“If you want to go quickly, go alone. If you want to go far, go together.” African Proverb
A MORE PERFECT UNION & ART AND ACTIVISM EVENT COORDINATOR
(800) 805-2505, ext. 9
Dena Chapman has dedicated much of her professional and personal life to advocating for parents (and more specifically parents), of children with special needs. As a parent of a child with special healthcare needs herself, Dena understands the rigorous physical, emotional and mental demands of care parents face daily. Her compassion for the plight of parents of children with special needs coupled with Dena’s social work background inspired her career shift; Dena has spent more than a decade providing emotional support, advocacy skills and resources to these parents. Dena’s body of work both inside and outside of the early intervention system reflects her belief that parents are the experts of their family. While working as a parent liaison in the early intervention system, Dena created a parent support community rich with viable resources. She fought to implement forums for parent training and education which gave parents a voice in the issues that impacted their children. Additionally, Dena served for several years on the Steering Committee for ADORE – A Day of Recognition Event for parents of children with special needs.
While having a child with medical complexities was the catalyst for Dena’s introduction to learning the skills of advocacy, her humble beginnings gave birth to her life work, social justice ministry, nearly 20 years ago. Her lived experiences combined with a fiery passion, disability advocacy and social justice ministry have well prepared Dena to lead the charge for A More Perfect Union and Art + Activism Events (link) for Be Strong Families. Dena joined Be Strong Families in 2012.
Dena received her Bachelor’s degree in Psychology from Loyola University. She is the proud parent of two brilliant, beautiful young men, Joshua and Malachi. In her leisure time, Dena enjoys reading, writing and ballet dancing.