TRUMBULL, CT - The Kennedy Center, Inc., renowned for its unwavering support and advocacy of individuals with disabilities, has changed its name to The Kennedy Collective. The new name reflects the organization’s core belief that it takes a collective approach to ensure people with disabilities have a voice, are valued, and provided with opportunities to succeed.
What would eventually become The Kennedy Center, now Collective, was set in motion in 1951 when Evelyn Kennedy, the mother of a young boy with intellectual disabilities, was encouraged to institutionalize him. Outraged and energized, Evelyn, along with a group of twelve parents, embarked on a mission to overcome obstacles and established a support system where children with disabilities would have the same opportunities as every other child. The group would eventually lead the way for the first public school classes for children with cognitive disabilities in New England, write Connecticut legislation making it mandatory for school systems to provide educational services for impacted children and help establish Connecticut’s Division of Developmental Service (DDS).
For more than seven decades, The Kennedy Collective has remained true to the original mission by providing support services and building business enterprises that empower and employ people with disabilities. Since its inception, the number of individuals The Kennedy Collective has supported totals in the tens of thousands.
Rick Sebastian, President and CEO, further explains “The process of changing our name from The Kennedy Center to The Kennedy Collective is really about showcasing our most valuable asset – the tremendous impact we have when we unite as a collective.”
Along with the name change, The Kennedy Collective has unveiled a new logo that embodies the organization’s belief in celebrating the unique capabilities of every individual. The new logo – an asymmetrical star with a celebratory posture and hidden letter K – is heavily inspired by a piece of art created by an individual who receives supports from the Kennedy Collective.
The Kennedy Collective’s new branding will launch through marketing, communications, signage and online – including social media and a new website, www.thekennedycollective.org .
Sebastian adds, “While our name, logo and look are changing, our Mission remains anchored in creating pathways for people to flourish and thrive in their communities by unleashing potential and empowering abilities. This was the vision of Evelyn Kennedy when she founded this organization in 1951 and it remains our North Star, our clear and guiding vision.”
About the Kennedy Collective
The Kennedy Collective was founded in 1951 with an unwavering mission to support and empower people with disabilities to reach their full potential. Today, we support and employ individuals with disabilities in a variety of housing, social and employment settings. The Kennedy Collective assists individuals in pursuit of Competitive Integrated Employment through our Community Services and Workforce Development programs and provides employment through our sustainable Business Enterprises. These enterprises include Palm & Able Thrift Store & Distribution Center, Facilities Maintenance (Landscaping/Groundskeeping & Janitorial), and Staffing Services. We recently created a BCBA Behavioral Intervention Business Enterprise that offers supports in home, school, workplace and at community locations.
We believe our community is stronger when all people are empowered to contribute, share, and thrive. To learn more about The Kennedy Collective and how you can support and participate, please visit www.thekennedycollective.org