Having been born with craniofacial anomalies myself and having gone through the seasons of a dozen plus surgeries, I come to the table with a unique perspective of understanding the mission and the vision of Face the Future Foundation. I believe that children and young adults should be treated with dignity and empathy, and that they should be radically included in the conversations that relate to their experiences, and presumed competent to made decisions and be taken seriously.
This past year I had the opportunity to tour the University of Illinois Craniofacial Center and was blown away by the interdisciplinary work that they do and the incredible empathy and care they have for their patients, let alone the cutting edge technology. I did not know that The Center existed until my adulthood, as my craniofacial team was based out of Lurie’s formerly, known as Children’s Memorial. I am grateful The Univ of Il Craniofacial Center exists for children and families, for however long they need care and regardless of ability to pay!
Rena Rosen is the Inclusion Coordinator for JCC Chicago, the largest Jewish Community Center in North America, a position she helped create that previously did not exist. Through her work, Rena plans and facilitates programs for teens, cultivates relationships with partner organizations and individuals in the greater global community , and consults and educates on all aspects of accessibility and inclusion with the many departments of the agency. Prior to this role, Rena was a preschool educator with the same agency for many years and found great joy in educating the most earliest learners.
Rena spends a significant amount of her free time doing things that align with her values and mission in life, which is to make her corner of the world a bit more inclusive and kinder than it was yesterday. Rena started a Facebook group in 2020, Knit For A Unique Fit, connecting individuals with limb differences and unique hand structures with someone who can create a pair of unique gloves for them. The group is nearing 3700 members and over 220 items have been sent all over the world!
In 2017 Rena co-wrote a children’s book called ‘The Courage to Be Kind’ teaching parents and caregivers what to do when you see someone who looks different. She has spoken at schools and organizations about kindness and has been written about in many articles for the work and the advocacy she has done.
Many who know Rena, know that she sticks by her brand of inclusion, kindness, and supporting the education around Disability and differences. Most of her clothing has a “Be Kind” message on it! Her values are
kindness, radical acceptance, equity, empathy, boundless humor, and community.
Support Face the Future Foundation's efforts to help University of Illinois Craniofacial Center transform young lives. Donate today and contribute to the funds they need to provide the highest quality of care to our heroes. The doctors and medical professionals. at University of Illinois Craniofacial Center, the team performs the procedures that give children the possibility of a normal, fully-embodied life, as well as important counseling for the kids and their families to help them during their lengthy treatment process.
Face the Future Foundation is a 501 (c)(3) nonprofit recognized by the IRS, and all donations to Face the Future Foundation are tax-deductible in accordance with IRS regulations.
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