‘May’ we all come together.
We celebrate Mental Health Awareness Month, Global Accessibility Awareness Day and Asian American Pacific Islander Month.
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Does your calendar feel busy with everything going on in May? On today’s Up To Speed Live, hosts Andy Choi, Diana Alvear and Raquel Wilson team up to help us keep track of all of the great groups of people we’re honoring and supporting this month.
Mental Health Awareness
May is Mental Health Awareness month. Diana reminded us that we should all check in with our loved ones, colleagues and especially ourselves to make sure we’re all holding up ok. Our fellow V Teamers at Visible are doing a lot to shine a light on the importance of mental health, including:
- Launching a #SimpleCheckIn to get people talking with friends, family and loved ones. Check out some of the helpful tips on social.
- Partnering with the Mental Health Coalition, Visible has created a Friends Supporting Friends roadmap packed with tips and suggestions on how to ask for help or get the conversation started around mental wellness.
- All of the details and partnerships are on the Visible website.
We also have an interesting #Next20 episode coming this week. Diana will sit down with Aaron Harvey, co-founder and Executive Director of Made of Millions, an organization of doctors, artists, filmmakers and coders who come together to challenge systems and bust myths to make mental health human in the workplace. Make sure to check it out on our Inside Verizon Twitter or LinkedIn pages this Thursday, May 20, at 2 PM ET/11 AM PT.
Our employee resource group ADVANCE, which stands for Advocates for Disability, Accessibility, Neurodiversity, and Caregiver Empowerment, is hosting related events throughout the month of May, including a big one coming up this Wednesday, May 19, at 12 PM ET/9 AM PT. The co-founder of toy company Melissa & Doug, Melissa Bernstein, will be talking about her journey with anxiety and depression. Be sure to check out ADVANCE’s page for details.
Global Accessibility Awareness Day
May 20 marks Global Accessibility Awareness Day (GAAD), an annual celebration to get everyone thinking and learning about digital access and inclusion for people with disabilities. With over one billion people living with a disability worldwide, we want to make sure everyone has access to the tools and technology they need to thrive. Mark your calendars on May 20 at 1 PM ET/10 AM PT for Verizon Consumer Group’s Global Accessibility Awareness Day event.
The event will include conversations on the latest and greatest advancements in assistive tech featuring:
- A panel discussion hosted by Fred Moltz from the VCG Accessibility Team
- A day in the life with members from Verizon ADVANCE
- A special “Be My Eyes” info session on how you can volunteer to assist customers with vision impairments
- Accessibility updates from across Verizon
Check out the details listed in the linked article.
More great events and initiatives
In addition, 5G Labs is hosting a series throughout the month of May on how technology can improve the lives of people with disabilities. Speakers include Larry Goldberg, Lindsey Fabiano, Margaux Joffe and many other experts.
We want to give a shout out to our colleagues in Verizon Media, who are always leading the charge when it comes to building a more accessible world through the power of technology. Recently, VMG announced we will feature closed captioning on 100% of original and partner video content, which is huge when you consider the nearly 900 million consumers who access Verizon Media sites like Yahoo.
Verizon Media also made a $5 million media donation to a number of disability organizations in support of our advocacy work, including the National Association of the Deaf, the American Council of the Blind and the American Association of People with Disabilities.
At Verizon, we continue to break ground on making virtual, augmented and mixed reality accessible to people with disabilities as co-founders with Cornell Tech of XR Access.
We’re also empowering the next generation of innovators to build technology that is born accessible and design a world that is inclusive for all through our partnership with Teach Access.
This week, we’re announcing our Disability Advisory Board, an external board of trusted leaders from disability organizations, to inform, shape and advise Verizon’s corporate leaders.
Clearly, there is so much to be excited about as we celebrate and recognize Global Accessibility Awareness Day on May 20.
Asian American Pacific Islander Heritage Month
Asian American Pacific Islander Heritage Month continues. With all of the challenges the AAPI community has faced over the past few months, this year we want to not only honor and celebrate those who have enriched America’s history, but also to encourage meaningful dialog with those in and outside the community.
We kicked off the month teaming up with the National AAPI Chamber of Commerce and Entrepreneurship at its Business Summit. Among some of the most influential voices in business and government, CFO Matt Ellis shared how the AAPI business community remains a part of Verizon’s day-to-day business.
“We spent nearly $1 billion with Asian-owned businesses each year for the past three years,” said Matt. “And, our suppliers have reported to us that they spend more than$100 million a year with Asian-owned business.”
As Executive Champion for the PACE ERG, Matt will continue the conversation through a fireside chat addressing issues facing the AAPI community today. Look for that conversation coming up Thursday, May 20.
Out West, V Teamer Ivy Margolis from our legal team led a community-focused panel with Bay Area leaders about how to keep AAPI senior citizens safe and how local agencies can provide support for some of our most vulnerable communities.
Big congrats to our Visible leaders, Miguel Quiroga and Minjae Ormes, for being selected to this year’s Gold House A100 list, recognizing the most impactful Asians and AAPI leaders every May.
And, finally, Verizon is a proud founding partner of The Asian American Foundation, a group committed to accelerating opportunity and prosperity for AAPI communities. On Friday night at 8 PM ET/5 PM PT, check out “See Us Unite For Change”, which will feature leading activists and entertainers to educate viewers about the AAPI community’s impact in America. Watch on MTV, BET, VH1, Nickelodeon and other partner networks.
Military Appreciation Month
If you’re saying to yourself, “Hey, what about Military Appreciation Month?” Don’t worry, we haven’t forgotten. In fact, we’ll be airing an entire episode dedicated to celebrating our heroes this Friday, May 21, so be sure not to miss that.
And if you want to show your support for our Valor ERG or any of our other employee resource groups, we have new shirts now available in our brand shop. These shirts are offered through vendors that all give back to a variety of charities when you purchase them. Find the one that fits your passion and wear it with pride.
Final VZPulse+ survey reminder
Today is the last day to complete the VZPulse+ survey. Don’t forget to share your thoughts about Verizon as a workplace.
If you have any questions, email them to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Click here for a transcript of the webcast.
Get the latest information on our Coronavirus Resource Page (Inside Verizon, The Street).