Open Letter to CONVO from the POC Community Regarding #DeafTalent

Open Letter from POC Community in response to their #DeafTalent spotlight (written by Maisha Franklin Safford)

Dear Convo,

The spotlight on #DeafTalent has placed improper credit to Jules Dameron. Written in English, the third paragraph following the video states: “This is only one of the movements, including #blackdeaftalent, #latinxdeaftalent, #POCDeafTalent, and many more!.”

Jade Bryan, the first Black Deaf Filmmaker and Director has directed, produced and written many movies that have starred black deaf actors and deaf people of color. Therefore, Jade Bryan should be appropriately and properly credited for her work identified as #BlackDeafTalent and #POCDeafTalent as the first Black Deaf Filmmaker and Director.

Jade began the movement during the summer of July 2012 while crowdfunding for her film, The Shattered Mind. She took to Twitter to spread awareness that there was not enough representation of Black Deaf Talents and Deaf Talents of Color in television and film. Jade started the hashtag #BlackDeafTalent and #POCDeafTalent movements. She and her group protested peacefully in the streets and at several TV studios to spread awareness. Then in 2015, after discovering that members of the Black Deaf Community and Deaf People of Color were being excluded and not credited from social media outlets such as #DeafTalent. The spotlight continues be put on predominately Deaf White Actors.

We are surprised that Convo has given much pride and acknowledgment to the members of their own community but have failed to show appreciation for diversity. For example, Convo has failed to ask the Black Deaf and Deaf People of Color community for input/information regarding the movement, struggles and accomplishments of Black Deaf and Deaf People of Color Actors, Producers and Filmmakers so that this population can also be rightfully and equally recognized as their peers of non-color.

In addition to that, we also feel that #DeafTalent has not given many opportunities for Black Deaf and Deaf People of Color to be included and involved in the Deaf entertainment world.
Therefore; in all fairness, we are requesting that Convo:

· Give proper credit to Jade Bryan for her work and accomplishments starting with the #BlackDeafTalent and #POCDeafTalent movement.
· Give proper credit to the person who founded#LatinxDeafTalent.
· Revise any and all written english by Jules Dameron that does not equally represent and pertains to #DeafTalent only.
· Give proper placement of #BlackDeafTalent and #POCDeafTalent in New York where it all started.

We stand united and request that you immediately respond and adhere to these requests. Thank you in advance for meeting these requests.

Sincerely,
Stacey Anderson 
Niesha Washington-Shepard
Black American Sign Language Group Members
Black Deaf Progressive Movement Group Members
Black Deaf Cultural Capital Group Members
Maisha Franklin Safford
Jade Bryan
Adrienne Brown Gravish
Warren “WaWa” Snipe