2019 National Black Deaf Advocates Conference

[Transcript] The National Black Deaf Advocates hosted their 2019 conference on July 31 to August 4 in Oakland, California at the Oakland Marriott City Center.

The topic was, “Building Together: A Community of Strength, Knowledge, and Power.” There were over 330 people from both the U.S. and out of the country who registered for the conference.

NBDA had a media team that covered the conference and I will show you a video they created.

[Video showing highlights of NBDA conference at the Marriott hotel]

There were over 20 different workshops on a multitude of topics that included education, employment, leadership, ministry, Deaf-Blind experiences, sign language, law enforcement and criminal justice, Black Deaf experiences, the legislative process, and businesses.

Here is another video from the NBDA media team that shows highlights of two youth programs, the Youth Empowerment Summit (YES!), and the Collegiate Black Deaf Student Leadership Institute, who had sessions at the California School for the Deaf, Fremont.

[Video showing highlights of the YES! And CBDSLI programs at CSDF]

The Daily Moth was able to interview the outgoing NBDA president, Evon Black.

ALEX: Hello Evon! The NBDA Conference recently ended. Can you share some highlights from the conference?

EVON BLACK: Okay, there are so many, but I’ll pick a few highlights of the conference. First, there were many who went for the first time. That was very positive. Secondly, we had sponsors who made large contributions. We broke a record for the largest sponsorships in history. That was a highlight. Thirdly, I want to mention that the Youth Empowerment Summit — I was part of the first group that founded the program, under my leadership, on this campus. Now what I’m proud of is the collaboration with the California School for the Deaf, Fremont. We’ve never had a partnership with a Deaf school in NBDA history. I’m proud to see not only the Youth Empowerment Summit, but also the Collegiate Black Deaf Leadership Institute enter in this collaboration. It’s nice and something that I’m really proud of.

Alex: Thank you for your time and service, Black.

Now, here is an interview with the new NBDA President, Isidore Niyongabo.

ALEX: What is your vision for your term?


My vision is clearly not only mine as I rely on a team who was elected to run this organization. We have four top objectives. Number one is the financial health of the organization. NBDA is now 37 years old. The finances is shaky. We hope to work hard to identify key donors and ongoing funds that will support us for many years in the future, but my focus is the first two years. I hope we can rise and see a stability in the financial part. The second one is that we have several chapters of the organization but some have closed down or are struggling. Our goal is to provide leadership training so those chapters can rise again. We will be more involved. When the community is strong, that means the organization is strong as well. That’s the goal. The third one is to have more communication. We have technology now so it means the more visibility we have, more people will know about the organization and they will be more likely to donate and become involved. We want to be more aggressive with communicating with members and the community both nationwide and globally. The last is transparency for better visibility. It’s important for us, the members, to know where your money is, where the organization stands, what projects we are working on, and more. We will continue to communicate going forward. That’s a priority. Those are the four goals. I look forward to working with you for the betterment of the Black Deaf community in America.

Alex: Thank you, Niyongabo, for your time and good luck with your leadership.

Here are two video comments from two of the conference attendees.


NBDA feels like home, a real home, because of my identity. I feel inspired and re-connected. I work in the education field. It can be lonely being Black and Deaf. I feel alone as I work. There, I’ve met with so many people who work in the education field. I feel connected and I understand the struggles. I’ve built a rapport with others and shared tips and advice. That knowledge I am bringing is an inspiration to myself as a Black Deaf educator.


It’s my first year as the Assistant Director of the Collegiate Black Deaf Student Leadership Institute (CBDSLI). Oakland, California was a wonderful experience. The topic was very important, “A Community of Strength, Knowledge, and Power.” I had the opportunity to meet 14 students. We had a wonderful beginning and at the ending, we grew and feel strengthened to go back to different schools and raise communities. This is important — I want to thank Victoria Monroe, who is the Director of the CBDSLI.

Alex: Convo was one of the sponsors for NBDA and they provided The Daily Moth with some footage of the banquet and interviews with people. The banquet topic was, “Wakanda Night.”

[Video footage of a fancy banquet in a hotel ballroom. People are mingling around and enjoying meals and the program.]

SAM HOLDEN (NBDA Vice President):

I’m proud to have worked with Evon Black, who was the second female president. She taught me a lot that I will bring in the next two years. I’m looking forward to making NBDA strong again. Thank you for believing in me and willing to let me (lead) again. ILY.


The purpose of NBDA is to open doors and opportunities for Black Deaf leaders, see them advance in their careers, and to continue networking and teaching each other. Now, our own people are giving presentations and teaching workshops. It’s beautiful. Look at this, it’s beautiful!

Alex: The next NBDA conference is in 2021 in Birmingham, Alabama. For more information about NBDA, you can check out their website at www.nbda.org.


Supported by:

Convo [https://convo.click/2mVhM8h]

Gallaudet University: [gallaudet.edu]

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