Monday, July 28, 2008

Final Decision to Remove AGBell Name

NTID Community:

I just learned that the RIT Board of Trustees, with support from President Destler, has accepted my recommendation that the Alexander G Bell name be removed from our dormitory. They followed the on-going discussion and are in agreement with the views expressed in my recent email to President Destler urging the removal of the name; I shared that email with you on June 30, 2008.

I hope that each of you, like me, learned a great deal from the open process we pursued in reaching this decision.

In the end I learned – to my great pleasure – that we live in a community where strong opposing ideals can share the same space, where we can hold discussions with coolness as well as with heat, and where consideration and thoughtfulness regarding others is a strongly held value. My faith in all things related to RIT/NTID was reconfirmed throughout this process and in the final decision.

You each have my great thanks for your participation in our deliberations and for your advice on this issue.


T. Alan Hurwitz, Ed.D.
President, NTID
Vice President and Dean, RIT
Rochester Institute of Technology
National Technical Institute for the Deaf
52 Lomb Memorial Drive
Rochester, New York 14623-5604


tayler said...

After 8 years, AGBell plaque is removed at NTID! (vlog post)

Sherlock Steve said...

So now the next step is to decide the next name that should be put on the Tower C dorm. Name that should represent worthy of a person who's made great benefits for the deaf community and reflects the views and ideals of NTID's mission work!!

Domvera said...

Cheers to Orange Brown Coalition, Tayler Mayer, NTID Alumnus, and Alan Hurwitz for the best effort to celebrate for all of us! Praise my alma mater for all!

Thank you very much, Alan!

Nick Vera

Penny said...

This is definitely good news. I always knew that everything is possible to make changes. We can’t allow others to tell us it is not impossible anymore. We also must thank Deafhood team who presented workshops all over in USA to educate us about the history of AGB and oppression. Deafhood brought our pride back. If not for the Deafhood I strongly do not think we would get everyone involved to remove the plague. Deafhood made a huge difference in our country in the past two years. Now please do not tell us we can’t and will not keep Deafhood separate from DBC or any kind of movement or protest in the future.

mishkazena said...

excuse me, penny

Many people who were involved in this project are also not involved in Deafhood. They deserve the credit, too. :)

Dianrez said...

This is more than a historic victory by the Orange Brown Coalition and Tayler and others; it is also a deeply symbolic victory that validates the Deaf community's characteristics.

Let's release this to the general news media along with a concise history of Bell's life for two reasons: it illustrates how history can sometimes not reflect the truth and to teach people that what was written in history books as gospel can be questioned.

High fives to everybody and let us all remember that we are judged not only today but also can be in the future by different standards.

Bert LA said...

"Deafhood," is simply word that means “the total sum of all positive meanings of 'Deaf,' past, present and future” and “all the largest meanings of what Deaf people have been, are and can be.”

Anyone who is involved in promoting positive ways of being Deaf is part of it, according to the definition.

Deafhood is NOT a system of thinking, it's simply a phenomenon denoted by a new concept/word.

A woman who advocates positive ways of being a woman is taking part in womanhood. This is not a controversial way of speaking.

Penny said...


Please re read my comment. I said we ALSO must thank to Deafhood team... I used the word "ALSO". I did not exclude others.

Courtney said...

All I can say is "PAH!"

mishkazena said...

penny, now I see that. Thanks for the clarification

bert la, many deaf people are into activism without subscribing to the philosophy of deafhood.

Bert LA said...

MZ, Deafhood itself is not a philosophy, it's a description of how Deaf individuals contemplate their own existence.

This is not controversial at all.

Sherry said...

Speaking of another person that deserves to be recognized and commended, Ruthie Jordan, for her dedication, energy, and strong belief in removing AG Bell's name.

mishkazena said...

I know who you are, bert la, and I have no desire to continue this discussion with you. At least you should have the guts to use your real name

Kudos to Tayler, Patti, and Ruthie as well as other fellow Deafies and their friends.

Bert LA said...

Thanks for conceding the issue. This is NOT controversial, and you have made multiple mistaken comments on the issue.

Deafhood is NOT a philosophy.

mishkazena said...

No, I am not conceding. I REFUSE to have a dialogue with you.

Stop harassing me!

Anonymous said...

Don't be ridiculous.

If you can't discuss the issue calmly and intelligently, then you should at least have the good grace to refrain from name calling and making false accusations.

mishkazena said...

