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Summer 2017 Fellows standing or seated in wheelchairs, smiling and posing for the camera

Christopher Coleman, Policy Apprentice

Nation Leadership Program, Fall 2017

Respectability fellow Christopher Coleman smiling in front of the Respectability banner

Christopher Coleman

Christopher Coleman was a Public Policy and Employment Apprentice in RespectAbility’s National Leadership Program. As a result of his interests in holistic care, acknowledging the interconnectedness of mental and physical health, he has made it his mission to advocate for disadvantaged populations.

Coleman has held multiple internships during his scholastic career, including at Green Door, a behavioral therapy health clinic for low-income mentally ill individuals, many of whom had multiple disabilities. At Green Door, he witnessed how the social service system dehumanized people with psychiatric disabilities. The government that was supposed to help them, had failed them. Through this experience at Green Door, he developed his interests in public policy, enacting change that has a wide sweeping effect.

Coleman is a recent graduate of Morehouse College with a B.A in Psychology and a minor in Public Health. After his time at RespectAbility, he plans to attend graduate school for health policy.

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RespectAbility is a nonprofit organization fighting stigmas and advancing opportunities for and with people with disabilities. Learn more about the National Leadership Program and apply for the next cohort! Contact BenS@RespectAbility.org for more information.

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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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