DCI: 2008-2009 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: 2008-2009 Awards

The President's Grant for Diversity and Community Initiatives

2008 - 2009 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. Numerous proposals were timely submitted and the following thirteen were selected for funding:

(1) Inclusion, Collaboration, and Engagement

Katharine Keenan, Jeffrey Schiffer, Lauren Click, and Stephen Tippett

Co-Sponsor: Society for Anthropological Studies, Professor Lambros Comitas

“Inclusion, Collaboration, and Engagement” is a series of events that will include a lecture, a panel discussion, and a film, all focusing on “hot topics” in anthropology. The series will host Professor Nadia Abu El-Haj of Barnard College who will lecture on archaeological practices in Israel as a form of nation-building. A panel discussion will be devoted to anthropological practice in war zones as it is pertinent to current U.S. Army practices in Iraq and Afghanistan. Finally, the film Born into Brothels will be shown and discussed in the context of HIV/AIDS and at-risk sexual practices in developing countries. The focus of all of these events echoes the program of the American Anthropological Association’s annual conference, and will revolve around different forms of collaboration and different methods of presenting themes with the hope of promoting cultural understanding.

(2) Second Annual Asian and Pacific Islander Faculty Meet and Greet

Jondou Chen and Shirley Duong

Co-Sponsor: Asian Pacific Islander American Initiative, Office of Student Activities and Programs

The 2nd Annual Asian and Pacific Islander Faculty Meet and Greet is designed to cross community boundaries, promote inter-group communication, collaboration, and education, while highlighting the fact that there remains a limited Asian political presence on campus. The Asian Pacific Islander American Initiative hopes to replicate last year’s successful Meet and Greet where over 100 faculty and students from various Asian backgrounds came together to meet one another.

(3) Rock Milbank! TC Battle of the Bands

Professor Randall E. Allsup, Program in Music and Music Education

Co-Sponsor: Department of Music and Music Education

“Rock Milbank! TC Battle of the Bands” will be a live concert that will feature original composition by TC music majors. Intended as a celebration to mark the end of the school year, this event is the culmination of the work of a two-semester course on creativity, democracy, and music education. This fun-filled event will be open to TC and Columbia community members, and will hopefully serve to bring together the larger Columbia community.

(4) Community Symposium on Teaching English Language Learners in Public Schools

Thao Tran and Yi-Sheng Lin

Co-Sponsor: Quality Teaching Partnership for English Language Learners Program

The Community Symposium on Teaching English Language Learners in Public Schools will gather educators, professionals, and students at TC in an all-day symposium to share and exchange experiences and ideas specifically addressing issues related to the education of English Language Learner students in the public schools, particularly in New York City. The symposium will foster a dialogue between educators from different specializations about challenges and methods of teaching and working with English Language Learners, discuss lessons and best practices in hope of incorporating them into classrooms, provide meaningful information to mainstream and content area teachers regarding English Language Learners, and to promote a collaborative initiative at TC to build a linguistically conscious learning community. The symposium is open to all members of TC who are interested in learning more about teaching English Language Learners and/or meeting teachers with similar goals.

(5) Workshop Series in Peace Education

Maria-Jose Bermeo and Chris Westcott

Co-Sponsor: Peace Education Network (PEN)

This workshop series is designed to explore both the pedagogical traditions and issues within the field of Peace Education; and to create a space for practitioners, academics, and activists within and beyond Columbia University to come together to share ideas, and to build relationships and community around the broadly defined field of Peace Education. Three to five events will be hosted in the winter and spring, featuring prominent guest speakers from local and global communities; workshops will also emphasize interactive skill-based trainings in popular education and Theater of the Oppressed.

(6) The Critical Conversations Coffeehouse

Jor-El Caraballo and Jondou Chen

Co-Sponsor: A.P.I.A. Initiative, TC Jewish Student Association, Queer TC, Coalition of Latino/a Scholars

The Critical Conversations Coffeehouse is designed to create a safe space to discuss the often side-stepped issues of diversity and community. Participants in these coffeehouses can be free to express themselves while committing to being challenged by alternative perspectives. Each CCC will focus on a particular topic – race, sexual identity, gender, religion, class, able-ism, political parties – and will begin with a casual meet and mingle with refreshments, followed by a facilitated conversation regarding a shared resource (video, song, poem, brief reading). The CCC seeks to balance, in the words of Emily Style, “the textbooks on the shelves and the textbooks of ourselves.”