How will it look for a Deaf organization if Deaf people know a hearing person is doing their dirty work for them?

Anonymous said...

Please stop the name calling and false accusations.

Anonymous said...

Ahh. Allow me to chime in here on the notion of deafhood. I said notion since people here obviously have different definition for the word "philosophy". Here's the definition from Webster:

Main Entry:
Inflected Form(s):
plural phi·los·o·phies
Middle English philosophie, from Anglo-French, from Latin philosophia, from Greek, from philosophos philosopher
14th century

1 a (1): all learning exclusive of technical precepts and practical arts (2): the sciences and liberal arts exclusive of medicine, law, and theology a doctor of philosophy (3): the 4-year college course of a major seminary b (1)archaic : physical science (2): ethics c: a discipline comprising as its core logic, aesthetics, ethics, metaphysics, and epistemology2 a: pursuit of wisdom b: a search for a general understanding of values and reality by chiefly speculative rather than observational means c: an analysis of the grounds of and concepts expressing fundamental beliefs3 a: a system of philosophical concepts b: a theory underlying or regarding a sphere of activity or thought the philosophy of war 4 a: the most basic beliefs, concepts, and attitudes of an individual or group b: calmness of temper and judgment befitting a philosopher

Kids, philosophy does not always mean it is a "the 4-year college course of a major seminary". It also means "a basic belief, concept, and attribute of an individual or group".

Don't you love the English language? =)

Anonymous said...

Response to Anonymous 3:18 am...

That's good information, but the main point to keep in mind is that Deafhood is not a SYSTEM of thinking that tells people what to think, but rather encourages people to do their own process of introspection.

Orange and Brown Coalition said...

ahem - this blog entry is about the Final Decision to Remove AG Bell Name from a dormitory at NTID/RIT.

The argument thread re: Deafhood presently in this blog topic has accusations and judgments.

Further comments of this nature will be removed.

Orange and Brown Coalition said...

KUDOS! Congrats to EVERY ONE who has contributed to this moment arriving.

To everyone who challenged the system in the past on this topic.

To everyone who worked tirelessly this year via Orange & Brown Coalition in the face of a great deal of adversity and risk.

To everyone in the blogsphere who signed / wrote commentaries or comments on this subject.

To everyone who signed the petition.

To everyone who served on the advisory committee, and attended the presentations, vigil, meetings with administrators, and open forums.

To everyone from Ohlone who composed and signed their letter to NTID/RIT objecting to a dorm remaining named in AG Bell's honor.

To everyone who wrote emails to the presidents of NTID and RIT.

To everyone who reconsidered their position and sought a full understanding on the topic.

To the president of NTID for recommending the name come down and for the President of RIT and the RIT Board for supporting this recommendation

To everyone who took a stand peacefully.

To everyone who contributed in some way that we may not be aware of.

Big hand waves to all


O & B Coalition

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drmzz said...

Hand waves!

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Orange and Brown Coalition said...

Several comments have been removed because they were a back-n-forth between different people saying who was harassing who

Re: Deafhood - did it have an impact on Orange and Brown Coalition activistm re: AG Bell dorm - yes

Many many many individuals who do not subscribe to the conceptualization of Deafhood have also played important roles.


Orange & Brown

Penny said...

I did not realize that thanking Deafhood team for being part of this would caused chaos and war. My goodness. We need to respect everyone who they want to thank to. If some only want to thank Tayler...Great...if some only want to thank Dr. Horwitz...then great...if some want to thank certain individual or group... then great. I do not understand the fuss here. No one can tell me or anyone who to thank or who not to thank. Yes thank to everyone. Happy now? :-)

Penny said...

Oops...I am horrible with names...I mean Dr. Hurwitz. My deepest apology. I also meant "thanks" not "thank" :-)

jncutt said...

Great News! Orange Brown Coalition, Big Thanks for keeping us Alumnus in the loop. You all deserve my standing ovation for all the hard work you performed. Without your letting us know, we would not know what was realistically happening on campus. Thanks for a job well done to all involved. Now lets move onward to name the dorm with a new image on a new plaque. Be sure this have our alumnus's vote of confidence before passing on to the top "level" people for approval.

Again, Way to go!!

About Orange Brown Coalition

Mission: To share with the RIT community about Deaf Culture (language, history, humor, etc.) and related activities.

To facilitate relationships between Deaf and hearing members of the RIT community through awareness of our cultures.

To provide opportunities for self-empowerment and self-advocacy of Deaf people on campus.

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