This week’s recommendation comes from:

Laurie Speranzo

Laurie Speranzo 

Mathematics Fellow 

Laurie says, “Prior to joining the IFL, I was a math coach in NYC and was privileged to work with then-elementary educator Lauren Ridloff! To see this Black-Mexican deaf woman join the Marvel Universe as the first deaf superhero on the big screen, gives space and representation and inspiration to many!”

Lauren Ridloff on playing the MCU’s first deaf superhero

Jake Coyle

“Working as a kindergarten teacher, let me tell you, they are a tough audience. I had to be engaging. I had to tell these beautiful stories. That’s the only way that you keep them engaged. I think that’s where I developed my acting powers.” – actress Lauren Ridloff

Former kindergarten teacher Lauren Ridloff has done what no deaf actor has before—played the role of a superhero in Marvel’s Eternals. As a woman of color, Ridloff plays the character of Makkari, who was depicted as a white hearing male in the comics. In the film, deafness is seen as an advantage that makes her stronger. Ridloff said that initially she was terrified and overwhelmed with being the first and only deaf superhero. But one day while jogging, she realized when she started talking about herself using “I” pronouns, she was allowing people to relate to and identify with her, which made her more comfortable in her role.


Also check out an interview with Ridloff on Good Morning America here: