To Support Human Rights, You Must Prioritize Inclusion
In a time when many organizations are talking about human rights, few are walking the walk when it comes to fully embracing inclusion of marginalized identities. In this session, staff from the Disability Rights Fund will share how inclusion is baked into every aspect of their approach from overarching strategy to technology choices, communications channels, and grantee convenings. As a funding intermediary supporting emerging disability rights movements around the world, “nothing about us without us” guides an inclusive approach that is critical to the success of the work itself. Staff will share examples, best practices, and the case for why inclusion is both the right thing and the smart thing to do to advance your mission.
Session Type60 minute session
- What’s included when we talk about inclusion
- Understanding the link between technology
- Ideas for advocating for inclusion in your work
Target AudienceCommunications staff, program staff, IT decision makers
Director of Development
Disability Rights Fund
Jen Bokoff is the Director of Development for the Disability Rights Fund and the Disability Rights Advocacy Fund. She is on the Management Team and cultivates partnerships with donors.
Jen has dedicated her career to elevating unheard voices, supporting community-centered solutions, and driving equity and effectiveness. Through frequent writing, public speaking, and facilitation, she enjoys naming tensions and connecting people to resources, ideas, and one another. Jen worked at Candid for seven years, where she developed partnerships, communications, resources, and insights to power the work of the philanthropic sector. There, she led research on participatory grantmaking that featured DRF’s work. Previously, Jen was a client advocate for a community-based organization and later a grantmaker at a private foundation focused on supporting healthy food systems and the arts. She was also a paralegal for the Internal Revenue Service, which taught her the power of active listening and offered unique insight into people’s lived experiences. Jen was identified by Onalytica in 2019 as a top 10 charity industry influencer and by Submittable in 2020 as a top 15 grantmaking-shaper.
A graduate of Tufts University, Jen studied community health and sociology. She serves on the Alumni Council’s executive and strategic planning committees, and also serves on an advisory committee for The Moth’s education programs. In her spare time, she is an amateur comedic improviser and bridge player.
Director of Grants Management
Disability Rights Fund
Arlene Wilson-Grant is the Director of Grants Management for the Disability Rights Fund and the Disability Rights Advocacy Fund. She is responsible for ensuring that grantmaking operations, practices, and data support the mission and strategic goals of the Funds.
Arlene has nearly 20 years of experience working in the nonprofit sector in a variety of grantmaking, programmatic, and operations roles. Before joining the Disability Rights Fund and the Disability Rights Advocacy Fund in 2012, she worked at the Skoll Foundation where she served as the key liaison between grantees, program, and finance staff for three grantmaking entities and managed grantmaking and program-related investment portfolios. Her previous experiences include work with the Public Health Institute, Sacramento Region Community Foundation, and the Tides Foundation. Arlene serves on the Human Rights Funders Network’s Human Rights Grantmaking Operations Steering Committee, and from 2018-2019 served on the PEAK Grantmaking Board of Directors. Arlene received a Bachelor of Arts in Political Science from the University of California, Davis.
Senior Officer for Communications, Inclusion, & Analytics
Disability Rights Fund
Kerry Thompson is the Senior Officer of Communications, Inclusion, & Analytics at Disability Rights Fund and the Executive Director for Silent Rhythms, Inc. – where in both roles she works to promote the inclusion of the world’s one billion people with disabilities. She currently serves on the New England for the Arts (NEFA) Advisory Council and the Massachusetts Statewide Advisory Council and previously served on the Board of Directors for DEAF, Inc. She is a renowned global inclusion expert and technology specialist who has produced and authored the Inclusion 101 webinar series. She is a 2020 Visiting Artist for Harvard Dance Center. In 2014, she was awarded the German Marshall Fund’s Marshall Memorial Fellowship becoming the first woman with a disability to be awarded this prestigious fellowship. She is the co-author for Human Rights and Adolescence (2014. University of Pennsylvania Press) and has written several articles on inclusion and human rights in various sectors including the arts. Her dance background includes performances in New York City, Paris, Havana, Miami, and New England. She completed a Master’s degree in Human Development and Psychology from Harvard University with a focus on international law and human rights.
Young Power in Social Action
Vashkar Bhattacharjee, a person with visual impairment, is currently working as the National Consultant for Accessibility in the a2i Program of Bangladesh Government. He is involved in creating an enabling environment for innovations to come up for empowering persons with disabilities which are then scaled up and made accessible for all.
Vashkar is also serving as Program Manager and looking after the disability portfolio of Young Power in Social Action (YPSA). Vashkar had worked with YPSA to develop a WSIS award winning project, Multimedia Talking Book, which has made education accessible for students from grade 1 to grade 10 and also developed Bangladesh’s first Accessible Dictionary.
Vashkar is the focal person of Federation of DPO’s Sitakund, DAISY (Digital Accessible Information System), Accessible Books consortium (ABC), and Bookshare in Bangladesh and worked as the 2nd Vice President of GAATES. Vashkar has completed Duskin leadership training from Japan, Master’s degree from university of Chittagong and currently pursuing a fellowship at Acumen Academy.
Most recently, as a first Bangladeshi, he has received the prestigious UNESCO/Emir Jaber al Ahmad al Jaber al Sabah Prize for Digital Empowerment of Persons with Disabilities (2018/2019). Apart from Henry Viskardi Achievement Award, USA, 2017 and Bangladesh’s honorable Prime Ministers award as a successful person with disability in 2016.