Please join us for the 2022 Annual Willowbrook Lecture: “Beyond Willowbrook.” on Wednesday, Apr. 6 at 6:00pm live via Zoom.

Please pre-register for this event.

What happened to residents after Willowbrook State School closed?

The 2022 Willowbrook Memorial Lecture will feature Ronnie Cohn, who was the Independent Evaluator for the Willowbrook Class, charged with ensuring that former Willowbrook residents were protected after the closure of Willowbrook. Cohn will lead a panel discussion featuring other figures who have been instrumental in overseeing the care and conditions for the Willowbrook Class members. This event will examine what happened after Willowbrook closed and what the future holds for persons with developmental disabilities and their families.


  • Ronnie Cohn, Independent Evaluator for the Willowbrook Class, Court Monitor for Ligas vs. Eagleson (Illinois)
  • Beth Haroules, Senior Staff Attorney at the New York Civil Liberties Union, the NYCLU Plaintiffs’ lead attorney
  • Tawnie Ferguson, Executive Director, Consumer Advisory Board, Office for People With Developmental Disabilities (OPWDD)
  • Kathy Broderick, former Associate Commissioner of OPWDD and AHRC NYC staff member

Community members and advocates will share their stories, including:

  • Abiba Kindo, OPWDD
  • Jerry Isaacs, parent advocate
  • and others

About the Willowbrook Lecture:

The 2022 Annual Willowbrook Memorial Lecture is the 29th in the series created by CSI Sociology Professor Emeritus Dr. David Goode in the 1990s. In the past 40 years, the Willowbrook lectures have shared the story of Willowbrook, featuring many important figures from the institution’s history, as well as focusing on contemporary concerns in the intellectually and developmentally disabled community.

This free public event will be live online and captured on video which will be viewable on the Willowbrook YouTube channel.

For more information about The Year of Willowbrook go online.

By The Year of Willowbrook