Dr. Sandra Jowers-Barber

Dr. Sandra Jowers-Barber is Director of the Division of Humanities at the University of the District of Columbia Community College and an Associate Professor of History.  A native of Atlantic City, N.J., Sandra received a PhD in US History, an MA in Public History and a BA in English with a minor in journalism from Howard University.  Sandra became Division Director in spring 2015 and in a recent co-authored article, “Linking New Chair Preparation with First-Year Success” in The Department Chair, Volume 28 Issue 4, shares some of her experiences as a new academic administrator. 


Trained as a public and oral historian, she taught History at the University of the District of Columbia and directed the History Program. Sandra introduced and embedded public history into her courses and developed an annual student focused New York City Public History Tour. That tour, housed at the Community College, provides students with the opportunity, each semester to visit the African Burial Ground Museum, the 911 Monument and historic sites in Harlem.  Her research interest focuses on documenting and interpreting the history of the African American deaf community.


Sandra publishes and presents on the historic 1952 Miller v. DC Board of Education decision, which ended the geographical educational exile of District of Columbia resident African American deaf children. This case had a similar impact for the deaf community as the 1954 Brown v. Board of Education landmark decision had for the African American community.  She has published on the educational history of the African American deaf community in Washington, DC.   Her chapter, “The Struggle to Educate Black Deaf School Children in Washington, DC”, in A Fair Chance in the Race of Life: Gallaudet University’s Role in Deaf History, explores the struggle of African American deaf school age children for an education in the District. This anthology, published by Gallaudet University Press, celebrates 150 years of deaf education in Washington, D.C. Sandra’s contribution in A State-by-State History of Raceand Racism in the United States, published by ABC-CLIO, looks at racism in the District of Columbia.  Other publications, “Educating Washington’s Black Deaf Children in the Nineteenth Century”, and her chapter in Emerging Scholars Shifting Paradigms: Black Women’s Scholarship, document the struggle to establish a school for the deaf in the District. Her entry on the “The National Black Deaf Advocates” is found in the Encyclopedia of American DisabilityHistory.  


Dr. Jowers-Barberis active in the community and serves as amember of the District of Columbia Historic Preservation Review Board and as acommissioner on the Mary McLeod Bethune Council House National Historic Site Advisory Commission.  As a Public Historian, Sandra is very intentional in working to provide opportunities for deaf and hearing scholars of color to collaborate on academic projects that inform their response to address issues of social issues. 

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