Posted by Arab American Institute on March 14, 2017 in Blog


For the past 60 years, The Arc has played a vital role in fostering and maintaining advocacy by and for individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities. In 1950, a small group of parents came together with the goal of altering perceptions of children with intellectual and developmental disabilities to ensure their own children would lead fulfilling lives. Since then, the organization has grown from a handful of dedicated individuals to a nationwide presence and a vital resource driving employment and health initiatives, public policy development, and critical research. The Arc’s longstanding dedication to inclusivity and understanding, channeled through its diverse array of advocacy goals, are why we are pleased to honor them with the Award for Institutional Excellence at this year’s 2017 Khalil Gibran Spirit of Humanity Awards Gala on April 27, 2017.

The Arc’s history has been characterized by an adaptable approach to the advancement of civil rights for individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities. From its inception, the organization has confronted such complex issues as the stigmatization of individuals with disabilities, and the public and medical community’s need for a deeper understanding of these individuals. Over time, The Arc has adapted to the unique circumstances of each generation. They have staunchly advocated for critical legislation, including legislation guaranteeing children with intellectual or developmental disabilities the right to free appropriate public education, and more recently, legislation that will help students with disabilities transition from public schooling to higher education and employment. We are pleased to honor The Arc for its enduring impact at our Awards Gala this year.

The Arc will be honored along with fellow Gibran awardees Greg Simon, former Executive Director of the White House Cancer Moonshot Task Force, Hamdi Ulukaya, the founder and CEO of "Chobani" Greek yogurt company, and Dean of the Columbia University School of Journalism Steve Coll at AAIF’s 19th annual Kahlil Gibran Gala. We hope you will join us too. Purchase your tickets today. Please purchase your tickets today. 

In partnership with the University of Minnesota, The Arc has launched a survey to capture the experiences of individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities and their families and is seeking to accurately reflect the ethnic and racial diversity of our country in its responses.  If you or someone you know is impacted by the issues they work on, please take a few minutes to complete this survey.


 19th Annual Kahlil Gibran Spirit of Humanity Awards

Thursday, April 27, 2017

Grand Hyatt Hotel
1000 H Street NW | Washington, D.C. 

5:30 Reception | 6:30 Gala
Black Tie