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Press Release: The Pandemic has Heightened Inequities for People with Disabilities

05/06/2021

Press Release: The Pandemic has Heightened Inequities for People with Disabilities

May 14 Symposium to Bring Leading Experts, Justice Advocates Together To Address Change

New York, N.Y. (May 6, 2021) – Pace University, in partnership with New York City’s leading social justice organization dedicated to helping people with intellectual and developmental disabilities attain equity and live full lives, is hosting a symposium to inform policy about the disparate impacts that the COVID 19 pandemic has had on people with disabilities and how race, ethnicity, gender identity, and cultural biases affect their quality of life and health outcomes.

The free event, to be held virtually on May 14, is presented in partnership with AHRC New York City and Georgetown University’s National Center for Cultural Competence. The half-day conference will take an in-depth look at the lived experiences and compounded disparities of people with disabilities; public policies affecting them; and many of the lessons learned from the pandemic.

With participation from the NYC Mayor’s Office for People with Disabilities, NYC Department of Social Services’ Office of Disability Affairs, and Trinity Church Wall Street, featured contributors include people with disabilities and leading disability rights advocates such as Judy Heumann; social/racial justice and health-equity advocate Daniel Dawes, executive director of the Satcher Health Leadership Institute at Morehouse School of Medicine; members of the Biden-Harris Covid-19 Health Equity Task Force; the Mayor’s Office for People with Disabilities; Georgetown University; NYC Department of Health and New York Law, among many others, as well as remarks by New York Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand.

“As a physician providing care on the frontlines during the height of the pandemic, it was clear that health inequities would not be solved by health professionals and academics alone,” said Dr. Sheryl White-Scott, senior medical advisor at AHRC New York City and a Board of Director of the Human Services Research Institute. “We need to collaborate with communities with lived experiences. Substantial and sustainable change will be impossible without incorporating disability, race, ethnicity, gender, culture and political determinants into our collective action plan. In order to act differently, we must first think differently.”

The goal of the symposium is to foster a deeper discussion about the challenges facing people with disabilities and identify needed changes to policy, service delivery, training, and other key considerations. It is specifically designed for decision-makers and staff in health and health-equity policy and social/racial justice; city, state, and federal government as well as health and behavioral health care providers; non-profit disability agencies, academic institutions, foundations and corporate leaders focused on diversity, equity and inclusion; and BIPOC with disabilities.

Interested parties can register for the free event here.

Each year, AHRC New York City touches the lives of over 15,000 individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities throughout the five boroughs. The array of services offered by the organization is unsurpassed. The organization that created the first schools, day programs and community residences, continues to meet the needs of its individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities -- and offer individuals a wide range of programs, services and supports tailored to meet their specific needs.

“So much is at stake right now for humanity as a whole. The odds are especially stacked against people who live at the intersection of disability, race, and gender identity,” said Marco Damiani, Chief Executive Officer at AHRC New York City. ”People with disabilities, leaders in health and human services, academia, local and national government, and in corporate America must be the committed catalysts we need eliminate the inequities in our health and social systems. COVID 19 cannot and should not be used to politicize our response to the pandemic.”

"This symposium offers the opportunity to take a deep dive to examine the impact of COVID-19 on persons with disabilities in NYC through lived experience and the lens of the political determinants of health,” said Tawara D. Goode, director, Georgetown University National Center for Cultural Competence. “Most importantly this symposium is a catalyst for action to effect systems change." 

Pace University President Marvin Krislov said that as a leader of an institution that focuses on equity, inclusion, diversity for all people, it was imperative to bring these experts together to foster change.

"As a proudly inclusive institution dedicated to serving our broader community, Pace University is pleased to help convene this important discussion," said President Krislov. "The past year has been deeply challenging for everyone, but it has exacerbated the disparate challenges already faced by those living with disabilities. We're proud to be a part of the search for solutions."

