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RespectAbility Condemns Racism & Anti-Semitism in Charlottesville

Rockville, Md., Aug. 18 – RespectAbility strongly condemns the violence in Charlottesville, Virginia and expresses concern about more demonstrations being planned by white nationalists this weekend. People with disabilities cut across every group in America, including those of all races, ethnicities, genders, sexual orientations and religions. There is no room in America for any prejudice of any kind.

Our thoughts are with the Charlottesville victims and their families. Last weekend in Virginia, Heather Heyer was killed and dozens were injured when a young man who idolized Adolf Hitler and Nazi Germany drove his car into a group of counter-protestors. At the same time, protestors marched past Congregation Beth Israel, shouting, “There’s the synagogue!” followed by chants of ‘Seig Heil’ and other anti-Semitic language.

There is no room for the racism and anti-Semitism that was so evident in Charlottesville and continues today across America. RespectAbility condemns any and all prejudice.

Meet the Author

Lauren Appelbaum

Lauren Appelbaum is the VP, Communications and Entertainment & News Media, of RespectAbility, a nonprofit organization fighting stigmas and advancing opportunities so all people with disabilities can fully participate in every aspect of community. As an individual with an acquired nonvisible disability – Reflex Sympathetic Dystrophy – she works at the intersection of disability, employment, Hollywood and politics. She regularly conducts trainings on the why and how to be more inclusive and accessible for entertainment executives throughout the industry. Appelbaum partners with studios, production companies and writers’ rooms to create equitable and accessible opportunities to increase the number of people with lived disability experience throughout the overall story-telling process. These initiatives increase diverse and authentic representation of disabled people on screen, leading to systemic change in how society views and values people with disabilities. She has consulted on more than 100 TV episodes and films with A&E, Bunim-Murray Productions, NBCUniversal, Netflix, ViacomCBS, and The Walt Disney Company, among others. She represents RespectAbility on the CAA Full Story Initiative Advisory Council, Disney+ Content Advisory Council, MTV Entertainment Group Culture Code and Sundance Institute’s Allied Organization Initiative. She is the author of The Hollywood Disability Inclusion Toolkit and the creator of an innovative Lab Program for entertainment professionals with disabilities working in development, production and post-production. She is a recipient of the 2020 Roddenberry Foundation Impact Award for this Lab. To reach her, email LaurenA@RespectAbility.org.

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