Posts tagged with "race"

A Voice for the Forgotten Minority

If foundations fall short on equality for people with disabilities, Jennifer Laszlo Mizrahi puts them on the spot.
By Alex Daniels

A microphone in Jennifer Laszlo Mizrahi’s hands is a powerful weapon. At venues across the country, Mizrahi has used her strong, clear voice to ask foundation leaders variations of one simple question: Why aren’t people with disabilities included?

As large foundations have placed more muscle behind programs that promote equity in terms of race, wealth, gender identity, and sexual orientation, Mizrahi believes people with disabilities have been overlooked.

During question-and-answer sessions at major foundation gatherings, she is the first with her hand up, ready to put foundation leaders on the spot. Why isn’t a foundation’s website accessible to the blind? she’ll ask. Or why isn’t data on disabled voters included on a conference speaker’s chart of voting patterns among residents of rural areas, African-Americans, and young people?

The reason for the neglect, she says, is that disability groups have too often come to foundations looking for charity. That strategy is rooted in the idea that donors should take pity on people who are blind, have dwarfism, or are intellectually challenged, she says, rather than treating discrimination against them as a violation of their civil rights.

“The overall messages of the disability community caused us more harm than good,” she says. “The more they were repeated, the more harm was done.”

Through RespectAbility, an organization she co-founded five years ago, and through her own philanthropy, Mizrahi has pushed to eliminate stigmatization and to reduce barriers to employment for people with disabilities.

Sometimes her approach is direct, such as when she called Darren Walker, president of the Ford Foundation, a “hypocrite” in an email for not including disabilities in the grant maker’s shift to focus entirely on equity. After that, and with the input of lots of others in addition to Mizrahi, Walker issued a mea culpa and announced that Ford would work to address inequalities based on disability throughout all of its programs. Mizrahi now calls Ford’s response the “gold standard.”

Donn Weinberg, executive vice president of the Harry and Jeanette Weinberg Foundation and co-founder of RespectAbility, said Mizrahi is “fearless” in asking difficult questions of foundation honchos. When she’s able to get face-to-face with philanthropy executives at conferences, she seizes the opportunity to educate them about disability issues.

Private Consultations

Some nonprofit leaders grumble privately that Mizrahi sometimes claims credit for efforts that were already underway. And sometimes her questions come in the form of short lectures.

At a Philanthropy Roundtable conference in 2017, the group’s staff asked Weinberg, who also serves as Philanthropy Roundtable’s chairman, if he could persuade Mizrahi to tone down her rhetoric and get to the point. “She clearly wants people to hear a bit of commentary before the question,” he says. “She’s planting seeds of thought and bringing to people’s consciousness an issue they often don’t think about.”

But Mizrahi doesn’t see herself as a provocateur or a grandstander. She consults directly with nonprofit leaders to make sure their websites, grant applications, and program strategies benefit and are accessible to people with disabilities.

She’s created a set of guidelines and tools for organizations that want to gauge whether they are being inclusive. And she dispatches young professionals and students working as RespectAbility fellows to interview foundation employees about how they communicate with, employ, and benefit the disabled population.

“We try to call people aside and not call them out,” she insists, saying most of her work is done in private consultations with foundation leaders, not in the public spotlight. “I like to see myself as a partner, a facilitator, and a resource.”

Aaron Dorfman knows from experience.

Mizrahi said her annual-dues statement from Dorfman’s group, the National Committee for Responsive Philanthropy, sold the organization as a social-justice champion — but something was missing.

“They were very proud to send me a 12-page, single-spaced memo on diversity, equity, and inclusion,” she says. “The word ‘disability’ wasn’t in it.”

The two met for coffee to discuss the matter. Afterward, as the committee was preparing to release a guide for foundations interested in social justice, Dorfman asked Mizrahi to analyze a draft to make sure it adequately covered disability.

Dorfman said he welcomed the challenge. By putting foundation leaders on the spot at conferences, Mizrahi is helping philanthropy see its shortcomings and grow.

“There’s a certain amount of discomfort when you get called out, even if you get called out rightfully,” he says. “This culture of politeness doesn’t serve marginalized communities well. It’s all right to make someone feel uncomfortable in pursuit of full inclusion.”

