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Memorial

Deidre Ann Davis Butler, Esq., affectionately known as “Dee,” was born in Elizabeth, New Jersey on September 26, 1955, to the late Hilton and Bernice (Jones) Davis. As a child, Deidre always knew she wanted to follow in her father’s footsteps and become an attorney and advocate. Her career aspirations led her to obtaining an undergraduate degree from Brandeis University and a Juris Doctor degree from the Howard University School of Law. In the mid-70’s, Deidre contributed to the enhancement of the community as the queen of the “Crispus Attucks Parade” in Newark, New Jersey. As if by an act of fate, Deidre began her professional career in 1980—the International Year of the Disabled—at Rehabilitation International in New York, N.Y., where she advocated before the United Nations for worldwide accessibility for persons with disabilities. She then returned to the Garden State to serve as an attorney with the Public Advocate’s Office of Advocacy for the Disabled. Next, she went on to serve as the Deputy Director of DIAL, Inc., the only Center for Independent Living (CIL) in New Jersey. She then successfully secured the Director’s position at the Union County Office of Disability in New Jersey (UCNJ). During her time at UCNJ, Deidre not only managed to establish a state-wide job bank specifically for consumers with disabilities, which was one of her proudest accomplishments as a novice attorney, but also, she simultaneously practiced general law in partnership with her father, and served members of their community for years. In 1987, Deidre’s talent and passion caused her to make the transition to the nation’s capital, where she worked for the Federal Government.  During her tenure in DC, she promoted legislative and social change geared toward providing equal access to all things, with and for persons with disabilities. After the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) became law, Deidre served in many capacities at the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC), including but not limited to, the Director of the Technical Assistance Division within the ADA, and Director of ADA Training, where she led the Federal Government’s training initiatives. Additionally, she helped to craft, implement, and enforce employment laws. From 1995-2001, she was appointed by President Bill Clinton to the White House Office of Presidential Personnel and at the U.S. Department of State (DOS) as the Deputy Assistant Secretary for the EEOC. Thereafter, she traveled the world, enforcing civil rights laws and providing training on the ADA.  In 2005, Deidre moved to Northwest Arkansas to work for Walmart, Inc., where she was appointed as the first Director of ADA Services. She was responsible for helping to ensure that all Walmart retail, transportation, and distribution facilities complied with the ADA. Her expertise helped to shore up Walmart’s reasonable accommodation programs for associates and customers. In March 2012, Deidre retired from Walmart, but her advocacy and commitment to people with disabilities did not end. That same year, she founded DYSability Dynamics, LLC, a disability diversity consultant company, which existed to provide her with a platform to continue sharing her unique perspective on the value of independent living and the rights of people with disabilities. On April 25, 2015, she married the love of her life, Juan K. Butler, in a beautiful ceremony held at the Howard University School of Law Chapel in Washington, DC. Over the course of her professional career, which spans across four decades, Deidre worked tirelessly to collapse the divide between disability rights and human rights. Nevertheless, she somehow found the time to serve as a Board of Directors member for many organizations.  Most dear to her heart were her appointments to the boards of the National Council on Independent Living (1985-87); Howard University Center on Minorities with Disabilities (1981-1991); and the National Black Disability Coalition (Emeritus). In July 2020, she received the National Council on Independent Living’s (NCIL) Lifetime Achievement Award. In addition to her illustrious career as an attorney, which was highlighted with numerous awards, Presidential acknowledgments, and prestigious Board of Directors positions, Deidre also enjoyed serving her beloved Alpha Kappa Alpha, Sorority, Inc., of which she was a Silver Star member. Her 40 years of sisterhood and service began in 1980 with her initiation into the Xi Omega Chapter, and continued when she relocated to Northwest Arkansas, where she joined the Phi Alpha Omega Chapter in 2006. As published by Beard's Funeral Chapel   As posted in the New York Times - Those We Have Lost

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Memorial Service

Date

08/17/2020

Time

11:00 am

Location

St. James Missionary Baptist Church

External memorial service info

http://www.facebook.com/watch/live/?v=3377478578940798&ref=watch_permalink

Video Link

https://www.facebook.com/watch/live/?v=3377478578940798&ref=watch_permalink

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MEMORIAL FOR:

Deidre “Dee” Ann Davis Butler

About the Deceased

Name Of Deceased

Deidre “Dee” Ann Davis Butler

Date of Birth

09/26/1955

Date of Passing

08/07/2020

Place of Birth

Elizabeth, New Jersey

Gender

Female

Family

Name of Spouse

Juan K. Butler

Name of Parents

Hilton, Bernice (Jones)