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Jessalyn Akerman-Frank

Director of Community and Civic Engagement

Jessalyn Akerman-Frank is a graduate of Gallaudet University with a B.A. in communications. She also graduated from the University of Minnesota with a Masters in Special Education with a focus on Deaf/Hard of Hearing. In addition, she graduated from the Cross Road Solutions Deaf Life Coaching Program. Jessalyn is a member of the Minnesota Association of Deaf Citizens (MADC), a co-founder of Deaf Equity, and the founder of Deaf LGBTQI Annual Awards. She remains engaged and active in the Deaf Domestic Violence and Sexual Assault field by training advocates, traveling to train and educate in other states, and working with survivors through life coaching and yoga. She was awarded the Charlie Smith Award for her work in human services and the Petra F. Howard Award for her work with the Deaf LGBTQI community. In her free time, she teaches deaf yoga and spends time with her family.

Jessalyn serves on the following boards and committees:

  • Abuse and Neglect Specialty Committee (State of Minnesota)
  • Minnesota Secretary of State Disability Advisory Board
  • Minnesota Association of Deaf Citizens - Acting President (End of term: October 2017)
  • Deaf Equity - Board Member at Large
  • Annual Deaf LGBTQI and Allies Awards Program - Committee Member
  • Helping Educate to Advance the Rights of the Deaf (HEARD) Minnesota Chapter - Community Participant Member
Jessalyn is wearing a dark shirt and jacket. She is smiling. In the background is a tree and the State Office Building.
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