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White House disabilities rights advocate to speak on campus March 22

Maria Town, Associate Director of the Office of Public Engagement at the White House, will speak on the Furman campus Tuesday, March 22 at 6:30 p.m. in Patrick Lecture Hall of the Townes Science Center.

Her talk, “Installing an Elevator in the Ivory Tower: Universities and Disability Rights,” is free and open to the public. It is sponsored by the Furman Department of History and the A.S. Reid Endowed Lecture Fund. The event is part of Furman’s Cultural Life Program.

Town will discuss the history of the disability rights movement in the context of academia and the university. She will also highlight the role academic spaces play in cultivating the next generation of disability rights leaders and advocates. Further, she will discuss ways in which the Obama administration’s efforts within higher education are working to improve outcomes for students with disabilities.

In the Office of Public Engagement, Town works to engage the disability community and coordinates engagement among federal agencies. She previously served as a Policy Advisor for the U.S. Department of Labor’s Office of Disability Employment Policy on the Youth Policy Team. In this role, Town focused on youth development and leadership, career development, and community colleges.

Before beginning her public service, Town worked in the Provost’s Office of Emory University where she dealt with issues related to diversity and community-building.

Originally from Louisiana, Town received her bachelor’s in anthropology from Emory University.

For more information, contact the Furman News and Media Relations Office at (864) 294-3107.

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