• Reflections, Aspirations and Appreciations

    Reflections, Aspirations, and Appreciations Brandon Brown, Executive Director I sit here in my office, looking at the white board across from my desk and pondering all that I’ve written under the headings of “plans,” “dreams,” and “needs.” I can’t help but think to myself, “How did we get here?” And I’m quickly reminded that of […]

  • Intersectionality: More Than Our Disabilities

    Intersectionality: More Than Our Disabilities -April Meredith   What is intersectionality? Merriam-Webster.com defines it as: “the complex, cumulative manner in which the effects of different forms of discrimination combine, overlap, or intersect”. Although this term has been around since the 1980s, it is still unfamiliar or unclear to many people. That does not make this […]

  • Building a Community of Empowered Voters

    Building a Community of Empowered Voters with Disabilities By: April Meredith   Tennessee having one of the lowest rates in the country for registered eligible voters and in election turnout is unfortunate and unacceptable. Motivation may be an issue in certain cases; but for some individuals with disabilities, lack of knowledge and accessibility are oftentimes […]

  • An unexpected discovery: A participant’s perspective on the 2018 Youth Leadership Academy

    2018 Youth Leadership Academy from a Participant’s Perspective By: Josh Riley Introduction Empower Tennessee hosted the 2018 Youth Leadership Academy (YLA) on June 27 and 28 in collaboration with the Tennessee Council on Developmental Disabilities. This year’s YLA theme was, “I AM Who I AM (and that’s pretty cool)”. Peer Facilitators lead workshops and activities, […]

  • An Oasis for All in Hendersonville

    What Mary’s Magical Place Means to Me and Says to the World By: April Meredith   August 2018 marks the grand opening month of Mary’s Magical Place, an all-inclusive playground located in Hendersonville. I cannot express just how excited I am for this project to come to fruition. Many Middle Tennesseans have been thinking of […]

  • Time to Cure the Stigma

    “Happy birthday. I love you,” she said in a barely discernable whisper, mustering every bit of strength she had left. I was turning 14 years old and my mom had been a breast cancer survivor. However, the dreaded disease came back with a vengeance and on April 20, 1992 I visited my mom in her […]

  • A Personal Story from a TBI Survivor

    In honor of Brain Injury Awareness Month, we are thrilled to share the personal survival story of a local veteran who is one of Empower Tennessee’s Empowered Ladies peer support group members. My name is Susan Kelly Sanders and I go by Kelly. I am a 56-year-young military veteran. My adventure began in 1981 when […]

  • It’s Never Too Late To Advocate

    Valentine’s Day was especially sweet for many Tennesseans this year as it was the same day as Disability Day on the Hill. DDH 2018 connected self-advocates and advocates across the state with their elected officials at the newly renovated Cordell Hull building. Despite the dreary weather outside, inside collaborative spirits were high and many individuals […]

  • Be Your Own Valentine: The Importance of Self-Care

    Since February 14th is Valentine’s Day, we at Empower Tennessee thought it would be a timely month to examine self-care, which is defined by Britain’s Department of Health as “the care taken by individuals towards their own health and well-being-including the care extended to the family and the community. The definition is broad and encompasses […]