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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.

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Gloria Rubio-Cortes of Community Technology Foundation of California: Promoting Access and Inclusion

DFN Chair, Sylvia Clark (left), presents DFN’s second annual al William Diaz Memorial Award to a gowing Gloria Rubio-Cortes.

April 25, 2004, Toronto — The Disability Funders Network (DFN) today recognized the second recipient of its William Diaz Impact Award. DFN chair Sylvia Clark presented a $500 check and a plaque to Gloria Rubio-Cortes, chief operating officer of the Community Technology Foundation of California (CTFC), citing her relentless work on behalf of underserved communities, including people with disabilities.

Clark noted that, among her responsibilities at CTFC, Rubio-Cortes designed and manages the Access Fund, which assists all the foundation’s grantees — not just disability organizations — to increase their capacity to involve and assist people with disabilities and people of color. The Access Fund offers training, technical assistance and mini grants to CTFC’s grantees. In addition, she is responsible for assuring that issues of disability access are addressed in all aspects of CTFC’s own programs and operations. From its Web site to its physical office layout to its grant guidelines, the foundation demonstrates its commitment to accessibility — a Foundation-wide value — thanks to Gloria’s in-house advocacy. For example, CTFC asks all of its applicants to describe their organizational commitment to accessibility and cultural competency.

For more than 20 years, Rubio-Cortes has promoted civil rights, community building, civic engagement and social justice. “In the tradition of Bill Diaz, Gloria educates other technology funders and social justice funders about disability access and cultural competence,” said Clark. “Her work demonstrates that promoting access and inclusion across all of its work is not only possible but also true to an organization’s core values.”

Clark, who is also executive director of NEC Foundation of America, explained that the award honors the memory of Bill Diaz, former member of the DFN board, the first Latino program director at The Ford Foundation, a founding director of the Puerto Rico Community Foundation, a director of the Council on Foundations and a senior fellow at the University of Minnesota’s Hubert H. Humphrey Institute of Public Affairs. At the request of Bill Diaz’s family, DFN’s recognition of his impact on disability funding is being used to further the mission of DFN to expand and enhance the philanthropic world’s support of disability issues.

In her acceptance remarks, Ms. Rubio-Cortes said, “We all know this work cannot be achieved alone by one person or one organization. It is achieved through partnerships.” She acknowledged partners and people who inspired her, including the Community Technology Foundation of California’s board chair Jackie Brand, Alicia Lara at The California Endowment, Luz Vega-Marquis at Marguerite Casey Foundation, Tom Morales at Alliance for Technology Access, and Familia Unida Living with Multiple Sclerosis, a Los Angeles disability organization serving Spanish-speaking people with multiple sclerosis to which Rubio-Cortes donated her $500 cash award.

She concluded with a salute to “Bill Diaz, a trail blazer and inspiration to the many who knew him.”

Clark closed the award ceremonies by recognizing the work of Son Park (chair) and the Diaz Award Committee to encourage the foundation community to be more inclusive of disability issues, especially those whose work has a significant impact on people with disabilities who are also members of other minority groups.