Honoring a Black Leader in our Disability Community

Have you met LeDerick Horne or heard of his advocacy efforts yet?

We, at Values Into Action, connected with Mr. Horne when we learned of his work with NJ schools and transitioning into adulthood community. We discovered that he, along with Bill Davis, were awarded a grant from the New Jersey Council on Developmental Disabilities.  The grant project aims to increase access to information and services for Black New Jersey residents with I/DD and their families. At once, we knew we had to support their work!

From getting to know LeDerick, we have learned that he is a person who identifies as having a disability. He is a cultural worker, an artist, and a poet. His experience with disability influences his approach to his work, and he uses culture as a tool for his messages. LeDerick uses practical means and supports to create cultural changes that shift the way people think about disabilities. You can view his work on YouTube.

 As part of the NJCDD grant award, Mr. Horne and his team have established the Black I/DD Consortium. The Consortium was created with the goal to increase access to information and resources for black people with I/DD and their families. The Consortium is now 55-members strong. It serves as a safe space for its members to convene and enact change by working collectively. The Black I/DD Consortium meets quarterly online and in-person. Their door is open to new members!

LeDerick is clearly doing important work in the NJ community. Another example is the “EPIC: Building a Village of Support” program for people with I/DD ages 14-25 who are transitioning into adult world. EPIC hosts informational sessions with providers. They recently hired a Transition Consultant and are holding PerformCare Navigation Sessions to connect young people to services in their communities. These sessions are free to the public.

We are honored to support LeDerick Horne and his team’s goals to reduce the informational divide in NJ to black residents with I/DD and their families. We are also happy to announce that he is one of the Keynote Address speakers for this year’s 3rd Annual NJ Youth Transition Conference!

You can learn more about LeDerick on his website: www.lederick.com.

Finally, we encourage you to check out his video series celebrating Black History and People with Disabilities: