MABEL A. HIGGS
Advisory Board Chair
Mabel Higgs has been involved in the care of persons with Intellectual Disabilities for most of her adult life. She has been a tireless advocate for the rights of those individuals as well as civil rights for all Americans. Born and raised in Falmouth, Massachusetts, Mrs. Higgs’ professional journey began in 1949, after graduating from Howard University in Washington D.C., where she was inspired by activists such as eventual U. S. Supreme Court Justice, Thurgood Marshall. Mrs. Higgs began her career at the U.S. Library of Congress, married her late former husband Dr. Roland Higgs and raised two sons. The Higgs’ family moved across the U.S. during the nineteen sixties and early seventies, living in Chicago IL., Los Angeles, CA., Minneapolis, MN., and in the Detroit MI. suburbs. In each community Mabel became involved in politics and community and religious activism, serving numerous volunteer organizations and committees as well as city oversight boards.
In the early nineteen seventies, in the Detroit area, Mabel began to turn her focus more intensely on the needs of individuals with developmental disabilities. She volunteered and worked for the local ARC and began a long friendship with a group home operator, who eventually became a partner for a time until in 1979, Mrs. Higgs absorbed that facility, founded and incorporated Family Living Center; a non-profit company dedicated to the
housing and care of persons with intellectual disabilities. Over the decades since, Mrs. Higgs has provided the company a strong steady hand and remarkable leadership in both lean and prosperous times. Her legacy of giving, helping and caring for the clients and staff alike is immeasurable. Many staff members have benefitted from Mrs. Higgs' kindness, vision for them, counsel and generosity.
Her reputation with funding agencies, the surrounding counties and the State of Michigan is superb and she has been recognized many times with awards for her support, care, leadership, and longevity within the field. She visited Nigeria with Dr. Osimiri and was inducted into an Age grade in Nkporo in Abia State where she is considered one of their community member.
ABLE MABLE THOMAS
Member Georgia House of Representatives
Able Mable Thomas is a member of AWEC and the owner of Greater Vine City Opportunities Program Inc. in Atlanta, Georgia. She is a State Rep.Ga General Assembly. Mabel Have been in State office for 18 years now. and has been in and out during these times. Thomas' political career started when she was chosen as a presidential delegate for candidate Jesse Jackson at the 1984 Democratic National Convention.
In the same year, she won a seat in the Georgia House, defeating incumbent Grace Towns Hamilton. She served four terms. In 1997, she ran for and won a seat on the Atlanta City Council. In 2000 she returned to the Georgia House for six years.