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Access information: 

Self-identified white woman with dark blonde curly hair pulled back, wearing a black zip-up jacket while sitting in a primary classroom.
ASL to English transcript: 
Hello, Andrea [signs Andrea’s name sign - A handshape on upper cheek- and fingerspells Andrea]! Thank you for your patience with our questions. I recognize that when I watch and take in everything, do self-analysis, and when I do express myself, it often comes out jumbled. So I do appreciate your time and patience and your readiness to make time for us and create a safe space for that… and by doing that, you also show us what a safe space looks like, reminding us that we are connecting with each other on Native land and showing us the heritage of that land, basically- and that was something I had to realize and participate in that way. So thank you for modeling that, and thank you for providing us with your presentations. And when you felt overwhelmed and burned out as a person, as Andrea, you brought Elena [signs Elena’s name sign- flat-O handshape to bent-5 handshape and repeated, by the eye- and fingerspells Elena] onboard, showing us how allyship works. I really appreciate being able to really see an example of that. And when I have to teach a class, I now really understand how to better provide a stronger basis of safe space for everyone. Thank you for your time all year long, and thank you for doing all that research, too! I really, really appreciate all your research, all your thoughts, and all the work that you poured out for us. I even have notes (ha!) [brings out and shows horizontal neon pink folder tab labeled as CC SCHOOL that holds lots of torn-out lined paper with lots of written texts with highlights], all these notes, from all my many thoughts [puts folder back off-screen]. It’s been fascinating, really fascinating, I’m still working through feelings. We've just finished CC School “1.0,” and now I’m wondering what CC School “2.0” will look like! So again, thank you for all your work. I plan to type other questions for myself soon to help me remember, but now I’m thinking about what books you’d recommend because right now I’m seeing different departments reading My Grandmother’s Hands- the administration team is doing that now, which is really good. I know other teachers wouldn’t mind reading that book, too, like the Special Education department. I’m still curious what book would be good to dismantle white violence, like Elena mentioned. That’s all… again thank you so much, and best of luck! And I have to add something funny: when I watch, read, or am learning about something I’m always still curious to learn more, so I’m really glad to be following you on Instagram- I’m excited for you and congratulations! I have three babies myself- they’re 6 years old, 4 years old, and 1 1/2 years old, or 18 months. It’s very challenging to be a teacher and a mom… but enjoy the journey! Congratulations! [Waves goodbye.]

Chelsea Paulson (she/her)
Elementary School Teacher
Minnesota State Academy for the Deaf

Thank you, Andrea! Thank you for taking us beyond diversity and inclusion, for encouraging us to hold ourselves accountable. There were weeks when the news was filled with triggering stories and images -- and it had to be nearly impossible to hold space for a mostly white group of teachers/staff often too slowly moving through the process of transforming. Thank you for how you brought your heart to every training. Our students may not have met you but you have already transformed their world in small and significant ways. Hope to continue learning alongside you next year. "Revolution is about change, and the first place the change begins is within yourself." -Assata Shakur

Alison L. Aubrecht, M.A., LPCC (she/her)
School Counselor
Minnesota State Academy for the Deaf

CC School = a must have PLC anti-racism work! Thank you for guiding us all year with your insights and experiences as we continue to work on dismantling the WS system within and outside of school. I look forward to seeing more future PLC opportunities from you as well.

Lisa D. Wasilowski, MA, LPCC (she/her)
School Counselor
Minnesota State Academy for the Deaf

Hi Andrea,

I wanted to say thank you for doing this and I have learned a lot of what we can do to improve our school, working with students to keep our mind open and be sensitive to their needs. Again, thank you for all you do!

Andrea Kunkel
Middle School Teacher
Minnesota State Academy for the Deaf

I am a paraprofessional acting as a long term substitute teacher who got the opportunity to join 3 of your sessions. I was so glad I didn't flake because it was not required for me to participate. Your energy and how you convey the information, introducing us to avenues to reframe and shift our thinking and approaches are purely amazing. I deeply appreciate you sharing your time with us. It is definitely a continuous process. I am committed for sure with my daughter motivating me even further. I may miss most of today's wrap up session due to a meeting (ARRRR) but wanted to make time to express my gratitude. 

