Washington, D.C., February 16, 2018 – The John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation joined a small cadre of exceptional champions for inclusion and equality by awarding $145 million in grants to groundbreaking projects that will include people with disabilities equally in their work. MacArthur’s initiative, 100&Change, is a competition for a $100 million grant to fund a single proposal that promises real and measurable progress in solving a critical problem of our time. A part of the MacArthur Foundations’ review was a series of questions and a check list to ensure the inclusion of people with disabilities in multiple aspects of the grant recipients proposed projects.
“Historically, major philanthropists have not asked potential grantees to see and treat people with disabilities equally,” said Jennifer Laszlo Mizrahi, president of RespectAbility, a nonprofit that fights stigma and advances opportunities for people with disabilities. She is also the co-founder/director of the Mizrahi Family Charitable Fund. “Funders who would never imagine funding groups that discriminate due to race or gender sadly discriminate against people with differing abilities. Often, it’s not a question of will, but of skill, as even the best-intended philanthropists often do not know how to include people with disabilities. However, MacArthur has now raised the bar on equality by including the one-in-five people on earth who have a disability.”