Stein Scholar 1L Rep and evening student Jalyn Radziminski ’26 traveled to Washington, D.C. to speak at the White House’s “Black History Month Roundtable with Young Black Leaders with Disabilities” on Feb. 23. Radziminski was invited by the Biden-Harris Administration to share their experiences of living with a mental health disability as well as chronic compartment syndrome, with White House officials, representatives from federal agencies, and other young Black, Disabled community leaders from across the country. A longtime social justice advocate, Radziminski serves as the Director of Engagement at the Judge David L. Bazelon Center for Mental Health Law and is the founder of Count US IN, the first Indiana-based nonpartisan nonprofit led by Black, femme, and disability community organizers to increase and diversify civic engagement and voter turnout.
“My colleagues talked about the school setting, [and]I wanted to bring in the campus mental health perspective,” said Radziminski, who seeks to bring awareness to the need for both civic engagement and peer-led, accessible, and community-based mental health resources and services. “Through my experiences convening and organizing Black and other BIPOC, Disabled folk, both at the state and national levels, community engagement and empowerment are the key to building a more equitable and accessible world that I know a lot of us are not only dreaming of, but urgently need.”
Radziminski continued: “As a law student that’s working hard to join the ranks of just three percent of attorneys who identify as Disabled and nearly five percent of attorneys that identify as Black, I hope to be able to contribute to the conversation and help build the world that we need.”
Radziminski and their fellow panelists convened for private discussion on a variety of social justice issues following the publicly streamed roundtable.
The roundtable came on the heels of President Joe Biden signing his second executive order on equity on Feb. 16, further solidifying his commitment to advance racial equity and support for underserved communities—specifically communities of color, tribal communities, rural communities, people with disabilities, LGBTQI+ individuals, women and girls, and communities impacted by persistent poverty—through the federal government. This order “builds upon [President Biden’s] previous equity-related Executive Orders by extending and strengthening equity-advancing requirements for agencies, and it positions agencies to deliver better outcomes for the American people,” the announcement read.
Following the roundtable, the White House published this fact sheet, “The Biden-Harris Administration’s Work to Support Black Disabled Americans.”
“This is just the beginning of many conversations and initiatives,” Radziminski says. “Every policy has racial equity and disability justice implications. I hope to continue to apply what I learn at Fordham Law to become the strongest advocate I can be.”