DCI: 2007-2008 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: 2007-2008 Awards

The President's Grant for Diversity and Community Initiatives

2007- 2008 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. Thirty-one proposals were timely submitted and the following sixteen were selected for funding:

(1). The Eighth Annual Second City International Conference on Disability Studies in Education: Mitigating Exclusion: Building Alliances Toward Inclusive Education Reform in Pedagogy and Policy

Professor Alicia Broderick and Professor Lynne M. Bejoian

Cosponsors: TC – Department of Curriculum and Teaching; City College/CUNY; Long Island University; National Louis University

This conference will explore the politics of exclusion in schools with a view to strengthening alliances between the field of disability studies in education and complementary areas of study and advocacy (i.e., feminist studies, queer studies, critical race studies, and so on) as we continue to agitate for and implement change toward more inclusive policies and practices in public education. The sponsoring organization for this conference is the Disability Studies in Education (DSE) special interest group (SIG) of the American Educational Research Association (AERA). This year the aim is to broaden our alliances in working toward inclusive education reform, by seeking both to build alliances with researchers in complementary areas of study, as well as by seeking the broader input and participation of other constituencies invested in inclusive education reform (i.e. classroom teachers, individuals labeled with disability/disabled people, family members of individuals labeled with disability/disabled people).

(2). TC DocNet 2008 Academic Exchange

Linda Choi

As a group formed for and by current doctoral students at Teachers College, the goal has been to respond to the collective needs and requests of our fellow doctoral students. TC DocNet aims to facilitate interdisciplinary academic conversations across TC programs and departments to build an enriched learning community among part-time and full-time doctoral students, faculty, and alums. This is a continuation of our successful first Academic Exchange last year. The forum was created for the sharing of scholarly interests in a range of educational issues, as well as research experience in different contexts using a spectrum of theories and methodologies outside of our programs.

(3). The Advancing African Diaspora Scholars Project

Sosanya Jones, Leslie Williams, Bianca Baldridge, Professor George Bond

The purpose is to provide doctoral students at Teachers College who are pursuing research on any and all aspects of the African Diaspora (including domestic African American and African issues as well as those pertaining to the international community) an integrative academic and social support system. Participation in the Advancing African Diaspora Scholars Project will be open to all disciplines and research interests related to the Diaspora which will inevitably range from issues pertaining to public policy, health, religion, philosophy, race, ethnicity, cultural relations, assimilation, and acculturation to economic and leadership issues, among many others.

(4). Chinese Culture Festival

Daoquan Li, Di Zhang

The “Chinese Culture Festival” at Teachers College is a new initiative to

"Chinese Culture Festival”, which spans one week from March 30th – April 7th, 2008. Targeting to be a more creative, in-depth and successful event, the “Chinese Culture Festival” will be composed of:

  • “China in Spotlight”-- a week-long exhibition
  • Three China Lectures/Panel Discussions (on the topics of “TC and China”, “Arts in China” and “Travel to China”, respectively)
  • Chinese Culture Night”

(5). Bridging the Gaps: Exploring Race with Student Teachers

Debbie Sonu, Melissa Mullineaux, Juhyung Lee

Cosponsor: Professor Molly Quinn, Dept. of Curriculum and Teaching

Bridging the Gap is a series of events and conversations around urban schooling and student teaching. It emerged from needs expressed specifically by pre-service students enrolled at Teachers College. The goals for this project include:

Bringing student teachers from different programs at TC together in safe spaces to explore constructs of race, class, and identity, as they relate to teaching and education, across disciplines and grade levels.

Connecting with local educators, scholars, practitioners, teacher networks, and non-profit organizations to inform our learning and pedagogy.

Synthesizing our inquiry by compiling a working handbook of critical readings and resources designed to support our future work as teachers committed to children of color.

(6). European Film Festival

Aygul Kabaca

The European Film Festival series is aimed at fostering a knowledge and understanding of Europe within the TC community. The series shows films and hosts intellectual exchanges focusing on the history, political developments and the society of different European countries. After every film screening, a native from the same country as the film, who will also be knowledgeable of the film’s main discussion points, will facilitate a discussion. In the discussions we intend to focus on themes which arise during the movies and related topics. This will include both historical events and their impact on today’s society as well as contemporary European issues, including immigration and equality.

