National Disability Institute (NDI), the first and only national organization exclusively focused on the financial empowerment of people with disabilities, is partnering with Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity, Inc., the nation’s oldest intercollegiate fraternity for African-American college men. The partnership aims to raise awareness of the social, economic and attitudinal barriers faced by those with disabilities and their families and to institute concrete methods and initiatives to combat and alter the stigma around disability and those it affects.
“National Disability Institute is honored and thrilled to announce our strategic partnership with Alpha Phi Alpha,” said Thomas Foley, National Disability Institute Executive Director. “There is tremendous synergy between our organizations, especially our shared advocacy and commitment to economic reform and social justice. The partnership, through APA’s Leadership Development Institute, will deliver an increased awareness and understanding of the societal, economic and attitudinal barriers faced by people with disabilities and their families.”
“Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity, Inc. is excited to partner with the National Disability Institute,” said Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity, Inc. General President Dr. Willis L. Lonzer, III. “This partnership leverages our collective power to increase awareness, create opportunities, and combat the stigma surrounding disabilities for our members, their families and the communities we serve.”
“It is an honor to work closely with Alpha Phi Alpha, an organization whose members include civil rights leaders Martin Luther King, Supreme Court Justice Thurgood Marshall, W.E.B. DuBois and Cornel West,” said William Gould, National Disability Institute Director of Equity and Inclusion. “This partnership will further strengthen and sustain our organizations’ work at the intersection of race, ethnicity and disability.”
NDI and Alpha Phi Alpha will also work together on a Community Navigator grant from the Small Business Administration to advance entrepreneurship and small business development by individuals with disabilities. Under the grant, Alpha Phi Alpha will work with NDI to identify fraternity members and alumni to serve as mentors to Black entrepreneurs and small business owners with disabilities in the greater Washington, D.C. area.
Members of the fraternity will also be given exclusive opportunities to engage and advance their education and outreach of the National Disability Institute and its mission. This includes competitive invitations each summer for members to participate in NDI internships to learn about policy development and implementation with executive and legislative branches of the federal government to develop and increase leadership skills as well as expand opportunities to Alpha Phi Alpha places of employment for talented African-American youth and young adults with disabilities identified with NDI support.
NDI has been addressing issues the financial health and well-being of people with disabilities and their families since 2005.