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The Learning Center for the Deaf Announces 2022 Virtual Gala

March 09, 2022

The Learning Center for the Deaf (TLC), a leader and pioneer in Deaf education, advocacy and community programs, will host its 2022 Gala in May as a virtual celebration.

This year’s theme is “The Power of Possible” and the event will spotlight the hard work accomplished by TLC’s 400 staff over the past two years. The event will be in American Sign Language with interpreting services.

“The challenges that surfaced from COVID-19 have made profound impacts on our entire country, but since the beginning, TLC​ staff​ continued to show up with compassion and dedication ​to support our mission to support deaf and hard of hearing individuals, families and students. That is something to recognize in a big, big way,” said Dr. Sarah Glenn-Smith, CEO of TLC.

The event will feature co-emcees Leila Hanaumi and TLC Chief People Officer Isidore Niyongabo. 

Leila grew up identifying as Deaf, bi-racial, a Bay Area-er, an only child, and a bookworm. Since then, she’s picked up a few more identities: wife, mother to two, chihuahua furmama, content creator, planner enthusiast. She often says that the deaf communities raised her and she feels fortunate to be in a field of work where she gets to give back as the donor engagement manager with CSD Unites Community Foundation. She currently resides in Austin, TX with her family.

Isidore recently worked as Director of Human Resources for Convo Communications, where he helped identify and implement employee relations practices, and established measures to promote diversity and drive equal access to opportunity and advancement, among many other notable achievements. As the current President of National Black Deaf Advocates (NBDA) Inc., Isidore’s leadership helped triple NBDA’s membership and increased the organization's public presence and fundraising goals.  Isidore also serves on the Disability Advisory Committee for the Federal Communication Commission Disability Advisory, and is the Founding Executive Director for International Deaf Education, Advocacy & Leadership (IDEAL), Inc.

TLC is once again excited to be working with Bus Door Films for its post-production work. Ruan du Plessis and Bradley Gantt bring more than 19 years of video-making experience to Bus Door Films, with extensive knowledge of cinematic techniques, lighting setups, editing, and visual effects. Critically important is knowing how to film American Sign Language in a way that makes the cinematic product accessible to diverse audiences.

The Gala will also feature special entertainment, and the winners of this year’s Warren Schwab Memorial Award and the Alumni Association Award.

The community is invited to watch at no cost on TLC’s YouTube or Facebook pages.  The Gala will premiere at 7:00 PM.

Sponsorship information and complete media packet can be found here or by emailing Patti McCarthy at psmccarthy@tlcdeaf.org