About Pace University: Pace University has a proud history of preparing its diverse student body for a lifetime of professional success as a result of its unique program that combines rigorous academics and real-world experiences. Pace is ranked the #1 private, four-year college in the nation for upward economic mobility by Harvard University’s Opportunity Insights, evidence of the transformative education the University provides. From its beginnings as an accounting school in 1906, Pace has grown to three campuses, enrolling 13,000 students in bachelor’s, master’s, and doctoral programs in more than 150 majors and programs, across a range of disciplines: arts, sciences, business, health care, technology, law, education, and more. The university also has one of the most competitive performing arts programs in the country. Pace has a signature, newly renovated campus in New York City, located in the heart of vibrant Lower Manhattan, next to Wall Street and City Hall, and two campuses in Westchester County, New York: a 200-acre picturesque Pleasantville Campus and the Elisabeth Haub School of Law in White Plains. Follow us on Twitter or on the Pace News website.

 

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The Hechinger Report featured President Marvin Krislov teaming up with Stelios Vassilakis, chief programs and strategic initiatives officer at the Stavros Niarchos Foundation, on the op-ed "OPINION: How targeted internships are helping students and nonpr

04/22/2021

The Hechinger Report featured President Marvin Krislov teaming up with Stelios Vassilakis, chief programs and strategic initiatives officer at the Stavros Niarchos Foundation, on the op-ed "OPINION: How targeted internships are helping students and nonprofits get through the pandemic"

When the coronavirus reached America a year ago, it upended everything about how we live and work. For college students, it meant a quick shift to online classes and shuttered residence halls. It meant virtual commencements and canceled plans.

For many students, it also meant canceled internship opportunities. And that was a bigger problem than you might realize.

Internships can play as critical a role in a student’s educational and career success as their academic coursework, providing crucial opportunities to learn by doing and gain professional experience.

Perhaps even more importantly — especially for students from historically underrepresented groups — internships help build professional networks that can support them throughout their careers.

In addition, students overwhelmingly report that internships help them focus their career goals, national research shows. Paying internships often provide much-needed income that helps make college possible.

Read the full Hechinger Report article.

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Westchester Magazine featured Pace’s strong response to the pandemic in "Higher Education – A sea change in student life"

02/18/2021

Westchester Magazine featured Pace’s strong response to the pandemic in "Higher Education – A sea change in student life"

– Higher Education –

A sea change in student life

College campuses in Westchester adjusted to pandemic-related challenges relatively well over the course of 2020, with some embracing innovations in learning and student life that will likely last for many years to come.

In October,College Magazine touted Pleasantville-based Pace University as having the fourth-best response to COVID-19 among higher educational institutions in the nation. The magazine praised the university’s impressive response plan, prorated housing and meal refunds, pass-fail grading, and random testing linked to the college’s “Pace Safe” security app. The university also launched the New York Recovery internship program, which placed and funded 65 students at 24 different nonprofit organizations conducting pandemic relief work in the region. “We helped organizations that were struggling — and some students have even secured jobs out of this, as well,” notes Pace University president Marvin Krislov. “We’ve also learned that we can do a lot remotely.”

Krislov adds that for 2021, the spring semester will likely look very similar to the fall. “It’s an uncertain situation,” he adds, with shifts that occur based on infection rates and the status of the pandemic. “But we are hoping to have more in-person activities and hoping to have athletics up and running.”

Read the full Westchester Magazine article.

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Forbes featured President Marvin Krislov's latest column "The Pandemic Has Been Tough, But We’re Ready For What Comes Next"

02/18/2021

Forbes featured President Marvin Krislov's latest column "The Pandemic Has Been Tough, But We’re Ready For What Comes Next"

Last week, I delivered a State of the University address. The annual speech is a chance for me to look back at where we’ve been and look ahead to where we’re going. This year, it felt especially important to gather our community and take stock. And I realized that what we’ve gone through over the last year at Pace University is a microcosm for what we’ve gone through over the year as a country.

