28 October 2009
Deaf Youth Pride hosted their inaugural Black History Month event which took place on Saturday 24th October at Forest Gate Youth Centre, London.
The event showcased the excellent performance of drama, music and dancing from Deaf Youth, raising their profile as Deaf young people from black and ethnic minority groups, a sector of our community which has all too frequently been overlooked.
The highlight of the evening was the presentation of awards to Deaf youths who have shown particular skills, aptitude and determination in their lives with a view to building confidence and encouraging them to become role models for Deaf peers and younger generations, much to the applause from the audiences, delighted to see a large number of Deaf youths receiving their certificates.
The finale of the evening were a selection of Golden Hands ‘Black History Month’ Award 2009, presented by Sarla Meisura and Kevin Buckle, Deaf Youth Workers and the first gong went to Sabina Iqbal, for her tireless work and outstanding contribution to the society by setting up a first and unique parenting organisation for deaf parents run by deaf parents – Deaf Parenting UK. Sabina came up to collect the award with her daughter, Samaira (3).
Sabina Iqbal, Chair/Founder of Deaf Parenting UK was gobsmacked when her name was announced for the Black History Month Award 2009: “I was totally shocked as I came to support the event and was impressed by a selection of Deaf youth with their confidence; skills and their performances, celebrating the Black History Month, were outstanding. They are our future leaders. I truly thought the awards were for the youth but was shocked when Kevin announced my name. It was lovely to be recognised for this award as I was once a Deaf youth at the very same Deaf youth centre! I was also delighted to meet all young people and hope the event inspires even more young Deaf people from diverse background to achieve their dreams.”
Kevin Buckle, Deaf Youth Worker: “The Black History Month, also known as BDHM, event at Forest Gate Youth Centre was a huge success and it was nice to see young people involved in the project. The atmosphere with people was lovely and fantastic! Everyone enjoyed our ethnic foods (Caribbean and Asian) after the performances. About over 80 people attended the event. A Deaf programme was made on Black Deaf History month and it was looking for new and fresh Deaf people from Black community with a lot of knowledge and experience so they contacted me but then I believed that best for young deaf people would be given an opportunity to be filmed instead of me, giving their fresh and youthful perspective.
With a lot of support from Sarla, a Deaf key youth worker from the youth centre, I tried to encourage some young people to be involved in the project which took hard work and it paid off when they produced some excellent performances.
During the event, I gave a short speech of why Black Deaf people were overlooked and left out from Black History books and History books. Even in the modern mainstream media, there are very few Deaf role models with ethnic minorities’ community to be looked up to.
There were a lot of different performances to be shown including Eze and Alecia’s beautiful sign song.”
There were some special BHM awards – made up of a beautiful gold plated hand shaped object. They were given to:
- Sabina Iqbal, a founder and Chair of Deaf Parenting UK (DPUK) for her tireless work and outstanding contribution to the society by setting up a first and unique parenting organisation for deaf parents run by deaf parents.
- Marie Walters, a member from a large family of 28 Deaf people. It is really rare that there are a large number of Deaf family members. She is originally from Jamaica and she is now married to her Deaf British husband, Lloyd. She should be in the Guinness Book of records!
- Kavita Kohli, a former social worker, used to work for Hounslow and Newham Social Services. She has been involved in Deaf community, especially within Asian community. She was often involved in a lot of project meetings, appeared on Sign On TV a few times. She has written her article about Group work with Deaf People as well as other articles. She couldn’t come to the event because of unforeseen circumstance. The award will be given to her after the event.
- Chloe Campbell, a Deaf daughter from Deaf parents – she is very energetic and lively and she has shown her commendable leadership skill. She developed and made a drama about slavery with some young people including myself!
It was announced that Black History Special will be broadcasted by BBC’s See Hear on Wednesday 28th of October at 1pm.
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