(7) Human Dignity and Diversity: Celebrating Human Rights (an SIE Film Festival)

Hakim Williams and Dina Lopez

Co-Sponsor: Society for International Education

“Human Dignity and Diversity: Celebrating Human Rights” will be a one week festival using the art of film to celebrate the unalienable dignity of every member of our community. Each night will feature one film representing different parts of the world, and the directors/screenwriters/film representatives will be invited to present for a Q&A segment immediately following the film. The film festival will not only be a celebration of diversity, but a call to tackle, reflect upon, and eventually act on some of the most pressing contemporary issues relating to Human Rights.

(8) “Unifying South Asian Education”: a Roundtable and Networking Conference

Dr. Ameena Ghaffar-Kucher, Lauren Connolly, Maham Mela, Robert

Sepeda, Sarah Usmani

“Unifying South Asian Education” will be a half-day roundtable and networking conference that seeks to bring together and foster dialogue among current and future leaders, policy makers, practitioners, academics, and students interested in educational issues in South Asia. This event will also serve as a showcase of student research focusing on educational issues within various South Asian countries as a way to bridge different geographical and cultural boundaries within academia and policy making. U.S.-based representatives from a small group of non-governmental organizations (NGOs) that work with South Asia will be invited to present on their organization’s mission and projects.

(9) Fun Ways to Support Your Child with Reading & Writing

Jane Bean-Folkes

Co-Sponsor: Teachers College Reading and Writing Project

“Fun Ways to Support Your Child with Reading and Writing” is a series of workshops for all support staff and faculty members who wish to learn how to interact with their children around literacy. The goal is to foster conversation with parents and care-givers at TC by bringing a cross section of the community together. The workshops provide support but also help to expand community members’ knowledge through hands-on workshops in reading and writing. Workshops are given by Marjorie Martinelli, a K-2 literacy staff developer; Jane Bean-Folkes, a 3-5 literacy staff developer; and Chris Lehman, a middle school literacy staff developer.

(10) “Understanding Latin America…through Movies and Documentaries”

Angye Rincon Castillos, Santiago Alonso Diaz, Paul Neira Del Ben

Co-Sponsor: Association of Latin American Students

“Understanding Latin America…through Movies and Documentaries” is an event that seeks to provide an opportunity to analyze the social reality of Latin America. Through documentaries and movie screenings combined with academic discussion, the participants will reflect on the differences and the commonalities in issues such as globalization, poverty, government, immigration, and politics in the region. The event will be held on two different days and include a documentary/film screening preceded and followed by a guided academic discussion that will offer a framework to contextualize the social issues presented and to allow for a Q&A session that will allow the interaction and active reflection of the participants. All movies and documentaries will be donated to the TC library after the event.

(11) Student Symposium on African Education: Interrogating Educational Quality

Annie Smiley and Matthew Thomas

Co-Sponsor: African Studies Working Group

The Student Symposium on African Education will bring together students, researchers, and practitioners from inside and outside TC to share ideas and learn from each other about educational quality in Africa. This one day event is intended as a venue for graduate students to present their work and share their ideas, professors and practitioners will also be invited to participate via a keynote addresses and panel discussions. A poster session will also be held for those who wish to participate without actively presenting a paper. The conference will be interdisciplinary, and will draw from participants in the fields of education, anthropology, sociology, political science, and more. It will also be multicultural, featuring panelists from different backgrounds from the United States, Africa, and beyond. The African Studies Working Group sees this symposium as an opportunity to strengthen the TC-based community of students and scholars with interests in African Education.

(12) Got Stress? Stress Relief through Expressive Therapy

Dr. Dinelia Rosa and Lauren Fisher

Co-Sponsor: The Psychological Emergency Response Team (PERT) of Teachers College-Columbia University

The Psychological Emergency Response Team (PERT) and the Office of Student Activities and Programs will co-sponsor four Expressive Therapy Workshops for the TC community. The goals are: to provide education regarding stress and its impact on one’s mind, body, interpersonal relationships, and performance in school and at work; to teach different expressive techniques to reduce stress; to provide attendees with an opportunity to practice techniques together in a safe space; and to offer new ways to reduce stress among its attendees as they learn to incorporate expressive techniques into their daily lives. Each workshop will be two hours in length.

(13) LGBTQ Research Initiatives at Teachers College

Michael Weinberg and Lauren Fisher

Co-Sponsor: Queer TC

This event will provide a forum for researchers at TC to present their research to the entire Teachers College-Columbia University community in order to disseminate information related to the experiences of LGBTQ individuals. These presentations will deal with a myriad of issues specific to the LGBTQ community, including the experiences of LGBTQ “intersections” with race and gender, applications of research on microaggressions against members of the LGBTQ community, and the mental health concerns of LGBTQ persons, thus broadening the scope of gender, ethnic, and race studies. These interactive presentations will give the researchers an opportunity to present their work and for attendees to discuss the work in a safe, open, and productive manner.