At its annual meeting and awards ceremony on May 12, 2005, Arc recognized two local self-advocacy activists. Arc Hennepin-Carver presented its Dick Rothmund Memorial Citizenship Award for 2004 to Richard Grimm, III, and presented its highest honor, the Founders Award, to Cliff Poetz.
The Dick Rothmund Memorial Citizenship Award honors a self-advocate who has participated in his or her community in an outstanding manner through leadership in self-advocacy or community service.
Grimm is president of People First Central, an organization for people with developmental disabilities who want to speak more effectively on their own behalf and live more independently. He is also involved in efforts to shape legislation to better meet the needs of people with disabilities. He was active in Arc Hennepin-Carver’s “Get Out the Vote” campaign in 2004 and attended The Arc of the United States; annual Disability Policy Seminar in Washington, D.C. His achievements are an outstanding example of the leadership self-advocates can offer to the community.
The Founders Award honors an individual who exemplifies the vision of Arc’s founders, who dreamed of a community where people with mental retardation and related developmental disabilities would live as fully included and productive members of society, without social and physical barriers.
Poetz has championed human rights and social justice for people with disabilities for more than 30 years. He is one of the founders of the self-advocacy movement, pioneering the idea that people with disabilities should have a voice in decisions that affect their lives. To this end, he has worked passionately in the public policy arena at the state and national levels. As an active and committed volunteer with Arc and many other disability organizations, he has worked tirelessly to create a world where people with disabilities are fully included and valued. Cliff Poetz is a role model and inspiration to the entire community.
For more information and volunteer opportunities at Arc, call (952) 920-0855 or visit www.archennepincarver.org.