Joni Eareckson Tada Receives the Wilberforce Award!

  • By: Joni and Friends
  • March 16, 2012
  • In the Media, Video Archives

In this video, Chuck Colson invites you to join in celebrating this year's Wilberforce Award winner.

Joni Eareckson Tada will be honored with the prestigious Wilberforce Award during the annual Wilberforce Weekend held March 30-April 1 in Lansdowne, Va. The award is named for William Wilberforce, the British parliamentarian who fought for 26 years to abolish slavery in Great Britain, finally succeeding with the passage of the Slave Trade Act in 1807. Chuck Colson, who hosts the BreakPoint radio program, said Tada was selected for the award because she -- like Wilberforce -- has persevered and sacrificed to fight social injustice and to transform culture. "She is a defiant, inspirational, joy-filled rebuttal to those who would assault the sanctity of human life," Colson said. Presented by the Board of Directors of Breakpoint/The Chuck Colson Center for Christian Worldview, the award honors those who share Wilberforce's passions and principles:

  • Making a significant impact on the social ills of the day through personal effort, skill, and influence;
  • Showing perseverance and selflessness in combating injustice, even to the point of willingness to sacrifice personal comfort, career and reputation;
  • Making positive change in the values and character of society -- "reforming manners" -- through personal witness, example and education;
  • Serving as an exemplary witness for Christ.

"I think anyone who knows her would agree with me that these award criteria describe Joni perfectly," said Joni and Friends President Doug Mazza. "We are pleased that she has been singled out for this honor and appreciate Chuck Colson and Breakpoint's recognition of Joni's contributions."
Following a paralyzing diving accident in 1967, Tada's faith helped her to persevere and become a successful artist using her mouth to paint and draw. The publication of her story in the book "Joni" and in various media outlets led to an outpouring of response from others impacted by disability and in need of encouragement. Tada founded Joni and Friends in 1979 to fulfill this purpose. Tada served on the National Council on Disability during the period when the Americans with Disabilities Act was adopted, making recommendations on legislation that would have a direct impact on individuals with disabilities. She also served on the Disability Advisory Committee to the U.S. State Department and continues her role as a leader regarding issues that affect the value of life, such as health care reform and stem cell research

"When I look at the list of previous recipients of the Wilberforce Award, I am awed and humbled to be in their company," Tada said. "They are senators and congressmen, doctors and bishops and ambassadors. I am overwhelmed to be included in their number, but am grateful for any recognition that helps further our work at Joni and Friends and the promotion of the biblical worldview."


Read an article by The Christian Post, interviewing Joni about her countless achievements for the disabled community, unwavering faith in God, battle with breast cancer, and her latest recognition by The Chuck Colson Center for Christian Worldview.


Post A Comment

(view posted comments below)

All comments are reviewed by Joni and Friends before they appear on the website.

  • Your email address will not be published with your comment or be displayed anywhere else on our website.
  • We do not rent or sell your personal information to other companies or individuals.
  • For more information please see our privacy policy.
Post A Comment 


Glory to the Lord! and our sincere congratulations to Joni! The church of our country in Peru and society is being affected by the justice and wisdom, which God poured into your heart! Thank you Joni! Elizabeth Takury-United Hearts
  • March 28, 2012
  • 11:33 p.m.
  • ElizabethTakury
I think the work Joni does excemplifies the way I look at working and providing the help that each individual who is disabled. Once upon a time I had a program that me and my board Vice-Chairman started to help our clients deal with being disabled called Disability Doesn't mean Inability we tried to teach each one of our clients to always look at themselves as a valuable person that always has an ability to see themselves as a person who can accomplish anything they want too! To many people with disabilities put themselves down and don't think they have any worth, that is so wrong and not true if they can only get involved with Jesus Christ and get saved the opinion of themselves will change. I have always loved people and I wanted to help people.I continue today working with the disabled in the nonprofit I started Advocating for the Disabled, I am also work with senior citizens. I thank Joni and Friends for allowing me to share my feelings with others I am always available to talk to anyone wanting to talk. God Bless Joni and Friends ministry and your continued success, Congradtulation on your resent award. Gary DuPriest Chairman/CEO Central Virginia Disability Association,Inc
  • March 28, 2012
  • 9:41 p.m.
  • Gary DuPriest
Congratulations, Joni, and well deserved recognition. God and William Wilberforce will be smiling down on you at the award ceremony. I will be praying for your health and safe travel. God bless you.
  • March 20, 2012
  • 3:19 p.m.
  • Rachel
Dear Joni, my sincere congratulations on receiving this award! You are inspiring, encouraging and beautiful inside and out. God Bless you!
  • March 20, 2012
  • 5:05 a.m.
  • Elizabeth Ratcliffe
Joni, wonderful news - how deserving you are for this great Wilberforce award. I am so happy for you. You are such an inspiration to ALL people. Love in Christ,
  • March 19, 2012
  • 1:37 p.m.
  • Diana M Jackins
Dear Joni, Congratulations! I know Galatians 6:9 is a great comfort and encouragement to you, "Let us not become weary in doing good, for at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up." I admire you for never giving up, now, rejoice in the harvest that is coming! Hope you and Mr. Tada are doing well! In Christ, Katherine Kwong <3
  • March 18, 2012
  • 3:51 p.m.
  • Katherine Kwong
Congratulations, Joni, and well deserved. We admire your perseverance and willingness to share your life for Christ's sake. Well done. Greetings from all your friends in New Zealand.
  • March 18, 2012
  • 3:11 p.m.
  • Lois Farrow
Chuck Colson is a real hero of Christianity, and to have him praise Joni has to be such an incredible honor. You know Jesus has to be smiling.
  • March 18, 2012
  • 1:56 p.m.
  • Ron Boto
Dear Joni,congratulations on this well-deserved award!!! Our Lord is clearly shining through your life. Thank you for being a willing vessel. You have inspired me for approx. the last 20 years with your radio spots. So uplifting, so encouraging! I pray that our Lord Jesus Christ continues to bless you, your husband Ken, AND Joni &Friends. Your brother in Christ,Dennis
  • March 18, 2012
  • 1:41 p.m.
  • Dennis Tacey
Wonderful award! Thanks, Joni, for standing up for what the Lord asks of you! It is an encouragement to me.
  • March 17, 2012
  • 6:47 p.m.
  • Sue
  • Page:
  • 1
  • 2