Monthly Beauties | Catarina Rivera

The header contains the headshot of the same photo of Catarina used on the Beyond Sight Magazine cover described below.

Meet The Faces of Bold Blind Beautiful & Accomplished Women

Representation Matters! Bold Blind Beauty believes that “Real Beauty Transcends Barriers” and April’s cover model, Catarina Rivera, the Disability Stigma Smasher, is an excellent example of our belief. Typically, the bios in our features are closer to the end of the piece however for Catarina’s article I opted to move hers to the beginning.

I’ve been following this beautiful woman for a while now and greatly admire her approach to advocacy. I came across the quote in today’s feature nearly two weeks ago and I couldn’t shake it. Its eloquent message spoke to my heart because far too many organizations could do so much better to improve DEI. Tokenism never has and never will work. For organizations to become truly inclusive, people with disabilities need a seat at the table on ALL levels. Enjoy! ~Steph

Catarina Rivera Bio:

Bio photo of Catarina Rivera is a frontal waist shot of her standing in front of a tree smiling with her dark brown wavy hair cascading over her left shoulder. She is wearing a t-shirt with abstract green and blue flowers.
Catarina’s bio photo

Disability Public Speaker + DEI Consultant
Catarina is a public speaker and consultant with 14+ years of experience in the public sector. She is the founder of Blindish Latina, a platform smashing disability stigmas through storytelling, advocacy, and training. Catarina has worn hearing aids from a young age and was diagnosed with progressive vision loss at 17 years old. She has a BA from Duke University, an MSEd from Bank Street College of Education, and an MPH from Hunter College. She is a member of RespectAbility’s National Disability Speakers Bureau.

Beyond Sight Magazine Cover

Beyond Sight Magazine Cover: Catarina is a light-skinned Latinx woman wearing a long sleeveless navy dress with a belt. She has her long dark brown wavy hair swept to one side. She is wearing coral lipstick and sparkly earrings. She is standing in front of a tree and green leaves. Her mouth is closed and she is looking intently into the distance. The text reads: Beyond Sight Magazine April 2021 | Catarina Rivera Disability Stigma Smasher

Monthly Beauties | Catarina Rivera

“An inclusive organizational culture must be built intentionally. It won’t just magically happen. Build it collaboratively with buy-in from key leaders.”

~Catarina Rivera

To expand on this quote, I offer the following talking points.

Catarina is standing near some green plants and trees. She is wearing a t-shirt with abstract green and blue flowers and black skinny jeans. She is standing with her right hand raised touching leaves. Her dark brown wavy hair is down and she is wearing round light blue-green earrings.
Catarina w/green plants & trees
  • Most workplaces lag behind in terms of inclusion and accessibility. 
  • There is a lack of attention paid to disability within DEI (diversity, equity, and inclusion) initiatives.
  • When we work on organizational change, executive leaders sometimes feel that inclusion is built with easy one-off solutions: a management training, a diversity workshop, sending out a statement about commitment, adding something to their values statement, etc. But no- it’s not that simple.
  • A workplace culture needs to be designed to be inclusive. This is an active project that will require time and collaborative effort. The rewards are worth it. 
  • You’ll need to work on your people, your systems, and your processes. You’ll have to learn and unlearn. The work does not bypass the leaders.
  • It’s important to remember that inclusion doesn’t magically happen and that it’s a goal that must be prioritized, planned around, and measured. 
  • Take responsibility for your company’s culture and build inclusion intentionally.

Links To Connect With Catarina:

Image Descriptions:

  • The header contains the headshot of the same photo of Catarina used on the Beyond Sight Magazine cover described below.
  • Bio photo is a frontal waist shot of Catarina standing in front of a tree smiling with her dark brown wavy hair cascading over her left shoulder. She is wearing a t-shirt with abstract green and blue flowers.
  • Beyond Sight Magazine Cover: Catarina is a light-skinned Latinx woman wearing a long sleeveless navy dress with a belt. She has her long dark brown wavy hair swept to one side. She is wearing coral lipstick and sparkly earrings. She is standing in front of a tree and green leaves. Her mouth is closed and she is looking intently into the distance. The text reads: Beyond Sight Magazine April 2021 | Catarina Rivera Disability Stigma Smasher
  • Catarina is standing near some green plants and trees. She is wearing a t-shirt with abstract green and blue flowers and black skinny jeans. She is standing with her right hand raised touching leaves. Her dark brown wavy hair is down and she is wearing round light blue-green earrings.

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