May 29, 2024

Listen to My Voice: CAIM and CEC Host Annual Disability Panel 

McKenna Gregg 27'

Photo Courtesy of McKenna Gregg

“Disability is not inability,” said Gordon Alumnus Nick Karinge ‘22. CAIM and CEC hosted and organized “Listen to My Voice,” an annual Gordon event, on March 22. Students, guests and faculty gathered in the Gregory Auditorium for a panel discussion on disability awareness and a group discussion. Christian Griffith ‘24 hosted the panel and Dr. Nathaniel Perez, the Director of Diversity, Community, and Belonging and Title IX coordinator at Gordon, acted as facilitator. The panel speakers included Nick Karinge, Christian “Big C” Smith ‘25, and Vicky Griffith, mother to a child with autism. 

The speakers shared about how their disabilities affect their lives, how their perception of disabilities has changed over their lifetime, how culture has impacted their view of disabilities and care, and what accessibility at Gordon looks like. Hearing different perspectives and knowledge from each of the panelists allowed audience members to learn more about what living with a disability looks like and how they can better serve and support those with disabilities. 

“What does care look like in your culture and how has it shaped your view on disabilities?” asked Dr. Perez. “Having to do what you have to do to make that person feel like one of you,” Karinge answered. It was clear throughout this event that love, empathy, and care was the most important takeaway for the audience. “I’m very glad that I had people who gave the right support and people who accept me for who I am and don’t look down on me for having a disability,” Smith added. This event emphasized the importance of becoming knowledgeable of disabilities and promoting inclusivity in its many forms on campus. 

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