The current Disability Equity Challenge registration is closed. Please check back for other opportunities to participate in the future.

United Ways throughout the Great Lakes Bay Region are partnering with Disability Network of Mid-Michigan, Michigan Association of United Ways and United Ways across the state 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 will be held from August 1st – August 26th, with a virtual summit held on August 30th. This challenge is open to the community and United Way encourages everyone to consider participating. To learn more and register for the challenge, community members can visit: 21-Day Disability Equity Challenge. *Note: the current Disability Equity Challenge registration is closed. Please check back for other opportunities to participate in the future.* 

How the Challenge Works

  • Each weekday from August 1st – August 26th 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 30th
  • 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
  • Individuals interested in joining can register here: 21-Day Disability Equity Challenge *Note: the current Disability Equity Challenge registration is closed. Please check back for other opportunities to participate in the future.* 

“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.”

The challenge will launch in conjunction with the latest installment of the ALICE in Focus Research Series from the Michigan Association of United Ways (MAUW) and research partner United For ALICE. This report will be released July 26 on the 32nd Anniversary of the passage of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA). It will showcase data to highlight the realities of people living with disabilities in Michigan.

“The data in this new spotlight report will be useful in informing the decisions we make as a community when developing programs that impact those with disabilities,” shared Miller. “As an organization, we are committed to digging deep into this research, while continuing to listen to the folks within this population to understand how we can support them. It is not our role to prescribe solutions, but to walk alongside our neighbors to learn about the barriers to keep them thriving.”

ALICE in Focus is a national research series using the U.S. Census Bureau’s American Community Survey (ACS) Public Use Microdata Samples (PUMS) through the lens of the ALICE measures – the Household Survival Budget and the ALICE Threshold.

The report will be available on United Way’s website at after its release date of July 26th, 2022.