Connections Update: How we closed out 2022

Emily Blum
January 5, 2023

JANUARY 5, 2023

Happy New Year! Before we begin 2023 in earnest, we want to take a moment to reflect on some late 2022 advancements and celebrate the incredible accomplishments and achievements by our 200 (and counting!) Disability Lead Members.  

In 2022, Disability Lead has identified and made connections to over 230 opportunities for our Members with over 75 successful connections. Some highlights include:

  • Welcome again to our 16 Fellows and 3 Members to the network. Read about our newest Fellows and Members here.  
  • Liz Davis is featured on this podcast hosted by Member Clare Killy.  
  • Vanessa Harris and her organization, Strategy for Access, was highlighted by Illinois Humanities in their Grantee Spotlight.
  • Emily Blum was quoted in The Hill about the Pennsylvania Governor’s Race and the role of disabilty/ableism in public discourse.
  • MOPD Commissioner Rachel Arfa spoke at the City Club of Chicago on her work to make Chicago the most accessible city in the nation.  
  • MOPD Deputy Commissioner Christina McGleam was awarded the Kathy Osterman Award for Outstanding Leader by Mayor Lori Lightfoot.  
  • LaShon Gurrola was awarded “Going Above and Beyond” for the lupus community by the Lupus Society of Illinois.
  • David Gayes was interviewed by GIA on the importance of disabled theologies and how those perspectives must be incorporated into work and ministries.  

Congratulations to all and we look forward to sharing more stories of our leaders paving the way throughout 2023! If you have an advancement you’d like included in future stories, please contact Tyrone.