Claudia Gordon Discusses Dismantling Institutional Racism at Gallaudet University

Claudia Gordon (’00), disability rights attorney, policy expert and advocate, was consulted by The Washington Post following her resignation from the Board of Trustees of Gallaudet University, where she urged colleagues to commit to upending a system in which students and employees of color face discrimination (“Racism Allegations at Gallaudet U Pushed Two Officials to Resign, They Say. The School Says It’s Now Committing to Permanent Changes.” Oct. 29). “I felt like my identity was welcome but my knowledge and input were not,” adding that university leadership “continually skirted around undertaking the uncomfortable conversations, as well as bold and decisive actions necessary to dismantle the pervasive structural and systemic racism that is so deeply entrenched in this 156-year-old institution. . . . There is no shortage of firsthand and secondhand accounts of preferential treatment, privilege, power and access to opportunities unabashedly doled out to White Deaf members of the community,” said Claudia, “at the expense of cumulative and chronic adverse impact for Deaf Black and other Deaf persons of color.”