Center for American Progress

RELEASE: CAP Welcomes Mia Ives-Rublee as Director of the Disability Justice Initiative
Press Release

RELEASE: CAP Welcomes Mia Ives-Rublee as Director of the Disability Justice Initiative

Washington, D.C. — Today, the Center for American Progress announced that Mia Ives-Rublee will be the next director of its Disability Justice Initiative (DJI), taking over for Founding Director Rebecca Cokley. Launched in 2018, the DJI is a first-of-its-kind think tank program, which applies disability as a lens across policy issues, centering wholeness, intersectionality, and inclusivity. The DJI works to ensure that both policymakers and the progressive community understand that disability issues do not exist in a silo but are part of the broader set of issues progressives fight for every day.

Ives-Rublee is a longtime disability justice and inclusion expert and advocate, who has pushed for better access to disability accommodations at progressive organizations and events and worked to make progressive policy platforms inclusive of the disability community. She is best known for founding the Women’s March Disability Caucus and helped organize the original Women’s March on Washington in 2017–making the Women’s March one of the first large-scale events to have deaf certified interpreters on stage.

During the 2020 electoral cycle, Ives-Rublee worked on a number of Democratic political campaigns, largely focusing on issues that affected the disability and Asian American communities. Her work ensured that the campaigns themselves were accessible while also helping candidates develop disability policy platforms. Ives-Rublee also spent six years as a vocational counselor at the North Carolina Division of Vocational Rehabilitation Service, connecting disabled people with substantial employment and services in their communities. Ives-Rublee also served as the confidential assistant to Commissioner Chai Feldblum at the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission.

Ives-Rublee was named by Glamour Magazine as one of 2017’s “Women of the Year” for her work on the Women’s March. In 2020, she was recognized by She the People as one of “20 Women of Color in Politics to Watch.” She holds a bachelor’s degree in sociology from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign and a master’s degree in social work from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, which honored her with their 2019 Distinguished Alumni Award.

“I couldn’t be more thrilled to welcome Mia to the DJI and CAP,” said Winnie Stachelberg, executive vice president for external affairs. “Before the pandemic, 1 in 4 Americans had a disability. Now, due to the long-term effects of COVID-19, we are expecting the disability community to grow by the greatest number of people in a generation. Ensuring that disabled Americans have a seat at the table in all policy discussions is essential for our nation to fully rebuild from the crisis. Mia’s policy and organizing expertise make her the ideal person to lead the DJI and work with policymakers to guarantee that disability justice is centered in the COVID-19 recovery.”

For more information or to speak to an expert, contact Julia Cusick at [email protected].