My First Speaking Engagement
The Pearls Awards About six months ago, the board of Deaf Women United invited me to be one of their keynote speakers. Frankly, I was honestly surprised by their invitation, but at the same time, I felt honored. Months passed by and the conference arrived. Last weekend, I had the privilege of giving a speech about The Pearls in San [...]
Tue, Jun 25 2013
The Pearls Awards Dear Oprah, As you remember well, on an lovely evening in 2006… a television special “The Legends” premiered. Extraordinary African American women graced the screen such as Dr. Maya Angelou (author), Halle Berry (actress), Tyra Banks (model), and Coretta Scott King (civil rights activist). Each time a women made her appearance on the screen, a [...]
Tue, Jun 11 2013
2014 Winners of The Pearls
The Pearls Awards When I decided to name the entire concept as The Pearls, several things comes to mind. A pearl is made up of many layers – be it a hobby, passion, cultural background, lesson learned or an event. Put all the layers together, that person becomes WHOLE like a pearl. In order for a pearl to [...]
Tue, Jun 04 2013
2014 Winner of The Black Pearl Award
The Pearls Awards MARILYN JEAN SMITH is the founder and former Executive Director (1986-2011) of the Abused Deaf Women’s Advocacy Services in Seattle and is considered the Mother of the Anti-Violence Movement in Deaf America. She received her B.A. and M.A. from Gallaudet University in Washington, D.C. Her work at ADWAS brought many awards including one from President [...]
Tue, May 28 2013
2014 Winners of the First-of/Founder Category
The Pearls Awards DONALDA AMMONS has served on national and international level organizations in various capacities. She continues to contribute as an author of numerous articles on Deaf culture and sports, published in various professional journals and books. Dr. Ammons has traveled to present papers and conduct workshops relating to human rights for deaf people, deaf sports, and [......
Tue, May 21 2013
2014 Winners of the Advocate Category
The Pearls Awards ELLA MAE LENTZ is an deaf American author and poet, teacher, and advocate for the Deaf Community. Her career with American Sign Language spans the areas of research, developing, teaching, performing, and presenting. Being a co-author of a book series called “Signing Naturally” (best-seller) is one of her most important contributions. Today many universities, high ...
Tue, May 14 2013
2014 Winners of the Business Category
The Pearls Awards TRUDY SUGGS began editing people’s work as a child, never dreaming this skill would evolve into a successful career. A writer and educator, Trudy is active with community organizations and travels the nation providing presentations and workshops. In 2003, she established T.S. Writing Services, LLC. The company celebrates its 10th anniversary this year. In 2009, Min...
Thu, May 02 2013
2014 Winners of the Hidden Pearl Category
The Pearls Awards TOBY SILVER is now as a television producer and director with the Internal Revenue Service. In this role, she manages video and multimedia projects for the agency for both internal and external audiences. As part of this work, she has produced and directed public service announcements aimed at deaf and hard of hearing taxpayers [...]
Tue, Apr 30 2013
2014 Winners of the Artist Category
The Pearls Awards --- ANN SILVER is a graphic designer, illustrator, photographer, and civil rights activist. She was involved with the Deaf Art Movement and is also a master at Deaf Pop art. During her career, Ann worked as a designer plus art director for major book publishers in New York City. Silver worked with the Museum of [...]
Tue, Apr 23 2013
Spotlight on Melissa Rich
The Pearls Awards MELISSA RICH RECEIVED THE PEARLS AWARD IN 2011 UNDER THE HIDDEN PEARL CATEGORY. Being an equal communication access advocate, Melissa Rich is married for 17 years to a musician at heart and mother of four children. Melissa graduated Magna Cum Laude from Baker College. Moreover, she worked with a fellow deaf patron and National Association of the Deaf’s [...]
Tue, Apr 16 2013
Spotlight on Rosa Lee Timm
The Pearls Awards ROSA LEE TIMM RECEIVED THE PEARLS AWARD IN 2011 UNDER THE BUSINESSWOMAN CATEGORY. Rosa Lee is a Deaf artist, known most recently for her solo performance work in The Rosa Lee Show and as co-founder of the word-of-hand magazine KISSFIST. For more information on KISSFIST Magazine, visit at [link] She guides deaf youth in art movement and drama [...]
