Nothing without us.

By: Diana Alvear

A new film and members of ADVANCE open hearts and minds and show the power of inclusivity.

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Happy Friday! On today’s Up To Speed Live, host Diana Alvear shared the following updates:

Up To Speed recap

Did you miss any episodes this week? It’s not too late to check them out.

Monday: We revisited great moments from previous quarterly results webcasts.

Tuesday: We got social by having all of our handles (Twitter, Instagram, LinkedIn and TikTok) introduce themselves. Their message was clear: don’t miss out! If you haven’t yet, be sure to follow Inside Verizon on your favorite social platform and get all of the news and content you need to stay entertained and in the know.

Wednesday: We had a rocking 3Q results webcast led by Hans and featuring VIP appearances from across the country.

Thursday: We heard from two courageous V Teamers who told us their personal stories dealing with domestic violence and how important it is for all of us to raise awareness of this all too common issue.

National Disability Employment Awareness Month

October is packed with so many important causes to celebrate. Today, Diana highlighted National Disability Employment Awareness Month by having a discussion with two members of our ADVANCE (Advocates for Disability, Access, Neurodiversity and Caregiver Empowerment) employee resource group: Jean Marie Marston, ADVANCE Membership Chair & Network Integration Planner and Weslyn Rawlins, ADVANCE Global Programs & Events Chair & Process Engineer for the Verizon Business Group.

When first introduced, Weslyn described herself and the room she was in with a great amount of detail to help viewers who are living with visual impairments. “ADVANCE’s mission is to move beyond awareness to push for greater inclusion and equity,” said Weslyn. “We work to use technology to transform the culture to make it more accessible for all.”

Jean and Weslyn spoke about misconceptions and stigmas that are often associated with people living with disabilities.

“It’s really difficult to address a stigma that is not commonly acknowledged to exist,” said Weslyn. “We’re often left out of social justice efforts, despite the fact that we suffer from low wages and higher rates of police violence and incarceration.”

“There is a misperception that we aren’t fully capable or that managers will have to deal with more missed time from work,” said Jean. “It’s just not true. My old bosses hearing me today will be totally surprised because they may never have known of my disability.”

“We serve so many different customers and want to serve everyone,” said Jean. But if we don’t include all of our own employees, how can we help all of our customers?”

We thank Jean and Weslyn for all of their hard work at Verizon in creating more visibility, awareness and appreciation for disability in the workplace.

Catwalk documentary

Recently, our very own Hans Vestberg sat down with Swedish filmmaker and director Pär Johansson to discuss his latest film called “Catwalk: From Glada Hudik to New York City.” In this documentary, Pär follows a group of aspiring models who are living with disabilities and captures their dreams of breaking into the fashion world. One of the models featured, Emma Örtlund, also joined Hans and Pär to share more about her story and hopes for the future.

How to watch

You will receive an email from Hans today with directions on how to watch the entire Catwalk film — for free — on our Inside Verizon app. If you don’t have the Inside Verizon App, you can download it from the Apple App store or the Google Play Store. Once downloaded, sign in, search for Catwalk, sit back and enjoy. Thanks to everyone involved in creating this remarkable story.

Make a Difference Day

Tomorrow marks Make a Difference Day. This is the perfect opportunity to sign up and support our ADVANCE employee resource group and help drive greater inclusion within Verizon and beyond.

Together, we can and will move the world forward for all.

If you have any questions, email them to live@verizon.com.

Click here for a transcript of the webcast.

Tell us what you think of Up To Speed.

About the author(s):

Diana Alvear is new to the V Team family. In her previous life, she was a network correspondent and local anchor. These days, she juggles crafting communications with chasing kids and pets.

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