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Abilities advocate Vanessa Harris receives Leaders for a New Chicago award

Photo caption: Vanessa A. Harris

Strategy for Access announced today that its founder and CEO, Vanessa A. Harris, PE, was named to the 2023 Leaders for a New Chicago cohort by the Field Foundation of Illinois and The John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation. The award recognizes Harris’s role as one of Chicago’s transformational leaders for her work developing films that empower and inform people with disabilities.

“This award is a tremendous honor and it is a testament to the important work we are doing to engage the disability community,” said Harris. “As someone who personally understands the problems people with disabilities face on a daily basis, I am on a mission to reach a wide and diverse audience with our stories.”

The Leaders for a New Chicago program recognizes past accomplishments and seeks to build a more inclusive city by promoting leaders who are designing new approaches to civic discourse and action. Each of the 2023 awardees will receive an award of $25,000, and their affiliated organizations will receive an additional $25,000 general operating grant. The leaders’ work aligns with the Field Foundation’s grantmaking areas of Art, Justice, and Media & Storytelling, with a focus on organizations addressing systemic issues in the city’s historically underserved communities.“We will utilize this award to further our mission of providing educational and entertaining films for people with disabilities,” said Harris. “Our community is an integral part of society and every individual has a significant contribution to share.”About Strategy for AccessStrategy for Access is a for-purpose organization dedicated to producing media that benefits all people living with disabilities, primarily through its website, Fun4theDisabled. As the parent nonprofit for Fun4theDisabled’s creative work, Strategy for Access manages the legal and funding endeavors and Fun4theDisabled focuses on producing high-quality and engaging videos.

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