Dear Gallaudet community:
Welcome to the start of Black History Month. This period is set aside to celebrate the contributions of African Americans to all facets and spheres of human endeavor in American history and to recognize their ongoing struggle for freedom and equity.
This month, the Division of Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion has put together a host of programs, events and activities intended to strengthen our appreciation of the African Diaspora and of Black identities, and to continue conversations around the general theme of the future for Black Deaf folk in America.
Our celebration of National African American History Month at Gallaudet, will, of course, be Deafcentric. In every way, we intend to move general discussions about the African-American experience in America in a Deafcentric direction. And on that note, I was left immensely enriched by our opening keynote address delivered today from noon to 2:00 p.m., a talk by Mr. Timothy Foster, son of the late Dr. Andrew J. Foster, ’54. Dr. Foster is celebrated as the first Black Deaf person to graduate from Gallaudet. He is similarly celebrated for touching eternity, having given the rest of his post-Gallaudet life in service to God and Deaf Africans in West, Central and East Africa. He is the man after whom our Foster Auditorium is named. It is therefore apt that Tim’s keynote was titled “Celebrating Our Legacy”.
This proud African American legacy of stout struggle to upend unjust entrenched orders includes a celebration of the Miller family and their fight for equity at Gallaudet in the early 1950s.
We in the Division of Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion are grateful for the partnership of the Center for Black Deaf Studies, the Department of Deaf Studies, and several on- and off-campus organizations, including the Black Students Union and African Students Union; the District of Columbia Area Black Deaf Advocates (DCABDA), and the National Black Deaf Advocates (NBDA), Eastern Region in the design of this National African American History Month celebration.
I invite you to join all members of the Gallaudet community on what will be an illuminating and transformational walk.
Elizabeth A. Moore, Ph.D.
Interim Chief Diversity Officer