Her Abilities Award 2019 Jury member Haben Girma at the High- Level Political Forum

More than 2,000 participants from governments, civil society, academia and business attended this year's High-Level Political Forum in New York City on July 2019. 

Light for the World co-organized a successful side event called "Unifying the Playing Field: Local and Global Movements to Advance the Right to Education" with the Global Campaign for Education, and RESULTS at the Ford Foundation Center for Social Justice. Ms. Haben Girma's keynote speech was a major highlight at the event which reached a maximum capacity of attendees.  

Haben, and her service dog Mylo showed attendees of the side event how inclusive settings benefit everyone. A young woman in the audience who asked Haben a question through her Braille keyboard summed up the atmosphere in the room perfectly by typing:

“I am usually apprehensive about asking questions, but this format has been so inclusive. It makes me very happy, I stand in solidarity with you.” 

Haben Girma is the first Deafblind person to graduate from Harvard Law School. She is an advocate for equal opportunities for people with disabilities and travels the world teaching the benefits of choosing inclusion.

Haben Girma and former US President, Barack Obama (Photo Credit: Pete Souza)

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, former President Bill Clinton, and Chancellor Angela Merkel have all honoured Haben. Former President of the United States, Barack Obama, named her a "White House Champion of Change" after meeting her. 

We are thankful and proud to have Ms. Girma on the panel of jurors this year and that she is a member of the Her Abilities family:

Ms. Girma's autobiography “Haben: The Deafblind Woman Who Conquered Harvard Law” will be released in early August. Order your copy here.

Haben Girma Keynote Speech at side event