Let’s Grab Some Popcorn!

Watching Betsy DeVos and Donald Trump is like a set of movies in order or perhaps a sequence. Cutting 9.2 Billion dollars for Education is a big insult to the American people. LBTQA and Black students including Deaf students are America’s future students that should not be demoralized and oppressed!

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Gallaudet College: The Fence

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Imagine what Gallaudet College would look like shortly after 6 PM on April 4th, 1968. The campus was quiet until the day that Martin Luther King, Jr. got shot. What were the reactions from Gallaudet students that time? What would they wake up from reality the next morning?

Whenever the students set out on the journey as Gallaudetian in April 1968, it pays to prepare for anything that would change their lives. The thoughts would create and wreck in their minds and deal with fear. The ancient Chinese believed words were so powerful that no piece of paper containing written words should ever be destroyed, even when it was no longer of value.

See the fence on Florida Ave? Many people were told that the fence was built because of 1988 Deaf President Now. No, it is not true. It was built because of MLK riots all over city. The world tasted blood and made it symbolic.

Who made the decision to build the fence? The Administration? What about Gallaudet University Administration and Operations Manual (the Bible of campus policies) that remained overlooked?

Is the fence necessary today? Is the fence rooted in racism? Is the fence rooted in xenophobia? I often wonder what Gallaudet University would look without the fence. Can we take it back and make it normal for everybody?

The fence. We do not need FEAR. Imagine without the fence, would we sit together in order to share wisdom and advice with the entire campus? Imagine without the fence, going to Gallaudet the moment you first recognized your own language there.

The campus scene is to be inhabited by two very distinct species. First, before the fence was built, was it youthful, exuberant, natural, and frantically frivolous that they made the scene? Second, the fence oppressed people and rooted in racism, immature, dispirited, unnatural and frantically frightful, the fence dominated the scene, no?

Gallaudet University do not need the fence to open the door to discussion about ASL in higher education, who encourages standing up and signing freely, welcoming intersectionality.

Gallaudet University needs to be bold again. Be an open space.

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-JT

Copyright @ 2017 Jason Tozier

This text may be freely copied in its entirely only, including this copyright message.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

My Reflection: Beyond Inclusion

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Wednesday evening, February 22nd, 2017, I attended an event called “Beyond Inclusion” hosted by Communication Service for the Deaf (CSD) held at Gallaudet University. Ryan Commerson, the lead moderator in the event. I had mixed feelings though. First of all, within the community service, the panelists did an extraordinary time! It was a great learning experience!

I’m disappointed that the panel was not enough diversity as Ryan claimed that it is important to acknowledge during his presentation. All panelists were white. As what I meant by that, the panel did not invite a Deaf person of color on the panel. In the audience, there were at least 11 or 12 people of color. There was not enough diversity. Why can’t the audience see that?

When we talk about diversity, we become highly conscious of how it operates by comparing and appreciating our differences. In my opinion, diversity in higher education enhances economic competitiveness, promotes a healthy society, and strengths the community of higher learning and teaching.

How come Ryan did not expand his educational leadership in reaching and making a conscious effort to build health and diverse learning environments appropriate for CSD’s mission? The strength of our democracy depends on it.

An event misses out a professional experience like these makes me realize the paramount importance of supporting academically capable students with diverse importance whether the person of color should be recognized.

At the same time, I do not like the term, “diversity” as I would rather use “Intersectionality” myself because of Latin root, div- as in divide. Div-ersity. It is a negative connotation. Intersectionality is perhaps the most critical component in making powerful learning tools.

It is a lifelong growth–a special way of knowing how they are moving beyond surface learning (change) to deep learning (growth). Whether people of color on the panel would make a good leader who inspires, applauds, steers, and stands on the side. Yes, sometimes we would need to focus on intersectionality to encourage collegiality, and to create a setting in which each individual can change and everyone can grow.

Would CSD ensure that it would be a community service where higher learning happens for change and higher teaching promotes growth? Why can’t Ryan not see that, too?

-JT

Copyright @ 2017 Jason Tozier

This text may be freely copied in its entirely only, including this copyright message.