DCI: 2004-2005 Awards

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The Office of the Vice President for Diversity and Community Affairs

The Vice President's Grant for Diversity & Community Initiatives (DCI)

DCI: 2004-2005 Awards

The Committee for Community and Diversity is pleased to announce the recipients of The President's Community and Diversity Grant Fund. The grant fund provides financial support to projects that foster interactive, inter-group communication, collaboration and educational programming with an emphasis on diversity and/or community. Thirty proposals were submitted (double last year's submissions) and the following thirteen were selected for funding:

(1) Vote or Veto: It's Your Voice

Soldanela Rivera, Shawn Bayer and Elyse Buxbaum
Student Advocates for the Arts
Co-Sponsor: Joan Jeffri, Director, Program in Arts Administration, TC

Student Advocates for the Arts empowers and represents student voices. The 2004 Presidential Election Year is a pivotal time to raise our collective voice - to influence legislation and policy affecting the arts and the future of public arts funding. SAA provides an educational platform that reaches out to a diverse national network of student and alumni communities. This conference is an extension of our mission and promises to unite speakers from varied professional, political, and artistic backgrounds with a cross-section of students representing academic, geographic, and ethnic diversity. This initiative is designed to educate future cultural leaders in the political process and in the integral power this process has in affecting the arts.

(2) Political Empowerment and the African American Community

Melanie Jones
Black Student Network Executive Board

The Black Student Network (BSN) is sponsoring a symposium on February 2, 2004 at TC. BSN has invited guest speaker Dr. Lawrence Hanks, Associate Professor of Political Science at Indiana University and former Chair of the Political Science department at Tuskegee University. The symposium will begin with a forty-five minute lecture given by Professor Hanks, with a brief question and answer period. The second half of this symposium will consist of a panel discussion, followed by dialogue between audience participants and the selected panel. A reception will follow. These events are organized in collaboration with Student Life, TC Office of Room Assignments, Facilities and Sage Hall Dining Services. Literature of diverse interests from community and campus organizations unable to present will be made available outside the auditorium.

(3) Conference on Computer Education in Africa

Khaitsa Wasiyo
Department of Organization and Leadership

The Computer Education in Africa conference seeks to mobilize the technological, entrepreneurial and professional expertise and resources of the African Diaspora to discuss how to overcome key obstacles; to discuss what is not working, and what is working. The conference includes a workshop on three case studies for computer education in Africa. These will provide the audience with the key practices to keep in mind when implementing computer education programs in the developing countries. The objective is to build a network of professionals in North America and Europe who will contribute to promoting digital opportunities in Africa.

(4) Education Across the Americas, 2nd Annual Conference: Bridging Latinos & Latin America.

Julieta GarcíHamilton and Milagros Nores
Association of Latin American Students (ALAS)
Co-Sponsors: Society for International Education; Society for Economics & Education; Center for Peace Education

This will involve four main types of activities: student panels, professor and guest speaker panels, a movie and a round table discussion with representatives of local NGOs and/or international funding agencies. The activities are planned for March 26th and 27th, 2004. The conference aims to strengthen cross community and academic boundaries through the participation of the academic communities at TC and Columbia University as well as students, professors and practitioners in other universities and organizations in New York City. They will strive to attract participants who are engaged, at diverse levels, with issues of education in Latin America and with Latino/a populations in the United States.

(5) Sexuality and Difference in a World We Dare to Imagine: A Conference

Scott Howe

With the intent to meaningfully address these concerns from the basis of our diverse experiences and unified vision of an equal and just community, Queer TC has identified three questions as distinct, yet complementary issues. These issues will be explored through a Saturday afternoon conference at the College in the Spring of 2004. Three keynote speakers, who will charge the attendees to address each of the three questions above, will lead this conference. In smaller groups, participants will discuss the implications of the speakers' messages for their specific disciplines and careers. This in turn will lead to the creation of an action plan for bringing awareness and reform into our classrooms and workplaces. With the participants' permission, their action plans will be published on the QueerTC Website, which will serve as a resource for TC students, alumni, and the broader community of educators that the College reaches.

(6) Afro-Brazilian Art and Culture Series

Rosse Mary Taveras Gamboa
Society for International Education (SIE)
Co-Sponsors: Society for International Education; African Students Working Group; Coalition of Latino Scholars

The multi-cultural event will be divided into a three-day weekend series scheduled for late April 2004. The goal of the event is to engage students, faculty, staff at TC/Columbia University's graduate and undergraduate departments and beyond by exposing this community to a weekend series on Afro-Brazilian art and culture. The series will include: an art exhibit of paintings and photographs, two Brazilian documentaries, a musical production, a sacred dance and drumming workshop and lecture/panel discussion on Northeastern Brazilian art and culture with invited scholars from Brazil. Both Ethnomusicologist Emilia Biancardi, and Dona Cici, from Pierre Verger Foundation are from the region of Salvador Bahia, Brazil. The grant will fund the art exhibition.

