In 2005, four women founded a non-profit organization built around empowering and advocating for education and to provide networking resources and services to minorities. Gathered over lunch, Leticia Arellano, Francisca Rangel, Laurene Simms, and Thuan Nguyen expressed their concerns towards deaf women of color. In Washington DC Deaf women of color lacked a sense of community and support. The founders met regularly and eventually established a vision for the organization Deaf Women of Color.
Their mission statement is stated below:
Deaf Women of Color promotes advocacy, social justice, equity, inclusion, cultural experiences, education, empowerment, training, professional development, and networking for Deaf women who are African American/Black, Asian/Pacific Islander, Native American, Latina/Hispanic, Latinx, or multiracial/intersectional identifying.
To embody their mission statement many of their projects consist of conferences in the different areas. Specifically, these conferences consist of many workshops aimed to empower women and performances by famous leaders that excite the audience. Through the organization, many women are able to share their stories with each other.
This year they are holding their annual conference in Chicago, Illinois from June 27th until the 29th with the theme: Culturally Diverse, We Stand Together. During the conference in June, they have Tony Award winner, Lauren Ridloff as this year’s Keynote Presenter. Former Miss Deaf America, Ridloff has appeared in many films such as The Walking Dead Series and the movie Wanderlust.
For more information about his year’s conference please visit: http://www.deafwomenofcolor.org/conferences.html