Diversity Includes Disabled People

Some foundations recognize they need help. A survey of 205 foundation chief executives conducted by the Center for Effective Philanthropy found that most leaders thought their organization was staffed by people with a diversity of backgrounds and served a diverse set of beneficiaries in terms of race, gender, and sexual orientation. But over half said they fell short when it came to people with a disability.

The reason, according to Judy Belk, president of the California Wellness Foundation, is many people think the Americans With Disabilities Act, passed in 1990, cured injustices faced by disabled people.

The existence of handicapped parking places and curb cuts on street corners, Belk says, doesn’t mean all of the challenges have been addressed. Similarly, just because philanthropies have crafted strategies designed to ameliorate inequities doesn’t mean they’ve faithfully put them into practice.

For Belk, concentrating on disabilities could be a good way to achieve progress in some of the foundation’s existing programs, including efforts to improve oral health for low-income adults, prevent HIV/AIDS among women of color, and help women of color adjust to society after being incarcerated. All of the groups that stand to benefit from that work, Belk says, include a large proportion of people with disabilities.

To start, the California Wellness Foundation had RespectAbility audit its website. Mizrahi’s staff found that the grant maker’s web presence wasn’t an inviting place for everyone. Belk ordered a redo to make sure the site complied with content-accessibility guidelines.

“Foundations have diversity, equity, and inclusion statements up the wazoo,” she says. “They can show you a statement and say they’re committed. I’d like to push ourselves and hold ourselves accountable.”

Easy Improvements

Foundations have largely failed to incorporate disability into the programs they run and the data they collect, Mizrahi says. And she thinks nonprofits in general have fallen behind businesses and government agencies in accommodating people with disabilities. Though many organizations would like to make progress, they often fear it will cost a lot.

Many fixes aren’t expensive but require presence of mind. For instance, Mizrahi says, it’s free and easy to make Twitter and Facebook feeds accessible and put captions on YouTube videos. And avoiding meetings in places like church basements that aren’t accessible for people in wheelchairs requires the presence of mind to schedule gatherings elsewhere.

Mizrahi says she’d rather educate than scold, and help people understand that people with disabilities are productive team members.

“I don’t view every organization equally,” she said. “The Americans With Disabilities Act treats organizations differently based on size and budget, and so do I. If it’s a small, fragile organization with nobody on staff, I have very few expectations they’ll all of a sudden have a personal-care assistant for someone who is a quadriplegic and on oxygen in order to participate in their program.”

Nonprofits lack clear guidelines on the steps they should take to make their organizations more accessible, according to Michael Thatcher, president of Charity Navigator. Over the past year, he has been in discussions with Mizrahi about how to encourage charities to get started.

Master Problem-Solvers

The first step, Mizrahi says, is to help organizations understand what kind of contributions people with disabilities can make.

At a Capitol Hill conference that RespectAbility held in July, Vincenzo Piscopo, the director of community and stakeholder relations for the Coca-Cola Company, told the 200 attendees that people with disabilities are often accustomed to overcoming obstacles and are master problem- solvers. It’s incumbent on people with disabilities in the work force to serve as ambassadors, to help employers understand what they bring to the table.

“When companies have people with disabilities, they’re providing value to their company,” he told the gathered crowd. “They’re not doing charity.”

Stephanie Farfan is one of those ambassadors. Farfan, a little person who calls herself a “master Googler,” was looking for internships specially geared toward disability issues and found RespectAbility online. There weren’t a lot of other opportunities like it.

RespectAbility’s fellows program, which is supported by the Stanford and Joan Alexander and Ford foundations, allows students and young professionals to work in public policy and communications roles and in the organization’s foundation practice.

Before she came to Washington to attend graduate school in international studies at American University, Farfan worked in Florida with Little People of America. A fluent Spanish speaker, her volunteer work with Little People of America often involved talking with Hispanic parents of children with dwarfism.

Coming to RespectAbility, Farfan, who wants to pursue a career at the State Department, has spent much of her time delving into state laws and regulations on disability issues.

“Coming over to the policy side has given me a new perspective,” she says. “It’s rounded out my skill set.”

‘One Toe in the Water’

Mizrahi’s behind-the-scenes work has resulted in changes in foundation practices. In addition to the National Committee on Responsive Philanthropy and the Belk Foundation, she shared — on the condition that they not be named — emails from several grant makers showing they had incorporated RespectAbility’s suggestions into their website design and broader communication strategy.

