2022 Women's Institute on Leadership and Disability (WILD)

Two WILD women hold hands
Photo credit: www.kiefelphotography.com
This summer, Mobility International USA will convene its tenth cohort of disabled women leaders and grassroots activists from around the world.
June 1, 2022 - June 18, 2022

Thirty-five disabled women activists  will convene for the 10th International Women’s Institute on Leadership and Disability (WILD) Exchange Program, to be held June 1 – June 18, 2022.

Delegates will represent Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Botswana, Brazil, Burundi, Cameroon, China, Colombia, Costa Rica, Dominican Republic, Egypt, El Salvador, Ethiopia, Guatemala, India, Indonesia, Iraq, Kenya, Lesotho, Malawi, Mauritius, Mexico, Mongolia, Mozambique, Nepal, Nigeria, Pakistan, Peru, Philippines, Poland, Rwanda, Sierra Leone, Uganda, and Vietnam. These activists, representing diverse disabilities, bring expertise in fields such as law, policy, business, human rights, youth empowerment, education, health, media, HIV/AIDS, and violence prevention.

Embracing the “Loud, Proud and Passionate®” theme, WILD women will move forward in their personal and professional roles as community, national and world leaders. Through a series of intensive seminars and site visits, delegates will focus on using the media, implementing policy and legislation, networking with international allies, and improving employment and educational opportunities. Delegates will also participate in team building activities, such as an outdoor challenge course and adaptive cycling, and learn about U.S. culture by staying with local families.

One of the unique components of the WILD program is the Gender, Disability and Development Institute (GDDI), where WILD delegates will meet with representatives from international development agencies. From June 15-16, this innovative retreat will go beyond rhetoric to engage participants in direct dialogue about strategies for including women and girls with disabilities in development projects throughout the world.

Envisioning the impact on her work, an activist from Bangladesh who has a physical disability shares her motivation for participating in the program: 

"WILD is the international program for disabled women leaders whose participants come from all around the world. I want to contribute to that knowledge pool and enrich myself through its diverse network to improve my leadership skills." 

An activist with a psychosocial disability from Peru adds: 

"I would like to learn new skills, to gather and grow, not only as an activist but as a person, from shared experiences, as well as to build a network with other women with disabilities."

As a non-profit organization, the mission of MIUSA is to empower people with disabilities around the world to achieve their human rights through international exchange and international development. Since 1981, MIUSA has offered international exchange programs for over 2,300 youth, adults and professionals with and without disabilities from more than 135 countries.

The WILD program is made possible through the generous support of the MacArthur Foundation, Open Society Foundations, Channel Foundation, Australian Embassy of Mexico, and MIUSA’s Women’s Leadership Fund. The program is also supported by national and local organizations and businesses, as well as homestay families and volunteers.

Event location: 

Eugene, Oregon