Teachers College’s commitment to diversity and social justice for all learners was celebrated last night by President Fuhrman, Provost James, TC faculty, alumni, students, and friends. Among the guests at the Celebration of TC’s Diversity Initiatives were the founders of the Sexuality, Women, and Gender Project at TC (SWGP), the College’s first recipient of the LGBTQ Diversity Scholarship, Michael Palmieri, and Clementi Foundation leaders Jane and James Clementi, who supported the scholarship. TC alumnus and donor to the LGBTQ Diversity Scholarship, Kevin Jennings, MA ’94, hosted the event at Streamline Circle, a beautiful location overlooking Highline Park and the Hudson River.
Mr. Jennings, the Executive Director of the Arcus Foundation, which advances social justice and conservation issues, opened the evening by praising TC’s work with diverse and underserved populations, particularly LGBTQ people, and children, citing the Teachers College Community School in Harlem as the first university-assisted public school of its kind in New York City. “One of the things I appreciate about TC and Susan Fuhrman is that they are not afraid of firsts,” said Mr. Jennings.
In addition to Teachers College’s work on LGBTQ issues in health, education, and psychology, President Fuhrman spoke about its history of championing diversity from its early days and during the Jim Crow era, and commended the College’s continued commitment to serving diverse populations today, including being a national leader in granting doctoral degrees to African Americans. (http://www.tc.columbia.edu/news.htm?articleID=9632)
One of TC’s recent diversity initiatives and a highlight of the event was the Sexuality, Women, and Gender Project, which was created with a Provost’s Investment Fund grant to “envision and implement the next wave of theories and practices to improve well-being for LGBTQ individuals and women.” Founders of SWGP, Drs. Aurelie Athan, Melanie Brewster, and Riddhi Sandil, spoke about the Project’s efforts to integrate sexuality and gender “lenses” into course offerings, fieldwork, internships, and more.
Closing out the evening, Mr. Jennings proposed adding a fourth “R” to Reading, Writing, and Arithmetic: Respect. “When we teach our children to respect those who are different from them, it will be a much better world.”
Additionally, President Susan Fuhrman discussed how increasing student scholarship support and academic initiatives are two of the main mainstays of Where the Future Comes First: the Campaign for Teachers College. An unrestricted contribution to the fund – in any amount – enables us to provide more scholarships, enhance our faculty and academic programs and prepare our campus for the next generation of leaders. Learn how your unrestricted gift today can help make TC's academic future a reality here.
Photos from the event can be found here. We hope to see you at a future alumni event. You can also stay connected with us online and via social media. Be sure to update your information and share class notes, so we can share in your successes!
TC Office of Alumni Relations