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Welcome our newest Board Members!


After 4 years of planning, evolving, learning and growing, we posted an invitation for community members to apply to be part of our working and serving board. What an amazing turnout of applications. Through our dialogues (not interviews) applicants and board members all answered questions, shared personal passions and got to know one and another. This opportunity resulted in four applicants being extended an invitation to be part of the mission of serving our community through individual and collective leadership.



ID: A GIF that has a person who is using sticks to drum. White words spell drumroll!



CONGRATULATIONS to all four! We are now a team of 8. Meet the 4 who made us 8!


Meet Nae Smith-Williams: (She, Her, Hers)

ID: A black person with long black hair, wearing a white shirt. She has braces, and is wearing a necklace. She is smiling at the camera. The background is pink.

Nae's words:

I am so honored to be on the serving and giving board! “Alone, we can do so little; together, we can do so much” written by Helen Keller. This quote sounds like a perfect representation of Deaf Equity!





Meet Riss Leitzke: (They/Them/Theirs)

Image description: A white person with short blonde/brown hair, rounded glasses and has a white/red cane on top of their head. Riss is smiling at the camera. Riss is wearing a dark black/grey shirt with white designs going across.


Riss's words:

I joined Deaf Equity because I wanted to build connections with minority communities, such as BIPOC, LGBT+, and DeafBlind and to grow become a better supporter of all communities.








Meet Jer Loudenback: (He/Him/His)

ID: A white person with white facial hair, mustache and beard. Jer is wearing glasses and smiling at the camera. He is wearing a plaid black and white button up long sleeve shirt. In the background there are full trees and snow on the ground.

Jer's words:

After my longtime hiatus of being a community volunteer in my adult life, I saw the opportunity to join Deaf Equity’s wonderful team and share my experience and expertise!





Meet Kaitlyn Mielke: (She/Her/Hers)

ID: Kaitlyn, a white woman with long brown hair grins at the camera. She wears a black dress with a dark blue jean jacket over it. Behind her are trees with the sunlight peeking through the branches.

Kaitlyn's words:

"I look forward to being part of the Deaf Equity team and seeing our community grow stronger through collaborations to bring out the best within everyone involved."







Join us in congratulating these inspiring humans joining Deaf Equity and ready to serve our community through their unique experiences and talents that they bring to our overall team.

Stay tuned for an upcoming Meet and Greet with our newest team members!


With Gratitude, Deaf Equity team


Nae Williams-Smith

Jessalyn Akerman-Frank

Riss Leitzke

Krissy Foreman

Kaitlyn Mielke

Migdalia Rogers

Jer Loudenback

John Fechter


FB: Deaf Equity

Instagram: Deaf Equity


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