Haben Girma BA ’10
Haben Girma BA ’10, disability rights advocate, speaker, author, and lawyer, delivered the keynote address at the commencement ceremony for the Charter College at Cal State Los Angeles.
Haben Girma BA ’10, the first deaf-blind graduate of Harvard Law School, recently received the Helen Keller Achievement Award from the American Foundation for the Blind for her work as a disability rights lawyer. In addition, Girma is also featured in Black Girls Rock!: Owning Our Magic, Rocking Our Truth, a new book celebrating the voices of black women, including Michelle Obama, Angela Davis, Shonda Rhimes, Misty Copeland, Yara Shahidi, Mary J. Blige, and more. “It’s an honor to be among so many incredible women,” says Girma. In March 2018, she was a featured speaker at SXSW in Austin, Texas.
Haben Girma BA ’10 penned an opinion piece titled “Break down disability barriers to spur growth and innovation” for the September 13, 2017, edition of the Financial Times. The piece describes the various ways in which challenges can lead to invention and argues that if businesses want to thrive, they should turn attention toward making workplaces more accommodating to those with disabilities.
Haben Girma BA ’10 appeared on BET network’s Black Girls Rock! awards show in summer 2017. Girma was honored with the M.A.D. (making a difference) award, alongside such names as congresswoman Maxine Waters, singer Solange Knowles, and actor Yara Shahidi.
Haben Girma BA ’10 was presented with the Outstanding Young Alumna Award by the Lewis & Clark Board of Alumni. See “Lewis & Clark to Host Alumni Awards” in the winter 2017 issue of the Chronicle.
Haben Girma BA ’10, a disability rights lawyer and accomplished public speaker, describes her journey to becoming the first deafblind graduate of Harvard Law School. In what Publisher’s Weekly calls a “heartwarming memoir,” Girma describes her family visits to the African country of Eritrea, her pioneering work on a text-to-braille communication system, and her struggles and triumphs in the education system, among other adventures. Twelve, 2019. 288 pages.