Last month, in observance of National Disability Awareness Month (NDEAM), thirty job-seeking students participated in an evening of discussions on diversity and inclusive hiring initiatives with hopes to close the gap. These conversations took place in the form of table-top group talks with representatives from organizations including Link20, the United Nations, Goldman Sachs, Weil, Gotshal & Manges, and the CUNY Central Office of Recruitment and Diversity.
This event was conceived and planned by members of the Abilities and Resources Committee. Selma Sulejman, Leonard Blades, Rokshana Ali, Jenna Lamm, and Gabrielle Carrion, who facilitated the discussion groups. The main goal was to showcase “The Right Talent, Right Now” theme.
“As a disability advocate, my motivation derives from seeking to listen to those who have been overlooked cohesively. My passion is to create spaces in which everyone gets to voice their philosophies and questions related to their given abilities and limitations. Most importantly, I have the utmost desire to connect our students with like-minded individuals, who may assist in furthering innovation, inclusion, and equality.” Said Selma Sulejman, the co-chairperson of the Abilities and Resources Committee. “It is essential to hosting table-top conversations, as we strive to raise awareness around societal topics that lack acknowledgment. With events like these, our attendees gain more knowledge; thus, helping bridge the gap between the non-disabled and the disability community. Our goal is to gain solidarity, educate, employ different mechanisms, and plan for a continuum regime of implementations that will perhaps lead us to unity and improvement.”
“I would like to thank everyone who attended our event, and I genuinely appreciate all the participants’ contributions to make this event a success.” Said Leonard Blades, the co-chairperson of the Abilities and Resources Committee, who also serves in the CUNY Coalition for Students with Disabilities. “Thanks to events like this, I can directly advocate on behalf of the more than 11,000 students with disabilities who attend CUNY.”
This event was co-sponsored by the CUNY SPS Abilities and Resources Committee and the CUNY Coalition of Students with Disabilities (CCSD), as a part of October NDEAM programming at CUNY SPS.
The event organizers were Chris Fleming, CUNY SPS Disability Services Coordinator, and Sarah Krusemark, CUNY SPS Student Services Coordinator. Shannon Gallo, CUNY SPS Career Services Manager and Heather Zeman, CUNY SPS Events Manager, provided support to the organizing team for a successful event.
The Abilities and Resources Committee is a subcommittee of the CUNY SPS Student Association that sponsors inclusive events that celebrate diversity among the many experiences of disability.
For more information, and to learn more about these events, please visit: https://sps.cuny.edu/cuny-sps-honors-disability-community