DeafHope, a non-profit organization founded and run by Deaf women, will be featured on CNN on Tuesday, November 27 and again on Thursday, December 6. Based in the San Francisco Bay area, DeafHope’s mission is “to end domestic and sexual violence against Deaf women and children through empowerment, education and services.”
Currently, DeafHope provides peer counseling, advocacy, support group, children’s art therapy, youth violence prevention and awareness, community education, technical assistance with placing Deaf survivors in shelters, and a 24-hour email hotline.
Why is DeafHope on CNN? Out of more than 7,000 viewer-nominated persons in 93 countries, 18 finalists–three each in six categories–were selected to be featured on “CNN Heroes,” a special report showcasing ordinary people worldwide who have accomplished extraordinary deeds.
One of those finalists is our own Julie Rems-Smario, DeafHope’s executive director and one of their founders, in the “Community Crusaders” category. Each finalist will receive $10,000 to be used towards their causes.
A blue ribbon panel–including “distinguished leaders, luminaries and humanitarians” such as Lance Armstrong, Deepak Chopra, Jewel, Téa Leoni, Dikembe Mutombo, Jerry Yang, and Muhammad Yunus–will select one person from each category to be honored during the December 6 live telecast and receive another $25,000. The global telecast will be hosted by Anderson Cooper and Christiane Amanpour.
It’s a big deal to have one of our own Deaf leaders to be so honored on a global scale. But it’s an even bigger deal for DeafHope–and their partners nationwide such as ADWAS in Seattle and DAWN in Washington, D.C.–have the crucial issue of domestic and sexual violence in the deaf community be featured on CNN.
That’s a victory for everybody who’s ever had a family member or friend affected by domestic violence.
So, once again, it’s Tuesday, November 27, at 10PM Eastern/7PM Pacific on Anderson Cooper 360º–that’s the program that will feature the three finalists for the Community Crusader category, including Julie Rems-Smario and DeafHope.
Now, to be fair to my readers, I was actually there at the CNN filming last week so you might just see me on TV! Also, photographer Chris Hamilton has posted some wonderful snapshots from that day (as well as past DeafHope events) at his blog, www.hamiltonphotographer.com/wordpress/. It’s also an excellent opportunity to see ASL used in front of the camera, with voice-overs provided by interpreters.
Then the two-hour global live telecast will be on Thursday, December 6 at 9PM Eastern/6PM Pacific to see who will be the six honorees selected by the blue ribbon panel. While all 18 finalists are all heroes, let’s hope DeafHope gets to shine through on that night!