2020 Virtual Gala
We’re so excited to share the gala with disability community members and allies from across the country and around the world, who usually wouldn’t be able to attend in-person.
We’re happy to announce that Max Barrows and Teighlor McGee are receiving our awards for Service to the Self-Advocacy Movement!
Max Barrows is Outreach Director for Green Mountain Self-Advocates (GMSA), a position he has held since 2007. He mentors youth and adults with developmental disabilities to speak up for themselves and become leaders. This year, he was an integral part of GMSA’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic. He has fought for the rights of people with disabilities during the pandemic through opposing discriminatory medical rationing and advocating for accessible information about the coronavirus and the country’s response. He played a lead role in the production of accessible information about the current wave of protests against racial injustice, including working alongside ASAN and AAPD to produce a plain language explainer on police violence and anti-Black racism. In July, he appeared on PBS NewsHour to celebrate the 30th anniversary of the ADA and call for all people with disabilities to live productive, independent lives.
Teighlor McGee is a disability advocate and performing artist whose work centers around racial justice and creating a culture of access. Teighlor is a writer, facilitator, and content creator organizing around issues regarding disability rights. She is the founder of the Black Disability Collective, an online movement focused on centering the narratives and lives of black disabled individuals. Teighlor has work currently featured The Progressive and MNArtists.org. Teighlor currently works for Women for Political Change as the Director of Access and Community Engagement. This summer, Teighlor acted as a bridge between digital and on-the-ground organizing, using the Black Disability Collective’s Twitter account to provide updates on street medics’ locations, connect youth of color with street medicine trainings, and call for supplies like personal protective equipment (PPE) for protestors. She also led Women for Political Change to open a fund to send financial assistance to folks on the frontlines. She hopes to show that everyone can be a part of community organizing, even digitally.
We ask that our gala attendees donate if they are able, but no donation will be required to attend our virtual gala events. Proceeds will support our advocacy work and programs for the coming year, and allow us to continue working to empower disabled people across the country.
Master of Ceremonies: Nicole Cliffe
Harriet McBryde Johnson Award for Nonfiction: Hannah Gadsby
Ally of the Year Award: Michelle Bishop
Transitions to Adulthood panelists: Jordyn Zimmerman, Ivanova Smith, Brent White, Hari Srinivasan, and Ashley Mabry
Ask a Non-Autistic Person panelists: Allegra Heath-Stout, Emily Ladau, Patrick Cokley, Elena Hung, and Maria Town
Racial Justice and Neurodiversity panelists: Sandy Ho, Mariah Person, Max Barrows, Lydia X. Z. Brown, Héctor Manuel Ramírez
LGBTQ Rights and Neurodiversity panelists: Vivian Ly, Annie Segarra, Victoria M. Rodríguez-Roldán, John Marble, and Donnie TC Denome
You can RSVP to our Facebook event and invite your friends!