On Wednesday, October 26th, DCCK had the opportunity to participate in the Mayor’s Annual Disability Expo at the Martin Luther King Jr. Library. In the lobby of the great hall, DC Central Kitchen’s Community Development & Partnership (CDP) team set up their table with other non-profits, government agencies, and community partners to provide “awareness and employment, housing, and health and wellness resources for persons with disabilities.”
Our CDP team shared resources and information about our Healthy Corners program, including the benefits of using SNAP/EBT program at a participating store. They also used the opportunity to invite guests and fellow exhibitors to the Pop-Up Pumpkin Patch event at King Greenleaf Recreation Center on Saturday, October 29th in partnership with the Homeless Children’s Playtime Project.
People who came to the DC Central Kitchen expo table also got a chance to get a coupon to use at Marianne’s, which was a big hit with participants and exhibitors.
Across the way from Marianne’s in the Great Hall, Mayor Muriel Bowser along with various speakers from departments within the DC Government spoke to the audience about the theme for this year’s event: “Disability: Part of the Equity Equation.” The opening remarks by Matthew McCollough expressed the importance of this event as an opportunity to exercise our civic duty to help persons with disabilities within our community. Keynote speaker, Director Kari Cooke further highlighted this commitment to empowering persons with disabilities, as she emphasized, “Equity is part of the conversation of disability access.”
In her remarks, Mayor Bowser emphasized the importance of all Washingtonians having access to necessary services and employment opportunities. Looking ahead in the next few years, the Mayor wants to make sure DC is a more equitable place than before COVID-19. One important way she wants to achieve this is by hiring more people with disabilities. “We believe the government should look like our city,” she stated. “Will you help me?”
Mayor Bowser thanked Council members Kenyan McDuffie and Brianne Nadeau for their efforts with helping the disabled community and the growth DC has made within the past few years. Both council members highlighted their efforts in the community and the importance of this event for the future accessibility of services for persons with disability in DC.
The event ended with Mayor Bowser presenting the Service award to Christina Mitchell and closing remarks by Director McCollough.