Olugbenga 'Bunmi Aina, LL.B, B.L., M.S.W.
'Bunmi, as he is better known, is the President of STAND for Ubuntu, Inc.. Deafened at age 7, he is West Africa's first Deaf lawyer, admitted to practice in the Supreme Court of Nigeria in 1991, having earned his qualifications from Obafemi Awolowo University, Ile-Ife (1990) and the Nigerian Law School (1991). He was counsel at Gani Fawehinmi Chambers, Lagos, and senior deputy editor of the Nigerian Weekly Law Reports (NWLR), published by the Nigerian Law Publications, Ltd.. An administrator in American higher education for over 18 years, he is currently employed at Gallaudet University, where he served as director of the former Office of International Programs and Services (OIPS) and currently serves as director in the Division of Equity, Diversity and Inclusion.
In his administrative capacities, he has written and implemented 3-year strategic plans to guide the operations of the departments under his purview. He held a week-long leadership training institute for 100 deaf leaders from Cameroon, Ghana and Nigeria in Jos, Nigeria in December 2005 and a week-long pan-African conference, Deaf Women and HIV/AIDS in Africa: No Time to Wait, in Midrand, South Africa in June 2007. He has presented widely at a variety of local, national and international fora.
Gregoire Youbara, M.A., M.S.
Grég, as he is known, is STAND for Ubuntu's Vice President, and hails from Cameroon. He became deaf at age 8. A native speaker of French, he also grew up fluent in ASL. He obtained a Bachelor of Arts degree in Spanish from California State University, East Bay, a Master of Arts degree in Spanish from Texas State University-San Marcos, and a Master of Science degree in Deaf Studies/Deaf Education from Lamar University. He served as an ESOL tutor for deaf students at Austin Community College and as a high school Spanish teacher at the Texas School for the Deaf in Austin, TX. He taught ESL for the department's ELI program in 2014-2015. He is currently Faculty Lecturer of French and Spanish in the World Languages and Cultures Department at Gallaudet.
One of his chief interests is advocating for equal educational accessibility in the secondary/tertiary levels for deaf youth and young deaf adults in francophone Africa as a means of social integration, independence, and sustainability.
Amelework Habtemichael, B.S.
Better known as Amele, she is the Secretary of STAND for Ubuntu, Inc.. Ms. Habtemichael is a 2008 Chemistry graduate from the University of Addis Ababa, Ethiopia. She earned a second Bachelor's degree in Biology and Chemistry from Gallaudet University in 2016 and has worked with the National Institutes of Health (NIH) for a number of years.
Makur Aciek, M.B.A., C.P.A.
Makur is the Treasurer of STAND for Ubuntu, Inc.. A native of South Sudan, he came to the United States in 1993 to purse an education. Mr. Aciek graduated from Gallaudet University with a BS in Accounting in 1997, and subsequently received an MBA from the Rochester Institute of Technology (R.I.T). He has more than 10 year of experience working as an accountant with specialization in not-for-profit financial reporting, accounting reporting, information processing, and tax services. He is a Certified Public Accountant (CPA) in The Commonwealth of Virginia who has a heartfelt commitment to education and students’ learning. Apart from his position as an Assistant Professor of Accounting at Gallaudet University, he volunteers with DeafREACH, Inc. (DBA National Health Care Foundation for the Deaf) on their finance committee.
Director of Publicity and Communication
Umar Tukur, M.A.
Umar is the Director of Publicity & Communication of STAND for Ubuntu, Inc.. Mr. Tukur is an educator and a former political appointee in Adamawa state of Nigeria who has committed part of his youth to inspire and empower young Deaf people in Nigeria. He served as Special Adviser on Disability Affairs to the governor of Adamawa State. He is currently an English as a Second Language (ESL) instructor at the English Language Institute at Gallaudet University, and has a Master’s Degree in Deaf Education from Gallaudet University, Washington DC.
Director of Fundraising
Kojo Amissah, D.M.
Kojo, originally from Ghana, is the Director of Fundraising of STAND for Ubuntu, Inc.. He is a hard of hearing Career Consultant and adjunct professor at Gallaudet University who currently lives in Washington, DC, and runs a DJ services company, trains DJs, composes music, and enjoys spending quality time with his daughter and family.
Lawrence Musa, M.B.A.
Larry, as he is better known, is the Webmaster and Parliamentarian of STAND for Ubuntu, Inc.. He has been employed in the education sector for over 25 years: at the Learning Center for Deaf Children (TLC), Framingham, Massachusetts; Gallaudet University, Washington, DC; and at the SouthWest Collegiate Institute for the Deaf (SWCID), Big Spring Texas. He is passionate about educational advancement and empowering the disadvantaged. In coalition with people in his village of Duglu in Nasarawa State of Nigeria, he founded an elementary school program that has educated more than 150 deaf and hard-of-hearing students since being established in January 2005. He is also the founder of what is now the women’s varsity soccer program at Gallaudet. Currently he serves as an adjunct professor in the Department of Business and the General Studies Program and coordinates immigration compliance and international policy at Gallaudet University.
Board Member at Large
Emilia Ada Chukwuma, M.S., C.P.A.
Professor Chukwuma is the Chair of the Department of Business at Gallaudet University. Popularly known as Emilia, she specializes in personal financial management and small business planning and for many years has coordinated the Volunteer Income Tax Assistance program, a service learning partnership with the United States Internal Revenue Service. She is a graduate of Gallaudet University, where she received a BS degree in Accounting/Mathematics, and the University of Baltimore, where she received her MS degree in Accounting. Ms. Chukwuma currently teaches a broad spectrum of courses in business as well as General Studies courses on African issues. She volunteers on numerous boards and committees, including serving as the executive treasurer of the Board of Directors at Deaf REACH, Inc. in Washington, DC and serving as treasurer of St. Christopher's Episcopal Church, in Lanham, MD. She is a Certified Public Accountant in the District of Columbia.