Center for Black Deaf Studies

CBDS in the News

USA Today | February 3, 2022

Black, Deaf and proud​

medium.com | March 1, 2021

Preserving Black American Sign Language

Good Morning America | February 18, 2021

Preserving Black American Sign Language

Global News | February 1, 2021

Black American Sign Language

The New York Times | January 23, 2021

Black, Deaf and Extremely Online

The Washington Post | February 21, 2020

How America developed two sign languages

CBDS embraces the Black ASL and Black Deaf Studies, and the Black Deaf experience.

The Center for Black Deaf Studies (CBDS) was established in 2020. The Center will operate as an outreach center for teaching and learning about the Black Deaf experience and provide easy access to a range of useful content resources.

CBDS will consist of offices for its professional staff, a computer lab, digital library, and a smart classroom. It operates under the leadership of Dr. Carolyn McCaskill, professor in the Deaf Studies program.

The CBDS aligns with the University’s Mission of providing a bilingual, diverse, multicultural institution of higher education that ensures the intellectual and professional advancement of deaf and hard of hearing individuals through American Sign Language and English. Gallaudet maintains a proud tradition of research and scholarly activity and prepares its graduates for career opportunities in a highly competitive, technological, and rapidly changing world.

Goals for The Center for Black Deaf Studies

The CBDS aligns with the University’s Mission of providing a bilingual, diverse, multicultural institution of higher education that ensures the intellectual and professional advancement of deaf and hard of hearing individuals through American Sign Language and English. Gallaudet maintains a proud tradition of research and scholarly activity and prepares its graduates for career opportunities in a highly competitive, technological, and rapidly changing world.

Offer a minor focusing on the histories and cultures of African Americans with an appreciation for the historical, social and political influences of Africa and the African diaspora.

Sponsor cultural events including dialogues, and celebrations.

Connect students to and/or create research opportunities in collaboration with affiliated faculty and campus partners.

Employ staff members committed to student advocacy, advising and mentorship centered on positively impacting student retention and graduation.

Provide an environment of care and support for GU students, faculty and staff and community members.

Monitor, coordinate, support, and encourage research in the community.

Raise funds to support programs for the center.

Featured in USA Today

“Black, deaf and proud: Gallaudet University embraces commitment to diversity with student center”

This article from USA Today discusses the Center for Black Deaf Studies, Black ASL, and the Black Deaf experience, while highlighting the voices of key leaders of the Center and the Black Deaf community.

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Events hosted by the Center for Black Deaf Studies, including interviews with the Miller family.

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Open House

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Webinar #1 - Awareness

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Webinar #2 - Freedom

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Honoring Martin Luther King Jr.

Support the Louise B Miller Pathways and Gardens: A Legacy to Black Deaf Children

A memorial to honor a significant and historically overlooked milestone for Gallaudet University and the world.

Minor in Black Deaf Studies

Starting this fall 2022, our undergraduate students may consider the minor in Black Deaf Studies. The courses includes:

  • Black ASL
  • Black Deaf People Studies
  • Black Deaf History: 1818 – 1890
  • Black Deaf Seminar
  • Orature & Literature in the Black Deaf Community

Resources Available to our Black/BIPOC students

ALLSTAR Program

The mission of the ALLSTAR program is to strengthen comprehensive learning, to cultivate academic skills, to foster independence, confidence and to inspire lifelong learning of deaf, hard of hearing, culturally and linguistically diverse, students of color and other marginalized students.

ALLSTAR aims to achieve this mission by offering mentoring and tutoring services in a collaborative, student-driven, learning environment that promotes student success, college/career readiness, enriching the student experience, providing tools to achieve students’ academic and life goals.

Reach out to Dr. Martreece Watson, Ph.D., our ALLSTAR program director for more information.

Resources​

Black Student Union

The Black Student Union seeks to develop unity among black students so that jointly and strongly they can express concerns and problems faced on campus.

Peer Mentor Program

Student Success’s Peer Mentorship program is designed to assist students in their social, personal, and academic acclimation to Gallaudet University.

Computer Lab

A computer lab is a space which provides computer services to a defined community.

Scholarships

CBDS Faculty and Staff

Dr. Carolyn McCaskill, Ph.D.

Director Professor, Deaf Studies Department

Evon Black
Associate Director
Dr. Martreece Watson, Ph.D.
Allstar Director, Assistant Professor, English Department
JC Smith
Undergraduate Student Assistant

Advisory Board

Dr. Rezenet Moges-Riedel

Christopher Johnson

Lindsay Dunn
Tim Albert
Dr. Cell Lucas
Dr. Sandra Jowers-Barber
Daisy Wooten