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About The Authors

Shelly Christensen smiling headshotShelly Christensen (she/her), MA FAAIDD, is a published author, speaker and consultant who joined RespectAbility in April 2022, to lead the Faith Inclusion and Belonging department. Shely is the author of From Longing to Belonging: A Practical Guide to Including People with Disabilities and Mental Health Conditions in Your Faith community. She is the 2021 recipient of the Reimaging Spirituality and Leadership Award from the American Association on Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities Religion and Spirituality and is on the Core Council of the Institute on Theology and Disability. Shelly is also the co-founder of Jewish Disability Awareness, Acceptance, and Inclusion Month (JDAIM), which is now a program of RespectAbility. Shelly identifies as neurodivergent.

Leah Ilana Craig headshotLeah Ilana Craig (she/they) is a Jewish Development Apprentice in RespectAbility’s National Leadership Program and a speaker in the Disability Training and Speakers Bureau. As an autistic individual with POTS Syndrome, a disability that often requires the use of a wheelchair due to fainting, tachycardia, and fatigue, the work of RespectAbility is something that is very near and dear to Leah’s heart. Leah is a frequent contributor to the Faith Inclusion and Belonging newsletter.

McKenzie Stribich headshotMcKenzie Stribich (she/they) is a Faith Inclusion and Belonging Apprentice in RespectAbility’s National Leadership Program and a frequent contributor to the Faith Inclusion and Belonging newsletter. McKenzie is cis, queer/gay, neurodivergent, and physically disabled, and walks with forearm crutches. She holds a BFA in photography from California State University, Long Beach and is a freelance technical writer. McKenzie is a leader in her faith community’s DEIA=B initiative.

Faith Inclusion and Belonging is one of the four pillars of RespectAbility’s work. We are the only disability non-profit organization to focus on the intersectionality of faith and disability inclusion and belonging. Please visit our website to learn more about our mission, as well as our work in Faith Inclusion and Belonging, Entertainment and News Media, Leadership, and Policy and Employment.

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