Thank you all so much for participating in another successful New York City Disability Pride Parade! The spirit, creativity, and energy were elevated to a level beyond anything we have ever had before. Nowhere was that more apparent than with our contest winners:
Congratulations to all of the winners and to everyone for coming out to celebrate disability pride. We are confident that the crowds will continue to grow, the number of participants will increase and the resonating message of disability pride will get louder. As the parade enters its sixth year, it will also be moving into a new chapter.
For the past five years, the Mayor's Office for People with Disabilities (MOPD) partnered with the non-profit Disability Pride NYC to organize the parade. What began as an event to underscore the importance of the 25th anniversary of the Americans with Disabilities Act has evolved into a yearly staple of the city's disability community. When MOPD first agreed to partner with DisabilityPrideNYC, it was always our belief that the parade should belong solely to the disability community—not a government agency.
Therefore, it is with mixed emotions that MOPD announces that it will no longer be heavily involved with the organization of the Disability Pride Parade. Instead, we will assist in the background as DisabilityPrideNYC takes full control of the future of the parade. MOPD will continue to participate proudly with the rest of New York City, however, we look forward to watching the parade prosper under the leadership of DisabilityPrideNYC.
We would like to thank and acknowledge Mike LeDonne, President/CEO and Founder of DisabilityPrideNYC. We wish him the best of luck as he moves forward in solidifying the legacy of the parade.
MOPD would also like to thank Elisabeth Axel, President and CEO of Art Beyond Sight and Entertainment Chair for the parade. Elisabeth is a longtime disability advocate and her creativity and dedication have been a driving force in the success of the parade these past few years.
This parade would not have been possible without the generosity and passion of all of our sponsors. Whether this is your first year supporting the parade or you have been with us from the beginning, we thank you for providing the resources to make this parade a reality and we hope you will continue to support in the future.
Finally, we would like to thank all of you—every organization, individual, and ally that has been a part of the Disability Pride Parade. This parade would not be what it is today without your spirit, your energy, and your disability pride. It is because of all of you that this parade has become the largest celebration of people with disabilities in the world and has sparked a movement in other US cities and around the globe.
Even as MOPD exits from the planning of the Disability Pride Parade, we will continue to act as the liaison to the disability community in New York City government as we always have to make New York the most accessible city in the world. Please reach out to our office and we hope to be able to continue to collaborate with the disability community on future events and initiatives.
MOPD thanks each and every one of you that have made the last five years so unforgettable and we look forward to continuing to march or roll in the parade for years to come.
Thank you for your support and Happy Disability Pride.