She’s proof that representation matters!
Justina Miles made history earlier this year when she became the first deaf woman ASL interpreter to perform at the Super Bowl. The Philadelphia native performed during the pre-show, signing “Lift Every Voice and Sing” alongside Sheryl Lee Ralph. She then returned for the halftime show, going viral for her ASL rendition of Rihanna’s “BBHMM.”
"It's an important moment not only for me to share this experience with the whole world but to really bring that empowerment to millions and millions of Black deaf people all over the country who've never really seen that before. I feel that is truly lifting every voice, even my voice," Miles told reporters at the time.
Now the Bowie State University nursing student is making headlines again, this time for landing the cover of British Vogue’s May 2023 issue, CBS News reports. Next month’s Vogue cover “celebrates a new vanguard of disabled talent,” said British Vogue. Miles has made the cover alongside little person Sinead Burke and Ellie G., a model and down syndrome awareness advocate. Miles is seen on the cover looking regal in a red strapless dress.
“Dynamic, Daring, & Disabled. It is time the world knows, understands, and embraces us - people of all colors, shapes, and abilities. I am my undying potential. My community WILL leave behind a legacy,” Miles captioned the cover photo on social media.
She said she’s honored to have this opportunity but Miles isn’t necessarily new to raising awareness. She was the valedictorian at the Model Secondary School for the Deaf in Washington, D.C. Miles has also traveled the country performing ASL renditions at a number of concerts, first going viral in 2020 for her rendition of Lil Kim’s “Crush On You,” posted to her TikTok.
The tik tok girls are really killing it wow 😍😍😍 pic.twitter.com/welUGDK3ba— LawToya 🦁 (@ToyaRochelle) May 3, 2020
She previously said that she wanted to be an inspiration to others, joining other young advocates like Nakia Smith who are using social media to raise awareness about Black ASL. Well now Miles is surely on her way by landing an international magazine cover. We know this is only the beginning for what she will do and we are so excited about her future.
Cover photo: HBCU student and deaf ASL interpreter Justina Miles graces cover of British Vogue/Photo Courtesy of Adama Jalloh/British Vogue/Justina Miles/Instagram