VALLEY FORGE, PA (ABNS 11/3/14)—American Baptist Home Mission Societies (ABHMS) is pleased to announce that, through its partnership with the American Association of People with Disabilities (AAPD), Curtis Ramsey-Lucas, ABHMS managing director of Resource Development, will serve as director of Interfaith Engagement for AAPD’s Interfaith Disability Advocacy Coalition (IDAC).
Ramsey-Lucas will continue with his various ABHMS duties, a portion of which already included representing ABHMS on the IDAC Steering Committee and chairing the IDAC committee that wrote “Grounded in Faith: Resources on Mental Health and Gun Violence,” published by AAPD in 2013. In addition, he will continue his responsibility as chair of the Baptist Joint Committee for Religious Liberty’s board of directors.
“We are delighted to be in partnership with the American Association of People with Disabilities. American Baptist Home Mission Societies has always been committed to breaking down barriers to persons so often relegated to the margins of our society and including them in the full life of our churches and society,” says ABHMS Executive Director Dr. Aidsand F. Wright-Riggins III. “Curtis Ramsey-Lucas will certainly advance this cause as he works together with both mission organizations.”
Ramsey-Lucas will coordinate IDAC’s 33 member organizations in advocating with and on behalf of individuals with disabilities for access to employment, independent living, health care and education. He will also manage AAPD’s Mental Health and Faith Community Partnership with the American Psychiatric Association and the American Psychiatric Foundation.
“Interfaith efforts have played a significant role in all civil rights movements, and the disability rights movement is no exception,” says Mark Perriello, president and CEO of AAPD. “AAPD occupies a unique space through our efforts to rally and engage people of faith, and it is an important thread that we must continue in order to help advance the rights and freedoms of people with disabilities.”
Ramsey-Lucas’ new position is a reconfiguration of the interfaith program director position held by Ginny Thornburgh, who is retiring from AAPD.
“I am honored to follow in the footsteps of Ginny Thornburgh—a remarkable leader in the movement to expand opportunities for people with disabilities,” says Ramsey-Lucas. “I look forward to engaging IDAC in bringing the prophetic voice of the faith community to the 21st-century disability agenda.”
IDAC’s mission is to mobilize the religious community to speak out and take action on disability policy issues with Congress, the president and administration, and society-at-large.
American Baptist Home Mission Societies—the domestic mission arm of American Baptist Churches USA—ministers as the caring heart and serving hands of Jesus Christ across the United States and Puerto Rico through a multitude of initiatives that focus on discipleship, community and justice.
American Baptist Churches is one of the most diverse Christian denominations today, with over 5,200 local congregations comprised of 1.3 million members, across the United States and Puerto Rico, all engaged in God’s mission around the world.