Leadership Series: Kari Cooke
Vice President of CSD Neighborhood Kari Cooke has lived in several countries and considers both Brooklyn and the deaf community her home.
Growing up in Canada, Trinidad and the United States, Kari was fully mainstreamed. While she moved a lot and was exposed to different cultures, she had very little interaction with other deaf students and did not learn ASL until her college years.
In Kari’s position at CSD Neighborhood, she is honoring her grandmother’s legacy of bringing communities together.
“My grandmother was born around the time of the British occupation in Trinidad,” Kari said. “After independence from England, my grandmother really made sure that my family was not only surviving but thriving as well. And she accomplished that for others as well, becoming a community builder.”
Kari’s excitement to be part of the CSD leadership team is contagious.
“We’re all in deep discussion, thinking ‘how can this benefit the deaf community?’” Kari said. “Maybe we have different perspectives, but we all respect each other because we know we care. I love that. I feel like I’m finally with my peers. It’s not about the individual, it’s about the collective. The community.”