DCI: 2005-2006 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: 2005-2006 Awards

The President's Grant for Diversity and Community Initiatives
2005-2006 Grant Recipients

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. Twenty-one proposals were submitted and the following thirteen were selected for funding:

(1) A New Way to Learn Chinese

Dakai Li
Dr. Zhao Hong Han
Dr. James Purpura

In partnership with the TESOL program this project provides a fast-track curriculum, emphasizing Chinese language and cultural knowledge to serve the Columbia University community by offering a way to develop and maintain communicative Chinese proficiency. Courses will be designed for true beginners who have minimal or no background in the subject.

(2) Black History Month Celebration 2006

Leonda Whitaker
Rebekkah Hogan
Yvonne Destin

The Black History Month celebration is an annual event organized by the Black Student Network at Teachers College. The theme is "Remembering the Times. It was chosen not only as a tribute to Black heritage in America, but also as a tribute to the strength and courage demonstrated by the victims of Hurricane Katrina. Highlights of the month long celebration include a Casual Conversation event entitled Spirituality Discussion and Tea (past and present) and a Valentine's Social to encourage healthy relationships. The culmination of the month will be the annual Banquet to honor distinguished members of TC and the Harlem community.

(3) Building Bridges: Creating a Healthy, Supportive and Diverse Community

David Brown
Leonard Maurice Robertson
Doctor Marcus Truth

The Building Bridges promotes inter-group communication, collaboration, and education in a spirit that fosters unity and purpose. This project is comprised of three events. The first event entitled, Laying a Foundation is a weekend of activities designed to build diversity by evaluating and establishing rapport in Whittier Hall. The second event, Building the Bridge: Forging Relationships, will invite Whittier and Lowell residents to a community dinner and discussion. The last event, Crossing the Bridge Together: a Collaborative Project, will include a collaborative project between Whittier and Lowell residents to address concerns of the residents.

(4)The Children and Languages of New York: What Do Teachers and Parents Need to Know?

Jeehyae Chung
Leah Mason

The Conference will gather teachers, educators, parents, and students in order to share and exchange different experiences, viewpoints, and ideas that specifically address issues related to the education of language minority children in the city. The Conference will focus on the education of three language communities- Chinese, Korean, and Spanish. Inviting members of these three communities to merge together to talk about their issues and to listen to the advice of experts in the field. Expected speakers include Dr. Sarah Shin, known for her work with Korean youth, Dr. Danling Fu, who is currently working on a 5-year long project with Chinese speaking students in Chinatown, and Dr. Luis Reyes, who will address the education of Latino youth in New York City.

(5) The Comic Book Project

Dr. Michael Bitz
Dr. Hal Abeles
Department of Arts and Humanities

The Comic Book Project is an art-based literacy initiative hosted by the Department of Arts and Humanities at Teachers College. The project's mission is to help inner-city youths forge an alternative pathway to literacy by engaging them in the process of outlining, sketching, writing, and designing original comic books on a designated theme. The theme for 2005-2006 is Girl Power! Comic books by girls for girls in NYC and beyond.

(6) Education Across the Americas: Connecting Issues, People and Regions: The Latino Diaspora

Juan Carlos Calcagno
Mary Mendenhall
Milagros Nores
Dr. Francisco Rivera-Batiz
Peter Lucas- The Center for Peace Education

The Fourth Annual Education Across the Americas Conference has been planned for March 31st and April 1st, 2006. The event as a whole aims to strengthen the relationship between research and practice through participation of academic communities at Teachers College and Columbia University, as well as, with students, professors, and practitioners from other universities and organizations across the United States, who are engaged, at diverse levels with issues of education in Latin America and with Latino/a populations. This year's conference involves graduate student panels, faculty and guest speaker panels, film screenings, work shops with teachers, and a reception.

