On September 22, Joni Eareckson Tada was recognized as one of She Leads America’s ten “Christian Women of Distinction in the United States of America” for 2023. Presented by Congresswoman Lisa McClain at the Museum of the Bible in Washington D.C., Tada was honored for her service in Christian ministry as Founder and CEO of Joni and Friends, and for upholding the sanctity of all life, including the elderly and those with disabilities. As part of the recognition, Tada’s name and accomplishments have been entered into the Congressional Record at the U.S. Capitol.
She Leads America is a dynamic, diverse organization of accomplished Christian women that offers a framework to link interdisciplinary perspectives centered in the Bible and resources that provide faith-based solutions for modern-day challenges. The “Christian Women of Distinction” award is presented annually to ten honorees who have demonstrated exceptional leadership, dedication, and service within their respective fields and communities.
Accepting the honor for 2023, Tada expressed her deep appreciation, saying, “I’m grateful to Elizabeth Doyle and my friends at She Leads America for their recognition of our ministry among families that struggle with disability. And it is on behalf of the elderly and disabled that I humbly receive this year’s “Christian Woman of Distinction” award. Life IS worth living, for I would rather be in this wheelchair knowing Jesus as I do, than to be on my feet without him.”
Joni Eareckson Tada’s life and work have been characterized by unwavering dedication to serving the most vulnerable in society. Through Joni and Friends, she has provided hope and practical support to thousands of people living with disabilities in the United States and around the world.
Founder and Executive Director of She Leads America, Elizabeth Doyle, congratulated Tada saying, “Your outstanding leadership has been an inspiration to many across this country, and the globe, so it is only proper that She Leads America, gives tribute to you. Our goal is to see the many beautiful streams of ministry flowing through our Nation represented by you and the other women nominated, become a mighty river of righteousness as we come together in unity under King Jesus.”
Other women who have been honored include Rev. Eve Nunez Founder of the National Latina/Latino Commission, Commissioner Jolene Hodder of the Salvation Army, Dr. Alveda King, and Shirley Dobson.