(7). Focusing on the Future/Enfocandose en Nuestro Futuro

Cristina Marquez, Jessica Cruz

This project aims to expose, enrich, and empower underrepresented students by inviting them to attend the first annual “Focusing on the Future/Enfocandose en Nuestro Futuro” program in which TC’s Coalition of Latino/a Scholars students will give presentations about gaining access to a university education. The presentations will focus on college admissions, financial aid, and the costs and benefits of staying in school. A student panel will also answer students’ questions. The goal is twofold. First, to disseminate vital information on preparing for college to students who do not have access/support to college information. Second, to expose middle school and high school students to other successful Latino/a students who like them have accomplished and are pursuing their dreams of receiving an education in order to become productive and responsible citizens in society.

(8). Running Dialogue

Leigh L. Graham, Rob Graham, Sarah Slattery, Staci McGonigal

Cosponsors: Professor George Bond – Center for African Education; The African Studies Working Group; Professor Carol Garber – Dept of Biobehavioral Studies; Professor Fran Vavrus – Dept. of International Transcultural Studies

The goal of Running Dialogue is to bring women’s worlds together through cross-cultural collaborations on issues of health & fitness, education, and technology.

Running Dialogues will hold two events to accomplish this goal:

TC International Women’s Day 5K Race on March 8, 2008 and Running Dialogue International Symposium on April 3, 2008.

In preparation for the run Sudanese women from Ahfad University in Sudan will have built a training period partnership through the internet offering advice, motivation and building friendships. The 2 ½ hour symposium will feature faculty and student panels from Ahfad joining TC faculty and students via live video conferencing. The topic will be women in literary, health, fitness, and technology. The international exchange is about the local and the global.

(9). Asian & Pacific Islander Identity at Teachers College

Andy Chen, Jondou Chen, Naomi Lau, Paul Li, Zahra Lutfeali, Naaz Khan, Manny Prieto, Amita Shah

Asian & Pacific Islander Identity at TC seeks to explore and establish the Asian/Pacific Islander American presence at Teachers College. The purpose is to establish a monthly meeting to explore and establish the Asian/Pacific Islander American presence at TC. Each meeting will be organized around themes such as:

· Who are we? Weaving our individual stories together.

· Who are we (Part II)? Defining ourselves as a student organization, political entity, and social group.

· Back to School? Talking about the APIA academic experience at TC and in general.

· Lunar New Year? Understanding our connections to Asia/the Pacific.

· Platoon or Joy Luck Club or Whale Rider? Deconstructing portrayals of APIA in the media.

· Model Minority or Terrorist/Yellow N-Word/Harold & Kumar/etc? Fighting stereotypes and joining the struggle against race-based oppression.

· Plans for the future? Making the APIA initiatives sustainable.

(10). “Striving for Excellence in Native American Education: Bringing Two Worlds Together”

Elvira Bitsoi Largie, Ph.D., Minority Post-Doc Fellow

Dept. of Orgainzation and Leadership

Cosponsor: Professor Carolyn Riehl – Education Leadership Program

This program provides for American Indian/Native American (AI/NA) educators/leaders to present on NA/AI history and reform, intergovernmental relationships, federalism education, and legislatures and education policy. Following the presentations interactive activities will ensue to promote inter-group communication, collaboration, and education for participants.

(11). Talk To Me, To Know Me: An Inter-Group Dialogue at TC

Kimberley Chandler, Farrah Khan

Cosponsor: Professor Margaret Crocco – Teaching of Social Studies Program

Talk To Me, To Know Me: An Inter-Group Dialogue at Teachers College is a series of six dialogues beginning in November 2007 and ending in April 2008. The series will center on six major issues affecting members of the TC Community such as race/ethnicity, religion, sexual orientation, immigration, disability, and body type/images. The series will be guided by a facilitator, a 3-guest panel, media/film support, and community participation.

