Mayor's Office Press Release

Mayor's Office for People with Disabilities Hosts Disability Unity and Pride Celebration

July 29, 2021 -- The Mayor’s Office for People with Disabilities (MOPD) will recognize Disability Pride Month and the 31st anniversary of the Americans with Disabilities Act at the Disability Unity and Pride Celebration.

The celebration will be a two-part virtual presentation, July 29th and 30th at 6:30pm on the MOPD Facebook page, www.facebook.com/HoustonMOPD. Mayor Turner will highlight the 2021 Champion of Inclusion honorees on the second evening of the program.

This year's theme is “Lifelines: The Love, Art and Advocacy that saves our lives.” Each night will feature performances by artists with disabilities and remarks from special guests.

“While the passage of the ADA opened doors of opportunity for people with disabilities, more work still remains to realize its full promise,” said MOPD Director Gabe Cazares. “Under Mayor Turner’s leadership, our office strives to build a more accessible and equitable Houston every day. This program is an expression of the art, advocacy, and resilience that are hallmarks of Houston’s vibrant disability community.”

The Champion of Inclusion “COIN” Awards recognize and honor the contributions of individuals, businesses, and non-profit organizations that are committed to promoting diversity, equity, accessibility, and inclusion throughout their organization and/or community. The 2021 champions of inclusion are:

  • Champion of Inclusion in Employment - Easter Seals of Greater Houston, Inc.
  • Champion of Inclusion in Advocacy (posthumous) - Steve Schultz
  • Champion of Inclusion in Advocacy (non-disabled) - Sabrina Martinez
  • Champion of Inclusion in Advocacy (disabled) - C. Patrick McIlvain
  • City Champion of Inclusion - Houston Public Works Transportation and Drainage Operations

“Since the beginning of my time as mayor, I have always said that I do not want to be the mayor of two cities – one for the haves, and one for the have-nots,” said Mayor Sylvester Turner. “Creating opportunities, accessibility, employment, and equity for our residents with disabilities is of paramount importance. I’m honored to join with Director Cazares in recognizing the leaders of our community that have worked so hard to achieve these goals.”

This program is made possible thanks to the support of the Houston Center for Independent Living, the Southwest ADA Center, and Houston Commission on Disabilities.