Suzanne Deaton (she/her)

Special Education Program Assistant / Substitute Teacher

Minnesota State Academy for the Deaf

Hey Andrea!
I just wanted to send you a GIANT THANK YOU for the wealth of information you have brought to MSAD this year. Living in Minnesota over the past year has been difficult. We have been put on an international stage and forced to take a hard look at the bias and racism in our community. I really appreciate all of the perspective, research, and knowledge that you have given us during your modules. You have given me a place to reflect, learn, recognize, and unpack the issues that have been happening around me and also given the resources to continue the conversation with myself and the people in my community. THANK YOU THANK YOU THANK YOU for everything. I so wish there was a part two and we could continue to learn from you next year! 

Kelsey Kirkpatrick, MA. CCC-SLP (she/her)

Speech-Language Pathologist

Track and Field Assistant Coach

Minnesota State Academy for the Deaf

It was surreal for me watching a dynamic African American presenting with dynamism and brilliance minus the "apologist BS" as just 10 years ago this would be an extremely rare occurrence...Deaf Education is traditionally centered on the ideology of Whiteness. In fact, it was born from the tears of Indigenous Americans and the blood and sweat of African labor on land purchased after Dawes set in motion the Trail of Tears. With such roots, dismantling this ideological center will be extremely difficult and when we eventually are able to watch a hundred Sonniers and other BIPOC intellectuals give such presentations, then, and only then will we see this ideology reframed and recreated to better reflect human diversity and the myriad experiences and learning styles each student bring in their quest to understand this thing we call "life."

Lindsay Dunn (he/his)
Manager, Education Programs at Gallaudet University School of Arts & Humanities
Digital Promise/EdWEb webinar

I have watched dozens of EdWeb webinars, and this is the one of the best I've seen. I really appreciate the emphasis on critical race theory and intersectionality, as well as the fact that a deaf woman of color was one of the featured presenters.

Shawn Williams*
Digital Promise/EdWEb webinar

Great and much needed information, useful in helping non-BIPOC educators create quality content and foster equality and learning for all students.

Michelle Anderson*
Digital Promise/EdWEb webinar

The information provided was clear and easy to understand. I liked having each presenter show their slide then go into full-screen mode so we could watch them sign more clearly. The info is relevant and much needed in education. We need more workshops like these. The chat was blowing up but I couldn't engage much as I was too engaged with the presenters.

Jaden Brown*
Digital Promise/Edweb webinar

I am reflecting on my teaching, considering what is working currently, how can I improve to be more critically conscious and how to share resources and teach others what I’ve learned. Great videos. Wonderful set up. Clear and accessible. Great discussions. Thank you for opening my mind and helping me grow so I can be a better person and educator.

Sandy Williams*
Literacy Institute at The Learning Center for the Deaf

This is such an important topic teachers need to be aware of when they are developing and creating lessons for their students. It’s an important topic for not only teachers but for people in society - I think if we all could be more open and aware of everyone’s different but valid experiences, it would make a difference.

Casey Johnson*
Literacy Institute at The Learning Center for the Deaf

I learned the appropriate terms for the feelings and thoughts I have had since I entered the classroom as a teacher. I like the activities. Some were good reviews and others were new experiences for me. It’s a nice reminder that I am not the only one who feels and faces the same challenges. You did a great job. I liked your honesty.

Skyler Adelson*
Literacy Institute at The Learning Center for the Deaf

As a hearing teacher for Deaf children, I am always concerned about fitting the negative stereotype of having a deficit perspective. You have encouraged me to use critical consciousness and learn from my mistakes.

Kris Michaels*
Literacy Institute at The Learning Center for the Deaf

The explanation/discussion of critical consciousness was wonderful - really inspired new levels of thinking/questioning and intentionality in what I do. Loved the positive energy and warm/invitational approach you created throughout the day for participant engagement.

Frankie Bolder*
Literacy Institute at The Learning Center for the Deaf

What I found most useful from the workshop was the concept of critical consciousness and diversity within the field of deaf ed and how to apply it in the classroom. It was amazing and you need to continue this type of workshops in many more venues.

Quinn Davis*
Literacy Institute at The Learning Center for the Deaf


Photo taken during the "Critical Consciousness in Special Education and the Arts" workshop at The Kennedy Center's VSA Intersections conference in New Orleans, LA.

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