(7) Shared Multi-Cultures in Akin Euba's Footsteps: Concert-Lecture on Trans-Cultural Music

Laura Falzon Baldacchino

This concert-lecture is designed to open up the exciting aspect of intercultural music by providing a performative and learning environment that encourages an active interest through participatory forms of expression. The event will include a pre-concert lecture by Professor Akin Euba. Euba, a Nigerian composer and Andrew Mellon Professor of Music at Pittsburgh University, focuses on inter-cultural music arts both in his compositions and academic work. The event will serve as the world premiere of a new composition by the musician and feature new and trans-cultural music by composers who have followed in Professor Euba's footsteps.

(8)Teaching about Conflict, Building towards Peace: A Comparative Forum

Marian Hodgkin
Jed Oppenheim
Adam Voight

The Forum will examine the way in which teaching about conflict can increase our global community's willingness to benefit from diversity and work towards peace. Included in the Forum will be four central elements, all with an interactive, multidisciplinary, and cross-national focus. These four elements include: a panel discussion, workshop, Forum catalogue, and reception. The goal of the Forum and its sponsoring organization is to equip current and future educators with the knowledge and tools to implement components of conflict and peace education into their curricula.

(9)Teachers College Health and Wellness Fair

Peter Casey
Maria Terrana

The goals of the Teachers College Health & Wellness Fair are to educate students about general health information (i.e. physical, mental, hygienic, etc) as well as provide them with available resources throughout the community. Prospective participants, donors, and sponsors that include organizations such as: The American Cancer Society, American Diabetes Association, The Gay Health Advocacy Project, Naked Juice, Equinox Gym & Spa, Uptown Pilates, Comprehensive Breast Center, among many others. The range of prospective & confirmed participants provides services that cut across many communities and their related health concerns.

(10) Teachers College Students for a Cultural Initiative Conference

Matt Carlin
Jessica Hochman

TC Students for a Cultural Studies Initiative is comprised of graduate students representing various programs and departments at Teachers College, who also find common interests in their dedication to research in the area of cultural studies. The TC SCI 2006 conference is designed to recognize the collaborative efforts that have created a unique and valuable academic community at TC and to invite educators in our larger educational community of New York City to make valuable and necessary contributions to that academic community. This year's conference will include three unique elements: an emphasis on dialogue within and across disciplines using cultural studies as a bridge, participation of youth and k-12 educators from the New York City community, and offering workshops where participants many engage in activities around the theory presented at the conference.

(11) Voices Forum

Juana Armenta
Linda Choi
Regine Philippeaux
Debbie Sonu

This initiative stems from a shared experience of isolation and exclusion from a dominant discourse that has been historically normalized in higher education. We believe that retention, as well as recruitment, of ethnic students at Teachers College requires emotional support and a sense of belonging. This forum will serve as an initial attempt to reach out and to provide a support network to bring forth concerns and experiences specific to the schooling experience of ethnic students at Teachers College.

(12) Witt Student Activism Publication and Conference Project

Erick Gordon

The initiative is to disseminate to the Teachers College Community the ongoing work begun as collaboration between students in the Witt Seminar class at DeWitt Clinton High School, Student Press Initiative (SPI,) and Behind the Book. The goal of the Witt Seminar class is to present a student-written publication of activists' profiles at a borough-wide student conference on the power of writing to be held in January at DeWitt Clinton High School. Student Press Initiative, a program designed to develop, foster, and promote writing across the curriculum through student publication, will produce the publication. On February 15th, a panel of student-authors will present this work to the Teachers College Community. Copies of the student publication will be distributed free-of-charge to all that attend the presentation.

(13) Women and Empowerment: Education for the Legal, Political, and Human Rights of Women in Africa and the Diaspora

Leigh L. Graham
Donna Tonini

The African Studies Working Group will host a panel discussion and workshop on women's empowerment in three areas where women often lack the knowledge necessary to act in their own best interests and on their own behalf so as to exercise their rights and realize the freedoms and quality of life they deserve. These areas are the law, politics and education. The event will culminate with a one-hour reception bringing together TC and Columbia-wide faculty and students and members of the local community, to promote networking and dialogue and to celebrate the empowerment of women that is highlighted in TC student research and evident in the success of local organizations that serve the population of African immigrant women.