TLC Announces 2024 Graduation Keynote

May 07, 2024

TLC Class of 2024 is excited to share its Graduation Keynote will be Franklin Jones Jr.

Franklin was born and raised on Wadmalaw Island, SC. A member of a Black Deaf family, he is the fourth generation Deaf in his family. He is poised to become the first member of his family to obtain a doctoral degree.

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Jones graduated from the South Carolina School for the Deaf in 2001. He pursued his undergraduate education at Gallaudet University, earning a Bachelor’s degree in American Sign Language, with double minors in Deaf Studies and Linguistics in 2017. Subsequently, he enrolled in the prestigious Master of Arts in Sign Language Education (MASLED) program in 2017, graduating with a master's degree in 2018. Upon completing his MASLED degree, Jones received a faculty job offer from Gallaudet University, where he honed his teaching skills and deepened his understanding of ASL communication dynamics while instructing a diverse student body, including Deaf, hard of hearing, and hearing individuals from 2018 to 2021.

Later, he transitioned to Boston University in 2021, serving as an American Sign Language (ASL) faculty teaching various proficiency levels while pursuing doctoral studies. His research interests encompass Black American Sign Language (BASL) and its historical origins, linguistic intricacies, cultural significance, and the resilience of Black Deaf males in higher education.

Jones is also highly regarded as a speaker on educational, linguistic, and cultural equity within Deaf communities. His presentations cover various topics, including Black Deaf experiences, ASL, Deaf culture, linguistics, and pedagogy.

We look forward to welcoming Franklin to campus and joining the Class of 2024 during our celebration on Friday, June 7th.