Angela F. Williams is president and CEO of Easterseals, the nation’s leading nonprofit provider of life-changing services and powerful advocacy for people with disabilities of all ages, including veterans and seniors. She is the first Black woman to hold this post and was hired in 2018 as a change agent in anticipation of Easterseals’ 100th anniversary in 2019. She brings a long history of purpose-driven work to Easterseals and has personally witnessed the pain veterans go through daily.
As Easterseals moves into its second century, Williams’ goals are to increase its growth, bolster its impact, expand its services, and advance disability equity in health care, education, and employment. This vision is driven by Williams’ network-wide strategic plan to broaden inclusion, empowerment, and access for the 1.5 million people Easterseals serves annually—and for the 1 in 4 Americans living with disability today. The plan strengthens Easterseals’ National Network of 67 affiliates to serve more individuals and families living with a disability, expanding services with heightened support from corporate, foundation, and individual donors.
Advocacy is Williams’ critical focus at the federal and state levels to ensure that people with disabilities have greater access to health care, education, and employment. Technology policy is central to her engagement with public and private entities given that the virtual world is increasingly the essential point of access to services and inclusion for people with disabilities.
Williams is personally vested in the Easterseals mission to help veterans. Williams was raised in a military family; her father, J.C. Williams, was commissioned as the 5th Black chaplain in the history of the U.S. Navy. She served in the Judge Advocate General’s Corps for more than six years following her graduation from the University of Texas School of Law. During Operation Desert Shield/Desert Storm, she was stationed in South Korea while her father was on active duty in the Mediterranean and her brother was a U.S. Marine Corps officer in Kuwait. This experience, when few Black women served in the JAG Corps, was foundational to her commitment to service and her belief in equity and inclusion for all Americans. As a circuit trial counsel based at Bolling AFB, Capt. Williams prosecuted high-profile cases.
Headquartered in Chicago, Easterseals has nationally recognized programs for issues related to the veteran population. These programs, aimed at mental health and reintegration into society through employment training and services, include the following:
- Advocacy and education
- Employment training
- Mental health services
- Caregiver support
- Homeless veteran’s reintegration programs
- Financial literacy programs
Read more about Easterseals Military and veterans services here: https://www.easterseals.com/our-programs/military-veterans/