Human rights advocate Ted Kennedy Jr. to speak at Fairfield University


Image: Ted Kennedy Jr.Ted Kennedy Jr., a senator's son who has turned early tragedy into a life of advocacy, education and public service, will deliver "Facing the Challenge," the second annual lecture of the Lilly Endowment for the Ignatian College, on Wednesday, April 21, at 7:30 p.m. at Fairfield University's Regina A. Quick Center for the Arts. Kennedy's talk is part of Open VISIONS Forum, a program of University College.

Following in the tradition of his family's dedication to public service, Kennedy has devoted his life and work to being the voice behind the poster child. Lecturing to the community, he suggests we should all come together to bolster self-esteem and identify role models for people with disabilities. Examining the vital importance of debunking myths, Kennedy hopes to show audiences that quality of life for people with disabilities is not poor, only different.

Kennedy speaks from experience on several fronts. In 1973, newspapers across the country told the nation that the then 12-year-old Kennedy, the son of Massachusetts Sen. Ted Kennedy, had lost one of his legs to bone cancer. Almost three decades later, he continues to work as an advocate for the civil rights of people with disabilities and terminal illnesses.

Kennedy has worked extensively in the corporate world to expand job opportunities for people with disabilities, all the while working to persuade policy-makers to do the same. Executive director of Facing the Challenge, a non-profit advocacy and public policy office for disability-related issues, he is also a teaching fellow on disability policy at Harvard University's Kennedy School of Government.

In addition, Kennedy has been on the executive council of the President's Committee on Employment of People with Disabilities, the executive committee of the 1995 Special Olympics, and, since 1992, has worked on the research faculty of the Yale University School of Medicine. He is currently studying environmental factors that may lead to disease and disability.

Kennedy is the co-founder and president of the Marwood Group, a healthcare financial services firm based in New York. Serving many Fortune 500 clients in the healthcare and financial services sectors, Kennedy assists companies in identifying and executing key business opportunities and strategic partnerships.

Before founding Marwood, Kennedy served as counsel to the law firm of Wiggin & Dana in New Haven. His health law practice focused on state and federal regulatory and reimbursement issues affecting hospitals, home care agencies, long-term care providers, physicians and mental health providers. He also served as director of legal and regulatory affairs at the Connecticut Hospital Association, counseling acute care providers and policy-makers on a wide variety of emerging health care issues.

Kennedy received his undergraduate degree from Wesleyan University and he holds a master's degree from Yale and a law degree from the University of Connecticut School of Law. He is married to Katherine Kennedy, M.D., an assistant clinical professor of psychiatry at Yale University School of Medicine. The couple has two children.

Tickets are $22, $18.50 for seniors. For tickets, call the Quick Center box office at (203) 254-4010 or toll free at 1-877-ARTS-396. For more information, visit the website www.quickcenter.com.

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Media Contact: Nancy Habetz, (203) 254-4000, ext. 2647, nhabetz@fairfield.edu

Posted on April 5, 2004

Vol. 36, No. 239