75 years ago, a group of Minnesota parents founded The Arc to help build a better future for their children who had intellectual and developmental disabilities. At the time, the path laid out for their children led to institutionalization and segregation, and they demanded change.
Since then, grassroots advocacy has been a primary catalyst for systems and social change that fosters inclusion and opportunity for people who have disabilities. We honor the many disability rights advocates and family members that brought us to where we are today, and acknowledge that immense progress has been made. And yet, we still have a long way to go.
Over the past few years, we have reflected on our role within Minnesota’s IDD community, and how we can be allies within the disability justice movement that we are called to join today. In 2020, we launched a campaign to challenge ableism in our society and change public perception about individuals with disabilities. In 2021, we began working to close the gaps in our programming, to ensure that we can support people with disabilities who have intersecting identities.
Now, we are working to build an Arc for all—to ensure that all people who have intellectual and developmental disabilities are not only named in our mission, but are informing and leading everything we do.
Funding from the 2022 Arc Gala will support us as we continue this work, build on our grassroots legacy across the state, and co-create communities that embrace all people. We will connect with disability activists, young people and their families so that everyone can envision a bright and full future for themselves and their loved ones.
As we reflect on our history and the deep roots that created our foundation as an organization, we honor 75 years of change that prepared us for this new chapter in the fight for disability justice.
You can support our Fund a Need here:
Join us for a night of celebration as we Build an Arc for All.