The past year has been hard—hard for us as individuals, hard for higher education, hard for our country. At colleges and universities across the country, we’ve dealt with remote education and remote life, with social distance and occasional lockdowns, with the risk of infection and, in some cases, positive cases. We’ve worried about keeping students on track in their studies, about maintaining enrollment, about balancing our budgets amid decreased revenue and increased costs.

And yet when I sat down to reflect on the year behind us, and to look at the one ahead, I found myself optimistic. What I saw was, in fact, a year of triumph. As it turns out, 2020 was a year that leaves me deeply optimistic for our future—not despite what we went through, but because of it. 

The last year reminded me that the people of Pace, like people across the country, are tough.

We didn’t give up. We didn’t give in. Some members of our community dealt with truly terrible situations—sickness, lost work, loneliness, even the loss of loved ones. We mourned the losses, we supported each other—and, most important, we kept working to meet our goals. I suspect this is what happened at colleges and universities nationwide.

Faculty had to pivot in the space of days to entirely new ways of teaching, even while dealing with enormous new obligations in their own lives. Staff and administrators kept the University operating, even as some had to come in every day to keep our systems running and our buildings secure. Our students never forgot the importance of working toward their degrees. Some faced barriers to travel, some faced financial hardship, some tested positive and had to be isolated. But they kept working, and they kept learning. 

And, looking back, I see that we got so much done.

Despite the pandemic, last spring we graduated 2,224 students.

Over the summer, nearly 2,200 new students went through virtual Orientation. And close to 700 faculty members signed up for training to learn how to maximize the possibilities of virtual instruction.

In the fall semester, we processed nearly 10,000 COVID-19 tests through our community testing program. So far this spring semester, we’ve processed another 5,000 and counting.

We hosted 224,714 Pace Zoom meetings since March of last year, with participants connecting from 168 countries and logging a total of 131,879,669 meeting minutes.

Across the country, everyone did what had to be done to make it through this tough year.

We all also kept doing everything we normally do. At Pace, faculty won grants. Students won awards. We recruited a new class of students. We brought on new deans. We raised money. We expanded our online offerings.

Taking stock of all those accomplishments, I know we’re ready to take on the challenges of moving forward. I think that’s true for all of us in this country.

Nationally, we’re ramping up vaccine distribution, and we’re raring to restart our economy. Here at Pace, we’re building an ambitious new strategic plan to move us forward. We’re renewing our commitment to building a University where everyone is included, and everyone is valued. Just last week, thanks to the tremendous generosity of our trustee Barry Gosin, CEO of the global real estate firm Newmark, we announced the Barry M. and Jackie Gosin Center for Equity and Inclusion at Pace University, which will serve as a hub for our work on diversity, equity, and inclusion.

We’re all ready to move forward.

In 1962, President John F. Kennedy promised to send Americans to the moon not because it was easy, he said, but because it was hard. Because it was a goal that would, he said, “serve to organize and measure the best of our energies and skills.”

This last year was hard, and it brought out the best of our energies and skills. Now it is time for our moonshot: To leverage that strength, to value our people, and to lift everyone up. To join together, focus our energies, and boldly move forward.

The lesson of the last year is that we can do it.

Read the Forbes article.

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Bustle featured Dyson Professor Sally Dickerson in "The Guilt And Shame Pandemic"

01/14/2021

Bustle featured Dyson Professor Sally Dickerson in "The Guilt And Shame Pandemic"

Considering the damage that stress can do to the immune system, could feelings of intense guilt and shame also put you at greater risk during a pandemic? “There is some evidence linking either chronic or short-term experiences of shame with inflammation,” writes Sally Dickerson, a professor of psychology at Pace University who co-authored a study on the subject in 2004, in an email. But, she adds, it’s not clear whether these changes in inflammatory activity would be enough to alter disease course for someone with COVID.

Read the full Bustle article.

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