The Inclusion Agenda: How Media, Fashion & Corporations are Supporting Inclusion

Thursday, November 2
3:45 PM - 5:00 PM
Location: Pavilion

Target Audience: All

Disability rights stories are grabbing headlines across the globe and with a surge in retail and entertainment industries focusing on the disability community it feels like the disability community is having their "moment" these days. However, we at The Arc know the battle for inclusion in all aspects of society has been long, and it's not over yet.

Television shows like Born This Way and Speechless, and advertising campaigns that include people with disabilities are helping to change the public's perception about people with disabilities, and they recognize the power of these consumers. Join us for a panel discussion about current gaps in inclusion and what is being done in the entertainment industry through advertising, television, within non-profits, and through partnerships with corporate entities to foster inclusion at all levels.

Katie Driscoll, founder and Chairman of Changing the Face of Beauty will be joined by Jonathan Murray, CEO of Bunim Murray Productions and Executive Producer of Born This Way; actress and model Jamie Brewer; and Jeff Blade, CEO Of Matilda Jane Clothing for an honest and in-depth conversation about the progress being made and how others can help expand inclusion.

To watch this session live visit our UStream Channel
Password: TheArc2017

Katie Driscoll

Founder and President of Changing the Face of Beauty (nonprofit) Katie Driscoll believes media and advertising can change perceptions and open opportunities for people of all abilities. She is also a photographer and writer. Katie has been featured on the Today Show as well as interviewed by the Huffington Post, People Magazine and other media publications. She believes media and advertising can change perceptions and open opportunities for people of all abilities.


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Jamie Brewer

Jamie grew up loving all forms of the arts, especially movies and theater. In junior high school Jamie started acting in a theater group and really loved it. She has been in theater groups and productions ever since and recently received her Musical Theater Certificate in theater arts while working towards her Bachelors of Fine Arts with a theater emphasis.

Jamie was mainstreamed (fully inclusive) in the Southern California and Texas public school systems from kindergarten thru high school. She took a theater class (College for Kids) at the local college during junior high school and performed in Godspell and Dr. Doolittle. Jamie was also involved with her high school Drama Club. After graduating with her high school classmates, she joined a fully inclusive theater group named Dionysus and became involved with the local chapter of The Arc in Fort Bend, TX.

At the age of 18, Jamie became the youngest President of The Arc of Fort Bend. She held this office for three years while doing theater productions of That's What Friends Are For, Yada, Yada, Yada, That's What I'm Sayin', and Return to Love is a Disability. When she was 19, she was appointed to The Arc of Texas' Board. Jamie was 1 of 17 people to represent all individuals with a disability for the entire state of Texas and served for 4 years on the board. While being on The Arc of Texas' Board Jamie was elected to the Executive Board as Treasurer and served for three years. While being on both of these boards, Jamie was asked to serve on the Governmental Affairs Committee for the State of Texas where she was the only person with a disability and served for 2 years. The Committee spoke and advocated for individuals with disabilities at the Texas State Capitol with state lawmakers to change the state's wording to 'intellectually disabled". During this time she was continually involved with the theatre group and performed in Hanu-Rama-Kwanza-Mas, and Haiku playing the dramatic lead.

Jamie became a resident troupe member of Dionysus and performed in many original musicals and plays including Violet and You're A Good Man, Charlie Brown (Musical) playing Sally. She also had the honor of being in the touring theater portion of the group that performed at schools, churches, and at the Houston Children's Museum for the Arts and Accessibility campaign. Prior to the Super Bowl, Jamie was lucky enough to get cast for two consecutive years in a Public Service Announcement that aired on NBC, ABC, and CBS for the Super Bowl of Caring Houston Food Drive.

Her family later moved back to Southern California and it's here where she started attending a local college putting emphasis on theater arts. Jamie continues to learn as much as she can about acting from all types of mediums. She has also attended classes at The Groundlings, and The Ruskin School of Acting, Meisner Technique.

Through the affiliation of the Down Syndrome Association of Los Angeles and Gail Williamson, who now represents her at KMR, Jamie was fortunate to get an audition and was cast for American Horror Story: Murder House playing Adelaide. She also appeared in the final season of Southland. Jamie returned to Season 3 of American Horror Story: Coven playing Nan, as well as Season 4 Freakshow opposite Neil Patrick Harris. Jamie is also the ambassador for Changing the Face of Beauty and was the first person with Down Syndrome to walk in New York Fashion Week in Fashion Designer Carrie Hammer's show. Recently she was cast as Amy in Amy and The Orphans Off-Broadway. She plans to work in this exciting industry for a very long time while continuing to be an advocate and role model for people with disabilities in all aspects of her life.


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Jonathan Murray

Founder and Executive Consultant

Widely credited with helping to usher in the modern reality television genre with his late partner Mary-Ellis Bunim, Jonathan Murray continues to inspire, influence and entertain television audiences worldwide. Since the launch of The Real World on MTV in 1992, Murray has created and executive produced some of the industry's most innovative and unscripted entertainment television programs. Most recently he executive produced A&E's acclaimed series, Born This Way, about young adults with Down Syndrome and their families. The series won the 2016 Emmy Award for Outstanding Unstructured Reality Series.
Besides The Real World, Murray has executive produced: Project Runway, Project Runway All Stars, Keeping Up With The Kardashians, Total Divas, Road Rules, The Challenge, The Simple Life, Starting Over (Emmy Award), and Making the Band, as well as the feature film The Real Cancun, the television movie, Pedro, and the documentaries, Autism: The Musical (Emmy Award), Shadow Billionaire, Valentine Road, and They Call Us Monsters, which aired this spring on PBS.
Jonathan Murray graduated from the University of Missouri School of Journalism and currently lives in Los Angeles. Murray serves on the Board of Trustees of Semester at Sea and RespectabilityUSA. In 2012, Murray was inducted into the Television Academy Hall of Fame.


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Jeff Blade

Matilda Jane Clothing

Jeff Blade is CEO of Matilda Jane Clothing and past Executive Vice President and Chief Financial and Administrative Officer at Vera Bradley. He has been the Interim President, Executive Vice President, Chief Administrative Officer and CFO of the Steak n Shake Company (SNS). At SNS, Jeff was focused on leading transformational change and participating in the development and implementation of the Company’s strategic plan. Prior to joining Steak n Shake he was Vice President of Finance at Cott Beverages USA. He joined Cott in 1999 as part of the executive team that led a successful turnaround effort of this $1.0B+ publicly traded company. This included transformational change of the finance organization to develop a team capable of being business partners in driving the initiatives of the organization. Jeff also spent 11 years at Kraft Foods in a variety of finance assignments working across the value chain. He started his career at Price Waterhouse working in the Indianapolis and Chicago offices as a member of the audit practice. Jeff received a B.S. in Accounting from Butler University and an M.B.A. from Northwestern’s Kellogg Graduate School of Management and is a Certified Public Accountant. He is active in Junior Achievement and serves on the Board of Visitors of the Butler University College of Business Administration, the Board of Directors of Alpha Kappa Psi, the professional business fraternity, and the Board of Directors of the Indianapolis Opera.


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The Inclusion Agenda: How Media, Fashion & Corporations are Supporting Inclusion

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