While she’d like to keep those successes private, she’s not afraid of publicly criticizing foundations she thinks are lagging behind.

She slammed the Lumina Foundation for not specifically incorporating people with disabilities in its work-force development grants. She said the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation provided little money to directly support disabilities and did not collect or disseminate data on the progress of students with disabilities in its domestic education work.

“I am deeply disturbed that Lumina and Gates aren’t doing dramatically more,” she says. “They are both sort of one toe in the water.”

In response, Lumina’s director of strategic communications, Kevin Corcoran, said that while there is “laudable” work being done to ensure people with disabilities succeed after high school, the foundation’s focus was on educational outcomes for students of color. The Gates Foundation said it has been making changes to address the issue, but it did not single out any one person who pushed for the revisions.

In October 2017, Gates “refreshed” its approach to education grant making. Since then, the foundation has said it has begun to disaggregate the data it collects so it can track students with disabilities, and it has begun to support programs to accommodate disabled charter-school students.

“We have already begun to fund research to help us understand how the foundation could best support success, engagement, and transitions for students with disabilities, and we plan to make the results of this research publicly available, via our grantees,” the foundation said in a statement.

An Advantage From Dyslexia

Activists have pushed foundations to recognize disabilities in the broader civil-rights context for decades. In the 1980s, Donors Forum, a collective of Illinois grant makers now known as Forefront, had a board meeting to discuss a survey on diversity it was going to send out to members.

Marca Bristo, who was a board member at the time, said there were no questions about disabilities. “They just plain forgot about it,” says Bristo, who is president of Access Living, a Chicago disability and housing advocate.

More recently, Bristo has noticed a desire among large foundations to learn more. Before the MacArthur Foundation awarded $100 million to Sesame Street Workshop and the International Rescue Committee last year as part of its 100&Change challenge, Bristo sat down with the foundation’s president Julia Stasch to figure out how to incorporate inclusion of people with disabilities into the award.

With Susan Sygall, a former MacArthur fellow and CEO of Mobility International, Bristo reviewed the contest’s eight semifinalists and developed a disability checklist that the applicants could use to assess their pitches.

“Leaders from the disability-rights movement have been working on these issues for years,” she wrote in an email to the Chronicle. “The work RespectAbility has focused on is critically important but not new. No one organization can do this transformational work alone. The intransigence of stigma, prejudice, and exclusion requires a sustained and collaborative effort by all of us.”

Before the winners were named, Mizrahi was instrumental in “amplifying” the work to include people with disabilities, according to Cecilia Conrad, who leads MacArthur’s 100&Change program. Mizrahi consulted with the foundation about what constitutes full inclusion and wrote opinion pieces that highlighted the role of inclusion in the award.

For Mizrahi, becoming an effective communicator didn’t come naturally. As someone with dyslexia, she didn’t begin reading until she was 12 and didn’t achieve functional literacy until two years later. After an early growth spurt, she reached her full, above average, adult height at a very early age. She seemed all grown up, but she was having a difficult time. Adults around her expressed their disappointment in her academic progress, calling her “lazy.”

Mizrahi responded to the challenge through intensive work on reading. She expertly honed her listening and speaking skills. Now, she says, when she enters any conversation or debate, her disability has given her a huge advantage.

“Having a disability means there’s something you can’t do in your everyday living. But there’s nothing in the world that says you can’t be the best in the world at something else.”

2019 Standard Chartered Dubai Marathon

Former champions Lemi Berhanu and Worknesh Degefa will be among the powerful elite line-up when the Standard Chartered Dubai Marathon celebrates its 20th edition on the streets of the UAE on January 25.

The two Ethiopians – winners in 2015 and 2017 respectively – are key figures in the roll of honour of the Middle East’s biggest mass participation event, the only IAAF Gold Label Marathon in the region.

Lemi has performed well on the global stage but his best performances have always been on the flat and fast streets of Dubai. As well as winning the title four years ago in a time of 2h:05m:28s, he set his personal best at the event when as defending champion he finished runner-up in 2016 in 2h:04:33.