Wed, Apr 10 2013
Spotlight on Myrna Orleck-Aiello
The Pearls Awards MYRNA ORLECK-AIELLO RECEIVED THE PEARLS AWARD IN 2011 UNDER THE BUSINESSWOMAN CATEGORY. Myrna Orleck-Aiello is the President and CEO of TCS Associates, based in Wheaton, MD. TCS, founded in 1982, has built the core of its business around providing assistive technology products & services for people with disabilities. TCS also focuses on Section 508 compliance, com...
Sat, Mar 30 2013
Spotlight on Karen Putz
The Pearls Awards KAREN PUTZ RECEIVED THE PEARLS AWARD IN 2011 UNDER THE HIDDEN PEARL CATEGORY. Karen grew up hard of hearing and at the age of nineteen, she became deaf from a fall while barefoot water skiing. Shortly after becoming deaf, she transferred to Northern Illinois University, immersed herself in learning American Sign Language and graduated with a [...]
Tue, Mar 19 2013
Spotlight on Lizzie Sorkin
The Pearls Awards LIZZIE SORKIN RECEIVED THE PEARLS AWARD IN 2011 UNDER THE FIRST-OF/FOUNDER CATEGORY. Born and raised in California, Lizzie Sorkin decided to follow her dad’s footsteps and graduated from Rochester Institute of Technology from the School of Film and Animation in 2007. During her studies in Rochester, she was introduced to so many opportunities that opened the do...
Thu, Mar 07 2013
Spotlight on Mary Rappazzo
The Pearls Awards MARY RAPPAZZO RECEIVED THE PEARLS AWARD IN 2011 UNDER THE ARTIST CATEGORY. Mary A. Rappazzo is a Los Angeles-based fine arts painter, digital artist, and graphic designer. Her recognizable, one-eyed signature style is expressed in bold statements using bright colors, figurative and representational images in idealized forms. She is drawn to themes involving human ...
Wed, Feb 27 2013
Spotlight on Mara Ladines
The Pearls Awards MARA LADINES RECEIVED THE PEARLS AWARD IN 2011 UNDER THE BUSINESSWOMAN CATEGORY. As an infant, Mara contracted a viral illness which caused her deafness. Nevertheless, from the age of six, she took piano lessons and continued to study the art until she reached collegiate level. Her musical talent gave her various opportunities to perform in different parts of [.....
Tue, Feb 19 2013
Spotlight on Jules Dameron
The Pearls Awards JULES DAMERON RECEIVED THE PEARLS AWARD IN 2011 UNDER THE ADVOCATE CATEGORY. Jules Dameron is a filmmaker with a Master’s degree in Film Production from the University of Southern California. Having founded Deaf Women in Film with the sole purpose for supporting, recognizing and helping all deaf women cultivate their careers, she’s also an avid supporter of [....
Wed, Jan 30 2013
Spotlight on Leah Katz-Hernandez
The Pearls Awards LEAH KATZ-HERNANDEZ RECEIVED THE PEARLS AWARD IN 2011 UNDER THE ADVOCATE CATEGORY. Ms. Leah Beth Katz-Hernandez was born in Hartford, Connecticut in 1987. She is of Mexican, Japanese, and Jewish heritage. She attended American School for the Deaf, mainstreamed at a public school, and graduated from Maryland School for the Deaf in 2005. Her first public service [.....
Wed, Jan 23 2013
Spotlight on Erica Hossler
The Pearls Awards ERICA HOSSLER RECEIVED THE PEARLS AWARD IN 2011 UNDER THE HIDDEN PEARL CATEGORY. You will be lucky to catch Erica Hossler at your first glimpse if you can. She is always on the go, just like her mother who set an example to be an avid activist in Deaf Community. Hailing from Indiana, her hearing family discovered the [...]
Wed, Jan 23 2013
Spotlight on Claudia Gordon
The Pearls Awards CLAUDIA GORDON RECEIVED THE PEARLS AWARD IN 2011 UNDER THE FIRST-OF/FOUNDER CATEGORY. Claudia Gordon, the first Black deaf female attorney in the U.S., has been an advocate for people with disabilities since high school. It was her desire to address societal barriers faced by people with disabilities that motivated her to pursue a legal education and [...]
