DCI: 2009-2010 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: 2009-2010 Awards

The Vice President’s Grant for
Diversity and Community Initiatives
2009-2010 Grant Recipients

The Committee for Community and Diversity is pleased to announce the recipients of awards from The Vice President’s Diversity and Community Initiatives 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 submitted and the following fourteen projects were selected for funding.

ALAS Second Art Exhibit: From Latin America

Rita Sanchez and Paul Neira

Sponsor: Association of Latin American Students (ALAS)
The goal of ALAS Second Art Exhibition is to educate the community about Latin American art and culture through the display of paintings from different artists from Latin America and Spain, documentary screenings, and educational programs. This year, the exhibit will run parallel to ALAS’ Annual Conference, will feature work from new artists, and will offer the workshop Latin American Art: Teaching and Learning Mathematics through Art.

Educating on the Edge: Panel on Alternative Education Programs in the City of New York

Erick Gordon, Director of SPI

Sponsor: Student Press Initiative

Co-Sponsor: National Center for Children and Families - Jondou Chen, Project director

The initiative seeks to introduce the TC community to the work of New York City educators working with students in alternative education programs. Students from these populations are often overlooked and underserved and the session aims to bring together administrators, teachers and TC students working in these settings. In collaboration with District 79, the Alternative Education Department at the NYC Department of Education, this panel hopes to encourage Teachers College and alternative education schools to work collaboratively to improve the lives of students in alternative settings.


Sarah Bever and Eric Shieh

Sponsor: Global Initiative for Social Change through the Arts (GiSCA)

GiSCA-Palooza! is an initiative sponsored by GiSCA (Global Initiative for Social Change Through the Arts) with the specific goal of enacting dialogue across Teachers College’s diverse departments about the role of the arts in social change and in creating equitable education communities. The event invites students from across the TC and broader Columbia graduate communities to participate in a performance/exhibition and to process exploring different approaches to artistic work and their relationship to social change.

Got Stress? Stress and Time Management Strategies

Dr. Dinelia Rosa, Director of the Dean-Hope Center for Educational and Psychological Services & Mia Ihm

Sponsor: The Psychological Emergency Response Team (PERT)

Co-Sponsor: Office of Student Activities and Programs

The Psychological Emergency Response Team and the Office of Student Activities and Programs will co-sponsor a series of six two-hour stress and time management workshops for the TC community. The workshops will raise awareness of the role of stress on the body and the mind, on interpersonal relationships, and on performance in school or at work. The workshops will teach highly-effective ways to identify and reduce stress in the hopes that all participants will incorporate stress-reduction and time management techniques into their daily lives.

Party for the People

Jondou Chen and Joanne Wu

Sponsor: Asian & Pacific Islanders in American (APIA) Initiative

Co-Sponsor: The Black Student Network
Party for the People will consist of two social gatherings that seek to unite students of color with white allies in the TC community to celebrate our unity in diversity. These events aim to celebrate the unique experiences of different ethnic and racial groups represented by student organizations such as the Asian and Pacific Islanders in America (APIA), the Black Student Network (BSN), and the Coalition of Latino/a Scholars (CLAS) while also recognizing commonalities between and among other groups. These events will promote healing and restoration and promote greater dialogue throughout the TC community. The events will take place in the fall and in the spring.

Peace Education Conference

Laura Menchaca Bishop, Maria Bermeo, and Chris Wescott

Sponsor: Peace Education Network

Co-Sponsor: Peace Education Center

The Peace Education Conference is envisioned as a new space where participants from various disciplines can explore concepts, ideas and practices related to educating for peace and justice. This event will engage TC community members in the process of critical thinking and creativity and discuss the importance of fostering dialogue regarding human rights and conflict resolution. The conference will feature workshop sessions, traditional forums and other opportunities for self-reflection.

People of Color Caucus:

No Longer Minorities: Experience of Students of Color at Teachers College

Jondou Chen and Tracy Ng

Co-Sponsors: Asian & Pacific Islanders in American (APIA) Initiative, Black Student Network, & Coalition for Latino/a Scholars

This joint venture between the Asian and Pacific Islanders in America Initiative (APIA), the Black Student Network (BSN), and the Coalition for Latino/a Scholars (CLS) seeks to create a forum for discussing the experiences of students of color at TC. Participants in the two forums will be encouraged to share their experiences in order to build a stronger community of change agents and create broader support networks for communities of color. In these forums, the TC community will join the students in discussing definitions of people of color and how we can all use our collective power to change our community. One forum will take place during the fall semester and the other during the spring.

