Three Wheelchair Users Announced as 2023 Winners of Neilsen Foundation’s $1 Million Visionary Prize

On Sept. 19, Craig H. Neilsen Foundation revealed the 2023 winners of its annual Visionary Prize, given to individuals who are working to make the world a better place for people living with spinal cord injuries. This year’s awards go to Vincent Pierce, Carmen Daniels Jones and Victor Calise — who will each receive an unrestricted $1 million prize.

Carmen Daniels Jones, Victor Calise and Vincent Pierce (left to right)

New Mobility September 20, 2023

Vincent Pierce was named one of New Mobility’s 2021 People of the Year for his work fighting for the lives of disabled nursing home residents during the COVID pandemic. He is the director of the Open Doors foundation, a poet and music producer that runs music programs for underserved youth and the founder of #NursingHomeLivesMatter, which seeks to improve conditions for people of color in long-term care.

Carmen Daniels Jones is a board member of United Spinal Association who runs a marketing consulting firm that develops data-driven strategies for organizations to market to, serve and employ people with disabilities. She currently serves on the U.S. Access Board, which coordinates efforts to improve accessibility and inclusion in the federal government’s programs, services and regulations.

Victor Calise, a longtime disability advocate, is currently the director of Walmart’s recently established Accessibility Center of Excellence. Before his time at Walmart, Calise spent over two decades in public service fighting for better accessibility in New York City, culminating in his 2012 to 2022 tenure as Commissioner of the New York City Mayor’s Office for People with Disabilities.

“The Neilsen Foundation is honored to award Victor, Carmen, and Vincent the 2023 Visionary Prize,” said Kym Eisner, executive director of the Neilsen Foundation. “These three leaders exemplify the values of the Neilsen Foundation and the dedication to changing the world for the better — as our founder did. We’re proud to support them as they continue to make a lasting mark in their efforts to enrich the lives of people living with SCI.”

Since 2020, the Neilsen Foundation has awarded the Visionary Prize to 12 people across the U.S. and Canada. To date, four of the recipients — Reveca Torres, Andrea Dalzell, Yannick Benjamin and Vincent Pierce — have also been NM People of the Year. Learn more about this year’s winners at the Neilsen Foundation’s website.

Source New Mobility


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