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Disability Inclusive Grantmaking is the mission of DFN: inclusion of disability in grantmaking programs and inclusion of people with disabilities in grantmaking organizations.

The William Diaz Impact Award

Who was William Diaz?

Bill Diaz, a longtime member of the Disability Funders Network’s board of directors, was well known as an expert in philanthropy and Latino issues. He was the first Latino program director at the Ford Foundation and a senior fellow at the University of Minnesota’s Hubert H. Humphrey Institute of Public Affairs. He was also a founding director of the Puerto Rico Community Foundation and a director of the Council on Foundations.

In 1991, Bill was diagnosed with a brain tumor, but nonetheless involved himself increasingly in disability issues over the following decade. After joining the DFN board in 1998, he played a critical role in the development of the organization and the expansion of DFN’s approach to bridging the philanthropic and disability communities. Bill passed away on May 18, 2002 — but not before instilling in individuals and organizations the commitment and dedication needed to ensure that people with disabilities are better represented and served.

What is the William Diaz Impact Award?

The William Diaz Impact Award honors grantmakers who have made a positive impact on the disability community and whose work encourages the foundation community to be more inclusive of disability.

The Disability Funders Network has established an award to identify and recognize grantmakers committed to disability funding, especially those whose work has a significant impact on people with disabilities who are also members of other minority groups. People with disabilities are a growing population in the United States, where one out of five Americans lives with a disability. While the United States has made great progress over the past 10 years in creating equitable conditions for people with disabilities, much remains to be done. Lack of equal access to education, health care, employment, housing and transportation are significant obstacles for people with disabilities, who make up the poorest, least employed and least educated minority group in the country.

Who is eligible for the award?

To continue Bill Diaz’s commitment to the expansion of disability funding, DFN will present the award to a funder who has contributed significantly to programs that improve the lives of people with disabilities and whose work encourages the foundation community to be more inclusive of disability issues. Funding areas may include, but are not restricted to, legislation, policy development, programs and services, education and research. The work and impact of the award recipient will be highlighted in internal and external publications, listservs and websites. Award recipients will also be presented with a monetary gift and plaque in recognition of their work. The presentation of the William Diaz Impact Award will be made in conjunction with Disability Funders Network events at the Council on Foundation’s annual conference.

Who may nominate an individual for the award?

All members of Disability Funders Network except those on the award review committee may nominate grantmakers for the award. Nominees are not required to be members of DFN. Self-nominations will not be accepted. Nomination forms are available on this site (instructions and link follow) or by contacting Son Park, Diaz Award committee chair, at spark@cscn.org. The Adobe .pdf version of the nomination form on this site may be completed online, but must be printed out (from your browser) and mailed to Son Park, along with supporting documentation.

2004 William Diaz Impact Award Nomination Form (.pdf)

Please submit nominations to:
Son Park
DFN Diaz Award Committee Chair
c/o The HSC Foundation
1808 Eye Street, NW, Suite 600
Washington, DC 20006

Nominations must be received no later than December 19, 2003, for the 2004 award.

Review Process

All nominations will be reviewed by the award review committee, which consists of members from Disability Funders Network’s board and membership and is chaired by a member of the DFN board. One award recipient will be selected by the review committee each year. Award recipients who are or become DFN members will be asked to serve on the award review committee the following year. The committee has a rotating term of service; no member may serve more than two consecutive years.

For more information, please contact Son Park at spark@cscn.org.