DCI: 2014-2015 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: 2014-2015 Awards

The Vice President’s Grant for Diversity and Community Initiatives
2014-2015 Grant Recipients

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 fourteen 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, Jolene Lane (Chair), Keith Layton, Tiffany Lindley, Janice Robinson, and Yolanda Sealey-Ruiz. Thank you also to Ashley Maxie-Moreman, Veronica Puente, and Choumika Simonis, Graduate Assistants, for their administration of the details of the grants.


I. 13th Annual ALAS Conference: Creative Economy in Latin America, Perspective from Culture and Education
Lina Alfonso, Maria del Pilar Riofrio-Flores
Sponsor: Association of Latin American Students (ALAS)

The Association of Latin American Students (ALAS) is hosting the 13th Annual ALAS Conference: Creative Economy in Latin America, Perspective from Culture and Education. This one-day conference is dedicated to a cross-cultural discussion exploring the role of culture and education as drivers of social and economic development. Along with providing a platform for critical discussion, this conference seeks to provide a space for students and scholars to present their research and papers on the topic of cultural economy and to learn from the professionals who are scrutinizing the challenges being addressed through cultural and educational interventions and policies.

II. 2015 Annual Diversity in Research and Practice Conference (DiRP)
Ashley Maxie-Moreman, Courtney Rose
Sponsors: Teachers College Black Student Network

The 2015 Annual Diversity in Research and Practice Conference aims to provide a platform to showcase academic research that will impact and empower communities of color. Invited scholars will share their original research papers and host roundtables. An important goal of the DiRP conference is to expose students interested in academic research to the conference format as well as networking opportunities to help them thrive in settings of academic discourse.

III. Circle of Voices: A TC Celebration of International Women’s Day
Christian Tanja, Kevin Wong, Amanda Earl
Sponsor: Society for International Education, International and Transcultural Studies

The Society for International Education and International and Transcultural Studies are hosting an event to celebrate the achievements and progress in advancing gender equality, equity, and rights for all. Circle of Voices seeks to encourage cross-cultural, cross-departmental, and cross-sector dialogue related to girls’ and women’s rights to encourage awareness of International Women’s Day and inspire younger generations. This event is open to all in the TC and Columbia community, NYC teachers, high school students, and NYC professionals.

IV. Community Theatre Event: “Renaissance in the Belly of a Killer Whale” Professor Yolanda Sealy-Ruiz
Sponsor: Teachers College English Education Program

Renaissance in the Belly of a Killer Whale serves as an invitation to the TC community to engage in a topic that has and continues to affect the community surrounding Columbia directly – gentrification. The play promotes inter-group communication, encourages understanding that can lead to collaboration, and promotes education on an issue that remains a contested topic for many. Through a montage of dialogue, spoken word, poetry, song, and memories, Renaissance tells the story of three young women from Harlem who journey through its streets, history, landmarks, renaissance, and evolving culture.

V. Cultural Event and Educational Workshop
Dianne Marcucci-Sadnytzky
Sponsor: Teachers College Center for African Education (CAE)

Teachers College Center for African Education’s (CAE) Cultural Event and Educational Workshop initiative seeks to bring the vibrant cultures of Africa to TC’s campus and into the classrooms of local public elementary and high school teachers. The first component, the Cultural Event, will highlight the diverse arts found across Africa for a broader audience at TC. Following, the Educational Workshop, occurring in the Spring 2015 semester, will provide an opportunity for teachers to discuss ways to teach about Africa and the diaspora, topics of cultural sensitivity and cultural differences, and to strengthen the relationship between New York City teachers and the CAE.

VI. Date Columbia
Chen Zheng, Shicong Li
Sponsor: Future China Initiative

Date Columbia intends to build a platform for social networking. The two sub-themes of Date Columbia are Date Columbia People, and Date Columbia Campus. The former aims to encourage networking relationship for the student community, while the latter promotes the services that the university has to offer. Finally, Date Columbia will recruit a bilingual Master/Mistress of Ceremonies, holding auditions for qualified candidates from different backgrounds.

VII. Deaf Education: Perspective on Media and Literacy
Julia Silvestri, Professor Ye Wang
Sponsors: Deaf Education Program – Health and Behavior Studies Department

Deaf Education: Perspective on Media and Literacy is a one-day event consisting of a panel/roundtable discussion with a diverse group of participants in the field of Deaf Education. In accordance with the National Deaf Education Center’s Critical Needs of Students Who are Deaf or Hard of Hearing: Public Input Summary and the collaborative National Agenda for Moving Forward on Achieving Educational Equality for Deaf and Hard of Hearing Students, this event seeks to address the urgent and the critical need of developing collaborative partnerships and to remove barriers and support the language and literacy development of deaf children.

