We at the National Deaf Center grieve for the lost lives of Black people as a result of systemic violence and racism.
Racism is also a painful reality within the deaf community. Disparities in opportunity and outcomes for Black deaf Americans are high. Our report on Postsecondary Achievement of Black Deaf People in the United States lays bare the reality that high school, college, and technical training program completion rates for Black deaf people are lower than the national average.
These inequities in education lead to lifelong gaps in employment. In spite of the fact that many Black deaf people are looking for work, only 38% have a job. The median annual income for Black deaf people is significantly lower than white colleagues. Black deaf women, and Black deafdisabled people, earn even less.
As this 2019 report concludes: “We must tackle systemic racism, audism, sexism, classism and other forms of oppression that create cracks throughout the educational pipeline that deeply impact Black deaf students’ college access, achievement, and overall quality of life.”
These are facts that cannot be ignored. While the numbers are important, they do not replace learning from Black deaf people themselves, who experience microaggressions and racism throughout their education and professional careers.
Watch and learn from the experiences of these Black deaf people. We are grateful to them for sharing their stories and encourage you to share them widely.
We have seen first hand that local deaf communities across the United States believe in the importance of dismantling intersectional oppressions. We recognize and honor the work of other community organizations in this fight, and encourage you to support their efforts, including:
To our community members who are suffering: we are in solidarity with you. Black lives matter.
Stephanie W. Cawthon, Director
Carrie Lou Garberoglio, Associate Director
Tia Ivanko, Director of Operations