In an exclusive on MSNBC’s Stephanie Ruhle Reports, Disability advocate Rebecca Cokley announces the Ford Foundation’s first-ever program focused on advancing the rights of people with disabilities in the United States.

“This is not about charity or inspiration,” says Cokley, who leads the new program as Ford program officer, “It’s about justice.”

In embracing the disability community’s motto of “nothing about us without us,” the foundation consulted about 200 disability leaders across the United States to shape the new program’s grantmaking strategy. With their guidance, Ford’s U.S. Disability Rights Program focuses on advancing economic justice; strengthening disability organizations through multi-year, core funding support; building a pipeline of diverse disability leadership, both within disability rights and justice organizations and in the broader social justice arena; and countering disability stigma.

The Ford Foundation

The Ford Foundation is an independent organization working to address inequality and build a future grounded in justice. For more than 85 years, it has supported visionaries on the frontlines of social change worldwide, guided by its mission to strengthen democratic values, reduce poverty and injustice, promote international cooperation, and advance human achievement. Today, with an endowment of $16 billion, the foundation has headquarters in New York and 10 regional offices across Africa, Asia, Latin America, and the Middle East.

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