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Bio – Fellows

Nebiyu Dingetu, Communications Fellow

National Leadership Program, Summer 2020

Nebiyu Dingetu headshot in front of the oceanNebiyu Dingetu is a Communications Fellow in RespectAbility’s National Leadership Program for Summer 2020. RespectAbility is a nonprofit organization fighting stigmas and advancing opportunities so that people with disabilities can fully participate in all aspects of community.

Dingetu started to seriously consider a career in entertainment for the first time when he was in eighth grade after submitting one of his video production class projects to a local film festival and winning first place out of his school district. He had substantially better eyesight back then so he wasn’t too aware of what would lie ahead. But he was requesting large-print texts for his required class readings at that time and was bordering on qualifying for the “legally blind” label so he knew he would most likely have some unique challenges if he chose to pursue a career in the visual arts. [continue reading…]

Lizzy Francis, Communications Fellow

National Leadership Program, Summer 2020

Lizzy Francis smiling headshot with her hand on her chinLizzy Francis is a Communications Fellow in RespectAbility’s National Leadership Program for Summer 2020. RespectAbility is a nonprofit organization fighting stigmas and advancing opportunities so that people with disabilities can fully participate in all aspects of community.

Francis is a screenwriting major studying to create safe spaces for all groups of people, regardless of identity or ability.

She was born in Wayland, Massachusetts as a second-generation immigrant. At the age of 17, she was diagnosed with Complex Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder and Anorexia, resulting in numerous hospitalizations and a revelation that led to a passion of storytelling and activism through film, especially regarding mental illness and racial issues.

In 2017, Francis worked on an SXSW award-winning film in Vermont that aimed to integrate a crew and cast of people both with and without disabilities. [continue reading…]

Blair Webb, Jewish Inclusion Fellow

National Leadership Program, Summer 2020

Blair Webb smiling headshot seated in a chairBlair Webb is a Jewish Inclusion fellow in RespectAbility’s National Leadership Program for Summer 2020. RespectAbility is a nonprofit organization fighting stigmas and advancing opportunities so that people with disabilities can fully participate in all aspects of the community.

Webb graduated from the University of California, Berkeley, with her Bachelors of Arts in Sociology. As a person with Cerebral palsy, she started on her path of disability advocacy in 2009. After finishing high school, she was selected to be a delegate at the California Youth Leadership Forum for Students with Disabilities. There, she learned about disability etiquette, and the history of the Disability Rights Movement. While attending the forum, Webb was given the incredible opportunity to listen to Richard Pimentel, one of the pioneering advocates for the Americans with Disabilities Act, speak. This ignited a spark of inspiration to also become a leader in her disability community. Upon returning, Webb became a co-chair of the Disability History Week campaign and helped implement curriculum into her local schools. [continue reading…]

Autumn Blalock, Community Outreach Fellow

National Leadership Program, Summer 2020

Autumn Blalock smiling headshotAutumn Blalock is a Community Outreach Fellow in RespectAbility’s National Leadership Program for Summer of 2020. RespectAbility is a nonprofit organization fighting stigmas and advancing opportunities so that people with disabilities can fully participate in all aspects of community.

Blalock has always believed that where inequity creates limits, art creates answers. She truly fell in love with the words of Anne Bogart, who said that “Limits are a necessary partner in… the crafting of a successful life.” These words turned the world she always saw as a closed box into a steppingstone to opportunity. Autumn comes from a low-income background with a big family that endured not only financial limits, but the limits that physical and intellectual disabilities placed on herself and members of her family, especially her father. Watching and helping him throughout her life brought to Blalock’s attention the need to advocate for better representation of all creeds, colors, and abilities. [continue reading…]

Ben Rosloff, Communications Fellow

National Leadership Program, Summer 2020

Ben Rosloff smiling headshotBen Rosloff is a Communications Fellow in RespectAbility’s National Leadership Program for Summer 2020. RespectAbility is a nonprofit organization fighting stigmas and advancing opportunities so that people with disabilities can fully participate in all aspects of community.

Rosloff grew up in Great Neck, NY and earned a BFA in Electronic Media from Long Island University. In 2016 he joined Maslansky + Partners as a production assistant. As a production assistant he set up the studio, filmed readers using a DSLR camera while coordinating a teleprompter, and edited all selected footage using Premiere Pro. He has made films for a variety of organizations, including; his documentary short “Can I Call You?!” It was screened in the United States and Russia during an internship with Downtown Community Television Center. He has also co-produced, edited and screened multiple films for the United Nations. These include a film for World Autism Awareness Day, where Ben interviewed then-Secretary General Ban-Ki Moon, and “#Envision 2030” for Disability Awareness Day. [continue reading…]

Chiquita Jackson, Policy Fellow

National Leadership Program, Summer 2020

Chiquita Jackson smiling headshot in front of a brick wallChiquita Jackson is a Policy Fellow in RespectAbility’s National Leadership Program for Summer 2020. RespectAbility is a nonprofit organization fighting stigmas and advancing opportunities so that people with disabilities can fully participate in all aspects of the community.

