Lucia Rios, a Holland disability rights activist, will give the keynote talk “Coming Full Circle - It’s Been the Ride of My Life” on Tuesday, Oct. 4, at 4 p.m. in the Maas Center auditorium of Hope College. She will be discussing the intersection of disability and race on compounding barriers to accessibility as the college’s Disability Inclusion and Hispanic Heritage Lecture.
The public is invited. Admission is free.
Community members are encouraged to attend in-person. This event will also be livestreamed at hope.edu/live and via the Hope College YouTube channel. Please note that due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, masks will be requested for all in-person attendees.
Rios is an advocate for disability and accessibility from Holland, where she has lived her entire life. Her wealth of experience comes from having worked for 20 years at five organizations specializing in resources, mentorship and inclusion for community members with disabilities.
She is a graduate of Western Michigan University, where she received her B.A. in journalism and comparative religion. Navigating the campus as a wheelchair user strengthened her resolve to improve conditions for herself and others in similar circumstances.
After graduation, she began working for Disability Network Lakeshore, a non-profit created to help disabled individuals get connected to resources in the community. Rios worked at Disability Network Lakeshore for 15 years as the accessibility specialist and youth services coordinator. In these roles, she was an educator for the community on disability etiquette and barriers to employment, as well as working one-on-one with disabled children and adults.
Rios currently works for Salesforce, a software development company based in San Francisco. There, she is a workforce navigators program associate for people with accessibility needs. She uses her knowledge of workforce development issues and policy to create a more equitable and sustainable place for those with disabilities at her company.
The event is being co-sponsored by the college’s Center for Diversity and Inclusion; the Latino Student Organization; Hope Advocates for Invisible Conditions, Disability and Accessibility Resources; and the campus-wide GROW (Growing Relationships through diverse Opportunities to strengthen involvement in an ever-changing World) initiative.
Audience members who need assistance to fully enjoy any event at Hope are encouraged to contact the college’s Events and Conferences Office by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org or calling 616-395-7222 on weekdays between 9 a.m. and 5 p.m. Updates related to events are posted when available in the individual listings at hope.edu/calendar.
The Maas Center is located at 264 Columbia Ave., between 10th and 13th streets.