Diversability’s New York launch event will be on the evening of Thursday, April 16, 2015 from 7-9pm EST at Joynture, located at 48 Wall Street in downtown Manhattan. Diversability is a movement to raise disability awareness and reshape conceptions of ability by organizing events that get more people thinking and talking about disability.
The launch event, “Diversability: An Evening Celebrating Diversity & Disability”, will feature a panel of esteemed individuals and a silent auction. The event is open to people of all abilities, friends, and supporters. Proceeds from the event will benefit the Disability Equality Index, the disability inclusion benchmarking tool for businesses.
1. Becky Curran - Motivational Speaker, Disability Consultant
2. Alexandra McArthur - Senior Associate Consultant at the Taproot Foundation, White House Champion of Change, Ms. Wheelchair America 2011
3. Natalia Mendez - Transition Specialist at Bronx Independent Living Services, Co-Chair of Women on Wheels
4. Matt Savage - Jazz Pianist, Composer
The panel will be moderated by Liz Taub, Director of Business Relations & Strategic Partnerships at USBLN. Detailed speaker biographies are included below.
Light refreshments will be provided, including a potato bar from CaterCow + Potatopia, cupcakes from Baked by Melissa, specialty drinks with tequila supplied by Tanteo Spirits, and a sampling of Lululosophy chocolates.
Guests will have the opportunity to bid on a diverse range of silent auction items, including AQUA Studio NY, Back to the Roots, Bezalel, ClassPass, Dagne Dover, DavidsTea, GIVONS, Honey & Soul, Lo & Sons, Michelle Phan, New York Vintners, Nice Laundry, Outdoor Voices, Panda Sunglasses, SoulCycle, Susty Party, SWERVE Fitness, Tanteo Spirits, Té Company, Unbound Box, Wabi Sabi Eco Fashion Concept, Warby Parker, and more.
Each guest attending will receive a gift bag with more than $60 worth of discounts/items from DavidsTea, Drizly, Jaunt, INCLUDAS Publishing, Live in the Grey, Lululosophy, MM.LaFleur, Modavanti, Of Mercer, Shobha, TextTalks, and more.
Diversability is proud to partner with the on demand transportation service Uber to provide new Uber users a free ride (up to $25) to or from the launch event. Existing Uber users will be able to take advantage of a 10% off discounted ride the day of the event.
Limited tickets are available at http://diversabilitylaunch.splashthat.com. The venue is wheelchair-accessible and the panel will have a sign language interpreter. For those who are unable to attend in person, the panel portion of the event will be streamed online at Gigee beginning around 7:30pm ET. Follow the hashtag #DiversabilityLaunch to continue the conversation on social media.
For #DiversabilityLaunch event questions or brands interested in participating in the event, please contact Tiffany Yu at firstname.lastname@example.org.
UPDATE 3/16/2015: To celebrate the #DiversabilityLaunch event, Diversability will be partnering with innovative tech startup BEZALEL to host a free social media giveaway/contest of BEZALEL’s state-of-the-art wireless charger Prelude. This partnership promotes the idea of creating technology to make life easier for all, including individuals with disabilities. Follow @BEZALELteam and @Diversability on Twitter and join our e-mail list for updates.
Becky Curran has had great experience working in the entertainment industry, primarily in entertainment marketing and casting, working for CBS, Creative Artists Agency, and much more. Born with achondroplastic dwarfism, Becky aims to find a way to change how little people and all people with differences are perceived in the media, and the opinions of society as a whole. She encourages people to change their initial negative perceptions of people with differences by proving they're as capable as anyone else, and also motivates all people to move past self-defeating thinking.
Alexandra (Alex) McArthur is a Senior Associate Consultant with the Taproot Foundation’s Advisory Services Team. Previously, she served in External Affairs with LRN, a firm seeking to promote ethics and values in business through changes in corporate culture. She is the founder of the Women’s Leadership Conference at Davidson College (her alma mater), the Davidson College Fellow for Leadership Development, Ms. Wheelchair America 2011, a 2012 Coro Fellow in Public Affairs, and a 2012 Starting Bloc Fellow for Social Innovation. She also serves as Vice-Chair of the board directors of the National Disability Institute and co-chair of the Junior Board for Resources for Children with Special Needs. In 2014, she was chosen as a White House Champion of Change for disability and employment.
Natalia Mendez is a Transition Specialist at Bronx Independent Living Services. She serves as a Board Member of the Greater New York Chapter of the National Spinal Cord Injury Association (NYCSCIA) and is co-chair of Women on Wheels, a social/support group that caters to the interests of women with SCI/D. She strives to enrich the lives of others, of all abilities.
Matt Savage is a musical savant born with autism. In 2003, at the age of 11, Matt debuted at the famed Blue Note in Manhattan and was signed as a Bosendorfer Piano artist. Matt has performed professionally worldwide in ensembles of various sizes, in solo concerts and with his own Matt Savage Trio. Matt has performed on numerous television shows, including “Late Night with Conan O’Brien,” “The Late Show with David Letterman," “20/20,” "The Today Show,” “The View,“ CNN and more. At the still young age of 22 he is enrolled in a master’s degree program at Manhattan School of Music, and to much fanfare completed a concert tour of Japan and Spain. The release of his 10th and 11th albums, “A Bigger Celebration” and "A Live Celebration" have had much acclaim from the jazz world and most notably, he wrote the musical score for the documentary feature film, “Sound of Redemption: The Frank Morgan Story.”
Liz Taub serves as the USBLN Director of Business Relations and Strategic Partnerships. Liz received her BS and MSW from New York University while directing and guiding the design, development, and implementation of a pilot program that runs today at the Center for Special Needs in NYC. She co-created Walgreens REDI (Retail Employees with Disabilities Initiative) and served as the Executive Director of Incline, where she focused on educating, supporting, and equipping military veterans with the skills to pursue careers in technology.