Tue, Jan 08 2013
Spotlight on Michelle Banks
The Pearls Awards MICHELLE BANKS RECEIVED THE PEARLS AWARD IN 2011 UNDER THE ARTIST CATEGORY. CAPTIONS ARE AVAILABLE. CLICK ON PLAY THEN LOOK FOR THE CC BUTTON. Michelle Banks is a native of Washington, DC, an award winning actress, writer, director, producer, choreographer, and teacher. Founder/Artistic Director of Onyx Theatre Company (1989-2000). Her television/movie appearances: ...
Thu, Dec 27 2012
Spotlight on Gertrude Galloway
The Pearls Awards GERTRUDE GALLOWAY RECEIVED THE PEARLS AWARD IN 2011 UNDER THE FIRST-OF/FOUNDER CATEGORY. Gertrude Galloway was born in Washington, DC to Deaf parents, along with two deaf siblings, she attended Kendall School, and then graduated from Gallaudet College with BA degree in Education in 1951. Known as Gertie, she got married and had three children. She was an [...]
Thu, Dec 27 2012
Spotlight on TL Forsberg
The Pearls Awards TL FORSBERG RECEIVED THE PEARLS AWARD IN 2011 UNDER THE ARTIST CATEGORY. TL Forsberg is a Canadian-born singer, actor and fashion stylist who’s art and life story was recently featured in “See What I’m Saying.” As a singer who uses sign language and fashion in her music, TL and her band “The Kriya Project”, were chosen to perform [...]
Thu, Dec 20 2012
Spotlight on Amy Edwards
The Pearls Awards AMY EDWARDS RECEIVED THE PEARLS AWARD IN 2011 UNDER THE ARTIST CATEGORY. CAPTIONS ARE AVAILABLE. CLICK ON PLAY THEN LOOK FOR THE CC BUTTON. Amy Edwards was born in Jakarta, Indonesia. When she was 5 years old, she fell in love with Walt Disney Animation, and Cinderella in particular. Seeing the singing mice and birds create Cinderella’s [...]
Wed, Dec 05 2012
Spotlight on Marcella M. Meyer
The Pearls Awards MARCELLA M. MEYER RECEIVED THE BLACK PEARL AWARD IN 2011. Advocate, Leader, Warrior, Trailblazer, Mentor – many of the words used to describe Marcella M. Meyer (1925-2009). She was all of these and more. Born in 1925 in Kansas City, Missouri, she became deaf at the age of six from Scarlet Fever. Life in those days was not easy [...]
Mon, Nov 19 2012
How to Nominate a Deaf Woman
The Pearls Awards For instructions on how to nominate a Deaf woman to be considered as a Pearl, please watch the video below. Closed Captions are available for the non-signers. The Pearls Awards is to recognize Deaf women across America who have excelled in their chosen field. A business owner, advocate, artist, writer, educator, and lawyer are classic examples. In [...]
Mon, Oct 29 2012
Eyes of The Pearls Poem
The Pearls Awards WRITTEN BY JESSICA BALDI The pearl, a gem inside its chiseled exterior, Like an oyster, with its shell using as an armor Bravely defeated the invincible and shamelessly out came Into the light, we see the face of a woman How beautiful she stood How certain she looked The pearl, the gem, the woman With [...]
Thu, Oct 25 2012
The Pearls Affair – 1st Strand
The Pearls Awards While we are in the middle of planning the logistics and accepting nominations for the second strand of The Pearls, here are the details of our first one. The first strand of The Pearls occurred in Studio City, California on June 4, 2011. PART I: REFLECTING To this day, the event is still reeling in my head. [...]
Thu, Oct 25 2012
The Pearls’ Vision
The Pearls Awards CAPTIONS ARE AVAILABLE. PLEASE TURN IT ON. More than one year ago was when The Pearls happened. The event was to honor Deaf women across America in their professions. BUT how did the whole idea and vision get started? It started many years ago when I sat on the couch watching TV. While flipping the [...]
Thu, Oct 25 2012
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