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On April 11-13, I had the pleasure of attending and presenting at the National Black Speech-Language-Hearing Association's (NBASLH) annual convention in Raleigh, NC.

I presented a roundtable discussion with Dr. Kyomi Gregory-Martin (we really make such a good team) on African American English language assessment and treatment. In this discussion, we sat in a circle and shared concerns, ideas, and perspectives on everything from working with teachers, to what does it really mean to be "penalized" for not speaking Mainstream/General American English.

Two Black women smiling together.
Dr. Kyomi Gregory-Martin and I preparing for our roundtable AAE discussion.

And then at 8am on Friday, (whew!) Vicki Deal-Williams, ASHA CEO, and I presented on the Myth of the 8%. To summarize, there are many who read the statistic of 8% (now 9%) as the total amount of how many members of the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association (ASHA) identify as an underrepresented racial or ethnic minority.

Not true.

That statistic does not take into account those who may identify as Hispanic/Latina/Latino/Latinx/Of Spanish origin, or those who do not select a race category because their option is not available. All people of color are not included in the mythical 8%.

We've recently modified our demographic categories to better reflect our members' identities. Filling out your demographic information for ASHA is always optional, but when you do, we can better allocate our resources, determine if we are making progress in increasing our membership diversity, provide more accurate info for grant submissions and much more.

Three Black women smiling for a picture in front of a powerpoint.
Me, Karen Beverly-Ducker, and Vicki Deal-Williams after presenting on the Myth of the 8%.

To make sure we are doing our best to accurately identify who makes up ASHA membership, we encourage you to "Tell us who you are!"

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