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Disability Community Engagement

Click here for a transcript of this webinar.

The Pledge Learning Series is for Disability Inclusion Pledge signatories only and is intended to build a community to learn together. The series will provide participants with key resources as well as safe spaces for “real talk” about questions that come up throughout the journey.

In keeping with the disability rights principle “nothing about us, without us,” it’s vital for philanthropic organizations to implement explicit policies for including people with disabilities in community engagement activities and other advisory roles. 

Tune in to learn from Emily Harris, Executive Director of the Disability & Philanthropy Forum and Sandy Ho, Program Director of the Disability Inclusion Fund at Borealis Philanthropy, in an open, honest dialogue about how to meaningfully and effectively engage the disability community as part of the journey to disability inclusion.

About the Panelists

Sandy Ho is an Asian American woman sitting in a power wheelchair. She has round glasses and is wearing a gray sweater over a blue striped collar shirt, and red checkered pants with maroon shoes. She is sitting in a field of grass.

Sandy Ho, Program Director, Disability Inclusion Fund, Borealis Philanthropy

Sandy Ho is a visionary disabled community organizer with a long-standing commitment to grassroots disability activism and advocacy. Sandy is the program director of the Disability Inclusion Fund at Borealis Philanthropy. She is the founder and co-organizer of the Disability & Intersectionality Summit, a biennial national conference that uplifts and celebrates the lived experiences of disabled people of color. In 2015 Sandy was recognized as a White House Champion of Change for her work with the Thrive Program in Massachusetts, a mentoring program for young women with disabilities who were mentored by older disabled women. Prior to joining Borealis Philanthropy, Sandy was the research project manager at the Community Living Policy Center at Brandeis University where she expanded the capacity and facilitated partnerships to support national disability-led policy research. She is the co-partner in the Access is Love campaign that she leads with Alice Wong and Mia Mingus. Her essay Canfei to Canji: The Freedom of Being Loud is included in the anthology Disability Visibility: First-Person Stories from the Twenty-First Century edited by Alice Wong. She identifies as a disabled queer Asian American woman, and obnoxious Red Sox fan.

A white woman with short dark curly hair wearing a black top and jacket and pearl earrings standing in front of a tree

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.