Still only 25, Lemi has also competed at World Championship level and at the Rio Olympics in 2016. Like an increasing number of elite runners, he has also prospered at the marathon distance in China, winning the Hengshui title with 2h:08m:51s in September 2018, the Xiamen Marathon in 2017 (2h:08m:27s) and the 2014 Taiyuan Marathon (2h:13m:10s).

Held under the patronage of HH Sheikh Hamdan bin Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Crown Prince of Dubai, and staged under the aegis of the Dubai Sports Council, the 2019 Standard Chartered Dubai Marathon will welcome a number of the world’s best athletes as the marathon celebrates its 20th anniversary with elite fields in both the men and women’s races.

Among the leading elite women in the line-up, Worknesh Degefa who stunned the athletics world in 2017 by winning on her marathon debut in Dubai. The Ethiopian caused quite an upset beating a strong field of experienced marathon runners in a time of 2h:22m:36s although she was disappointed 12 months later.

Running in the defence of her crown Worknesh set a new personal best 2h:19m:53s yet failed to break into the top three as the Standard Chartered Dubai Marathon once again proved its strength in depth with four women breaking the 2h:20m – the first time the feat has ever been achieved in one race.

“It’s very unusual that a runner will break the 2:20 mark and not win a marathon,” said Event Director Peter Connerton. “But that just shows how deep the quality runs in our elite fields. Last year we had seven men break 2h:05m – a unique result in marathon history – so the athletes competing in Dubai know they have to be at their very best to get among the medals.”

The elite marathon athletes will get their race underway at 6am on January 25, five minutes after the wheelchair athletes take to the course. The mass marathon field will face the starting gun at 7am with the 10km Road Race beginning at 8.30am and the 4km Fun Run at 10.30am. Runners looking to register can still do so by visiting the official website www.dubaimarathon.org.

In addition to Standard Chartered as title sponsor, the Dubai Marathon is supported by the Dubai Sports Council, adidas, Dubai Eye 103.8FM, Aquafina and Gatorade, Dubai Holding, Dubai Police, Dubai Municipality and the RTA.

Petersen Automotive Museum Opens New “Legends of Los Angeles” Exhibit

On November 10, 2018, the Petersen Automotive Museum opened its latest exhibit, “Legends of Los Angeles: Southern California Race Cars and Their Builders,” in the Charles Nearburg Family Gallery presented by Lucas Oil. The display features 12 Los Angeles-built race cars powered by engineering masterminds such as Ed “The Old Master” Pink and Fred Offenhauser and piloted by legends such as Don “The Snake” Prudhomme, Parnelli Jones, Bill Stroppe and Dan Gurney.

“Legends of LA” is highlighted by a stunning180-degree panoramic video, which surrounds the collection of race cars and provides an immersive way to experience the fastest race cars ever built in Los Angeles as they are raced on the region’s famed tracks. Featuring vehicles from every major racing type including midgets, sprint cars, dragsters, off-road cars, IndyCars, land-speed cars and road-racing cars, the panoramic video works alongside the display to take viewers on a visual journey down historic tracks such as El Mirage, Willow Springs International Raceway and Perris Auto Speedway.

Key vehicles on display include a 1963 Ol’Yaller Mark IX, which was one of the last race cars designed and built by Southern California hot rod legend Max Balchowsky; a 1964 Shelby Cobra 289 FIA, one of five FIA-spec factory team cars that competed in the 1964 World Championship and was raced by Dan Gurney in the Targa Florio; a 1967 Long 
“Shelby Super Snake” with an Ed Pink racing engine, which made history when driver Done Prudhomme accomplished four quarter-mile runs in the six-second range at the 1967 NHRA Spring Nationals; and Big Oly, a 1970 Ford Bronco which was raced to a back-to-back victories at the Baja 1000 in 1971 and 1972 by the legendary off-roading team of Parnelli Jones and Bill Stroppe.

“From the early years of auto racing to today, Los Angeles has played a key role in the development and growth of motorsports in North America,” said Executive Director Terry L. Karges. “Our new exhibit honors the region’s rich history through some of the finest examples of race car engineering and design, telling a comprehensive story about the legends that helped establish Los Angeles as the diverse racing destination that is today.”

