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Celebrating Hispanic Heritage Month

Published by Kassi Soulard on

This is a special post written by Charles Warren, Curriculum Developer at Triangle. Charlie is also a member of Triangle’s Racial Equity Task Force. As part of our commitment to the work of our Racial Equity Task Force, we will be sharing more information with you on subjects related to racial equity and disability justice. This post continues our series dedicated to calling attention to the contributions of people with disabilities to American history.

Did you know that September 15-October 15 is Hispanic Heritage Month and Latinx Heritage Month? This week, we are highlighting Hispanic Americans who are focused on increasing awareness and empowerment for Hispanic Americans with disabilities. Click here to read our last blog post, which explains why it’s important to celebrate both heritages this month, and check back later in October to learn more about Latinx Heritage Month.

Victor Santiago Pineda

Victor Pineda poses for a portrait with his hand resting on his chin smiling at the camera. In the background is a city skyline with large skyscrapers. Victor is wearing a dark suit with a white collared shirt.

Victor Santiago Pineda is a Venezuelan-born social development scholar, social impact entrepreneur, disability rights expert, and international speaker on accessibility. He was diagnosed with muscular dystrophy at the age of seven and became a wheelchair user at the age of 10.

In his early career, he served as the youngest government delegate to participate in the drafting of the United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities, and founded World Enabled, an educational non-profit organization that promotes the rights and dignities of people with disabilities.

More recently, he founded the Pineda Foundation, a non-profit organization that works to make cities more accessible for people with disabilities. He is also a Senior Fellow at the Mohammed Bin Rashid School of Government in Dubai and directs the Inclusive Cities Lab at UC Berkeley.

Pineda is a globally recognized human rights expert and a two-time presidential appointee. He has served on the United States Access Board, which is responsible for developing and enforcing accessibility standards for federal buildings and facilities.

Pineda has received numerous awards for his work on disability rights and inclusive design. He is the recipient of the MacArthur Fellowship, the highest honor given to individuals who have shown exceptional creativity and promise in their fields. He is also the recipient of the Rockefeller Foundation Bellagio Center Residency Fellowship, the Clinton Global Initiative Community Solutions Award, and the World Economic Forum Young Global Leader Award.

Nelly Nieblas

Nelly Nieblas poses for a picture with the United State Capitol building’s dome in the background. She is wearing matching black pants and jacket. She is using forearm crutches.

Nelly Nieblas is a first-generation college graduate from the University of Southern California, and proud Latina with a physical disability.  She has an MPA from the Harvard Kennedy School of Government. Currently, she is the Digital Equity Manager Project Manager at TURN, a consumer rights advocacy group.

Previously, she served as Manager of Policy, Advocacy, and Engagement at RespectAbility based in Los Angeles. RespectAbility is a non-profit fighting stigma and advancing opportunities so that people with disabilities can fully participate in all aspects of community.  In her own words, “I’ve strived to do one thing above all: Spearhead policies and programs to build prosperous, empowered communities that support individuals of all cultural ethnic, and socioeconomic backgrounds.”

Nieblas was appointed Legislation and Public Information Manager at the California State Council on Developmental Disabilities, and was a United Nations Observer for the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities.  Her writing has been published in the Harvard Journal of Hispanic Policy, and she is an advisor to the National Coalition of Latinxs with Disabilities.

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