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The History of Bay Area Black Deaf Advocates

Bay Area Black Deaf Advocates (BABDA) was first established in 1988 in Oakland, California. This non-profit organization was an original chapter called OakTownBDA. In 2011, this current chapter became reactivated as Bay Area Black Deaf Advocates.

Bay Area Black Deaf Advocates is the official advocacy organization for thousands of Black Deaf, Hard of Hearing, and Deaf people in the Greater San Fransico Bay Area in California. These Black Deaf, Hard of hearing, and Deaf people are not adequately represented in Educational, Leadership, Social Justice, and Policy decision-making activities affecting their lives. 

Our History

Bay Area Black Deaf Advocates formerly known as OaktownBDA was first incorporated in 1988 in Oakland, CA. 

Oaktown became the 10th affiliated chapter under the auspices of National Black Deaf Advocates (NBDA). 

The 9th NBDA National Conference was hosted in Oakland, CA on August 16-19, 1990. Its theme was “Motivation and Perseverance Make Dreams Come True.” 1.5 OaktownBDA eventually became an inactive chapter in 1992-1993. 

First Founders

BABDA, formerly known as OaktownBDA, shall always be recognized as honorary members: 

Nathie Marbury, Lois Smiley, Brenda Lyons, Delores Radford

We Remain Strong

History of the present

OaktownBDA was renamed Bay Area Black Deaf Advocates (BABDA) in 2011. BABDA was reactivated and recognized by National Black Deaf Advocates (NBDA) in the same year of 2011. 

The reactivation of BABDA with the first full Board of Directors was: Lois Smiley, Samuel Holden, Marcelle Esezobor, David Harvey, Philip Smith

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