Center for Black Deaf Studies

About the Office

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.

Mission Statement

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.

New Memorial Naming Process

The Center for Black Deaf Studies is thrilled for the new memorial to be constructed to honor the role and impact of Black Deaf education at Gallaudet University, which also influenced the rest of the nation. This new memorial will witness and honor the legacy of Louise B. Miller’s advocacy, the 23 Black Deaf students and four teachers of the Division II School, the Black Deaf experience, and serve as a catalyst for collective healing.The previous name for the new memorial, “Kendall School Division II Memorial,” does not reflect and honor the Black Deaf experience and the aims of the memorial. We want a new name, and Gallaudet University and the Memorial Steering Committee wants your input.


Goals The Center for Black Deaf Studies will:

The Center for Black Deaf Studies will:

  • 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.
  • Provide an environment of care and support for GU students, faculty and staff and community members
  • Employ staff members committed to student advocacy, advising and mentorship centered on positively impacting student retention and graduation.
  • Monitor, coordinate, support, and encourage research in the community.
  • Raise funds to support programs for the center

Program and projects


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.


Black Deaf Studies Center Open House

Meet the Millers: Part 1: Awareness

Financial Resource

Andrew Foster Scholarship

Provides financial assistance to Black deaf or hard of hearing students, undergraduate or graduate, with demonstrated financial need and a GPA of 3.0 or better. Preference is given to those who demonstrate a desire to advance the lives of Black deaf and hard of hearing people.

Linwood Smith Scholarship

The Linwood Smith Memorial Scholarship Fund was established by the initial donor, Elwood L. Miles, brother of Linwood Smith. The fund provides scholarship assistance to deaf and hard of hearing, AfricanAmerican, juniors, seniors, and graduate students with a GPA of 2.5 or better.

Glenn Anderson Scholarship

This is an educational financial assistance for BDA members and non-members. The Dr. Glenn B. Anderson Scholarship is funded through the generosity of individual donors, corporate donors and fundraising. The scholarship program aims to provide financial support for Black deaf students enrolled in undergraduate and graduate programs with 2.75 or better.


Dr. Carolyn McCaskill, Ph.D.

Professor, Deaf Studies Department

Dr. Martreece Watson, Ph.D.

ALLSTAR Director
Assistant Professor, English Department

Deleresa Mornes

Graduate Student Assistant

JC Smith

Undergraduate Student Assistant

Advisory Board

Dr. Rezenet Moges-Riedel

Christopher Johnson

Lindsay Dunn

Tim Albert

Dr. Ceil Lucas

Dr. Sandra Jowers-Barber

Daisy Wooten

Black Deaf Center Support Fund

Center for Black Deaf Studies

800 Florida Avenue
Washington, DC