With the Build Back Better package in negotiation phase, we talk with Rebecca Cokley, of the Ford Foundation. She provides analysis on how some of the proposed elements of Build Back Better would greatly improve the lives of people with disabilities
As Congress and the White House actively negotiate the terms of the Build Back Better package, we spend today’s show with Rebecca Cokley, a Program Officer in the President’s Office at the Ford Foundation, where she develops the US disability rights program strategy for the Foundation. On the show, Rebecca provides analysis on how some of the proposed elements of the Build Back Better package would greatly improve the lives of people with disabilities in this country. She also tells us about her ground-breaking work at the Ford Foundation, supporting disability rights and justice initiatives throughout the United States.
Disability Rap listeners may remember that we had Rebecca on the show one year ago, right before the November 2020 Presidential Election. At that time, Rebecca was a senior fellow at the Center for American Progress Action Fund. Click here to listen to that interview.
Previously, Rebecca served as the executive director of the National Council on Disability, an independent agency charged with advising Congress and the White House on issues of national disability public policy. She also served in the Obama Administration for four years, including time at the Department of Education and the Department of Health and Human Services, as well as a successful stint at the White House where she oversaw diversity and inclusion efforts. Rebecca got her feet wet in advocacy while working at the Institute for Educational Leadership, where she built a number of tools and resources designed to empower and educate youth with disabilities and their adult allies. Rebecca is a California native, growing up in the Bay Area during the heart of the Independent Living Movement.