Jerry Covell will join a panel on the 25th anniversary of the “Deaf President Now” protest at Gallaudet University.
Covell was one of the organizers of the protest in 1988 in opposition to the board of trustees’ decision to appoint a hearing person as president of the university, which is the world’s only liberal arts institution of higher education for the deaf.
Covell graduated the following year from Gallaudet. He was one of four student leaders and, according to the school’s website, was considered the “spiritual leader” of the protest. It led to a reversal of the board’s decision and the appointment of Gallaudet’s first deaf president.
The protest is considered a seminal moment in deaf people asserting their culture and giving the deaf community a shared sense of determination and empowerment.
The panel is scheduled for next Saturday at Gallaudet University in the nation’s capital.