Preceding the public opening, the Petersen hosted a formal cocktail reception and media preview on Thursday, November 8, 2018. The evening paid homage to LA-based racing icon and race car constructor Parnelli Jones, a motorsports legend known for his victories in nearly every major auto racing event in the United States. Jones, whose voice is featured in the gallery video was praised on stage while guests bid on his signed racing memorabilia during a silent auction.

“Legends of Los Angeles” will run through December 1, 2019. To learn more about the new exhibit or the Peterson Automotive Museum, please click here!

The Petersen Automotive Museum Foundation is a non-profit 501(c)(3) charity. The Museum is located at 6060 Wilshire Boulevard (at Fairfax) in Los Angeles, California, 90036. Admission prices are $16 for general admission adults, $13 for seniors and students with ID, $8 for children ages 3 to 12. Active military with ID, personal care attendants and children under three are admitted free. Museum hours are 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. For general information, call 323-930-CARS or visit here!

Pirelli 2019 Tire Range Presentation for Formula 1

Next year, there will be just three P Zero colors at each race. These will always be the same – white, yellow and red – denoting the hard, medium and soft tire choices respectively at every Grand Prix. But that doesn’t mean that there will be only three tire compounds.

Instead, the hard, medium and soft tire compounds will continue to vary to suit the different characteristics of each track. For instance, a Red soft tire for Monaco will differ substantially from a Red soft tire for Silverstone or Suzuka. The precise number of tire compounds available, covering a wide spectrum from soft to hard, will be communicated in December after homologation from the FIA. Before every race next year, Pirelli will reveal which exact tire compounds form the hard, medium and soft choices for the weekend. This new system makes it easy for the casual fan to tell the difference between the tires, yet still allows people who want more detail to know which of the specific tire compounds available are being used.

The colors for the Cinturato intermediate tire and full wet tires remain unchanged next year – green and blue respectively. Mario Isola, Pirelli’s Head of Car Racing – “We’ve been talking about this with the Teams, FIA and Formula 1 for a while. The idea behind the change is to make all the tires more easily recognizable and explainable – especially for television – while still clearly denoting which specific tire compounds are being used at each race”.

LA Fashion Week 2018

Fashion week continued in LA with a flood of trendy and edgy designs. Events were held at the Petersen Auto Museum located in Central LA. 360 Magazine had the opportunity to attend multiple days of the week, the second day fancying major highlight moments. LA Fashion Week showcased new lines from SAV NOIRPAKWAI and BOMME STUDIO. 360 sat down with founder and designer Bo Matthew Metz, from Bomme Studio, to discuss his background and influence for the new line. The Portage, Indiana native revealed that dreams like his his weren’t a thing growing up surrounded by steal workers. In the video below, Bo expresses his inspiration behind the new fashion and music from the walk.

Natty Light Puts His Resume on a NASCAR Racecar

Natural Light is at it again helping recent grads as they enter the real world.

Natty Light recently unveiled the NASCAR resume paint scheme–yes, an actual person’s job resume–and wrapped it around Chris Buescher’s #37 car for the South Point 400 race in Vegas on Sunday.

WHY THEY DID IT

Natty Light gets it–the entry-level job market in 2018 is as competitive as ever, and 44M+ Americans graduate with crippling college debt. What better way to get your resume recognized than slap it on a racecar for a nationally televised NASCAR event.

THE WINNER

The chosen candidate is Brian Starr from Burdick, KS. An aspiring motorsports journalist, his head shot, work experience, skills, phone number, and email all appear on Chris’s #37 car. Briar better be ready for his phone to buzz nonstop with calls, texts, and emails from job recruiters!

 

New Chapter of WeRace Comic

We Race Comic – Episode 1: the future of racing is here

Transformation is part of history. Mankind is looking to the future. In the race towards tomorrow, the biggest challenge is to find one’s role in an ever- changing world.

It’s 2095. The introduction of the self-driving car has revolutionised the world of racing, but the debut of a new team is fraught with difficulty as it deals with demanding circuits, extreme race conditions and cars out of the pages of a science fiction story…Formula Warp is an unforgettable experience, pushing beyond the limits of human endeavour.

About We Race Comic

Scuderia Ferrari has produced the We Race Comic in collaboration with Giulio Gualtieri, a screenwriter and editor in chief who has worked on many major projects. The We Race Comic comic strip stems from a combination of passion for racing and the world of comics.

