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july, 2019

2019sun28jul4:00 pmsun5:30 pmCANCELLED -- "Todd Talks" Community Day, Sunday, July 28th -- With Speaker Ann Cupolo Freeman of Disability Rights Education & Defense FundGuest Speaker Series at The Practice SpaceThe Practice Space, 10261 San Pablo Ave, El Cerrito, CA 94530Event Type :Community Day

Event Details


We hope you join us for our second guest speaker for “Todd Talks,” where our board member Todd Groves selects a guest speaker who is deeply devoted to his or her community and works to serve it in important but unconventional ways. As always, this Sunday gathering will be casual and intimate, including an informal chat between Todd and the speaker as well as time for conversation.

We are fortunate to have Ann Cupolo Freeman join us at The Practice Space as our second selected speaker. Ann played a key role in many achievements associated with the disability rights movement in Berkeley, promoting independent living through her work at the Disability Rights Education and Defense Fund and Center for Independent Living. She will be sharing her inside experiences about being part of a significant human rights movement. See a note from Todd below to read more about Ann!

A Note from Todd Groves:

For my second Todd Talk on the importance of community, I’ve invited my friend and secret role model Ann Cupola, who participated in many of the major achievements of the Disability Rights Movement.  I invited Ann to do this talk because her leadership was so crucial,  yet remained in the background of events that are now history.  Our talk will explore her insights on being a part of a world-changing movement from the inside.
Ann was one of the first people I met when I packed up my wheelchair and moved to Berkeley in 1986.  I knew few other people with disabilities and hadn’t yet to experience the guidance from someone who had rolled on my wheels. I was adopted by Ann and others who helped found the Independent Living Movement. They have been my greatest teachers. Their mentorship empowered me to achieve so much and I will always be grateful to have it.
Prior to meeting these mentors,  I received advice received from ill-fitting to irrelevant to living within my disability. Having access to people who shared my experiences and had solutions to my challenges was life-changing. Their advice was useful and pertinent, not hit or (mostly) miss like the past. They helped surmount obstacles and endure processes that might have shut me down without their support. Now that I’m the one dispensing advice, I try to model the empowering encouragement these fearless, dauntless people provided.
Ann was a welcoming, uplifting presence at the Berkeley Center for Independent Living when I first arrived in Berkeley. She has a knack for encouraging and including people and set that tone in her leadership at CIL. While the people behind the bullhorn are seen as the face of movements, people like Ann glue communities together, get people to show up, participate and feel part of something. Ann is pay-it-forward, humble leader vital to creating a community of change, It is a privilege to host her at the Practice Space.
Ann’s Bio:

Ann Cupolo Freeman has been involved in the disability rights movement since she was in her late teens living in New York, before moving to California in 1975. She worked at the Center for Independent Living beginning in 1976 as a Peer Counselor, and returned to CIL in the late 1980s to take the position of Client Services Coordinator. She is currently on the board of directors of Disability Rights Education and Defense Fund, Inc. Before joining DREDF’s Board of Directors, she served on the board of the Center for Independent Living, Jobs for the Homeless in Oakland, and the Bay Area Outreach and Recreation Program in Berkeley.

Ann received her Master’s Degree in Social Welfare from the University of California at Berkeley in 1984, and then subsequently became a Licensed Clinical Social Worker. She realized that she greatly enjoyed working in physical rehabilitation and worked at both St. Mary’s Medical Center in San Francisco, and at Alta Bates – Summit Medical Center in Berkeley before her retirement. Ann felt that she was able to incorporate her independent living work experience into the hospital rehabilitation setting and introduce independent living concepts to newly disabled patients as well as to hospital staff.


(Sunday) 4:00 pm - 5:30 pm


The Practice Space

10261 San Pablo Ave, El Cerrito, CA 94530

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