On December 15th, Disability Lead announced its class of 16 Fellows for our 2023 Institute! These accomplished leaders represent a diverse group of professionals across Chicago’s nonprofit, corporate, public, and small business sectors.
In addition, three new individuals were welcomed to the Network as Members growing our Network to over 200 diverse leaders with disabilities. We also celebrate the 15 individuals graduating from the 2022 Institute who are now Members!
Every year we hope that our Network moves closer to reflecting the diversity of our region in all ways. The class of 2023 comes to Disability Lead as one of the most diverse cohorts in Disability Lead’s history, bringing forward authentic intersectional leadership. 60% of Fellows are people of color, and the diversity in disability identity celebrates that most disabilities are invisible. Mental health is the largest represented group, followed by chronic pain and physical disability. The 2023 Fellows are educators, public servants, medical professionals, communications professionals, community and social services professionals, and more, representing almost equally the private, nonprofit, and public sectors. We believe that every issue is a disability issue, and by having Fellows from all professional backgrounds, our leaders will change the world.
“We are thrilled to welcome the 2023 Fellows and new Members to Disability Lead and our network of positive disruptors. Their disruption, which we define as their ability to question how things are done, innovate, lead the charge and create something entirely new, is needed. It’s how our communities will evolve to be more equitable. It’s how businesses will grow and survive,” said Emily Blum, Executive Director, Disability Lead.
Our 2023 Fellows include:
Mike Blight - Sprout Social
Garcsa Brooks - Thresholds
Gizelle Clemens - National Medical Fellowships
Lincoln Edwards - Chicago Metropolitan Agency for Planning
Akeseiah “Keys” Felton - CDW
Sydney Holman - Cozen O'Connor
Brittney Hyde - Anixter Center of Chicago
Amy Johnson - Sprout Social
Frank Lally - Access Living
Ana Monga - Google
Mads Oliver - Noble Schools
Jennifer "JP" Price - EY
Marina Salman - Access Living
Kruti Shah - Rush University Medical Center
Matthew Silva - Chicago Public Schools
Riley Spreadbury - Lincolnway Special Recreation Association
We also welcome the following New Members:
Carly Englander - City of Chicago Mayor's Office for People with Disabilities
Safiya Eshe Gyasi James - Blaq Gurl Fya
Amanda Walsh - Illinois Children's Mental Health Partnership