Who would have thought that in 2005, a Miss Deaf USA competition, spearheaded by Bonita Leek, in Las Vegas, NV would inspire the initiation of an international event where countless young women from around the world would compete to become a part of the first Miss Deaf International (MDI)!
In early 2005, Adam Smith discovered the Miss Deaf World Pageant, which was located in Prague, Czech. The 2005 Miss Deaf USA winner was the first USA participant in this competition. At this event, Bonita Leek met with Pageant Directors from different countries. They expressed their desire to initiate and host a similar pageant in the USA as well as in other countries.
As countless world-wide fans have waited and anticipated, this home-grown contest has evolved into the powerful and inspiring Miss Deaf International, Inc., which advances and supports opportunities for young deaf women. Now, every participant country has the opportunity to host this world event.
As countless hours were spent in planning and developing Miss Deaf International, Inc, a golden opportunity knocked at our door in the spring of 2009. Deaf Nation, who believed in us, granted us permission to concurrently host our international event in conjunction with Deaf World Expo in July, 2010.
From the July 2010 experience, we saw the great need for a Festival to appreciate the artists, fashion designers, musicians, dancers, performances, and comedians. We incorporated the first Festival event in conjunction with Miss Deaf International pageant. Additionally, we will include three different pageants, Miss Deaf Euro, Miss Deaf South America, and Miss Deaf Asia.
Within the past few months, we have gathered an outstanding and accomplished pageant support team to make the first Miss Deaf International Pageant a memorable event. Additionally, we are fortunate to have an energetic team of Miss Deaf International, Inc. Our International Coordinator, Kasia Galasiewicz, was remarkable in recruiting ladies from all over world and spreading the word of the Miss Deaf International Pageant to participate in Orlando, Florida in July of 2011.
During a meeting in Orlando, Florida, we agreed to include a Mister Deaf international. The pageant name reflects the addition to the Miss Deaf International and is now the Miss & Mister Deaf International, Inc.
In July of 2012, we hosted MMDI 2012 in Ankara, Turkey. It was a marvelous experience to have the Ankara Deaf club to volunteer and it made the pageant possible and awesome.
We will continue to host MMDI at International sites.
We will have savvy, goal-orientated contestants from all over the world competing to advance their personal, educational, career, and humanitarian goals. These women and men of character seek to improve their own lives as well as the lives and goals of others.