2020 ECOC Summit--Keep Moving Forward

January 18, 2020

Colorado College

Now Accepting Proposals to present at 


Below are the 2019 presenters.


EVELINA GAINA-2019 Presenter

Oh the stories Evelina could tell you...

A woman of many talents, Evelina Gaina is an actress, an entrepreneur, an event pl

Her acting stint hasn’t stopped there. Her one-woman show has taken off to a growinanner, a storyteller, a teacher, and a director.  Romanian born, American raised, Evelina  first broke into the acting scene at DeafWest Theatre and got into onstage acting for several local productions before landing her first television role in CBS’s “Cold Case” in 2008, and then appearing in “Night Sky” in 2009. 

 In 2010, she appeared in an American Sign Language (ASL) Films production, "Black Sand,” featuring four students on a suspenseful Spring Break in Costa Rica.

 Oh the stories she could tell you...

Evelina calls the City of Angels, Los Angeles, her home: the place where all stories are born, created and adapted. She has also founded EG Entertainment, which hosted three successful years of Red Carpet events featuring ASL Films production. She also has a channel on YouTube featuring fun peeks of her worldwide adventures.

Oh the stories!

When Evelina is not on stage or on screen acting or coordinating, she can be found teaching college students at California State University, Northridge. And finally, in her free time if she has any, she enjoys surfing, painting, snowboarding, exploring, traveling, and spending time with her family and friends.

For more stories about Evelina, see her website, www.evelinagaina.com


Victor Woods- 2019 Presenter

Victor Woods is a nationally recognized speaker & has appeared on CNN, ABC News, C-Span, & BET. In addition, his autobiography, A Breed Apart is published by Simon & Schuster. A TV series depicting his life story is currently being adapted by Warner Bros. Studios, Hollywood, CA


Willy Wilkinson- 2019 Presenter

Willy Wilkinson, MPH is an award-winning writer, public health consultant, cultural competency trainer, public speaker, and spoken word performer. He is the author of the Lambda Literary Award-winning book Born on the Edge of Race and Gender: A Voice for Cultural Competency, which illuminates trans experience from a Chinese American and mixed heritage perspective, and transforms the memoir genre into a cultural competency tool. Willy conducts a high volume of LGBTQ training for educators and providers, and presents annually at the California Teachers Association conference. He is the recipient of a National Lesbian and Gay Journalists Association Award, and the Transgender Law Center Vanguard Award, and is recognized on the Trans 100. He lives in Oakland, California with his three vibrant, young kids. Learn more at www.willywilkinson.com.


Tay Anderson- 2019 Presenter

Tay Anderson is a proud union member in Aurora Public Schools serving the Hinkey High School community. Recently he was the Student Activities Coordinator at Manual High School, and a 1st grade paraeducator at University Park Elementary.

In 2017 he became the youngest person in the history of Colorado to seek public office. He attends Metropolitan State University - Denver where he studies education. He aims to be a history teacher in Denver Public Schools, because he believes in staying entrenched in his roots and his city. He has continuously dedicated his time to the students of the Denver Metro Area, because he understands that every student is bigger than the narrative told about them.

He has proudly served the Democratic Party in many roles, such as a State Central Committeeman for House District 9, he served as the Chair of the Colorado High School Democrats and now he is the High School and College Outreach Coordinator for the Denver Young Democrats. Tay also has policy experience in the Colorado House of Representatives serving as a legislative aide to State Representative Jovan Melton from House District 41.

Tay passionately believes in and participates in social activism. He has taken a stand to support women’s rights, African American rights, Latinx rights, LGBTQ+ rights, Indigenous rights, Muslim rights, and disabled persons’ rights. He has participated in numerous public demonstrations as well as conversations and meetings with school district leaders,state leaders, and members of congress on social activism.

In March of 2018 Tay was elected to serve as the President of Never Again - Colorado an organization that aims to end gun violence in schools. This organization was responsible for the March for Our Lives event that turned out over 130,000 people. He recently resigned to allow more young people to step up and lead and is now the Director of Outreach for Students Demand Action - Colorado.

The passion and perseverance he has comes from his grandmother a retired educator of 35 years, who has spent the last six years in the hospital. It has been devastating for Tay not to have her watch him grow and accomplish his goals, but he carries her spirit  through the lessons she has taught him.



By day, I work as a policy analyst at 350.org. By night, I write.

You can find my writing in The Guardian, The Nation, The Paris Review, CBC, Vice, Pacific Standard, JacobinFusionHuffPostIndian Country Today, The Marshall ProjectSalonHigh Country News, Canadian Geographic, Frontier Magazine, World Policy Journal and other publications. I am a contributing editor at Canadian Geographic and have appeared as a commentator on Marketplace, CBC, Al Jazeera, TVO, France 24 and Fusion TV.

My feature on The Tribal Canoe Journey was nominated for a National Magazine Award. I wrote the foreword to the Indigenous Peoples Atlas of CanadaDevelopmentthe journal of the Society for International Development, published my work on the role of Indigenous peoples in combatting climate change, and I was invited to consult for the forthcoming UN Committee on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights' general comment on land rights.

The belief that Indigenous peoples can contribute to understanding and solving the world's most pressing challenges inspires my writing and gives strength to my voice. I am currently leading a grassroots effort to bring an Indigenous canoe journey to the San Francisco Bay in 2019 to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the 1969 Alcatraz occupation.

I studied history at Columbia University and the University of Oxford, where I was a Clarendon scholar. Before turning my time to the climate movement, I was an Urban Fellow in the Commissioner’s Office of the NYC Department of Housing Preservation & Development.

Raised in a single-mother household in Oakland, California, I am a proud member of the Canim Lake Band Tsq'escen and a descendant of the Lil'Wat Nation of Mount Currie.

WAWA- 2019 Presenter

Me...a rapper who happens to be DEAF

Hailing from the landscapes of the DC / MD / VA area, Acclaimed Hip Hop Recording Artist, WAWA, has been hitting the ground running with music with insatiable drive since he first picked up the mic in 2005 and began writing and rhyming at an unstoppable pace. 

When you go to "WAWA's House", you'll be taken to a whole new level of music through DEAF eyes! With 15+ years in the game with no signs of slowing down at all, WAWA's critical reception and positive acclaim has manifested over the years through not only admirable work ethics, but also through a charismatic, diligent original persona and genre that he labels "Dip Hop" (Hip Hop through deaf eyes), a unique sound of audio & imagery that has helped the rising artist garner a growing fanbase that has landed him many opportunities onstage, in the studio, and everything in between that the industry offers.

His rendering of Dip Hop explores Hip Hop in a way where the focus is taking on challenges and educating people about deaf musicians in the hearing world. A pursuit where he hopes to put deaf Recording Artists on the map in the mainstream public interest. Something not only original, but admirable, genuine, and bringing music to a whole new world of audiences of artists where their disadvantage ultimately becomes their biggest one. Something that has strongly showcased WAWA's interest in inspiring to aspire. Even to those who are more challenged to do so.

In 2016, WAWA released his sophomore album "Deaf: So What?!" An album that further explores the pursuit of proving that a disadvantage can be its polar opposite; an album of inspiration for those to understand and pursue music without the sense of hearing. With 2018 around the corner, new music in the works, and more steps towards his ultimate goal of turning a disadvantage into a core strength for someone musically, expect nothing short of amazing in the shortcoming for WAWA as the new year makes its arrival!