DCI: 2017-2018 Awards

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The Office of the Vice President for Diversity and Community Affairs

DCI: 2017-2018 Awards

The Vice President's Grant for Diversity & Community Initiatives (DCI)

2017-2018 Abstracts


I. 2nd Annual Hip Hop Ed Conference

Dr. Christopher Emdin, Dr. Edmund Adjapong, and Courtney Rose
Sponsors: Mathematics, Science & Technology Department, and Science Education Program

This conference explores the use of Hip-Hop culture as a tool to develop innovative practices and pedagogies that can increase the engagement and achievement of all students, especially those from urban communities. The Hip Hop conference creates a space shared amongst educators, researchers, community members and students to demonstrate and discuss the use of Hip-Hop culture in educational spaces to better serve/engage all students. 


II. African Cultural Events
Dr. S. Garnett Russell, Tobore Egborge, and Chiara Fuller
Sponsors: George Clement Bond Center for African Education

The George Clement Bond Center for African Education (CAE) designed a series of events to highlight and expose students and faculty to various African cultures and the African Diaspora. This project will include the African Film Festival Traveling Film Series: film and discussion, a food festival, and a dance and music showcase. The events create diverse learning spaces that encourage critical thinking and discourse directed to countering stereotypical narratives about Africa and contemporary African culture.


III. C&T Graduate student-led Conference
Shamari Reid, Seth McCall, Sara Van Den Berg, and Kelsey Darity
Sponsors: Graduate Student Collaborative, and Department of Curriculum & Teaching

The C&T student-led Conference brings together students from various programs within Teachers College. This conference creates a space for mentoring students from diverse backgrounds, allowing students to share their work with other TC community members and increase student participation in TC departments.


IV. Communities of Practice; Teachers in Conflict and Displacement Workshop
Dr. Mary Mendenhall, and Arianna Pacifico
Sponsors: International & Transcultural Studies Department, International & Comparative Education Program, and Teachers for Teachers Project Team

Communities of Practice: Teachers in Conflict and Displacement Workshop draws attention to the challenges faced by teachers in displacement and crisis-affected settings, fosters community around teachers working with marginalized learners in New York City and around the world, and builds on the skills of participants through an interactive human-centered design exercise.


V. Days of Resistance: Documenting Black Lives Matter in Higher Education
Cyntha Tobar and Dr. Noah Drezner
Sponsors: Higher and Postsecondary Education Program

Days of Resistance: Documenting Black Lives Matter in Higher Education (BLMHE) is a participatory community oral history archive project that collects and contextualizes stories focusing on themes of social inequities in higher education. Stories take form in a multi-media exhibit during the Spring 2018 semester that raises public awareness around the issues addressed by the Black Lives Matter in Higher Education Task force.  


VI. International World Cultural Winter Banquet
Justin Cox, Yimiao Gong, and Linxi Ma
Sponsors: Future China Initiative

The International World Cultural Winter Banquet  will celebrate the holiday season with traditional American food and music as well as cuisines and music from cultures across the world. This event will bring together multiple student organizations to promote diversity and collaboration across the TC Community.

Initial program goals include:

1.     To celebrate this traditional American holiday season with both American food as well as international cuisines

2.     To provide opportunity for executive and general members of various cultural/student-focused clubs to collaborate on this intercultural program/dinner.

3.     Enjoy delicious food, interactive games and build community


VII. La Cocina de Las Patronas: A Journey of Purpose, Dignity, and Hope along las Vias del Tren
Victoria Hernandez, and Lucia Caumont-Stipanicic

Sponsors: Coalition of Latinx Scholars

Film screening and panel discussion: Directed by Javier Garcia, La Cocina de Las Patronas (The Kitchen of Las Patronas) documents the stories of a group of peasant women from the small town of La Patrona, in the Mexican state of Veracruz. Since 1995, these women have been cooking and delivering around 300 daily meals to Latin American migrants making their journey to the United States via freight trains collectively known as La Bestia (The Beast).  This screening promotes a critical discussion about our role as educators working with newly arrived immigrant youth from Latin America in New York City and the United States at large.


VIII. Making the Difference: Your Role in Civic Participation
Lauren Williams, and Chloe Dawson

Sponsors: Student Senate

The program will inform  participants about strategies to enact change within society through intentional organization and participation. Making the Difference: Your Role in Civic Participation is a hands-on workshops that provides access to research and promotes civic participation today and responsive civic leaders of tomorrow.



Elyse Blake, and Lisa Mertes Sepahi

Dr. Ioana Literat, Dr. Lalitha Vasudevan,  
Sponsors: Media and Social Change Lab (MASCLab)

MASCLab Engage provides opportunities to explore how we can make media engagement meaningful and participatory beyond the production and publication of media artifacts. This project is composed of three components: Podluck (Podcast Launch and Broadcast series), Brown Bag series, and Digitally Different.


X. The 2nd Annual Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Oratorical & Spoken Word Competition
Selema Moliga, and Jackie Tuliau
Sponsors: Office of Residential Services, and Office of Student Affairs

The Martin Luther King, Jr. Oratorical and Spoken Word Contest is an opportunity for TC students to share their passion or interest in social justice with the TC Community. This event provides students with an opportunity to perform pieces related to this year’s theme, “Injustice Anywhere is a Threat to Justice Everywhere.”  


XI. The Spring 2018 Rural Education and Healthcare Initiative
Ty McNamee, and Chase McNamee

Sponsors: Rural Student Group

This initiative educates communities on the issues rural areas face concerning education and healthcare. The Rural Education and Healthcare Initiative includes a film screening, speaker event about the rural opioid crisis, a TC admitted rural student social, and “Rural Day.”


XII. Theater of War Performance with Guest Speaker Brigadier General Loree Sutton (Ret.) MD, Commissioner of New York City Department of Veterans Services
Joseph Geraci, and Lauren Withmore

Sponsors: Resilience Center for Veterans & Families

The Theater of War presents readings of Sophocles’ Ajax and Philoctetes to military and civilian communities across the United States and Europe. These ancient plays timelessly and universally depict the visible and invisible wounds of war. The purpose in presenting these two plays is to de-stigmatize psychological injury, increase awareness of post deployment psychological health issues, disseminate information regarding available resources, and foster greater community resilience.


XIII. (Un)Spoken: A Celebration of Mother Tongue Day

Dr. Carol Bensen, and Julianne Parayo
Sponsors: Department of International and Transcultural Studies

(Un)Spoken is an initiative that recognizes all mother languages, encompassing both oral languages and sign languages. To reclaim and celebrate the many languages and cultures in our local community, individuals from Teachers College and from Columbia University, local participating schools, and Harlem community members join in to share their mother tongues through any form of expression. Academic professionals from the United Nations, as well as, hopefully, the New York City Chancellor of Education also speak about the significance of linguistic diversity in our homes, classrooms, and communities. Professor Carol Benson of the International and Transcultural Studies Department, in addition to professors from other departments, discusses the array of linguistic diversity at Teachers College and why it is important for institutions worldwide to incorporate more languages into action items. Public speakers from the Harlem community also discuss why linguistic diversity needs to be represented more in communities across New York City.