About Deaf President Now (DPN)
The Deaf President Now protest (DPN) occurred in response to Gallaudet University's Board of Trustees' decision to appoint a hearing person, Elisabeth A. Zinser, to be the university's seventh president. The decision was made on Sunday, March 6, 1988.
People who advocated for the next president to be deaf were greatly disappointed by the decision. Students and the Deaf community staged a protest that lasted for a week. The protesters presented to the board with four demands:
- Elisabeth Zinser must resign and a deaf person be selected president;
- Jane Spilman must step down as chairperson of the Board of Trustees;
- deaf people must constitute a 51% majority on the Board; and
- there would be no reprisals against any student or employee involved in the protest.
By the end of the week, the protestors declared victory, for I. King Jordan was selected as Gallaudet University’s next president, Jane Spilman stepped down, and Phil Bravin was appointed as the first deaf chairperson of the Board of Trustees.
The purpose of this guide is to help you locate resources about the Deaf President Now protest. The resources are available in multiple forms, such as books, articles, videos and archival materials.