K. Shriver, Senior Vice President of Save the Children’s
U.S. programs, joins faculty, students and practitioners at St.
John’s University this month for a conference urging society to
welcome persons with disabilities not as individuals requiring
assistance, but as creative human beings with much to
The conference — “Beyond Accommodation: Embracing Persons with
Disabilities” — will explore the ways that universities,
communities and other institutions can transform their views of and
engagement with disabled persons.
Sponsored by the Vincentian Center for Church and
Society at St. John’s, the conference takes place at the
NY, campus on Tuesday, October 16. Presentations, panel discussions
and exhibits by faculty, students and practitioners will be held
from 3:30–7:30 p.m. in the D’Angelo Center, Room 416.
Mr. Shriver will deliver the keynote speech, “A ‘Good’ Person: The
Power to Embrace.” The author of A Good Man: Rediscovering My Father,
Sargent Shriver, he will discuss the attitudes, values and
beliefs that promote the full acceptance of persons with
disabilities as unique, vital human beings.
“The Vincentian Center for Church and Society is pleased to be
sponsoring this important conference,” said
Mary Ann Dantuono, Associate Director of the Center. “Persons
with disabilities have been relegated to the margins of society.
Convening faculty and students across the curricula and schools of
the University will lead to a greater awareness of what we can do
as a society to respect the dignity and accept the vulnerabilities
of every human person.”
The conference stems from discussions and work by the University’s
Fellows — an interdisciplinary group of St. John’s professors
whose research and projects advance the cause of social justice.
Representing a broad range of disciplines, seven senior research
fellows are participating in the event.
“This conference allows us to celebrate the gifts that persons with
disabilities give to society,” added Senior Vincentian Fellow Regina
Mistretta, Ed.D., Associate Professor of Curriculum and
Instruction in The School of Education. “Practitioners have
graciously agreed to share the ways their organizations embrace
these gifts, and my participating students are grateful for the
opportunity to share what they’ve learned from working with
“We’ll be able to foster so many connections,” said
Robert Tomes, Ph.D., a Senior Vincentian Research Fellow and
Professor of History in the College of Professional Studies, “most
of all with people who can inspire us to move from empathy to
For more information about the conference, visit the Beyond
Accommodations Web page or contact the Vincentian Center for
Church and Society: (718) 990-1612; email@example.com.