“Fostering an environment of inclusion cultivates spaces for all human beings to thrive, to contribute, and to engage meaningfully in the world.” — Meghan E. Cosier, Ph.D. Executive Director, Thompson Policy Institute on Disability at Chapman University.
In a significant step forward in leading the national conversation addressing Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI), Chapman University educators pose a necessary question: Where is disability in the DEI discussion? Vice President of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Reg Chhen Stewart, along with Roxanne Greitz Miller, dean of Donna Ford Attallah College of Educational Studies are spearheading the discussion, encouraging educators and others to be inclusive of disabled persons when talking about DEI.
The Aug. 11 Summit on Disability and Inclusion promises to empower a thriving community by fostering inclusivity and address the often-overlooked issue of disability in the DEI discourse. The 8th annual and cornerstone event organized by the Thompson Policy Institute on Disability (TPI) within the Attallah College offers a half-day conference with topics including: diversifying the teaching workforce; inclusive schooling; employment for youth and adults with disabilities; access and equity for individuals with disabilities and bridging research policy and practice.
“Conversations about intersectionality need to happen, and we must avoid talking about disability in isolation. At TPI, our mission centers around disability, but our grants focus on intersectionality, including those who are historically marginalized,” explains Cosier.
The free conference has garnered immense interest, with more than 600 registered educators, including education faculty, teachers, medical professionals, business leaders, service providers, families, and self-advocates, all committed to joining this pivotal discussion. By intentionally focusing on disability and intersectionality, Chapman University aims to make a significant impact on the DEI landscape in Orange County and Southern California schools.
As DEI initiatives face scrutiny in several state legislatures, Chapman University is determined to lead by example, providing educators and attendees with valuable insights on creating inclusive spaces and nurturing empathy, understanding, and collaboration among the next generation. Audri Sandoval Gomez, co-director of the Thompson Policy Institute on Disability, emphasizes, “In a diverse world, advocacy for justice and inclusion is not just an option; it is an essential responsibility.”
The summit boasts distinguished speakers and presenters who are leading advocates and experts in the field of disability and inclusion.
- Shelley Moore, a renowned author and expert in inclusion, special education, and teacher professional development, is the keynote presenter.
- Dean of Attallah College Roxanne Greitz Miller and Vice President of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion at Chapman University Reginald Chhen Stewart, open the summit
- Charlotte Achieng Evensen (TPI) and Kevin Nguyen-Stockbridge, Chapman University’s Director of LGBTQ Pride and Achievement will present the California Educator Preparation Innovation Collaborative (CalEPIC) initiative, fostering inclusive environments and promoting equal opportunities for all.
- A research presentation by Amy-Jane Griffiths, associate professor of counseling and school psychology and doctoral candidate in the Attallah College of Educational Studies program, Rachel Wiegand sheds light on improving access and addressing barriers for neurodivergent individuals in the 21st century’s workforce.
The 2023 Summit on Disability and Inclusion promises to be a forum where ideas are exchanged, perspectives are broadened, and collaboration thrives. The event is free, but registration is required. A continental breakfast is offered on the lawn in front of Musco Center for the Arts beginning at 8 a.m., in advance of the day’s events.
About Chapman University
Founded in 1861, Chapman University is a nationally ranked private university located in Southern California. Chapman is categorized by the Carnegie Classification as an R2 “high research activity” institution and offers personalized education to more than 10,000 undergraduate and graduate students. The campus has produced a Rhodes Scholar, been named a top producer of Fulbright Scholars, and hosts a chapter of Phi Beta Kappa, the nation’s oldest and most prestigious honor society. Based in the city of Orange, Chapman also includes the Harry and Diane Rinker Health Science Campus in Irvine. In 2019, the university opened its 11th college, Fowler School of Engineering, in its newest facility, Keck Center for Science and Engineering. Learn more about Chapman University: www.chapman.edu.
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