Deaf Women of Color conference
[Transcript] Last weekend 170 women attended the 2019 Deaf Women of Color conference in Chicago. The topic was “Culturally Diverse, We Stand Together.”
Actress Lauren Ridloff was the keynote speaker for the gala event. There were various speakers and workshops that touched on different cultures and social topics.
We received video clips from Payal Sweet, the former DWC Public Relations coordinator. We also have video clips from two representatives for Convo who went to the conference, Leila Hanaumi and Melissa Yingst, who are also Deaf women of color. Here they are!
(Video of DWC 2019 conference that features multiple clips of presenters and conference activities)
I was really inspired by the cultural diversity and how we’re standing together. Over 170 Deaf Women of Color were in attendance. It’s really fulfilling and looking back to my 4-year journey of empowering, uplifting Deaf Women of Color where they can develop their own unique skillsets. I will miss that.
I really have a lot of passion; I have the creativity and thoughts that I want to invest into and put all of my heart into you all and into promoting diversity. I just can’t wait, and this is something I really look forward to!
Alas, it’s our last night.
It’s a bit sad. Already? Thinking about it, the first day we were just getting to know each other. The second day, there was great dialogue and today, just when we were getting into it, everyone’s leaving?!
(Clip of Mara Ladines giving a workshop)
There’s a high percentage of hearing shoppers while there are relatively lower percentage of deaf shoppers.
Later, when Convo started out, we realized there was significant impact where the deaf community supported each other creating a deaf ecosystem. This brought competitive equality between deaf and hearing businesses.
I must say that I really loved Mara Ladines’ workshop. I didn’t expect her to mention…
She shared that story about Convo. Yes! How it has helped her with her journey and supported her making her the person she is day. How she really opened up about herself and her own progress. Really amazing.
I didn’t realize when she was filming “Beyoutfiul” she’d never been filmed before, but she decided to do it as representation. That representation showed up during the conference like in Mara’s presentation. The topic showed up and it led to new heights plus other Deaf Filipino women have been reaching out to her wanting more.
From there, there were immediate connections made. Simply by being open about who you are and about your identity. That’s what I’ve seen a lot here at the conference. A lot of connections and stories being shared. It’s all because we showed up, shared and embraced ourselves. From there, it created a powerful movement.
Yes! It feels like…I can only go to this conference every two years, but when I am actually here, I feel like I can be myself.
I wish it was like this all the time! It’s a little bit bittersweet that we’re finished with the conference, but we’ll have to wait another two years for this type of space again.
Next conference…Key West!
In 2021 and should we should tell everyone who’s watching us now?
We’re gonna be there!
So, come if you’re a deaf woman of color watching! Come and join us!
Alex: Thank you for sharing the videos with us.
The conference has been going on on a biannual basis since 2005, and last weekend was one of the largest in attendance.
Hanaumi told me that there were several white Deaf women who attended and that they got tips on how to respect the conference’s space and make sure that Deaf women of color were centered.
The next DWC conference is in 2021 in Key West, Florida. Nice location!
Gallaudet Uniersity: [gallaudet.edu]