By Sheila Hansen




I pledge to participate actively in the effort of the National Federation of the Blind to achieve equality, opportunity, and security for the blind; to support the policies and programs of the Federation; and to abide by its Constitution.

Jennifer Vick recited it perfectly and won two tickets/entries to the Dining for a Week Fundraiser, valued at $40. Congratulations!


James Boehm thanked everyone for bringing donated canes,and played the video of the 2019 Kenya You Cane Give Initiative trip, in collaboration with AIRA:


James Browm discussed the Dine Out for a Week Fundraiser, and tickets to collect contestant money were given out to members. Entries to the raffle are #20 each.




Florence Mithika from Kenya, who was one of the interpreters on the You Can Give trip, spoke to us over the phone from Kenya.

Discussion of albinism, vision loss, and disability in the Kenyan culture. Many parents abandon children and can’t afford eye specialists so they do exams for free. Albinism is looked down upon. Volunteers educate families about albinism - many our vision impaired. There is mass killing of albinos in Kenya. They believe that if you are albino, you are “sick.” They believe that it’s a kind of cleansing.

They have superstitious beliefs. Many who are born blind have never used a cane. They just stay home. Many with a white cane don’t know how to use them.

People think they can’t do anything on their own.




President Riccobono recaps our protest in the streets of New York City at the CBS headquarters - (#LetUsPlayUs) of “In the Dark,” a new show on The CW. Blind people need to be played by blind people. CBS never contacted the NFB, or they could have found a blind person to play the lead role of the blind character. It would be nice to have blind people play both blind and sighted people. CBS said they contacted 30 organizations for the blind to try to find a qualified blind people to play the role – but they did not contact the NFB.

Apple+ TV network has an upcoming show called “See,“ which features mostly blind characters. NFB is now talking to them regarding casting blind people to play the roles.

NFB members who want to be ine entertainment business should contact the Performing Arts division of NFB.


President Riccobono also discusses the Kenneth Jernigan Convention Scholarship for first timers, the Distinguished Educator of Blind Students Award, the new Blindness Experience Teaching Internship, our membership efforts, and more.




What is the name of the type of mobility technique encouraged by the NFB?

NFB trivia – Joyce Gouge won charms




Roll Call:

23 in attendance

22 in person

1 on phone line (Jana Jackson)

on Facebook page.




Motion: Milica Zivic

Second: H.K. Derryberry

Motion passed




Motion: Josh Harper

Second: James Brown

Motion passed




Casey Owens played “Tap That What?”

The item was a shoe. Casey won a square Bluetooth speaker.




Randy Cline with Woodman of the World Life Insurance

Woodmen of the World is a non-prophet organization owned by members. It is a fraternal benefit society.

Benefits include:

Insurance - Benefits through insurance: or from care for people who adopt orphans when families have tragedies. Newborn benefit if the child passes away by the time the child is six months old.

Natural disaster benefit

Cancer insurance, disability insurance Medicare supplement, etc.

Family term insurance - Whole families covered. If one passes, all premiums are paid up.

Annuity etc.

Retirement benefits - Term insurance – 10 years, then you have to buy another.

Discount program - They get discounts from vendors such as Sam’s Club memberships, hearing aids, etc.

Every Woodmen member is assigned a chapter where they do activities like bowling, Nashville shows, etc.





James Brown officiated.

Milica Zivic nominated James Boehm.

Motion: John Harris

Second: Tyler Lewis

James Boehm unanimously elected by acclamation as President.


Vice President

James Boehm officiated.

Sheila Hansen nominated James Brown.

Motion: Josh Harper

Second: Tyler Lewis

James Brown unanimously elected by acclamation as Vice President.



J. P. Williams, our Treasurer for the past year, declined prior to the meeting.

Milica Zivic nominated John Harris. He declined.

James Brown nominated Tyler Butler.

Motion: James Brown

Second: H.K. Derryberry

Tyler Butler unanimously elected by acclamation as Treasurer.



Josh Harper nominated Sheila Hansen

Motion: James Brown

Second: John Harris

Sheila Hansen unanimously elected by acclamation as Secretary.


