Team CIF is ready to roll – Bike the Drive 2021

We have our gears greased and our tires pumped!


TeamCIF is a community of adults with and without disabilities who participate in the Fifth Third Bike the Drive every year. This group is committed to raising funds for Center for Independent Futures, which supports adults with disabilities living full, independent lives.

Every dollar raised supports our efforts to provide virtual and in-person social opportunities for individuals with disabilities. Our activities are giving a lifeline to so many of our participants during these challenging times. Please donate today and support individuals with disabilities living their full lives!

On September 5th, our bike riders will join thousands of others on Lake Shore Drive. The entire length of this gorgeous route will be closed to regular traffic, open only to cyclists. It is an honor for our participants to take part in this Chicago tradition.

Please donate today and support individuals with disabilities living their full lives!

Donate to the entire team here. Individual riders’ pages may be found here: Mike SenerAdam WiserRicky GoodenJeff Morthorst, and the Fox Family.

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Moving Beyond Diversity

Thanks to Evanston Cradle to Career, some staff members attended a two-day seminar on moving beyond diversity. What does that mean?

It means that if we are going to create a society that treats everyone equally, we can’t only consider diversity. We must reconsider the ways we are taught to think about abilities, race, class, and gender. Together, our community needs to think of the diversity of experiences people have – not just diversity of skin color.

Continue reading to find out what each staff member discovered at Beyond Diversity.

Sharon Purdy

As our facilitator said, “public learning is hard.” My best learning happened when I was most uncomfortable.

Why did I show up? I wanted an action plan. I wanted something I could do every day to be more aware and continue to learn from others’ perspectives. It’s great that our small group of colleagues at CIF has continued the conversation. I look forward to continued work together in hopes that we can keep this important conversation and resulting ideas and actions in the forefront of the work we do.

Niki Moe Horrell

I grew up in a mainly white community where there were distinct prejudices against people of color and this was against the threads of who I was, yet, this was where I lived. During the seminar, my mind was opened to some harsh realities:

Five staff members who attended Beyond Diversity pose for photo

I would not know how it feels to be racially profiled and followed by the police. I would not know how it feels to be watched in a department store. I would not know that the lighter the skin tone, the more privileged the person is.

People of color mentioned each of these experiences at the seminar. We all need to put ourselves in others’ shoes and create a change, for people of every color matter and every color creates the human race.

 

Claudia Quijada

Diversity and inclusion are becoming an important topic nowadays. However, there are always big challenges that societies face and these challenges, sometimes, become stronger than the willingness of good people. We can only achieve an inclusive goal when a society finds support from local governments. They must create policies specifically for the protection of the rights of minority groups.

Kathy Lyons

In championing inclusion for people with disabilities, we can be allies with others who face discrimination because the community of people with disabilities is as diverse as the population of people without.

The work of becoming racially conscious is deeply personal, often uncomfortable, and on-going.

Chrissy Lewis

Courageous Conversations logo

The opportunity to participate in the Beyond Diversity training for two days was a professional gift. The facilitator was willing to take risks and allow the people participating in the training to drive the conversation on race.  When these personal conversations took place, I learned the most about ideas like colorism and having courageous dialogues.

Although Evanston is a diverse community, it isn’t integrated. I spent time reflecting on my role in white dominance and the privileges that I am afforded. Finally, I reflected upon what conversations to take back to the Center for Independent Futures community on race.  

Connor Larsen

The most important aspect of being aware of race is possessing an ability to talk about difficult issues. The Beyond Diversity seminar provided us with tools for productive and valuable conversations about race, white privilege, and whiteness.

I am excited to work at an organization that encourages its staff to take racial differences and community building seriously. While there is so much work to be done in the world at-large, the best thing we can do is start at home. We will continue to have these difficult conversations among staff and community partners, and I hope that we can spread the tools we learned.

Success Stories

tue28sep3:00 pm4:00 pmWalking Club - In Person

tue28sep5:15 pm6:00 pmMeditation - Zoom

tue28sep6:30 pm8:00 pmArt Club - In Person

wed29sep1:00 pm2:00 pmBingo - Wednesdays - Zoom

wed29sep4:00 pm5:00 pmYoga - Wednesday - Zoom

Volunteer your time and talent

Regardless of your expertise or experience, giving of yourself can change lives for the better and create new possibilities for those with disabilities.

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Give the gift of independence

Your tax-deductible contributions help us provide life-changing services, develop innovative solutions, and increase community education and outreach.

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