Video Transcript:Hola my name is Blanca Altamirano, (name sign B) background black curtain, brown curly hair and vneck black marble long sleeves.
I want to say I am so honor and touched that Deaf Women of Color DWC chose me to be part of this month Overlooked Gem, Gracias! Muchismas gracias!
I am Chicana Deaf Artivist who was born and raised in Los Angeles California, single mother of a teenage son. I began my career in daycare development, and then shifted to a fabulous small business, @ily_LA12 (name sign 🤟🏼A), that focuses on art designs from everyday objects such clothes, pins, stickers, and masks. This allow me to use art to bring justice for those who experience social oppressions, and to express my worldview on different level. A former Alma de Muxeristas circle member, and now I am the co-chair for DEAFestival LA, this event bring the community together to provide many important resources, expose different talented entertainers, artists and small businesses.
Also give those who want to volunteers to be able have those work experiences to add in their resume. I love horror, like really such in film, art, activities and writing; in fact, Halloween is just another ordinary day for me. I also use SFX makeup as one of my other form of artivism. Again I want to say thank you so much for choosing me to be this month Overlooked Gem, I am really honored muchismas gracias (besos ) Happy International Women’s Month (🏼boom)
Hello! My name is Arooj. My vlog is about Pakistan. We have Deaf school in there. Our family owns a Deaf school in Pakistan. The purpose is that we have school in Pakistan because we want to provide education for Deaf people. Deaf people in Pakistan struggle to go through the education system so we provide this. We, family also raise in here (US) , so we bring this knowledge to Pakistan by using Pakistan Language. It went well, then we came up with another idea. (Banafsh) What is Banafsh? It's a variety of ideas with different clothes of design by hand. It’s Pakistan's culture of clothes and it's also really cool! We own this business to support Deaf school to continue in the future! Thank you for listening to my story! Byee!
Hi! My name is Ida Mojahedi (name sign “I on the cheek). I’m a Filipina American. I was born and raised in the Philippines. I moved here in America when I was 13. I’m living in Los Angeles with my Deaf husband. We have two hearing sons and they are teenagers.
I work as a teacher for Deaf and Hard of Hearing children. I’ve been working for 20 years. During my teaching years, I’ve seen Deaf and Hard of Hearing children having language deprivation. That gave me passion to teach and give them language. I want them to have full access to language. Also, I want to teach the children about values that will lead them to become better people in the future. They would become our leaders in our community.
I've been involved with the Southern California Asian Deaf Association (SCADA) for more than 5 years. Currently, I’m the president. Our mission is for Deaf & Hard of Hearing Asians to explore cultures and identity, to educate about our culture and to empower Deaf & Hard of Hearing Asians to be leaders to support people in the community. Today, we are facing difficult times. It is important for us to have support in the community and unity.
My name is Lisa Montalvo
I am honored to be part of this Deaf Women of Color Overlook Gem this year.
I identify myself as a Puerto Rican Woman. I have worked at Model Secondary School for the Deaf as a school Counselor for 13 years. It has always been a rewarding experience to work with varieties of students from all over to MSSD. This year since Pandemic, it has been challenging but rewarding experiences because we set up to work with a fabulous team of people in making multicultural events for both KDES and MSSD. Our goal is for our students to recognize different cultures, heritage months and gather different guest speakers, panelists, events that allow us to learn and many more. We will continue to do more to teach students to learn and our goal is for our students to leave after graduation by knowing who they are and their intersectionality.
This led to a poster that I have in my office that I have not been to over a year since Pandemic. I missed my office. There's a poster in my office with a picture of a MAP. I wrote on the map “Embrace your journey”. Everyday we learn about ourselves and we never stop learning . Keep learning more by always embracing ourselves, our intersectionality and our background. How you can share with your community and people that you do not know. You are YOU. Embrace yourself. Be proud of yourself. This month is Women History Month. Be proud to be a woman, not just women but as a BIPOC, and/or Deaf Women of color. Thank you.
