Minnesota’s Disability Day at the Capitol marks an opportunity for all participants and providers to unite together and advocate for their services.  Among the top priorities: increase funding to produce fair wages for Direct Service Professionals who are crucial to the services provided to participants.

Tuesday, March 28 marked the first time since the pandemic that Disability Day was back in person at the Minnesota State Capitol. Participants and staff from all ProAct MN locations were excited to return to the Capitol for this important event.  The group joined hundreds of advocates from a variety of providers in the Capitol’s rotunda for the rally and had fun chanting this year’s Disability Day motto: “Invest in Us!”

Joined by ProAct President and CEO, Judie Foster-Lupkin, the participants got a front row view from the balcony, representing ProAct’s participation in the rally with ProAct’s banner, posters, and ProAct buttons and paddle fans.  They even left with some free swag as each participant at the rally was given stocking caps with the words “Invest in Us” sewn in.

Back in center, all programs enjoyed the virtual live stream of the rally.  They also represented this year’s motto, holding up posters and paddle fans, and cheering along.  Participants became super excited when the camera panned the rotunda and they saw their ProAct friends on the screen in the balcony!

A favorite stand out speaker was Minnesota Governor Tim Walz. He took to the podium and advocated for fair wages for Direct Service Professionals who provide the necessary care and ensure the health and safety for the participants we serve.  Eagan participant, Crystal recalls her favorite part of his speech when she heard him say, “We have the money!”

It was an amazing event and a positive experience for all who were able to connect in person and virtually with our exceptional world of services.

– Stephanie Osman, Senior Program Manager