Deaf Women United conference in Phoenix

From July 17 to 21, Deaf Women United (DWU) hosted a conference in Phoenix, Arizona. DWU was founded in 1985. The conference is bi-annual. The purpose is to get Deaf women together to socialize, support each other, learn more about each other, and to have workshops, training, presentations, business ideas, creative ideas, and networking. About 200 women attended this recent conference. I personally did attend that conference and I filmed some moments. I will show you a recap video of the entire weekend.

— (Video begins)—

Deaf… Women… United!

Eddie Lee Bachus

This is my 12th time going to DWU because I just absolutely love going. I’ve learned so much

here. I want to give my support and encourage other women.

Michelle Lapides and Katherine Lees

Just so that you’re all aware, this is really our very first official presentation on behalf of dozanü.

So, I want to thank you all for this opportunity.

Michele Mulligan

I’m involved in the breast cancer battle. I want to spread awareness about the Deaf CP and that

they are also at risk of breast cancer. We have people with a variety of disabilities including

those who have cancer. I want to share some of my experiences. I’m a one-year breast cancer


Dennice Jordan

What happened was that my good friend Veena…

She had convinced me to come here. I was skeptical at first, especially after she said it would

be in Arizona. It’s too hot for me! She had to beg me until I gave in. Ever since we came here,

it’s definitely been worth it!

Veena Advani

How I ended up here started when I went to the DWC. It was certainly enjoyable and it got me

interested in DWU. Why not? So many deaf women joined us and it’s been so much fun! There

are workshops and everything.I wanted them to teach me for the sake of personal growth, my career and my future. All the knowledge passed onto me would then be passed onto other deaf women who need to see that motivation.

Jackie Albert

What I like about DWU is instead of a TEDx, we’re doing a DWUx. I really like the idea of

speaking to an audience. Also, the workshops, I’ve learned a lot from their presentations. It’s

really been worthwhile for me coming here. There’s a youth program and it’s the first time

they’ve done that too! It’s been a good experience!

Zoe Abrams-Gay

I can assist the presenters by sharing their bios and introducing them before the presentations. I

can bring the DWU board water and whatever they need. I also take pictures at the

conferences. That’s what I’ve been doing and what else?

Alejandra Acosta

I’ve been helping out on the computers with the presentation slides.

Serena Stone

Oh no, you’re filming me? I don’t want you to see my secret!

Rosavetta Jackson

I continue to grow every year and it’s because of DWU. I look forward to seeing others at my

age or those younger than myself to jump on this chance to meet women who could eventually

be your mentor. They’re women who could lead you, encourage you and inspire you! So let’s

get started now! Start young!

Maddie Fears

At today’s community board meeting, I proposed a motion that was later passed. The motion

concerned the bylaws for a youth chairperson role to be added to the board. I’m really

appreciative by the fact it was passed, it’s sorta a compliment for me.

Ellie Liste

I’ve truly enjoyed my first time at a DWU meeting. I really have to thank my aunt for insisting that

I attend. It’s amazing how much I’ve learned. I’ve done some soul searching and I initially didn’t

realize this but a lot of the presentation material applied to me in some ways. I’ve enjoyed

myself and I really want to say thank you to DWU!

Jazzy Jones

You know, for every dollar made within an Asian community, that dollar stays in the ecosystem

for 28 days. For the white community, it takes 17 days. In the African-American community

ecosystem, that dollar lasts only 6 hours! That’s it! However, the African-American community’s

spending power is at $1.1 trillion! A trillion! How much of that money is invested back into the

African-American community? A miniscule amount. That must change.

Josie Kruege

I’m Josie Krueger, and I am a transgender woman. I’ve come to DWU to provide a workshop

about my journey as a transgender person. The workshop has a Part 1 and Part 2. Ever since

I’ve come here, it’s been truly a rich experience. I’ve met so many different people with different

experiences and backgrounds whether it’s economical, cultural, racial and more! I feel welcome

here. I feel at home here.


I never had a sense of pride being a woman until I came here to DWU. I’m really impressed!

Just wow.


I’ve really been flabbergasted. It’s actually my first time here so I’m a bit taken aback. I’ve felt so

welcome here and I’ve benefited from all these amazing presentations. So powerful. Just



Power should be emphasized here because the more we learn, the more powerful we become

and move closer to owning your own identity as a woman. That’s what power is.

Kristina Bernhardt

My presentation focuses on self care like keeping yourself clean, taking showers and these

basic things. These actions do have serious environmental implications which in turn would

impact women. Climate change does impact everyone to some degree, but not everyone would be equally affected. It’s critical to be mindful of these harmful actions to minimize their negative

impact on climate change which in turn lessens its effect on women.

Rayzele Booth

I learned so much from Jazzy who just gave a presentation on how to write your will and

prepare for life after retirement. I learned a lot about these things.

Marilyn Jean Smith

They showed us how being nice is different from showing kindness. It’s about making

meaningful advances expecting no compensation in return. Do it out of the goodness of your

heart for the purpose of making the world a better place. We need that and doing that takes


Belinda Carroll and Kim Minard, Phoenix co-conference chairs

All that anxiety and now the day has arrived. We’re already halfway, actually three-fourths way

through the DWU and we’ll have the gala tomorrow. I’m looking forward to wrapping all this up.

Really, we’ve had challenges. There were new ideas thrown in where we needed to come to a

compromise. Once we compromised, we made the necessary adjustments and the changes

have been more intensive compared to prior events. I feel that we’ve come up with good results

and people have said they’re really impressed, said that they really like it. I do feel good about


Maria Del C. Hamblin

Here at DWU, there’s nice and beautiful people all around. They shared beautiful stories about

their own worlds. DWU has been an inspiration for me.

Storm Smith

I’m really excited to be the keynote speaker tonight for Deaf Women United. It’s my gift to share

inspirational messages for everyone here, the beautiful sisters and the Queens of this room.

This is a beautiful evening. Please, whether or not you’ve accomplished, I don’t care but

celebrate that moment…

Lissette Molina Wood

This is a truly wonderful group of strong beautiful women who’ve come here to support,

empower and share information with each other. See that amazing picture behind me?

That was taken at DWU. An incredibly beautiful experience.





A wonderful conference.


This is my 7th conference and soon to be my 15th.


This is my first time and it’s been awesome!

Renca: The next conference is in Chicago in 2021.

Julia Anderson and Carol Nemecek-Kowalski, Chicago co-conference chairs:

I’m so excited. 2 years to go. I remember when there was 4 years of waiting time. There are so

many events happening. On Wednesday night, there’s a cruise. There are many good

workshops and presentations being offered.

If you want to get more information, you can take a look at our website.

Under the Deaf Women United website, you will get all the information you will need so check

us out!

Come and see you there!

Yes! Come over here!