The goal of this six-part series of talks is to create a comfortable space for faculty, staff, and students of Teachers College (TC) to discuss issues affecting them as members of the TC Community. A second goal is to initiate a dialogue about issues affecting the faculty, staff, and students as members of the TC Community. A third goal is to create awareness of the issues facing the TC Community members. Finally, an overall goal is to strengthen inter-group communication and community here at TC.

(12). Power on the Ground: Anthropology Applications Education Series

Ariela Zycherman, Riannan Wade, Maria Brodine,

Youngsan Goo, Katie Keenan

Cosponsor: Professor Lambros Comitas

The Society of Anthropological Studies at Teachers College is planning a lecture/ film program this spring entitled “Power on the ground: Anthropology Applications Education Series”. It is a three part series made up of two lectures and one film. The theme of “Power on the Ground” is a response to Teachers College initiatives to draw attention to educational equality and democracy. The program is meant to create an educational forum where students and faculty can listen to each others’ experiences about power and then discuss the broad range of questions that are inspired by what power is, including but not limited to; who it effects, how it effects, what it means, how others react, what it leaves behind, how it manifests itself, how it is visible and how it is hidden.

(13.) Survey of Institutional Diversity for Teachers College:
Teachers College Columbia University: Initiative for Developing a Local Model of Institutional Diversity

Pamela Felder Thompson, Ph.D. – Higher Education Program

The Survey for Institutional Diversity is a two-phase initiative that includes dissemination of a web-based survey to the entire TC community: its faculty, students and administrative staff. Its purpose will be to collect data that will speak to the overall institutional belief system (collective consciousness) about issues of campus climate and diversity. To promote inter-group communication, collaboration and education, the results of this survey will be presented in a TC Community Forum. The Community forum will be an opportunity to discuss the design of the survey, share the most prevalent issues of climate, community and diversity, to discuss recommendations for its continued use, and the development and/or implementation of a local model for institutional community and diversity for Teachers College.

(14). “Strange Fruit”: A History of Lynching in America

Nicole Le Blanc, Marcus Johnson

The initiative, “Strange Fruit”: A History of Lynching in America, is an informative photo exhibit for the TC community. The initiative will provide a visual time-line of the tragic history of lynching in America. The goal is to make aware and educate those within the TC community to the history and significance of lynching. In addition, it is the aim of “Strange Fruit” to open up the dialogue and communication concerning race, racial injustice, and varying human experiences/perspectives amongst administration, faculty, staff and students.

(15). Black and Brown Dialogues

James Alford, Isabel Martinez

Cosponsor: Coalition of Latino/a Scholars (CLS);

Black Student Network (BSN)

The Black-Brown Dialogue addresses issues of cross race communication and coalition building between African-American and Latina/o students at Teachers College. The Black/Brown Coalition Building programs/student forums are aimed at decreasing social distances between groups and to identify those common issues impacted by race and class that have disproportionately oppressed African American, Asian American and Latina/o communities. Furthermore, it is our hope that these forums and workshops might create a shared space for African American and Latina/o students to critically examine the social, political and educational forces that have traditionally wedged the communities a part. Our goals are twofold; to establish methods of coalition building for Black, and Brown students at Teachers Colleges as well as to set in place an effective and healthy dialogue between the groups that will empower them beyond the borders of TC and bring about social change in their communities.

(16). Project EOS: College Conversations

Professor Hope Leichter, Steven Flythe

Cosponsor: Veronica Holly – Institute for Urban & Minority Education
Harlem Children's Zone

Project EOS: College Conversationsis a monthly forum for college-bound high school seniors and their families to discuss issues and challenges related to college. Project EOS (Education, Opportunity and Success) is a week-long comprehensive college preparation program. Project EOS provides participants (high school rising seniors) with a range of information, resources and support as they begin the college application process and make the transition to college. Students work in groups of eight with mentors who facilitate discussions and activities to help students write their personal statements, organize their resumes, create a college selection list and begin their Common Application. The workshops also engage students in discussions to help clarify their own higher education and career goals.