Deaf President Now (DPN) was a student protest in March 1988 at Gallaudet University, Washington, D.C. The university, established by an act of Congress in 1864 to serve the Deaf, had always been led by a hearing president. The protest began on March 6, 1988, when the Board of Trustees announced its decision to appoint a hearing person as its seventh president.
Gallaudet students, backed by a number of alumni, staff, and faculty, shut down the campus. Protesters barricaded gates, burned effigies, and gave interviews to the press demanding four specific concessions from the Board. The protest ended on March 13, 1988, with the appointment of I. King Jordan, a Deaf person, as university president.
In honor of the anniversary of Gallaudet, one of my favorite TV shows featuring many actors who are deaf and hard of hearing, portrayed deaf students rallying around the school board’s proposal to close of their school and displace their student body to various hearing schools. They strategize, organize and execute an occupation of their school building: Occupy Carleton. You can watch it here.
Featured organization of the day: Dream Defenders
The Dream Defenders were formed in the aftermath of the murder of Trayvon Martin. They are black, brown, and allied youth working to end systemic inequalities in incarceration, education, voting, and immigration.
Dream Defenders Protest for Repeal of Discrimination Bills – Orlando Entinel
Students Lobby for Immigrant Rights – Miami Herald
Dream Defenders Deliver a Different State of the State – WCTV
Video of the Dream Defenders press conference
Important perspectives on educational injustice:
- School Closings Protesters Go to City Hall – Philly.com
- Lawmakers Prepare for Student Loan Fight – WSJ
- Youth Answer the Question ‘Do Police Make Schools Safer?’ – Colorlines
- For 20-somethings Ambition at a Cost – NY Times
- Randi Weingarten Arrested For Protesting Philadelphia School Closure Hearing – HuffPo
- Rape and Other Crimes: Sexist Policy and Campus Safety – Society Pages [Trigger warning: discussion of sexual assault]
- Students Allege Bias-Related Exchange With Professor – The Student Life
- Maple Spring Part Deux? – Waging Nonviolence