Haben Girma, a Black woman wearing a red dress and pearl earrings, looks thoughtful.

Human Rights Lawyer


Haben Girma

Haben Girma is a human rights lawyer advancing disability justice. President Obama named her a White House Champion of Change. She received the Helen Keller Achievement Award, a spot on the Forbes 30 Under 30 list, and TIME100 Talks. She believes disability is an opportunity for innovation, and she teaches organizations the importance of choosing inclusion. The New York Times, Oprah Magazine, and TODAY Show featured her memoir, Haben: The Deafblind Woman Who Conquered Harvard Law.


I thought Helen Keller’s story taught the world that Deafblind people can lead fulfilling lives. I thought I was safe. That shattered when I learned of the physicians who decided that depressed Deafblind twins should die. We need to fight the deadly force of ableism and create a California where every person, disabled or nondisabled, has access to quality care.  

Haben Girma

How do you pronounce your name?

Haben (Ha like ha-ha and ben like Benjamin) Girma (Gir like girl and ma like karma).

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