Racial Literacy Roundtables: Peer-to-Peer Conversations on Teaching in Urban Schools

Emily Carman, Lauren Gengo, James Kang, and Prof. Yolanda Sealy-Ruiz

Co-Sponsor: Prof. Yolanda Sealy-Ruiz, English Education Program, Arts & Humanities Department

Racial Literacy Roundtables (RLR) seek to foster open dialogue about race, issues pertaining to race, language difference, and sexual orientation, primarily among pre-service and in-service teachers across the college. Conceptualized as a peer-to-peer forum, RLRs hope to bring together students and faculty across departments to discuss the different topics.

The Social Web: The Practice of Online Life

Karen Velasquez and Gabrielle Oliveira

Sponsor: Society for Anthropological Studies

Co-Sponsor: Teachers College Student Senate

The Social Web: The Practice of Online Life is an event which seeks to look at online social networking through an anthropological and interdisciplinary lens in order to gain a better understanding of how diverse communities of practice and subcultures interact through online mediums such as blogs and social networking sites (facebook, Wikipedia, twitter, 4chan, and others). The forum discussions will be moderated by Dr. Herve Varenne, Professor of Education in the Anthropological Education Program.

TC Table Tennis Club

Gang Bao and Ena Haines, Director of CIS

Sponsor: CIS

Co-Sponsor: The Chinese Students Association

The initiative seeks to set up a TC Table Tennis Club that will provide an alternative setting for faculty, staff and students from different cultural backgrounds to socialize, relax, exchange ideas, build friendship, and last but not least, to improve health. The club will provide weekly practice sessions under the instruction of Dr. Gang Bao, a one-time professional table tennis player. As members’ skills improve, two teams will be created (one for staff and faculty, the other for students), and will complete in an annual open tournament.

Training Workshop for Working with LGBT Students

Michael Weinberg

Sponsor: QueerTC

This initiative provides a forum for professional trainers to educate the TC community on effective ways to make schools safer for LGBTQ youth in primary and secondary schools and to disseminate information related to the experiences of LGBTQ youth. The presentation by GLSEN (the Gay, Lesbian, Straight Education Network), will address a myriad of issues specific to the LGBTQ community, including the experiences of LGBTQ students of all racial, socio-economic, cultural and religious backgrounds.

What’s the Deal with A.P.I.A.?

Faculty Reflections on the APIA Experience in U.S. Higher Education

Tracy Ng and Joanna Wu

Sponsor: Asian & Pacific Islanders in American (APIA) Initiative

What’s the deal with A.P.I.A.? Faculty reflections on the APIA experience is hosting three faculty meet-and-greets where TC community members will hear TC APIA faculty members share about their lives and their work specifically through a racial identity paradigm. These sessions are also designed to foster dialogue between faculty and students who often have little opportunity to connect beyond the classroom.

Who is African? Writing about Africa and the Diaspora

Stephanie Bengtsson and Kathleen Dowling

Sponsor: Center for African Education (CAE), The African Studies Working Group, and Professor George Bond, Department of International and Transcultural Studies

This three-part event seeks to explore how writers write about Africa in a number of different spheres and the impact that writing about Africa has on public opinion. This initiative brings together a diverse audience on a conceptual journey, which involves attempts to understand how Africa exists in the written word. The three part sessions include – A Book Breakfast (featuring Uzodinma Iweala, author of Beats of No Nation, which depicts a child soldier in an African country), a panel discussion & reception, and a student panel & workshop.

The Women’s Movement and NGOs in Latin America

Dr. Regina Cortina and Angye Rincon Castillos

Sponsor: International & Transcultural Studies Department

This initiative seeks to provide an opportunity to analyze the social reality of Latin American women and the role played by women’s Non-governmental Organizations (NGOs) in the region. This event will consist of a lecture featuring Dr. Lia Zanotta Machado (a leading scholar who specializes in feminist movements, violence, and sexual and reproduction rights) and Ruth Cardoso (Professor at the Institute of Latin American Studies), as well as a panel with the executive directors of leading women’s NGOs in the region.