- Los Angeles, CA
- Montgomery, AL
- New York, NY
- Portland, OR
- San Francisco, CA
- Washington, DC
- Online community
- Your city here
Starting Diversability in Your City
Thank you for your interest in starting Diversability in your city. Local Diversability events are run by passionate volunteers.
Note that each chapter is an independent chapter, unaffiliated with any other organizations.
Connecting with others is a powerful thing -- whether it's sharing your own ideas, connecting two people, or empowering someone to make their dreams come true.
We are part of a grassroots movement that is much larger than ourselves.
Diversability is entirely volunteer- and peer-run. You are here because you believe in our mission of inclusion and bringing people of all abilities together. No one is turned away, everyone feels welcome, and everyone feels valued. The intent is that everyone is included.
If you want to start Diversability in your city, starting small is perfectly fine! It can be 2 people grabbing coffee or 3 people in a living room! You can even host it online if you are unable to meet in person. Just make sure that everyone has an opportunity to speak and share their stories.
Don't be afraid to leverage the Diversability community if you need help with anything. Post your questions, and we can all chip in to get a sense of what the group feels is good for everyone in the best possible way.
So you want to lead a local chapter?
Leading an event is an amazing responsibility. You'll make a huge impact on yourself and others in your community and you'll gain some great leadership skills.
Your role is to:
- Lead with vulnerability. Lead by example.
- Show commitment.
- Facilitate conversation. Create and maintain a safe space for honest conversations.
- Represent Diversability. Always represent our mission and what it means to be a part of our community.
- Communicate. Be in contact with your members on a regular basis.
- Have a vision. Lead your chapter and members in a positive direction and dream big.
- Be a peer mentor. Be there for your members and encourage them to be there for each other.
You are in charge of all the details of your local event such as:
- Securing a venue
- Determining the event structure (see below for ideas)
- Finding sponsors to help cover event costs
- Leading the local team
- Marketing for the event
As you continue to grow and Diversability members want to get involved, feel free to empower them to take leadership on to the next event!
You can modify your own event format and do your own thing, provided that members of the local group agree on it. Also leave room at the beginning/end where people can talk to one another.
We suggest an event of 1.5-2 hours (15-30 minutes for people to settle in, about 45-60 minutes of programming, and the remaining time to close the event).
Some structures that have worked well in the past:
- Diversability Unplugged: anyone is invited to give a 5-minute lightning talk with no videos or slides (NY)
- Events centered around an activity or meal (LA hosts a writing club)
Depending on the sensitivity of the event, whatever is said in the event is confidential and must not leave the room. Confidentiality allows all of us to feel safe and share our deepest vulnerabilities. Keeping the events confidential is a sign that we are willing to be altruistic, and ready to create a safe space for everyone.
Make the event as accessible as possible. Feel free to meet in public spaces or ask venues if they would be open to donating the space. Otherwise, charge a small ticket fee to cover your costs and lower the number of no-shows.
Chapters cover their own events costs, usually through ticket sales and local sponsors. All local event and sponsorship money stays with the chapter. Some chapters establish organizations (LLCs or non-profits) to keep finances in order or apply for certain types of funding.
Not ready to host an event or don't want to? Consider becoming an online regional ambassador! Regional ambassadors help engage our online community, serve as a regional point of contact, and ensure we are sharing content from your region across our social channels.