DCI: 2011-2012 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: 2011-2012 Awards

The Committee for Community and Diversity is pleased to announce the award recipients from the Vice President’s Diversity and Community Initiatives Grant Fund. The grant fund provides financial support for projects that foster interactive, inter-group communication, collaboration and educational programming with an emphasis on diversity and/or community. Eighteen proposals were submitted and the following twelve projects were selected for funding.

Thank you very much to the DCI Grant Selection Committee (a Sub-committee of the Committee for Community and Diversity (CCD): Yvonne Destin, Isaac Freeman, Richard Keller, Jolene Lane (Chair), Samantha Lu, Sherill Ren, and Janice Robinson. Thank you also to Randolph Scott-McLaughlin, Graduate Assistant, for his administration of the details of the grants.


(1) 10th Annual Education Across the Americas Conference

María Pía Otero and Ana Cecilia Galindo Diego

Sponsor: Association of Latin American Students

The 10th Annual Education Across the Americas Conference brings together scholars working on education issues in Latin America and the Caribbean to discuss research, build collaborative relationships, and develop new critical conversations. This year’s conference brings together scholars conducting research related to Latin American and Latino education focusing on questions concerning education in and across these regions.

(2) Becoming a Critical Organic Catalyst

Siqing He and Jenny Ko

Sponsors: Asian & Pacific Islanders in America Initiative (APIA), Coalition of Latino/a Scholars, Black Student Network

Becoming a Critical Organic Catalyst is a new series which seeks to implement a forum and career panel, through which students of color and white allies from the TC community can come together to share and learn from their unique experiences as ethnic and racial individuals while also recognizing their community and their place in larger society. The forum is structured like an Open Mic Night reception, where pre-chosen students will share about their experience at TC, a particular social justice issues that is important to them, a poem, or any topic or issue concerning them. Thus they will be inviting other presenters to share as well. There will also be a career panel featuring speakers who will discuss alternative career paths for conducting research outside of academic institution, and in community-based organizations.

(3) Breaking the Bamboo Ceiling Series

Siqing He and Jenny Ko

Sponsors: Asian & Pacific Islanders in America Initiative (APIA), Organization and Human Development Consulting Club (OHDCC)

The Breaking the Bamboo Ceiling Series will consist of a reading and discussion group revolving around Jane Hyun’s book, “Breaking the Bamboo Ceiling” which will be given out in December before Winter Break. Participating students from different fields will meet twice during spring 2012 to deconstruct the implications of the book and to analyze the effects that the intersection of race, culture, and power have in the workplace and larger society in creating the bamboo ceiling effect. The culminating event will be a career panel composed of Asian Americans in leadership positions from different fields and organizations who will examine their careers, offer advice, and discuss their experience as Asian Americans in leadership roles.

(4) The 2012 Critical Race Studies in Education Conference (CRSEA)

Dr. Michelle Knight-Diop, Associate Professor of Education, Curriculum and Teaching,

Terrenda White and Limarys Caraballo

Sponsor: Department of Curriculum & Teaching

The primary goals of The 2012 Critical Race Studies in Education Conference are (1) to engage students with critical issues of race and diversity and also (2) to highlight students of color whose research and scholarship involves the enrichment of educational experiences for traditionally under-represented students and groups across the P-20 spectrum.

(5) Educational Justice in South Asia and The South Asian Diaspora

Dr. Monisha Bajaj, Assistant Professor of Education, International and Transcultural Studies,

Karishma Desai and Shenila Khoja

Sponsor: Development in South Asia (DISHA)

The Educational Justice in South Asia and The South Asian Diaspora one-day conference is a unique and critical initiate that aims to foster dialogue among current and future leaders, practitioners, scholars, activists, and students interested in educational equity and justice in South Asia and the South Asian diaspora. This is an effort to illuminate issues of inequalities that are context specific, and themes that transgress across geographical and cultural boundaries. The conference will cultivate transnational discourse on pressing topics such as human rights education, immigration, schooling, youth experiences, activism, social movements, education, gender, and sexuality.