Jackson studies Political Science, Social Justice, African-American Studies, and Pre-Law at the Columbia College of Missouri. As a student, Jackson held numerous leadership roles, including Black Prelaw Society President, Student Senator, the Student Legislative Awareness Board Outreach Director, and the Multicultural Student Government President. As a Student Senator, she wrote and passed legislation in the Student Senate to address the resource needs of students with marginalized identities. Jackson has several siblings with developmental disabilities. Jackson is passionate to ensure that her brothers and sisters voices are heard, and their rights protected. She is excited to work with RespectAbility to continue being a positive ally to the disability community. [continue reading…]

KiAnna Dorsey, Communications Fellow

National Leadership Program, Summer 2020

Kianna Dorsey smiling headshot on a television setKiAnna Dorsey is a Communications Fellow in RespectAbility’s National Leadership Program for Summer 2020. RespectAbility is a nonprofit organization fighting stigmas and advancing opportunities so that people with disabilities can fully participate in all aspects of community.

Whether it’s a stage or a set, Dorsey loves the arts and the influence it holds. Therefore, it is no surprise that she currently studies at the University of Miami to earn her Bachelor of Arts degree in Motion Pictures on the Production Track. [continue reading…]

Stephanie Santo, Policy Fellow

National Leadership Program, Summer 2020

Stephanie Santo smiling in front of a brick wallStephanie Santo is a Public Policy and Employment Fellow in RespectAbility’s National Leadership Program for Summer 2020. RespectAbility is a nonprofit organization fighting stigmas and advancing opportunities so that people with disabilities can fully participate in all aspects of community.

Santo earned her Bachelor’s degree in psychology and communication with a minor in sociology (and certificates in criminology, society, and law, leadership, diversity, and pre-health) at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. She has a certificate in human rights from Columbia University and a Master’s in counseling for mental health and wellness from New York University. She is currently a mental health counselor and hopes to start her post-baccalaureate so that she can attend medical school and pursue policy or law alongside her medical degree. One of her goals is to learn as many sign languages as she can. As a health professional she feels a responsibility to communicate with her clients and is saddened by the lack of health care access many people have in the Deaf community. [continue reading…]

Maria Fernanda Heredia, Nonprofit Management Fellow

National Leadership Program, Summer 2020

Maria Heredia smiling headshot in front of a staircaseMaria Fernanda Heredia is a Nonprofit Management Fellow in RespectAbility’s National Leadership Program for Summer 2020. RespectAbility is a nonprofit organization fighting stigmas and advancing opportunities so that people with disabilities can fully participate in all aspects of community.

Originally from New Orleans, Heredia graduated in June of 2020 from Williams College in Williamstown, MA, with a bachelor’s degree in Chemistry and Highest Honors in Art. Her decision to pursue these majors came from a passion for learning more about the composition of materials and research, as well as learning about non-Western works of art that spoke about indigenous narratives in Latin America. While at Williams, Heredia was involved in various of student-led organizations and departments that centered around inclusivity, diversity, and equity. [continue reading…]

Angelique Uwabera, Nonprofit Management Fellow

National Leadership Program, Summer 2020

Angelique Uwabera smiling in front of the RespectAbility banner

Angelique Uwabera

Angelique Uwabera is a Nonprofit Management Fellow in RespectAbility’s National Leadership Program for Summer 2020. RespectAbility is a nonprofit organization fighting stigmas and advancing opportunities so that people with disabilities can fully participate in all aspects of the community.

Uwabera is also a returning fellow from the Spring 2019 cohort. She was part of the policy team in which she participated in raising awareness about issues affecting people with disabilities at Capitol Hill. She also published 14 press releases on the performance of some states in their employment progress for PWDs.

Uwabera graduated from American University, Washington, DC with a bachelor’s degree in International Relations in May 2019. Originally from Rwanda, Uwabera’s academic pursuit has been driven by her passion to serve and liaise international organizations with government agencies.

Uwabera was first drawn to disability issues when she lived in Gisenyi, Rwanda. She was neighbors with Ubumwe Community Center, a hub for people with disabilities to socialize with each other with the necessary facilities to their avail. UCC also provides education services for the students whose curriculum is customized to their needs. The enthusiasm of UCC community encouraged her to look out for a population that is largely marginalized in developing countries.

At the Fellowship, Uwabera will work on renewing a grant from Coca-Cola Company and drafting fundraising reports for RespectAbility’s completed projects. In the process, she hopes to learn innovative ways to fundraise sustainably through assignments and other learning opportunities offered by the development department.

In her free time, Uwabera likes to take long walks, preferably through serene spaces. If she’s not outdoors, you will find her tidying up her friends’ closets or reading a novel. Her top two books so far are ‘Not Without My Daughter’ by Betty Mahmoody and William Hoffer and ‘Born a Crime’ by Trevor Noah.

Uwabera wrote 14 pieces during the 2019 Spring Fellowship. Read them on the RespectAbility Report:

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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 BenS@RespectAbility.org for more information.

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