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Summer 2017 Fellows standing or seated in wheelchairs, smiling and posing for the camera

Ellynne Davis, Nonprofit Management Apprentice

National Leadership Program, Spring 2022

Ellynne Davis smiling wearing a white t-shirt and red earings

Ellynne Davis

Ellynne Davis is a Nonprofit Management Apprentice in RespectAbility’s National Leadership Program for Spring 2022. RespectAbility is a national nonprofit organization fighting stigmas and advancing opportunities so that people with disabilities can fully participate in all aspects of the community.

Davis received a Bachelor’s degree in Communications and Psychology from University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign in May 2018. As a student, Davis was involved in a number of student organizations including Communications Leader and the Black Student Union. She also spent her time working at the Student Dining and Residential Programs building where she was able to create a community and connect with different students and staff members. In addition, she was active in demonstrations protesting police shootings of black people including Tamir Rice, Michael Brown, and Eric Garner.

Davis has a professional background of working in event planning for large trade shows where she got the opportunity to travel nationally. Throughout her event planning experience, she began to notice the lack of inclusivity and accessibility. Disability advocacy was a direction she sought to explore when she began volunteering for Project Onward, which is a nonprofit that gives artists impacted with mental illness and developmental disabilities an opportunity to tell their stories through creating art. These events pushed her towards working in the disability space to create more inclusive events for people with disabilities along with advancing opportunities for them in the event planning industry.

She is excited to join RespectAbility’s team as a Nonprofit Management Apprentice where she will be able to learn the ins and outs of what it takes to run a successful nonprofit along with gaining valuable skills. Davis knows the importance of art having therapeutic value for people with disabilities, and she hopes to combine her passions for arts and events by providing safe, accessible, and inclusive spaces for people with disabilities by, one day, creating her own nonprofit.

In her free time, Davis loves traveling. She just recently went to Hawaii and California and hopes to learn from her travels. Davis’ next destination is Europe where she hopes to spend several months exploring.

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RespectAbility is a nonprofit organization fighting stigmas and advancing opportunities for and with people with disabilities. Learn more about the National Leadership Program and apply for the next cohort! Contact [email protected] for more information.

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Meet the Author

Ellynne Davis

Ellynne Davis received a Bachelor’s degree in Communications and Psychology from University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign in May 2018. She wants to work on advancing opportunities for people with disabilities in the event planning industry.

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