Deborah Cunningham, 1945-2015
Date Written:  2015-07-01
Publisher:  News & Letters
Year Published:  2015
Resource Type:  Article
Cx Number:  CX17899

Deborah Cunningham was an ADAPT activist and Executive Director of the Memphis Center for Independent Living (MCIL). When she died on May 7, the movement lost a tireless, creative, committed activist, feminist and thinker.



Before there was any home and community options in Tennessee, Deborah was the 'conductor' of the Disability Underground Railroad that moved people with disabilities from institutionalization into their own homes…

"There’s not one person in the whole of Tennessee who has been freed from a nursing home or saved from entering one who does not owe their freedom, in no small part, to Deborah Cunningham," said MCIL board member Louis Patrick. "There’s not an accessible movie theater space in Memphis and its environs that Deborah, an avid movie fan, did not lobby hard for. Ditto the spaces, concessions and restrooms at the Liberty Bowl are substantially the result of Deborah’s efforts."

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