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Independent Living News & Policy from the National Council on Independent Living

A Message from Theo Braddy, New Executive Director, National Council on Independent Living

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The theme for the National Council on Independent Living (NCIL) 2023 Annual Conference on Independent Living is Indivisible! What a perfect choice of a word that defines what should be the most crucial goal of our movement.

There are so many oppositions and forces within society that create division and separate us – racism, ableism, colonialism, capitalism, sexism, to name just a few. Even the disability community has fallen victim to division and separatism among us. As we fight and advocate against discrimination and oppression, we must ensure that other groups are welcome and be united with one collective voice.

The intersectionality of disability justice is a challenge we must face, and we must embrace that challenge! This means we must include the voices of the black community with disabilities, people of color with disabilities, immigrants with disabilities, disabled people who practice marginalized religions, queer folks with disabilities, trans and gender non-conforming people with disabilities, people with disabilities who are homeless, people with disabilities who are incarcerated, and so on. We cannot forget about our brothers and sisters from these marginalized groups with disabilities.

And then there are other marginalized groups that are not disabled that need to be among our collective voice, many who also know the sting of discrimination and oppression, such as women’s groups, Black Americans, Indigenous People, People of Color and the LGBTQ+ Community, and so many others.

My name is Theo Braddy, and I am a black man with a disability. I believe that all people should be treated with dignity and respect, and I have worked my entire career for that purpose.

NCIL’s Board of Directors has hired me as their new Executive Director to lead this historical organization to be a more inclusive community as described above.

You have my promise, I will do my best, and NCIL, with a dedicated staff, will become a leader in pushing toward a new collective voice made up of all these groups.

NCIL invites you to join us as we advocate together for disability justice, united with our allies, and fight against injustice and for equal participation of all people with all type of disabilities, as well as our partners with other groups who have a shared mission of justice.

Join NCIL as we begin this new challenge and direction. You can start by attending our 2023 Annual Conference on Independent Living July 24-27 at Grand Hyatt, Washington, DC. You can also contact me and start a conversation on how you or your organization can be a part of what we are doing at [email protected].

A graphic with the words, “A Message from NCIL’s New Executive Director, Theo Braddy” and a small icon made of twelve colorful leaves.
A graphic with the words, “A Message from NCIL’s New Executive Director, Theo Braddy” and a small icon made of twelve colorful leaves.


  1. Hi Theo, My name is Vernitia A. Shannon, I’m the CEO of Disability Awareness Now and the president of the Friendship Baptist Church Disability Awareness Ministry. Disability Awareness Now is partnering with Friendship to bring Awareness to all sectors of our society about the importance of the inclusion of people with disabilities. Our focus in 2018-present was voting equality. This year, we’re adding housing equality. Disability Awareness Now is in the position and is interested in collaborateing with marginalized and non-marginalized groups to identify places with affordable inclusive lhousing for people with disabilities. Please let us know how we can help. Please respond at [email protected] or (678)468-8671.)