VIII. Grassroots Advocacy & Leadership Training Workshop: Changing the Climate of Your Field
Ashley Maxie-Moreman
Sponsor: Department of Counseling and Clinical Psychology

The Grassroots Advocacy & Leadership Training Workshop: Changing the Climate of Your Field seeks to strengthen student’s skills in grassroots advocacy work on diverse issues. This workshop will teach students ways in which they can become more involved in the outcomes of policy initiatives and acts of legislation in their field of work by focusing on inter-group communication skills and collaboration with political figures. Becoming involved in the ongoing battles concerning access to care in underserved communities, lack of diversity in the workplace, and important issues plaguing graduate students every day is essential for change. This workshop will teach students the “how” and the “why” of lobbying, getting to know your legislator and building a networking relationship, facilitating appropriate forms of communication with your legislator and staff, and getting electorally involved.

IX. I Learn America, Screening and Panel Discussion
Annie Cho
Sponsor: Department of Curriculum and Teaching

The proposed event is a screening of the documentary, I Learn America, followed by a panel discussion and question/answer period with the filmmaker and International High School teachers and students. The screening and panel discussion aim to provide a deeper understanding of the complicated experience of adolescent immigrants as they navigate their new home in America. The panel will invite questions and generate discussion on educational practices and policies for English language learners and immigrants. Though this film is based on a high school in Brooklyn, New York, the issues are applicable to any community, including Harlem and Morningside Heights, in its emphasis on cultural diversity and equal education for all students.

X. Intimate Partner Violence Within LGBTQ Relationships
Elizabeth Geiger
Sponsor: The Sexuality, Women and Gender Project; New York City Anti-Violence Project

The Anti-Violence Project specializes in violence impacting LGBTQ populations and has agreed to provide an educational presentation to the Teachers College community. The event will consist of panelists from the Anti-Violence Project who will provide education specifically focused on domestic violence and sexual assault within the LGBTQ population. Thus, the goals of this event are to expand the community’s awareness, knowledge, and understanding of violence within LGBTQ relationships. This event hopes to inspire mental health professionals and vast community members to obtain competency through its educational focus.

XI. Korean Night
Eun Jeong Jun
Sponsor: Korean Graduate Student Association

Korean Night is an opportunity to bridge the gap between the international community and the rest of the campus, to enhance the ongoing efforts to broaden cultural awareness, and to eliminate the cultural boundaries which undeniably still exist within Teachers College today. The idea is to provide an occasion in which the entire TC student body can come and enjoy an evening of fun, hands-on games, and entertainment specific to the Korean culture, and by doing so, celebrate the country’s rich culture and history. Activities consist of making traditional crafts, playing folk games, writing names in Korean calligraphy, trying on traditional costumes/attire, tasting Korean traditional snacks, and more.

XII. Neurodiversity Awareness Month
Brian Kinghorn; Professor John Black; Daniel Deihle
Sponsor: Department of Human Development

In order to promote awareness of Neurodiversity a month-long series of events is proposed showing media and engaging discussion. Neurodiversity, first coined by sociologist Judy Singer in the 1990s, is the burgeoning philosophical movement that advocates for rights and equality for individuals with many conditions that are called disorders (i.e. Autism, Dyslexia, ADHD). The Neurodiversity movement promotes that these conditions are natural expressions of the human brain and mind and can be considered different cognitive orientations. Educators must be versatile to learning differences. This initiative aims to reach students, faculty, and staff across many departments to shift the paradigm on curricula, pedagogy, assessment and policy.

XIII. Q-llage@TC
Jacks Cheng; Emma Candon
Sponsor: QueerTC

Q-llage@TC is an initiative aimed to create a multifaceted learning platform which views queerness as an holistic concept for scholars who conduct research in queer issues and who express themselves as queer persons and allies outside of academia. Q-llage@TC will organize a one-day conference featuring academic presentations (e.g. workshops, roundtable/panel discussions, poster and paper presentations) and creative performances on queer issues (e.g. film, writings, fine arts, music, spoken art). Q-llage@TC seeks to cross community boundaries by affirming various intersectional identities of a scholar’s life – as an academic, a community member, an artist, a performer, an athlete, etc. – by providing a space to showcase these identities holistically to the community, and promoting intergroup communication, collaboration, and education by involving the communities associated with these identities and those at large.

XIV. The Left in South Asia
Nyoka Joseph; Maulshree Gangwar
Sponsor: Development in South Asia (DISHA)

Development in South Asia (DISHA) is organizing a half-day conference for graduate students from universities in New York and nearby areas, around this year’s academic theme entitled The Left in South Asia. The theme is addressing emerging leftist politics in South Asia regarding educational policy and development through-out the region. This half-day conference will be organized around four working groups addressing aspects of the conference theme, and culminate with a key-note speaker.