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NBDA Members support economic, education, social equality, general health and welfare of Black deaf and hard of hearing people.

NBDA Media

National Black Deaf Advocates (NBDA) is the official advocacy organization for thousands of Black Deaf and Hard of Hearing Americans. For more than three decades, NBDA has been at the forefront of advocacy efforts for civil rights and equal access to education, employment, and social services on behalf of the Black Deaf and Hard of Hearing in the United States.

In a groundbreaking initiative, the National Deaf Black Advocates (NBDA) is announcing a 28-day feature celebrating Black Deaf Unsung Heroes. This initiative aims to shed light on the often overlooked contributions of Black individuals within the Deaf community. Throughout February, in honor of Black History Month, the NBDA will spotlight remarkable individuals who have made small to large impacts in their communities. 

The featured individuals will include youth to senior citizens, volunteers, educators, activists, artists, and non-professionals and professionals who have significantly influenced the Deaf community. 

Through a series of daily profiles and stories, the NBDA hopes to foster awareness and appreciation for the invaluable contributions of these unsung heroes. The initiative seeks not only to recognize their achievements but also to inspire future generations and promote greater inclusivity and representation within the Deaf community. This feature promises to be a powerful and illuminating tribute to these remarkable individuals who often go unnoticed and unrecognized. We call them Everyday Black Deaf Heroes! 


On behalf of NBDA, I extend a warm and heartfelt Happy New Year our valued members of NBDA. This is the first newsletter of my administration, and we hope you will find the information beneficial.

As your NBDA President, I give thanks to each of you for continuing to support our beloved organization. The NBDA Board and I have experienced challenges with transition from former officers to new officers. I am relieved to inform you that despite resistance and lack of cooperation, we now have access to our bank account(s). It took us several months to obtain this information.

We recognize that NBDA finances have not been audited for the past four years and there are many unanswered questions. During the conference members approved an audit. We will be requesting a professional audit, from an outside company, so that there is no question of impartiality in the audit process.

Our Board is committed to full transparency and stabling our organization. We are committed to the goal of promoting equality for our Black Deaf brothers and sisters. It is important that we also make room for those who do not have a seat at our table: LGBTQ, DeafBlind, CODA’s, parents of deaf children, and interpreters. There is no room for xenophobia. As a team, each of us has a responsibility to work cohesively and focus on our common goal.

Our brilliant founders Lottie Crook, Dr. Ernest Hairston, Willard Shorter, Ann Wilson, Charles “Chuck” Williams, Linwood Smith were visionaries who knew of possibilities. They knew that our people were underemployed, undervalued, and not given opportunities for equality. While some improvements have been made in the last 40 years, we still have a long way to go to. The vision remains, the need remains, and your support remains.

I look forward to 2024 being a year of productivity. We are committed to providing regular member updates and opportunities for your feedback. In March we will host a general, members only meeting. Please check our Facebook and website for announcements. Update your membership for accuracy. Your membership needs to have been valid for any period January 2024 – March 2024.

Your commitment and support are critical to the success of our organization and the cornerstone of our mission to advocate for the Black Deaf Community.

Take a picture in your new t-shirt & post on your Social Media

Don’t forget to tag us @NBDAdvocates
And use our hashtag:

About NBDA

National Black Deaf Advocates (NBDA) is the official advocacy organization for thousands of Black Deaf and Hard of Hearing Americans. For more than three decades, NBDA has been at the forefront of advocacy efforts for civil rights and equal access to education, employment, and social services on behalf of the Black Deaf and Hard of Hearing in the United States.

Founded in 1982, NBDA is a growing organization with more than 30 chapters across the country. As a non-profit organization, NBDA is supported by its members and other interested in furthering the mission, vision, and strategic objectives of this esteemed organization. Membership includes Black Deaf and Hard of Hearing; parents of Black Deaf and Hard of Hearing children; professionals who work with Black Deaf and Hard of Hearing youth and adults; sign language interpreters; people of color; and other interested individuals and organizations.


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Programs and Advocacy

NBDA recognizes that advocacy is most effective when backed by legislative action. Therefore, NBDA participates in a number of legislative and policy oriented coalitions. NBDA is a member of the Deaf and Hard of Hearing Consumer Advocacy Network (DHHCAN). DHHCAN is a coalition of national consumer organizations of, by, and for deaf and hard of hearing people. DHHCAN addresses advocacy, public policy and legislative issues relating to rights, quality of life, equal access, and self-representation and legislative issues.


Senior Citizen Program aims to develop and strengthen a support network for Black Deaf seniors.


Publications of NBDA and notable publications for or by Black Deaf and hard of hearing.


designed for Black Deaf and Hard of Hearing youth and young adults who are college students: Collegiate Black Deaf Student Leadership Institute and Youth Empowerment Summit (Y.E.S!).


The mission of the NBDA Black Deaf Womxn’s Development Foundation is to create, support, and nurture the development of Black Deaf female leadership in the United States of America.

Latest News

NEW Bylaws of the National Black Deaf Advocates – Ratified August 2023 BYLAWS OF THE NATIONAL BLACK DEAF ADVOCATESRatified on August 12, 20232023 NBDA Conference, General Business Meetingat Birmingham, Alabama ARTICLE I – NAMESection 1.  Name. The name of the organization shall be the National Black […]
Special Editor newsletter with up-to-date information on the upcoming 2nd NBDA Black Deaf Senior Citizens Reunion that will be held at the Sea Mist Oceanfront Resort in Myrtle Beach, South Carolina September 11 – 14, 2014
NBDA Vice President Opeoluwa Sotonwa featured in the Kentucky local TV news regarding fake interpreter incident at the Nelson Mandela’s Memorial Service occured on December 10, 2013 in South Africa. Reported by Sherrell Hubbard of Wave 3 News.