CIF Mashes it Up in Evanston

September 2,  2015

For six years, Evanston MashUp has brought the different flavors of Evanston together under one lakefront tent. City leaders, entrepreneurs, artists, and CEOs mingle at this event co-captained by the mayor of Evanston and the president of Northwestern University. The event also brings together community members with and without disabilities.  

This year, for the first time, an individual with disabilities is serving on the event’s Leadership Committee. Sandra Clymo, a CIF Participant, contributes insight, perspective, and inclusion to the group.

“I’d like to see people with disabilities have more chances to be part of the community and to be recognized as individuals,” Sandra says.

Sandra was invited to join the board by Patrick Hughes, Jr., the event’s founder and one of its co-chairs. For Patrick, CEO of Inclusion Solutions, accessibility and opportunities for individuals with disabilities are key to a thriving community.

“We need to make inclusion more a part of the conversation in Evanston.” Patrick says.
“Having Sandra there is the start of the conversation. Her sense of humor is awesome, and she’s doing a great job.”

The MashUp brings together the city’s thought leaders, civic leaders, and community leaders, making it an ideal place to emphasize the importance of opportunities for all individuals. In addition to Sandra’s presence, Center for Independent Futures community members are involved in the event as volunteers, hosts, and attendees. The best way to make connections and make change, according to Patrick, is to get in the mix.

“We have to get individuals with disabilities engaged in the conversation in the tent,” he says. “There’s no magic about it. You just have to show up.”

This year’s MashUp will be held on Wednesday, September 9, from 5:30-9:00 p.m. on Northwestern University’s beachfront. For more information about Evanston MashUp and how to get involved, visit


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