(6) Envision Yourself

Dinorah Sanchez and Lisette Sanchez

Sponsor: Coalition of Latino/a Scholars

Envision Yourself is an outreach program for traditionally marginalized students in community, city & state colleges in New York City and surrounding areas. The outreach will consist of bringing together Teachers College and Columbia students, faculty, and staff and students from other colleges. Students and faculty of color will form informational panels to provide inspirational models specifically for first generation college students, and encourage them to abandon their perception of inconceivable possibilities in higher education. The panelists are chosen on the basis of excellence in academic achievement, involvement, and transition so as to serve as role models – thus enabling participants to envision themselves in college and as professionals.

(7) Exploring Cultural Competence

Kai Chung Tam and Hantian Wu

Sponsor: Teachers College Chinese Students and Scholars Association (TCCSSA)

The Exploring Cultural Competence series is attempting to bring various members of the TC community together, sharing the knowledge of experience in the topic of cultural competence, and also to encourage students who might have taken the avoidance strategy to interact more actively with the broader culture. They aim to achieve this through a deeper understanding of the perception international students have of cultural differences and how they are dealing with such differences. The series will create opportunities that allow all members of the TC community to be more informed about cultural competence, and to discuss manners of personal and organizational adjustments to improve it.

(8) Middle East and Muslim World Education Research Dialogue: Insider and Outsider Perspectives

Janae Bushman and Karen Bryner

Sponsor: The Association for the Advancement of Learning in The Middle East and Muslim World (TAALIM), Society of International Education (SIE)

This initiative provides a venue each semester for Teachers College students to connect with their counterparts in the Middle East and around the world. There will be three presentations from each university participating in the web-conference which will give students the opportunity to show their research from that semester. The goals are to bring together students and faculty members who are interested in the academic and cultural aspects of the Middle East and Muslim world, to provide a forum for students to talk about different perspectives and experiences relating to education issues in the Middle East, and to extend the research themes explored by TC’s Society for International Education.

(9) Mindfulness and Education Working Group Lecture Series

Sarah Sherman

Sponsor: Mindfulness and Education Working Group

The Mindfulness and Education Working Group Lecture Series seeks to promote the role of mindfulness and contemplative practices in education by inviting the leaders in this burgeoning field to discuss their research and practices. The series will be a four-part series with two events in the fall and two events in the spring. The lectures of the series will feature scholars and practitioners who are recognized nationally and internationally in the mindfulness community and will allow attendees to engage in small group workshops to explore their personal practice of mindfulness.

(10) Racial Literacy Roundtables Series: Peer-to-Peer Conversations on Teaching in Urban Schools

Dr. Yolanda Sealey-Ruiz, Assistant Professor of English Education, Arts and Humanities

Sponsor: Teachers College English Education Program

The Racial Literacy Roundtable Series will feature six discussions which will be facilitated by established scholars in the field of urban education, masters and doctoral students across Teachers College as well as doctoral students from Ithaca College. The Racial Literacy Roundtables are a student-facilitated series that focuses on issues of race, class, privilege and access with in-service and pre-service teachers and members of the Teachers College Community. TC Assistant Professor of English Education, Dr. Yolanda Sealey-Ruiz, is faculty supervisor for the Roundtables.

(11) Spring Leadership Summit

Thomas Eskew, Christie Rall and Aarti Subramanian

Sponsor: Organization & Human Development Consulting Club (OHDCC), Organizational Leadership Association (OLA)

The second annual Spring Leadership Summit is a four-part workshop series that aims to bolster leadership growth of TC students, staff, and community members. The series will feature lectures and discussions from leadership experts to help individuals further develop their own leadership strengths.

(12) What is an African? Migration and African Identity

Dr. George C. Bond, William F. Russell Professor of Anthropology and Education, International and Transcultural Studies, Evan Hendon and Dan McGovern

Sponsor: The Center for African Education

This four-part series, What is an African? Migration and African Identity, seeks to explore the question of what it means to claim African identity in an era of migration and globalization. The goal is to provide inter-university collaboration and dialogue by including speakers from a range of universities and from the New York City African community.