Board Position #1

Judy Denning nominated Jana Jackson

Milica Zivic nominated herself

Motion to vote: Josh Harper

Second not needed

Jana Jackson elected by majority vote for Board Position #1


Board Position #2

Judy Denning nominated H.K. Derryberry.

Beverly Parker nominated Milica Zivic

Motion to vote: Judy Denning

Second: John Harris

H.K. Derryberry elected by majority vote for Board Position #2




Treasurer’s Report

Beginning balance: $6,083.25


Venmo $1,063.66 for rooms at convention & transportation

Check $80.00 for shirts from the Volunteer Chapter

Paypal $515.00 for registration, dues and banquet

Total Expendatures: $1,658.00


Venmo $15.00

Bank deposit $439.00

Paypal $77.18

Total: $531.00

Deficit $1,127.48

Current balance: $4,955.77


Motion to approve Treasurer’s Report:

Motion: Tyler Lewis

Second: Milica Zivic

Motion passed


Public Relations Report/Social Media

Active Facebook page in views, and likes. Tyler Lewis keeps up the Facebook page.

Encourage to “like” our page and share with other FB friends.

Public relations will meet next week to come up with committee goals for 2019-2020.

Public relations will meet. Discuss where are we, and where are we going?


Fundraising Report

Presented by VP James Brown

Dine Out For a Week Fundraiser

Sell tickets by June meeting. $20 per ticket.

We will start on chili cook off fundraiser after this.


Membership Report

Great job by committee in calling, checking on folks, as well as sharing info on upcoming meetings.




Reminder of $250 stipend for attending national convention

Raffle tickets for purchase -1 for $10, 3 for $20.

NFB national issues.

Meeting set up with Senator Cooper to discuss NFB national issues on Tuesday, April 23, 2019

Winner will be announced at the National Convention in July. The winner wins $2,500

Remember: This is different than our Dine Out for a Week tickets.




Step It Up Chapter Challenge - We will set a time where we count steps, probably starting with the May meeting.


State convention reflections - Feedback to give back to the board: What went great? What could make it even better?

Feedback received: Mentor program, strategically placed volunteers in past conventions.

State convention this past March

Members discussed what they liked about it.

Milica Zivic liked that everyone got along. No one was late. Hotel service was great, and they treated us like people.

Casey Owens pointed out good networking, talking to Vocational Rehab. James Brown did a good job.

Beverly Parker said that it was challenging. Her room was a ways away from the meeting rooms. The food was good. The speakers gave good information.

Next year, our State Convention will be in Clarksville.

Bell Academy program info to be shared soon.

Agenda and minutes will be on new websites regularly.




Eva Kyle Penn’s birthday was April 5.

Crystal Brown‘s birthday was April 13.

Sheila Hansen’s birthday is April 20 (the day of the meeting).




Ned Solomon will speak about Partners in Policymaking in May - This is a five-month training session for people with disabilities to learn how to advicate for themselves and learn how to be a part of public policymaking, The training is paid for by State of Tennessee.


Vanda Pharmaceuticals

Vanderbilt Eye Institute




Tyler Lewis answered thr question of how one becomes a member. He won a bluetooth tracker charm.


Joyce Gouge to be voted in as a menber

Motion: James Brown

Second: H.K. Derryberry

Motion passed


Harry and Lynn Tate both to be voted in as new menber

Motion: John Harris

Second: Milica Zivic

Motion passed


Membership coins were given out to all members.


Next meeting will be May 18, 2019.




Stay tuned to emails regarding upcoming meetings and schedule



- Be sure to welcome everyone at our meetings, including old and new faces.

- Make a call, send an email, mail a card to individuals not present at the meeting.

- Let’s go build the federation with love, hope, and determination-turning dreams into realities!

^^^^ Want to make a donation or join our Nashville chapter? You can easily pay your $15 annual dues on Pay Pal! Send your tax deductible donation in Pay Pal to

Now you can make donations and pay your dues on Venmo! Type NashvilleNFB and the amount you want to send for no fees or charges!


The National Federation of the Blind knows that blindness is not the characteristic that defines you or your future. Every day we raise the expectations of blind people, because low expectations create obstacles between blind people and our dreams. You can live the life you want; blindness is not what holds you back.

Together with love, hope, and determination, we transform dreams into reality.