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Webinar: Equity in the Center – Race, Equity and Disability

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Resources to Fight Racism and Unconscious Bias

About Our Speaker:

Kerrien Suarez headshotKerrien Suarez is Executive Director of Equity in the Center (EiC), a new initiative launched through ProInspire and funded by the Annie E. Casey Foundation, W.K. Kellogg Foundation, Ford Foundation, Kresge Foundation and the David & Lucile Packard Foundation. Equity in the Center addresses a gap in philanthropic and nonprofit organizations’ current diversity, equity and inclusion practice: The absence of sector-validated organizational development and change management best practices to shift mindsets, tactics and systems that drive racial and ethnic diversity at all levels.

With over 19 years of management and consulting experience, Kerrien has supported executive and leadership teams in bold decision making to solve strategic and operational challenges. As an independent consultant, she managed strategic and implementation planning projects for ProInspire, UNCF, National Black Child Development Institute, National Center for Children in Poverty and Martha’s Table.

Her focus on diversity, equity and inclusion developed through support of emerging leaders in education reform, early childhood education policy and social enterprise. Through Surge Institute, Camelback Ventures, EdFuel and National Black Child Development Institute, she supports emerging and established leaders of color working to define school and community-based solutions that drive educational equity for Black and brown children nationwide.

As an executive coach, Kerrien supports senior leaders and social entrepreneurs in clarifying a vision for measurable social impact, and building the leadership and management capacity to achieve it. In addition to her support of leaders in education reform, she previously coached grantees of the Annie E. Casey, Wells Fargo and Robert Wood Johnson foundations on issues ranging from organizational capacity and sustainability to place-based collective impact.

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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