Annually, the National Council on Independent Living recognizes the advocacy efforts and work of individuals that advance the rights of individuals with disabilities as part of their annual conference.
This year, the Region VI Advocacy Award has been awarded to Jessica Lewis who is the Executive Director of the Louisiana SILC.
Region VI includes Arkansas, Louisiana, Oklahoma, New Mexico and Texas. Jessica will be recognized along with other regional winners at the virtual NCIL conference to be held July 20 through August 7, 2020.
Jessica is a graduate of Southern University where she obtained a Bachelor’s of Science in Business Management and moved on to receive her Master of Business Administration (MBA). Jessica has worked extensively in matters concerning Mental Health and Individuals with physical and cognitive disabilities along with continuous work in the community for the betterment of society and for individuals with disabilities.
Jessica has works tirelessly on disability issues and educating the public on the independent living movement. She serves with humility to promote the rights of individuals with disabilities.
For over 10 years, she has worked with various organizations and community events educating and advocating for individuals with disabilities.
Some of her successes as SILC director include but not limited to the following:
- Established the REVUP campaign for the state of Louisiana (Register, Educate, Vote- Use Your Power)in 2017,
- launched a statewide campaign with the SILC Board of Directors holding activities relating to REV UP;
- led a public service announcement (PSA) to inform the state of LA about the SILC and the importance of REV UP and received the endorsement of Governor John Bel Edwards in doing so;
- hosted over 500 individuals at the first Inclusion Job & Resource Fair to assist the disability community and other vulnerable populations in finding a job.
- Jessica is the second woman of color of the LA SILC to restore funding to the SILC up to $10,000.
Said Rashad Bristo, Vice Chair of the LA SILC; “Jessica is the epitome of leadership. She has proven time and time again that she will go above and beyond the call of duty. It is a breath of fresh air to know that she is at the helm of the Louisiana SILC”.
She is a proud member of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority Incorporated and the National Association of University Women (NAUW) where she is actively involved on the Social Action and Political Awareness committees.
Jessica loves life and enjoys spending time with family and friends when she is not advocating for Individuals with disabilities. Her favorite quote is “All the strength and force of man comes from his faith in things unseen. He who believes is strong; he who doubts is weak. Strong convictions precede great actions.”
Please help us congratulate Jessica Lewis who is the advocacy award winner for Region VI!