, former President Clinton, said in a ceremony in Oak Bluff, MA on August 28, 1998
Dr. King used to speak about how we were all bound together in a web of mutuality, which was an elegant way of saying, whether we like it or not, we're all in this life together. We are interdependent.
Therefore, this coming Monday, January 18, 2010, We the People should be thinking that we are still in this  for the long haul, and, whether you or I like it, we're all in this life together, interdependently.