Partners in Progress: Creating the Vision Together!

Louisville, Kentucky August 4 – August 9, 2015


Opeoluwa Sotonwa

As Chairman of the Board and Vice President of the National Black Deaf Advocates (NBDA), it is my pleasure to issue a Call to Conference of the NBDA. This gathering is taking place in the month of August in the beautiful city of Louisville, Kentucky. Louisville is known as the World’s headquarters for Horse-racing and home to the famous Slugger Museum and Factory. This will be the 27th year that the NBDA will host its conference and this year’s conference will be the first of its kind in Kentucky. It will take place at the popular Hyatt Regency Hotel on August 4 – August 9, 2015. The conference is being co-chaired by Benro Ogunyipe and Sharon White.

The NBDA is partnering with various organizations, not for the purpose of making this conference a jamboree but to chart a new path of progressive partnership and collaboration. It is about time we expand the conversation for the Black Deaf Community support toward a more encompassing role of increasing societal awareness for the need to invest in an inclusive and diversified America. We cannot achieve this goal by working alone. It is thus, with a great sense of responsibility that we themed this year’s conference as “Partners in Progress: Creating the Vision Together” – It is a clarion call to all those who shared in our struggles, a warm invitation to those who think differently and a strategic partnership to promote understanding and serve as springboard for a coalition that will provide a sense of togetherness and solidarity, and ultimately usher us towards a common purpose to implement the changes we are looking to see.

The NBDA holds its biennial national conferences during odd numbered years. Conference-goers who are likely to attend include high school and college students, sign language interpreters, ASL students, children of deaf adults, administrators, education professionals, VR, mental health, advocacy, and other fields, as well as parents and siblings of deaf children, senior citizens, and many others. All in the interest of taking advantage of opportunities for “promoting the leadership development, economic and educational opportunities, social equality, and safeguarding the general health and welfare of Black deaf and hard of hearing people.” National programs that operate during the conference include Youth Empowerment Summit, Collegiate Black Deaf Student Leadership Institute, the Senior Citizens Program, and the Miss Black Deaf America Pageant.

This exciting conference will include the following: opening reception and welcome ceremony, plenary (keynote) sessions, panel discussions, and workshops, exhibits, entertainment events, Steamboat, Miss Black Deaf America pageant competition, general membership meeting, election of 2015-2017 NBDA Officers, and it will close with the conference banquet.

More information about the conference including registration, hotel reservations, conference schedule, workshops, opportunities for exhibiting, advertising, or becoming a sponsor can be found at:

We hope you will join us for this historical conference!


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