Hello, My name is Sharon White. My sign name is ... First of all, I would like to Thank DWC for choosing me as one of the "Overlooked Gems" this month. I was born and raised in Aurora, Illinois. near Chicago (Northwest Suburbs of Chicago). I am from a genetic deaf family tree. Growing up, oppressed, discriminated or not provided (given) services because I was deaf it was difficult. Anyway, growing up with a family of deaf, hard of hearing or oral speaking no signs we still faced barriers everyday. Also, because being black and deaf - things was not easy growing up. I have 3 children, decided to move to Kentucky from Aurora, IL. In Kentucky I began working for the Kentucky State Government and Vocational Rehab. Also working for Kentucky Commission on the Deaf and Hard of Hearing, we also did DeaFestival. DeaFestival is where we bring in others with different skills, talents, performers, artists and variety of others to be recognized by the community for the work. Also, during my time working in Kentucky, I realized they did not have a Kentucky Black Deaf Advocates chapter. So I worked to help set up KYBDA in 2005. When my work was finished in Kentucky I moved to Alabama where there was some situations with oppression, discrimination is still happening in the south. So now, I'm here in Alabama now. In Alabama, I hope to help remove barriers, and oppression. Working on projects coming up soon in the near future. Regardless, throughout my life, my journey I'm always an Activist and will always represent my black deaf community as a Leader. Thank you DWC for choosing me for Overlooked Gem. Thank you! I Love You (Hand sign).
Aloha, my name is Maile Paongo. Signed Maile. Maile is a Hawaiian green leaf that is used for leis. It is smells good. I was born a deaf island woman in Hawai'i. I was first raised to use oral speech in school. At 12 years old, I transferred to the Hawai'i School for the Deaf and Blind. I graduated in 1975. Then I went to Seattle Community College for two years, and graduated in 1977. I went to the deaf World Olympics in Romania in 1977. On the American women's volleyball team. We won second place.
Then I moved back home to Hawai'i, to settle down. I missed the beach. Then I got a job at the USPS (United States Postal Service). I worked for thirty-seven years as of last month. I am not ready to retire yet. I did bid for other positions like supervisor, mail carrier, window clerk, and ramp clerk. But I eventually gave up. I felt like the managers were hearing men who were putting me down as a deaf woman, and didn't know how to deal with me. I worked as an expeditor (with express mail), which meant that I was responsible for getting the mail out on time and onto planes. It felt like a prison. I remember when I first entered the Post Office, there were no TTYs (teletypewriters) and no interpreters for group (Stand Up) meetings. Wow I was surprised. I contacted the APWU (American Postal Workers Union) and cited a section in the employee handbook. I said the handbook says I have a right to have access to a TTY and an ASL interpretation during Stand Up meetings. I succeeded and got those things set up, even though it didn't feel like a lot of improvement. Nowadays, we have a new TTYs, smart phones.
HSDB (Hawai'i School for the Deaf and Blind) advocacy group SOAR asked me for support. Why? Because the Hawai'i Department of Education (DOE) decided to switch the deaf principal with the hearing principal for no reason. I was shocked. I supported the deaf children. They said that they missed the deaf principal. It was easy to communicate with him. With the hearing principal, it was harder to focus between the hearing principal and the interpreters. It doesn't work. I just heard that the Board of Education (BOE) will remove the current superintendent in July. Regardless, we have to keep fighting to save the deaf school. Yes the deaf community is suppressed by hearing people. But even in the deaf community there is infighting. We have this problem in Hawai'i. I want more fellowship. I'm also not alone. I have my son David, my friend Darlene, my friend Cheryl. My family, they support and try to raise up the deaf community. ASL is important. I will never forget Georgia Morikawa. She worked hard for many years. Now she is gone. We are not sure who will be the next leader.
Thank you for choosing me as a deaf person and woman of color. Thank you.