Press Releases

Fall 2013 Making a Difference Magazine Published

GCDD Honors the 50th Anniversary of the March on Washington and Looks at the Intersectionality of Social Justice Movements in Making a Difference Fall 2013

ATLANTA, GA, October 31, 2013 – This year's 50th anniversary commemoration on the March on Washington for Jobs and Freedom, America's historic catalyst for change, inspires an examination of the intersection of social justice movements from civil rights to disability rights and considers how to build stronger communities through civic engagement and the art of neighboring in the fall 2013 edition of Making a Difference magazine, published this month by the Georgia Council on Developmental Disabilities (GCDD).

This issue of GCDD's quarterly news magazine features a Q&A interview with US Congressman John Lewis, an early lieutenant of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. and a leader of the Student Non-Violent Coordinating Committee, who was the youngest scheduled speaker at the original march in 1963. The civil rights icon shares his views as an activist in the 1960s, reflects on the recent Supreme Court ruling to overturn aspects of the Voting Rights Act and encourages members of the disability community to "organize the unorganized, mobilize those that need to be mobilized, participate in the political process and say to the political leaders and officials, 'this is what we want and this is what we expect to receive.'"

State Senator Nan Orrock tells the story of her "date with history" and how attending the first March on Washington changed not only her life but the direction of the entire country.

Doug Shipman, chief executive officer of the National Center for Civil and Human Rights (NCCHR), which is slated to open in Atlanta in 2014, shares his views on how building community through the art of engaging with your neighbor can reshape the way society thinks about groups and relates to one another.

Talley Wells, director of the Disability Integration Project at Atlanta Legal Aid Society, offers a look back on the progress gained by the disability rights community, while highlighting that there is still much work to be done and the road ahead is long and steep until people with disabilities are afforded the same opportunities as their fellow Americans.

And, in recognition of October as National Disability Employment Awareness Month, Fred Maahs Jr., chair of the board of directors for the American Association of People with Disabilities (AAPD) and vice president of the Comcast Foundation, emphasizes the importance of hiring people with disabilities and shares how his company and other employers can support employees who have disabilities.

GCDD also provides an overview on emerging social justice trends taking shape, with a focus on intersecting issues, ideas, struggles, beliefs, histories and cultures. This issue of Making a Difference explores the feasibility of combining various social justice causes to create one whole and connected social justice movement, and further examines the ways disability intersects with broader social justice issues. Georgia veteran disability advocates including Mark Johnson, Sue Jamieson and Pat Puckett, plus newer voices such as Anil Lewis and Mia Mingus, offer first-hand perspectives on the shift in thinking about how to organize disability justice for the future.

GCDD has also developed an extensive timeline of social justice movements across the decades to illustrate the historical flow of social justice causes and how they intersect. Please take the opportunity to view it by visiting or access the social justice timeline directly by scanning the QR code on page eight of the magazine.

Additionally, this issue provides an update on the Children's Freedom Initiative (CFI), a resolution committed to moving Georgia children out of nursing facilities and into real homes with loving families in the community. Since 2004, CFI has helped about 50 young people transition out of state-run institutions and kept many more from ever being admitted. This article shares the CFI vision to create a State of Georgia where no child will live in an institution and includes personal stories from two young people who were able to successfully move back into the community with the help of CFI advocates.

Mark your calendar for GCDD's next quarterly meeting to be held in Atlanta on January 16-17, 2014. All meetings are open to the public. And, don't forget to save the date to join an anticipated 2,000 Georgians at the 16th annual Disability Day at the Capitol on February 20, 2014.

Making a Difference is available online in accessible PDF and large print format, as well as on audio by request.

Making a Difference is published by the Georgia Council on Developmental Disabilities (GCDD). Current and past issues can be accessed online at and hard copies can be requested by contacting the GCDD Office of Public Information. The mission of the Georgia Council on Developmental Disabilities (GCDD) is to bring about social and policy changes that promote opportunities for persons with developmental disabilities and their families to live, learn, work, play and worship in Georgia communities.