Performances at the Kennedy Center in Washington, D.C., highlight talent, creativity and skills people with disabilities bring to the workplace
NEW YORK–(BUSINESS WIRE)–$VOYA #DEI–Voya Financial, Inc. (NYSE: VOYA), announced today it is celebrating National Disability Employment Awareness Month with the third annual virtual concert featuring “America’s Got Talent” finalist Mandy Harvey and other artists with disabilities.
The full band concert, which will be available for streaming via YouTube beginning Oct. 20 at 7 p.m. ET, underscores the contributions of people with disabilities in the workforce. The event, which was held Oct. 2 at the famed Kennedy Center in Washington, D.C., is a joint initiative between Voya and Disability:IN, a leading nonprofit committed to workplace disability inclusion.
With performances of several songs, including from Mandy’s 2022 album “Paper Cuts,” the concert showcases the talent of numerous artists with disabilities, including Paul Gavin, a drummer, who has severe asthma; Nigerian-born singer-songwriter Blessing Offor, who is blind; Warren “Wawa” Snipe, a rap artist who is deaf; and John Bramblitt, a muralist who is blind and known for the bright colors he uses to create modern pop art. American Sign Language and captions will be provided throughout the concert.
“We know that disability inclusion benefits everyone — from our employees, to our clients and our communities. These artists demonstrate how the talent, skill and proficiency of people with disabilities bring unique insight and innovation to each of our personal lives and workplaces,” said Rodney O. Martin, Jr., chairman and chief executive officer, Voya Financial, Inc. “The hiring of people with disabilities should be a priority for every business leader.”
One of the main highlights of the show is a duet by Mandy Harvey and young performer Lily Allison, who both have Ehlers-Danlos Syndrome — a connective tissue disorder that caused Mandy to lose her hearing at the age of 18. Mandy and Lily performed “Mara’s Song,” a favorite ballad of the young singer and superfan.
The celebration of community and inclusion also highlights the commitment of leading CEOs to build a more inclusive workplace for everyone, and encourages more CEOs and their companies to hire people with disabilities.
“We are focused on empowering the business community to achieve disability inclusion and equality in the workplace,” said Jill Houghton, president and chief executive officer of Disability:IN. “Voya has prioritized disability inclusion in the workplace, and this joint initiative is a powerful example of putting the contributions of the disability community on center stage.”
Voya’s continued commitment is also demonstrated through several key efforts, such as Voya Cares®, a hub of resources and community for those with disabilities and their caregivers, and its People with Disabilities and Caregivers Council, an employee-led group that supports workers who are part of the disability community and their allies.
About Voya Financial®
Voya Financial, Inc. (NYSE: VOYA), is a leading health, wealth and investment company that provides products, solutions and technologies that enable a better financial future for its clients, customers and society. Serving the needs of 14.3 million individual, workplace and institutional clients, Voya has approximately 6,000 employees and had $644 billion in total assets under management and administration as of June 30, 2022. Certified as a “Great Place to Work” by the Great Place to Work® Institute, Voya is purpose-driven and is equally committed to conducting business in a way that is socially, environmentally, economically and ethically responsible. Voya has earned recognition as: one of the World’s Most Ethical Companies® by the Ethisphere Institute; a member of the Bloomberg Gender-Equality Index; and a “Best Place to Work for Disability Inclusion” on the Disability Equality Index. For more information, visit voya.com. Follow Voya Financial on Facebook, LinkedIn and Twitter @Voya.
Disability:IN is a global organization driving disability inclusion and equality in business. More than 400 corporations partner with Disability:IN to create long-term business and social impact through the world’s most comprehensive disability inclusion benchmarking and reporting tool, the Disability Equality Index; best-in-class conferences and programs; expert counsel and engagement; and public policy leadership. Join us at Disabilityin.org/AreYouIN #AreYouIN.
This event is an external rental presented in coordination with the Kennedy Center Campus Rentals Office and is not produced by the Kennedy Center.
Natasha D. Smith