CSD Unites co-hosted an event celebrating the diversity and leadership of the African diaspora. Attendees watched presentations from individuals representing the mother continent and its diaspora. The fantastic presentations educated us about the status of Deaf folks in specific regions and encouraged intellectual discourse on doable and sustainable solutions.
Event presenters included Isidore Niyongabo, founder of International Deaf Education, Advocacy and Leadership (IDEAL). Originally from Burundi, Niyongabo shared his passion for advocacy on his mission for access to education and a better quality of life for Deaf children and youth in sub-saharan Africa and globally through IDEAL.
Kriston Pumphrey, the newly hired program manager of CSD Unites, brings his energy and passion to further the program’s impact. CSD Unites’ mission is to use equity and social justice principles to support issue-based mobilization in the Deaf, Deaf Blind, Deaf Disabled, Hard of Hearing, and CI-using community to address crucial needs, and enhance the current work of organizations and stakeholders in the community through capacity building.
Pumphrey is excited and motivated about the future of the program: “It is my hope to continue to identify individuals and organizations that align with the focus of CSD Unites. By creating and holding space, we can welcome others to participate, to share their thoughts and engage. I believe that when we do the work to build real relationships, we truly become stronger together. Rather than just being mere recipients of services and grants, communities need to take the lead in the development process by identifying and exchanging resources. Only communities know their local conditions and issues and they are best placed to decide what their priorities are.”
The event was an amazing opportunity to connect and collaborate. Through making these in-person connections, we increase our collective knowledge and skills, building capacity and strength within our Deaf communities worldwide. We are so grateful to all who attended. Special thanks to fellow cohosts, Gallaudet’s ASL & Deaf Studies Department as well as Gallaudet President Office’s sponsorship in making this event possible!
If your organization wants to join in Unites’ work, we want to know about it! Please contact us at Unites@CSD.org.
What kind of stories do you see about Deaf people in the news or in your social media feed? What sorts of words, language, or images do you notice are associated with Deaf people?
Are they stories of woe and despair turned into hope? Are they stories about overcoming adversity and challenges? Are they stories of people not letting being Deaf stop them from being whatever it is they want to be?
That can feel positive, but these stories often have a dark flip side – an unseen narrative that implies that being Deaf is not something to celebrate, but something to get past, to overcome.
For the millions of people who consume stories like this, unconscious bias can creep in, creating and reinforcing damaging misperceptions about Deaf people. Biases based on inauthentic, negative representation can affect everything from personal or professional relationships to the likelihood of being hired for a job.
That is why CSD is undertaking a new initiative designed to address inauthentic representation, and the biases and misperceptions it perpetuates. Our new #DeafinMedia campaign will foster a healthy dialogue geared towards positive change. The campaign will be led by Jenna Beacom and Tyrone Giordano, with the support of CSD’s PREP team, and will be living mostly online and in the social media spheres.
CSD CEO Christopher Soukup says, “I am proud of the culture that we have cultivated at CSD, with Deaf and hearing people working seamlessly together. We already know here at CSD that Deaf people have incredible value to offer the world—something that the world at large is slowly learning as well. With every story we tell about our community and the people in it, we can accelerate this learning.”
#DeafInMedia will engage the public by interacting with the stories about us that are circulating out there. #DeafInMedia addresses three main areas: representation of Deaf people, Deaf professionals who work in the media, and audiences that consume media on a daily basis. #DeafInMedia is meant to celebrate good portrayals as much as it is to critique problematic ones, all in the name of positive social change.
Tyrone Giordano says, “In two decades of working in news and entertainment media, I’m beyond convinced of the power of telling stories to create positive change, especially when stories about Deaf people are told by ourselves or with our active participation.”
Let’s advance the conversation about Deaf people, and ensure that the stories told about us accurately reflect who we are: human beings who contribute to the wonderful diversity that is all of collective humanity.
Visit the #DeafinMedia website here: www.deafinmedia.com
Archive for November, 2018
2018 > November