FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE CONTACT: Carole Tonks, Executive Director, Alliance
Center for Independence Phone: (732) 738-4388 / E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
More than 700 people with disabilities, supporters, friends and organizations representing a wide variety of services throughout NJ will converge in downtown Trenton for the 6th NJ Disability Pride Parade and Celebration. The event will feature a variety of entertainers, all of whom have disabilities. These include folk musician Johnny Crescendo, singer/songwriter Cory Singer, integrated dancer Lindsay Tuman, Hip Hop artist Professir X and recording artist Lachi. NJDPP newcomers, include hip-hop performer King Tay, and comedian Mike Cotaya will also share their talents.
The day kicks off with an address by NJDPP 2016 Parade Marshal Norman Smith on the steps of the NJ State House. This will be followed by a parade led by the Mercer County Special Services School District Drum Line to the site of the celebration on East Lafayette Street, between South Broad and South Warren. There the Mayor of Trenton, the Honorable Eric Jackson, will give the official welcoming remarks.
Also addressing the crowd throughout the day will be Elizabeth Connelly, Acting Commission for the NJ Department of Human Services, Joseph Amoroso, Director of Division of Disability Services, Dr. Daniel Frye, Executive Director, NJ Commission for the Blind and Visually Impaired, Alice Hunnicutt, Director, NJ Division on Vocational Rehabilitation Services and Kevin Casey, Executive Director, NJ Council on Developmental Disabilities.
A bubble artist, a photo booth, and a stilt walker/performer and face painter will add to the festivities of the day. Attendees will have an opportunity to learn about disability services and programs as exhibitors representing organizations throughout the state, including the NJ Division on Disability Services, which will set up a health and wellness pavilion, will be on hand at the event.
The purpose of the NJ Disability Pride Parade is to celebrate pride within the disability community and to promote the belief that disability is a natural and beautiful part of human diversity.
Recently, Governor Chris Christie issued a proclamation designating October as Disability Pride Month. In the proclamation, the Governor declared that the “Disability Pride Parade is organized by the Alliance Center for Independence and enlists the participation of the State’s Independent Living Centers, along with a variety of public and private organizations, to promote the independence and well-being of residents with disabilities across New Jersey.”
The free event is a grassroots effort organized and hosted by the Alliance Center for Independence (ACI). ACI is a 501(c)(3) Center for Independent Living, community-based, grassroots organization that supports and promotes independent living for people with disabilities in Middlesex, Union and Somerset counties.
"This is the one event in New Jersey that the disability community can get together and just have a day to celebrate pride in each other," says Carole Tonks, Executive Director of the Alliance Center for Independence, and chief organizer of the event.
The event relies solely on sponsorship, exhibitors, donations and in-kind services. Sponsors include, Brownstone Diner and Pancake Factory, Fun Truck’n Mobility, Herrs, NJ Division on Disability Services, Drake’s Cakes, Community Access Unlimited, the NJ Association for Centers of Independent Living, NJ Council on Developmental Disabilities, Association and Easter Seals, Freehold Buick and GMC, the College of New Jersey Center for Sensory and Complex Disabilities.