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Local United Ways and DNMM Present 21-Day Disability Equity Challenge

21 day disability equity challenge logo shows cartoon images of people smiling and shaking hands

United Ways throughout the Great Lakes Bay Region are partnering with Disability Network of Mid-Michigan to present the 21-Day Disability Equity Challenge. This statewide effort to explore disability from a position of equity and pride is designed to raise awareness, increase understanding and shift perspective about disability in our culture.

“Action begins with awareness and understanding,” shared Beth Sorenson Prince, Director of Advocacy at United Way of Midland County. “We are inviting our community to join us in this challenge to learn, understand and take action in helping raise awareness. We ask that participants fully engage in this challenge, adding to the conversation around creating a safe and equitable community for our neighbors with disabilities.”

The challenge starts today, August 1 and runs through August 26, with a virtual summit to be held on August 30. This challenge is open to the community and United Way encourages everyone to consider participating.

How the Challenge Works

· Each weekday from August 1– August 26 participants will receive an email with links to recommended articles, videos, podcasts and more

· Each email includes a thought-provoking question as a journal prompt – participants are encouraged to write down their thoughts, feelings, questions, etc. to use as discussion topics during the virtual summit on August 30

· Daily Topics will include: ableism, the history of the disability justice movement, intersectionality, language, accessibility, systemic inequalities for people with disabilities, ally-ship and disability pride

“Change and impact start at an individual level,” shared Holly Miller, President and CEO of United Way of Midland County. “By broadening the conversation and increasing awareness of the importance of disability equity, we can better understand the experiences of people with disabilities. Learning and understanding will help us work alongside and take action to improve our workplaces, communities and the lives of our neighbors.”

The challenge is fully virtual and is 100% free. United Way shared that the experience will deepen understanding, suggest ways to take action, and help launch what they hope will be a lifelong commitment to improving equity and inclusion in our community.

“Disability Network of Mid-Michigan is proud and honored to serve as a resource to the Great Lakes Bay Region,” shared Kelly PeLong, Executive Director at Disability Network of Mid-Michigan. “We are thrilled to be offering the Disability Equity Challenge, furthering our commitment to creating accessible and inclusive communities.”

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