A highlight of PACER Center’s annual gala in November was the announcement of the first-ever Paula A. Goldberg Champion for Children with Disabilities Award. The honoree is Maren Hulden of Minneapolis.
Hulden is a supervising attorney at the Minnesota Disability Law Center, where she previously worked as an advocate with the Legal Services Advocacy Project. She is also the parent of a young son with a disability.
Hulden is respected and well-known among disability community members through her work with the Minnesota Consortium for Citizens with Disabilities, and her efforts on various bills at the Minnesota Legislature.
She helps legislators and community members understand problems from both a systemic and human level, and has a deep understanding of the barriers to inclusion faced by children with disabilities and their families. She has been instrumental in helping pass legislation, including recovery education, inclusive childcare and more.
Julia Page, who nominated Hulden for this award, said “She is one of the most effective advocates I have ever had the pleasure to work with. Maren is astute in her advocacy both in content knowledge and relationship building. Maren possesses a perfect combination of warmth, empathy, story-telling, and deep knowledge of data and policy. I truly think that she could work with anyone and get any goal accomplished. In addition to her vast knowledge as an attorney, her experience as an educator and mother of a young child with a disability give her a deep understanding of the barriers to inclusion that children with disabilities and their families face. Maren is constantly working to promote and protect the human rights of people who have disabilities, and she is deeply deserving of this award.”
Goldberg, a cofounder of PACER, died in May. She is remembered for her strong advocacy and passion for helping children with disabilities.