|Title: Reverend Calvin Peterson and Disabled in Action Atlanta Collection|
|Creator: Disabled in Action (Atlanta).|
|Creator: Peterson, Calvin E.|
|Extent: 2.0 boxes (0.5 linear foot, 2 oversize items and 4 audiovisual items)|
|Collection Number: RBRL/409|
|Repository: Richard B. Russell Library for Political Research and Studies|
|Abstract: Reverend Calvin Peterson is the founder and director of Disabled in Action, a non-profit organization with a mission to advocate, educate and empower people with disabilities living in poverty, their families and caregivers, and with an emphasis on equity and inclusion. The collection includes articles of incorporation, correspondence, press releases, news clippings, brochures, flyers, photographs, DVDs, and other materials that document Rev. Peterson and Disabled in Action's advocacy and activism.|
Calvin E. Peterson was born in Atlanta, Georgia, on March 30, 1948. At birth, he was diagnosed with a severe form of cerebral palsy. He graduated from Booker T. Washington High School in southwest Atlanta. In 1978, he graduated with a B.A. in Liberal Arts from Long Island University. In 1970, Peterson and others founded the Atlanta-based organization Advanced Association for the Physically Handicapped to assist individuals with disabilities in communicating with employers, assistance agencies and rehabilitation centers, among other purposes. Since 1984, Rev. Peterson has been an ordained minister of the African Methodist Episcopal Church and has taught at the Interdenominational Theological Center in Atlanta. In 1986, Rev. Peterson founded the non-profit organization, Disabled in Action (DIA), in Atlanta with a mission to advocate, educate and empower people with disabilities living in poverty, their families and caregivers, and with an emphasis on equity and inclusion. In 1988, representing DIA, he provided testimony before the U.S. House Committee on Housing and Finance to urge public housing authorities to mandate accessibility. Among Rev. Peterson and DIA’s other accomplishments are instituting disabled voter education and registration drives, fighting for sidewalk curb-cuts in low-income communities, demanding public transportation for people with disabilities living in poverty, and creating curriculum for church leaders to allow them to adequately address the needs of their congregants with disabilities. Rev. Peterson is the author of Nothing is Impossible, his autobiography. Since 1986, he has produced television programs at People TV, the City of Atlanta’s public access media center, including the show Let's Plant a Seed, and currently hosts the monthly program, Voice of the Voiceless.
The collection documents the work of Reverend Calvin Peterson and the organization, Disabled in Action (DIA), and includes articles of incorporation, correspondence, press releases, news clippings, brochures, flyers, photographs, DVDs, and other materials. Files include information on DIA's projects and programs, advocacy campaigns to promote inclusion of people with disabilities, particularly those living in poverty, in all aspects of society, and administrative activities. Of particular interest is Rev. Peterson's correspondence with government, community and religious leaders to advance the work of DIA at various levels.
The collection is open for research.
Reverend Calvin Peterson and Disabled in Action Atlanta Collection, Richard B. Russell Library for Political Research and Studies, University of Georgia Libraries, Athens, Georgia, 30602-1641.
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Finding aid prepared by Russell staff.