In front of more than 1,200 nonprofit champions from around the state, Opportunity Partners earned top honors in the Advocacy category at the Minnesota Nonprofit Awards for Mission and Excellence.
Opportunity Partners’ COAL group, the Committee of Advocacy & Leadership, received the award October 2 from the Minnesota Council of Nonprofits and MAP for Nonprofits.
Opportunity Partners launched COAL in 2011 to more directly involve the people it serves in advocacy efforts. COAL now has more than 50 members who, alongside staff allies, take action on issues important to them ranging from disability funding to anti-bullying. COAL’s efforts are raising awareness, breaking down barriers, and dismantling stereotypes about people with disabilities.
Past COAL President Stacie Dziedzic delivered a moving acceptance speech: “ … Because of COAL I’ve learned to respect others and to advocate for issues that are important to me and my community. I’ve learned that we are all equal, and it’s important to give and get respect. I have also learned to love and understand myself unconditionally … OP changed my life when I was in a bad place and I will never forget what they have done for me. … “
“We want to give back to the community. … Without COAL, I wouldn’t be where I am now,” – Bobby
“We have rights just like anybody else, and we need to stand up for ourselves,” – Brad
“If you are a self-advocate, please do not be afraid to speak your voice,” – Stacie
Watch the amazing video the Minnesota Council of Nonprofits produced about COAL and Opportunity Partners.