UPDATED: DCARA Staff Call for Entire Board Resignation and Reinstatement of Executive Director, Raymond Rodgers
Update: DCARA staff, in their announcement on April 5, 2019, shared that it has been more than 44 days since their requests have been made. The meeting minutes from February 2019 are missing. Continued concern of transparency is expressed. DCARA Staff also states that the board has promised a town hall meeting but have not disclosed further information. In response to the lack of transparency, DCARA Staff have now asked for an answer by noon on Monday, April 8, 2019.
Recently the Board President of Deaf Counseling Advocacy and Referral Agency (DCARA) Judy Gough, created a vlog targeting Sam Holden a valued leader in the Bay Area Black Deaf Advocates organization. It has been very unclear whether the recent suspension of Executive Director, Raymond Rodgers has anything to do with the vlog by Judy however a very large chain of events have occurred recently within DCARA. This has led to many different people making statements either on the behalf of DCARA Board or demanding removal of the suspension of Raymond which remains unseen. Judy’s vlog was as quickly removed as it was posted due to multiple community members telling her it was inappropriate.
After Judy’s vlog which was made utilizing DCARA’s platform (according to the staff statement), it has been made clear by the DCARA staff that they will not stand by and tolerate the abusing of power and privilege by any member of the board or staff member for they asked for the instatement of zero tolerance policy for the abuse of power and privilege by March 8. This was one of six of their demands to be met.
In response to Judy Gough’s vlog, on February 22, DCARA staff met with the board and made six demands which ended with the understanding that if none of these are met, the entire board would all be asked to resign. The staff met and presented a vlog to the community which began with, ”In the spirit of transparency, the DCARA staff would like to share a message with the community.”
The demands were as following:
1. A public apology to the Deaf Black man and his minor child by March 1
2. Immediate resignation by Judy Gough
3. A public statement of apology by DCARA’s Board by March 1
4. A public apology by Raymond Rodgers, DCARA’s executive director for lack of timely action by March 1
5. A written policy of zero tolerance for the abuse of power and privilege by March 8
6. The resignation of the entire board if the above demands are not met
DCARA staff also highlighted the importance of respect for the community as a whole, “We are united in this statement. We shall not tolerate the abuse of power and privilege. We honor the lived experiences of communities, clients, and staff of color and are committed to providing services to any who enter DCARA.” (Staff Position Statement)
This is following an initial vlog made by the Bay Area Black Deaf Advocates inquiring about transparency in terms of the removal of Raymond the Executive Director. The video seems to have been removed. After this vlog was made, the management team of DCARA responded and shortly after, the Vice President of DCARA, Tom Murillo made a vlog in response. At this time, the board is having an external investigation so it is unknown if they will respond to the staff position statement at any time in the near future.
The Deaf Report contacted DCARA and asked them what the DCARA management team thought about the position statement set forth by the staff members and have gotten no response. The vlog was removed from the DCARA page. It was later verified by an insider that the board removed the video from their page. Staff members quickly retrieved a copy and reposted on YouTube so they would not be silenced.