A white woman wearing glasses and sitting in a wheelchair being interviewed by a white woman holding a microphone. A white man looking in a television camera is on the right edge of the frame.

In the summer and fall of 2023, the newly renamed Mobilize Waco caught the imagination of Waco media.

The first media appearances of the name Mobilize Waco happened in the summer of 2022, when local TV stations KXXV and KWTX covered our assessment of sidewalks and pedestrian crossings during a Waco Walks event. At that point Mobilize Waco was the moniker we gave to a new initiative of the Amberley Collaborative; it was not yet the name of the organization itself.

Then in the spring of 2023 we enjoyed an opportunity to announce that we had changed the name of the whole organization to Mobilize Waco when our local NPR station, KWBU, interviewed organizer Meg Wallace for its Central Texas Leadership series.

After that things quieted down until a sweltering weekend in late June 2023. The Institute for Theology and Disability, held at Baylor on the last weekend of June, would be bringing disabled activists to Waco, and they needed our help to map out rollable routes between the conference hotels and restaurants and after-hours gathering places. Also on tap for the weekend before the conference was our first major infrastructure assessment (of pedestrians crossings under newly rebuilt sections of I-35) in cooperation with TxDOT. Local TV station KWTX sent a reporter and camera operator out to the Institute to record a great story about our sweaty weekend of action.

More media stories posted in rapid succession following board member Suzette May’s presentation at a meeting of the Metropolitan Planning Organization in August. The Waco Tribune, alerted to Mobilize Waco’s work by Suzette’s presentation, profiled the organization in a front-page story highlighting Suzette and fellow board member Jimmy Moreno. This Trib story sparked yet more interest: a KXXV reporter caught up with Suzette at another MPO event, a quarterly meeting of the Bike-Pedestrian Working Group, and elicited her perspective on navigating blind. Finally, Waco Trib and KXXV captured board member Donna Dill’s thoughts on the state of affairs for wheeled pedestrians at a Waco Walks tour of the 25th Street corridor, slated for redevelopment in the coming months.

Mobilize Waco is committed to increasing the visibility of Waco’s disabled community, and it’s working. Thanks to this media coverage, more advocates are finding us, and planners are seeking our perspective on infrastructure improvements. We’re becoming hard to ignore, and that’s just the way we want it.