(7) Educational Policy and Research that Makes a Difference

Jason Willis, Elizabeth Rigby, Heather Schwartz, and Professor Jeff Henig
Politics & Education Program
Co-Sponsors: Professor Jay Heubert and Professor Hank Levin

This on-going roundtable series will be held four times this academic year and will be open to all TC students, faculty, and alumni interested in discussing the potential of educational policymaking to improve conditions in schools across the country. Each roundtable will feature one invited speaker (primarily selected among the domestic and international policy experts within the Teachers College community) who will contribute his or her unique perspective to a common set of thematic questions. These questions will address what he or she considers crucial education policy or policy issues, the skills and competencies needed to affect educational policy, and the individual's professional experiences aimed at improving educational conditions across the country. The four invited speakers will be chosen to represent the diversity of the education policy field (e.g., domestic and international). Across the four roundtable sessions, each speaker will respond to the same thematic questions and structure in order to provide an on-going discussion that cuts across individual perspectives and experiences. This allows for an analysis of the policy and education field, its future directions and how emerging leaders at Teachers College can best contribute to the debates and dilemmas facing the field.

(8) Rehumanize: A Conversation between Iraq and the U.S.

Kristin Brenneman Eno and Cyra Levenson
Peace Education Center / Rehumanize

This event will take place to commemorate the first anniversary of the war in Iraq, on Saturday, March 20, 2004, and would consist of four parts: (1) Viewing of Bridge to Baghdad I and II, by Downtown Community Television. This presents a casual dialogue between a group of young adults in New York City, and a similar group in Baghdad, speaking to each other via satellite, in both March and May, 2003, about the impending war, then about the war that just happened. Interspersed with the conversation is an ongoing look at Baghdad itself, from a uniquely "real-life" vantage point, rarely seen in the mainstream media. The participants on both sides ask raw and thought-provoking questions, and they say things that are uncannily similar to each other, revealing that they share the common bond of humanity that reaches beyond their nations' current struggle. (2) Presentation by and discussion with Jon Alpert, director/producer of these films, and founder of DCTV. (3) Presentation of the Rehumanize Memorial Quilt Project: We will show the website and give a brief theoretical framework and history of this project. (4) Whole-group Quilting Bee, in which each participant chooses a name from those who have died in the conflict and sews a quilt square together to memorialize that person.

(9) Second Annual Holiday Book Drive for North General Hospital's Pediatric Division

Stephania Vu
TC Student Senate

This book drive links two great Harlem institutions, Teachers College and North General, in an initiative to improve both health and literacy This initiative sends a powerful message to the community that we see ourselves as part of the solution to many of the problems that our neighbors encounter, such a pediatric asthma and under-performing schools. It also gives our students, many of whom who are not from New York, an opportunity to perform a valuable public service to our neighbors. It is also hoped that by building a relationship with North General Hospital the college will develop improved ties with our neighbors. Books will be collected in late November until the end of fall 2003 classes as part of a holiday book drive.

(10) Spring Gala

Stephania Vu
TC Student Senate

The end-of-the-year Spring Gala will be held on Thursday, April 24, 2004 at 7:00 p.m. The event will be open to all TC faculty, staff, administration, and students as well as invited guests. The evening will begin with entertainment by TC/Columbia students. This event may be either business/formal or semi-formal. During dinner, there will also be student musicians performing either classical or jazz music. The night will end with dancing provided by a band or disk jockey. The night will feature an awards portion possibly for a professor, staff member, and administrator of the year.

(11) The World Bank as International Educational Institution: Fix it or Nix it? and Launch of newsletter "Africa: International Education in Focus"

Andria Wisler, Mikaila Brown, and Maud Seghers
African Studies Working Group (ASWG)
Co-Sponsors: Professor Frances Vavrus; Tonya Homan - Society for International Education; Aleesha Taylor - CICE; Fida Adeley - Economics and Political Development Program

The professors invited as presenters for this conference speak to different audiences, as they are diverse in their academic backgrounds (i.e., anthropology, economics, social psychology) as well as geographic areas of specialization (Africa, Latin America, Asia). A student will moderate the panel and opportunities for such broad interaction are still rare at the College and deserve to be promoted. The panel discussion is, thus, a means to strengthen the campus-wide learning community and to forge and deepen lines of communication among numerous departments.

The newsletter aims specifically to establish linkages among issues of education, public health and social work, political governance and gender. As such, a primary goal is the promotion of inter-group communication among Africanists at Teachers College, the Mailman School of Public Health, the School of Social Work, Barnard and SIPA. Moreover, the newsletter will be distributed to other universities with the goal of instituting collaboration across academic communities. More particularly, ASWG also aims to use the newsletter to revitalize the historical ties of the College with scholars in Africa.

(12) Learning with Community: A Teachers College Interdisciplinary Forum on Community participation in Education

Tamo Chattopadhay and Tony Jenkins
Peace Education Center

The event's central idea is to create a TC community-wide dialogue around the theme of the participation of communities (of neighborhoods, cities, towns, national and international communities as well as other less formal social networks) in the educational process of their children. The proposed format for this even is a half-day poster session, followed by a panel of speakers. Students as well as faculty members whose works are presented will be requested to be present at their ?poster locations' at times convenient for them to answer questions of the viewers. The panel discussion will be conducted in more of a roundtable format to facilitate the interchange and intersection of ideas and approaches.

(13) Working Conference: Interrupting Oppression & Sustaining Justice

Professor Peter T. Coleman
International Center for Cooperation & Conflict Resolution

This conference will take place at Teachers College on February 27-28, 2004. The conference is part of a continuing program of the International Center for Cooperation and Conflict Resolution (ICCCR) to develop initiatives that address systemic injustice and destructive conflicts at the group, community, national, and global levels. It will be followed by a continuing seminar devoted to producing a book largely based on the conference. This continuing seminar will also be focused on such next steps as assessing how useful the intellectual frameworks developed at this first conference are for community and political activists as well as policy-makers.