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For 31 days last month, in March, the NAD shared posts from Deaf Women of Color and Deaf Women United. Learn why. #deafwomen #womensmonth #dwhm #dwhm2017 #deafherstory #whyher #deafwomenofcolor #NAD #DWU #DWC
VIDEO DESC & TRANSCRIPT: Melissa is sitting in an office, there are bookshelves behind her.
MELISSA, NAD: March is the month when we recognize women, especially deaf women. Deaf Women of Color (DWC) and Deaf Women United (DWU) organized a daily post recognizing different women and their areas of expertise for this month. Areas include administrators, professors, researchers, hair stylists, performers, doctors, lawyers, and many more! I’d like to take a moment to share some statistics about deaf women that are very real in the U.S. today. There are 24 million deaf women in the U.S. Out of that 24 million, 42% are employed. Out of that 42%, 40% are deaf women of color who are employed. Their average earning in a year is $42,394. That kind of information is important to share and DWC’s and DWU’s daily posts are just as important to recognize and share with the youth of the next generation. Youth can vary from any age through college. We must continue to share key information for them. We must encourage them. We must encourage different career interests such as being an engineer or scientist.
MELISSA, DWU: DWU cherishes the idea of celebrating deaf women. In 2014, we started doing Deaf Women’s Herstory Month by recognizing 31 different deaf women every day during the month of March. Each of their contribution to our community varies, whether big or small, in different areas. Some examples include education, business, arts, sports, or as a trailblazer. It is so important for society to see the value of deaf women; especially during today’s climate with women’s rights at risk and how the system views women. This month allows us to really celebrate and elevate deaf women to the next level. I am very touched to see this happening in our deaf community — such as other organizations recognizing deaf women. I see this in conjunction with the NAD and Deaf Women of Color as well as other organizations; I appreciate seeing these organizations invest in our deaf women. Such actions make me feel proud to be a deaf woman.
MELISSA, DWC: This year we unveiled a new series called Overlooked Gems. We are so thrilled to recruit, discover, and recognize many deaf women of color from all over. It has been an amazing experience as we get to know more deaf women of color. Each and every deaf woman’s individual skills must be given glowing recognition! You have exceptional skills in a specific area. You have skills yet do not feel like your skills are recognized. Thus you may just go through life without recognition. However, DWC sees you and sees your ability. We must give you recognition and elevate you. In the Deaf Women of Color community, we work hard yet do not get recognition for our work. DWC wants to empower them, recognize them, and elevate! Some of you may react to our series — the “overlooked gem” is a fact. It is real, it is raw, it is sharing our hearts for the world to see. For deaf women of color, this is our safe space. DWC’s goal is to continue working on Women’s History month with the Overlooked Gems Series every year. We will continue posting Wednesday’s Crush, along with Humans of DWC. We will continue posting your heartfelt stories, your thoughts, your struggles, and share them. We are thrilled to inspire young children. They are the new generation who should get recognition in schools. They watch our videos and it impacts them. The younger generation of the future will lead and elevate other deaf women of color, as well as other people of color from all over the world. We must spread awareness on the importance of cherishing women, specifically for this month, especially with the huge historical impact of the Women’s March. Since 2005, DWC while a small organization, it is being overlooked. Nevertheless, DWC is standing strong, working with each other, and growing to give recognition to deaf women of color. You know, it is like a tree. At first, it starts as a little seedling then steadily grows into a big strong oak tree with large roots anchoring it while spreading all over, steadily growing. This parallels our organization, and this is our goal. DWC is established, like the tree that is planted, we need roots that spread around and grow. This includes deaf women of color. We need you all. We will stand behind you and push you forward. We will support you all the way.