Congratulations to the 2012-2013 Grant Recipients!!

| February 20, 2013

The Vice President’s Grant for Diversity and Community Initiatives

2012-2013 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. Sixteen proposals were submitted and the following Nine 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]): Robert Cox, Deanne DeCrescenzo, Yvonne Destin, Isaac Freeman, Jolene Lane (Chair), Janice Robinson, John Saxman, and Melanie Williams.  Thank you also to Randolph Scott-McLaughlin and Jade Johnson, Graduate Assistants, for their administration of the details of the grants.

I. An Evening of Visual Ethnography

Cody Madsen

Sponsor: Society for Anthropological Studies

The Society for Anthropological Studies is holding a screening of a film by Mario Rosales entitled “El Regreso de Lencho” (“The Return of Lencho”), which tells the story of a Guatemalan street artist.  As he attempts to organize a group to produce public art with social impact, he faces hardship due to police opposition to indigenous organizations and painful memories from his past. The goals of the event are to develop and maintain liaisons between the visual arts, the social sciences and to bring together students from various disciplines and schools.

II.Black Student Network 2013 Diversity in Research Conference

Alana Miles

Sponsor: Black Student Network

The primary purpose of this conference is to provide a local space for students at Teachers College, and other graduate students to present their ongoing research. The conference will focus primarily on issues surrounding diversity in education; presenters will also speak to broader issues in educational policy, teaching, learning, race, ethnicity, urban youth studies, higher education, and social justice initiatives. In order to promote cross communication, a non-traditional platform rarely used in conferences will be implemented; students will have an opportunity to receive feedback after their presentations during breakout sessions. To ensure that the conference is promoting inter-group communication and collaboration, all participants are actively involved in different types of presentations, such as traditional paper presentations, roundtable discussions and a short film discussion. The environment created will spark conversations and engage attendees in the active process of understanding information from multiple lenses and diverse perspectives.

III. Globalization and Education in South Asia and the Diaspora

Margaret Whittenberger, Mahreen Tahir Chowdhry

Sponsor: DISHA (Development in South Asia)

This conference creates a space for dialogue among practitioners, students and scholars, all of whom are dedicated to the study and practice of educational development in South Asia and in the South Asian diaspora. The theme of “Globalization and Education in South Asia and the South Asian Diaspora” is a relevant one for a number of reasons. Presentations will focus on topics including but not limited to: technology in the classroom, teacher training and deployment, the right to education and the phenomenon of Teach for America and Teach for India. The conference, similar to the first annual conference, will consist of workshops for educators and development practitioners, panel discussions, and round-table presentations.

IV. Mindfulness at Work: A Professional Development Series

Sarah Sherman, Home Nguyen, Joe Levtian, Hua-Chu Yen

Sponsor: Mindfulness and Education Working Group

This academic year, Mindfulness and Education Working Group is offering a series of professional development workshops targeted specifically to those who might not normally have the opportunity to partake in the weekly meditation series. Mindfulness and Education Working Group has looked into some of the reasons why groups within the community might not attend the mindfulness series and has concluded that many people may not have had the opportunity to explore mindfulness practices. In general, exposure to mindfulness and meditation practices has a limited reach and does not always attract a diverse socioeconomic group. This year, MEWG would like to increase exposure and access to the simple practices and tools of mindfulness for those who might not normally have the opportunity to learn them.

V. Mondays at Racine Film Screening and Panel

Professor Monisha Bajaj

Sponsor: Peace Education Concentration Program, International and Comparative Education

Mondays at Racine is an award-winning documentary about women undergoing treatment for breast cancer. The film depicts a hair salon that opens its doors every third Monday of the month to women diagnosed with cancer. The plot summary reads in part, “As locks of hair fall to the floor, women gossip, giggle, weep, face their fears and discover unexpected beauty.” Cambria Russell, one of the two women starring in the film, is a recent Teachers College graduate and former staff member. The proposed event will be held in the spirit of those members of the TC community whose lives have been impacted by cancer, specifically breast cancer. The event will include both the film screening and a panel discussion featuring Ms. Russell, other featured protagonists, the owner of the hair salon, and the filmmaker, Cynthia Wade. The panel will be an interactive opportunity for the audience. The event as a whole will be a hopeful and positive take on a serious issue that merits the attention of the Teachers College and broader community.

VI. Navigating the Educational Environment as a Professional to bring awareness to LGBT issues

Davidella Floyd, Amber Khan

Sponsor: Queer TC

With a focus on the primary issues facing educators in their workplace, this half-day seminar will aim to educate and empower individuals who are members of the LGBTQIA community or allies. The goal is to provide educators with the necessary tools to create constructive support systems in their school systems. Additionally, we will invite panelists from all levels of primary and secondary school including both public and charter schools, to provide a broad view of the issues facing the educational community – both as the issues pertain to LGBTQIA individuals, as well as to educators who must be sensitive to these concerns.

VII. Spring Leadership Summit

Brian Long, Laura Fisher

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

The third 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. The Summit focuses on building personal leadership capacity in a multifaceted manner. It aims to help participants discover their own leadership strengths by utilizing a varied and complementary pedagogy: lecture and discussion with leadership experts, personal leadership assessment tools, reflective practice, group coaching and networking opportunities. The interactive and collaborative nature of this initiative will allow participants to learn from experts in the field of leadership studies as well as from one another. Because this program crosses the boundaries between discipline and degree programs as well as between students, faculty and staff, it will promote the forging of new networks within our community and enrich the Teachers College experience for all who attend.

VIII. Third Annual Peace Education Conference: Pedagogical Practices in Peace Education

Joyce Maxwell, Charlotte Haynes

Sponsor: Peace Education Network (PEN)

This year’s conference will focus on skill-building: arming participants with tools they can take with them into their future practice. While panel discussions can provide insight into current work in the field, this conference aims to model best practices in the form of peace education, offering workshops that are experiential, participatory and dialogic. The conference will be held at Teachers College and hopes to include educators outside the TC community who wish to bring human rights and social justice work into the learning spaces they occupy. Additionally, PEN intends to build alliances with student groups campus-wide throughout Columbia University, such as the Conflict Resolution Working Group in the School of International and Public Affairs and The Association of Negotiation and Conflict Resolution Students in the School of Continuing Education. Moreover, we hope the event will bring back alumni from previous years, as the conference has done in the past, building community between alumni and current students in the Peace Education program. The intention is to model how to create spaces of learning that foster meaningful dialogue among diverse groups. We hope that the conference itself will draw educators with different backgrounds and experiences, while preparing those in attendance for work that promotes inter-group collaboration and peaceful coexistence.

IX. Who is African in the Americas?

Professor George C. Bond, Bruce Burnside, Darlene Dubuisson

Sponsor: The Center of African Education

People who identify as African in the Americas represent a wide diversity of communities –linguistic, cultural and otherwise. In the age of globalization there is increased opportunity for these groups to interact as they communicate and become mobilized in unprecedented ways. There are also new opportunities for these groups to come under scrutiny from those dwelling on the African continent.  This year the Center for African Education continues this annual conversation turning to critical engagement with the question of “Who is African in the Americas?”  While seeking to collapse boundaries between various communities and open a dialogue between and within the communities, with this question as our focus we will explore four related themes in four events over the 2012-2013 academic year.  In addition, we will launch an exploratory group to begin preparing for the Center to host a major conference building on the themes of African and other minority identities in the Americas.  With the aim of bringing together a wide range of speakers, a diverse student body and invested members of the greater community throughout this year’s series, the events will draw on experts with depth of experience and knowledge from Teachers College, Columbia University, CUNY, NYU and other universities in the Northeast region.