Webinar – Disability and Leadership:
A Pivotal Moment in Philanthropy
People with disabilities are significantly underrepresented in management roles and professional occupations, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. Philanthropy has an essential role to play in shifting this paradigm.
In this webinar, speakers highlighted what is possible when philanthropy centers the leadership of disabled people. When disability representation is more than an aspiration, there is potential to create true inclusivity and accessibility in our strategies, goals, grantmaking, and design.
This learning session covered topics including:
- Actions philanthropy can take to elevate disabled staff members to leadership roles.
- Why and how to ensure there is disability representation on boards.
- How leaders that self-disclose their disability can lead the shift toward more inclusive workplace cultures?
About the Panelists
Moderator: Emily Harris, Executive Director, Disability & Philanthropy Forum
Emily Harris, Executive Director of the Disability & Philanthropy Forum, was the founding Executive Director of Disability Lead, the nation’s first disability civic leadership program, and a Senior Director at the Chicago Community Trust. In previous positions she focused on regional economic growth, open space conservation, early childhood education policy, non-profit strategy, and urban planning. Emily earned a B.A. from Oberlin College and an M.A. from the University of Chicago. She is President of Jewish Reconstructionist Congregation and serves on Forest Preserves of Cook County Conservation and Policy Council, and the Local Initiatives Support Corporation Chicago Advisory Board.
Panelist: Azeema Akram, Administrative Law Judge, Illinois Human Rights Commission
Azeema Akram is an Administrative Law Judge at the Illinois Human Rights Commission. She is one of 34 members of the national Deaf & Hard of Hearing Bar Association to be sworn in the United Supreme Court Bar. Azeema has been published in the American Bar Association Journal and received the University of Missouri-Columbia College of Arts & Science 2021 Distinguished Alumni Award.
Azeema is a member of the Regional Transportation Authority’s Paratransit Certification Formal Appeals Program Eligibility Review Board. She is Secretary of the Board of Directors of Red Clay Dance Company. She also serves on the Executive Board of Disability Lead. Azeema earned her B.A. from the University of Missouri-Columbia and her J.D. from DePaul University College of Law.
Panelist: Rasheera Dopson, MPH, Research Assistant II, National Center of Primary Care–Research & Policy Division at Morehouse School of Medicine
Rasheera Dopson, MPH is a public speaker, podcaster, author, and qualitative researcher at the National Center of Primary Care at Morehouse School of Medicine. Her intersectional research approach has supported systems, organizations, and teams to advance equity and mitigate health disparities in multiply-marginalized communities through community engagement, policy development, education, and advocacy. She is the founder of the Dopson Foundation whose organizational aim is the advancement of professional, health, and social equity for women and girls with disabilities.