In the possibly not too far off future, it tells the story of a passion that spans several eras, without being bound by any limits: because the world can change, but feelings remain the same.

Now you can take a look at a new episode online

Fireside Chat Series at The Quail, A Motorsports Gathering

Recognized as one of the most highly influential international events during the historic Monterey Car Week, The Quail, A Motorsports Gathering, today announced its lineup of speakers for its annual Fireside Chat Series taking place throughout the day on August 24, 2018. Each year, the Fireside Chat Series welcomes special guests—ranging from racecar drivers to fashion designers to automotive restoration experts—to the main stage at Quail Lodge & Golf Club to discuss their passions for vintage and racing motorcars, as well as their personal journeys.

This year will be highlighted by road racing legend and Rolex Testimonee, Scott Pruett, who will share his fervent advocacy for the motorsports hobby. Pruett began his racing career at eight years old and recently retired after 50 years on the track. With 60 sportscar race wins, five Rolex 24 victories and a class win at Le Mans under his belt, Pruett now focuses on making award-winning wines.

In addition to the above icon, The Quail will welcome two dignitaries of the fashion world, Laura Brown and Tamara Mellon, to lead the panel “Fashion in the Fast Lane,” which will explore the parallels between fashion and the automotive industry. Over her career, Brown has served as the executive director of Harper’s Bazaar and is currently the editor in chief of InStyle Magazine, while Mellon is an esteemed luxury women’s shoe designer, and most recently acts as co-founder and CCO of her namesake direct-to-consumer label.

“Since its inception, our Fireside Chat Series has become a significant fixture and much-anticipated tradition at The Quail, A Motorsports Gathering,” said Director of Motorsports for The Peninsula Signature Events Gordon McCall. “This year, each special guest will bring a valuable and unique story to the table. There will truly be something for everyone to listen to and enjoy.”

Guests of The Quail will have the opportunity to witness the Fireside Chat Series throughout the day at the event. Although the event is sold out, individuals who have missed the opportunity to purchase tickets may submit a waitlist request online. Other premium options for admission includeThe Quail Helicopter Ticket and The Quail Charitable Patron Ticket, which are still available for purchase. For more information about these ticket options, please click here.

Pirelli Sets A New Record

There’s a new lap record at the Nurburgring-Nordschleife and another record for Pirelli, continuing a sequence that began in 2010. In the last eight years, there have been eight records set at the ‘Green Hell’ by cars equipped with Pirelli P Zero tires. Specifically, the P Zero Trofeo R: a motorsport tire homologated for road use as well.

The most recent lap record was set by the Lamborghini Aventador SVJ, which has achieved another benchmark at the historic German track: a lap of 6m44.97s. For Lamborghini, this is the second record established in the last three years: an illustrious achievement that started with the Aventador LP-750-4 SV, which set a time under the seven-minute barrier, followed by the (whose record stood until September 2017) and now the Aventador SVJ.

The latest version of the V12-powered Lamborghini will be delivered to customers with Pirelli P Zero Corsa tires as standard, whereas the record-breaking P Zero Trofeo R tires will be available as optional equipment. Both tires have been developed in new versions specific to the Aventador SVJ, as a result of the close collaboration between Lamborghini engineers and those of Pirelli, who have been able to maximize performance by adapting the characteristics of the tires to those of the car.

One particular reference during the development process was the lap time at the Nardo handling circuit in Italy, where the Aventador SVJ and its new P Zero Corsa tires was able to make a gain of two seconds per lap compared to the P Zero Corsa fitted to the previous Aventador SV. For this new Lamborghini, the main challenge was to marry the four-wheel drive system with four-wheel steering. The tires also have to guarantee a consistent rotation, in order to optimally distribute the torque so that the Haldex clutch system is not stressed.

The Nurburgring Nordschleife is loved by everyone who is passionate about driving, as well as by the world’s leading car manufacturers, who use the 20.6 demanding kilometers of track to develop their most performance-focused models. Pirelli also uses the epic Nordschleife to fine-tune all the different versions of P Zero tires, which have now reached 1028 specific homologations, created according to the requests of manufacturers who want to ensure that their cars are equipped with tires capable of complementing each model’s performance. So every car ends up with its very own Pirelli P Zero tire, which can be distinguished with a specific marking on the sidewall – such as ‘L’ for Lamborghini.