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Celebrating International Women’s Day

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 Committee. As part of our commitment to the work of our Racial Equity Committee, 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 today (March 8) is International Women’s Day? This month, Triangle’s Racial Equity Committee (REC) is celebrating Women’s History Month by highlighting women who are focused on increasing awareness and empowerment for people with disabilities. The REC’s posts strive to honor intersectionality and highlight people of color with disabilities whose lives cross over multiple identities and issues ALL at the same time.

Donna Jay

Donna Jay, a white woman with shoulder length brown hair, wears glasses and a tan dress standing in a field of sunflowers smiling at the camera.

Donna Jay is a dedicated advocate for the rights of people with disabilities. She is a member of the board of directors for MASS: Massachusetts Activists Standing Strong. This nonprofit focuses on providing a platform for and empowering people with disabilities in their self-advocacy and leadership work.  In addition to serving on the board, Donna is a member of the self-advocacy committee, and is actively involved in various other initiatives. Her diverse roles allow her to make a significant impact on the organization and the lives of the people it serves.

Donna is the subject of the documentary From Institution to Independence: The Donna Jay Story.  This film provides a window into the history of people with disabilities, specifically the story of the Inclusion Movement and the transition from institutions to integrated community living. Donna was removed from her home at age 5 and spent the next 16 years of her life at Danvers State Hospital until deinstitutionalization began in the 1970s.

Her unwavering self-belief and commitment to advocacy demonstrate the power of individuals and the importance of fighting for equal rights and opportunities. She serves as a role model, paving the way for a more inclusive and equitable future for all.  Donna is deeply committed to ensuring that people with disabilities are aware of their rights and have the tools they need to advocate for themselves.  Her dedication to advocacy and her unwavering self-confidence make her a true champion for disability rights in Massachusetts.

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