nj disability pride 2Trenton, NJ - 500 people from throughout NJ and neighboring states attended The Fourth Annual New Jersey Disability Pride Parade & Celebrationthat was held on Friday, October 3rd, in Trenton, NJ. The event was organized by the Alliance Center for Independence.

The event featured a variety of entertainers, all of whom have disabilities. These included R&B singer Naquela Wright, singer and Hollywood actress Rachel Handler, vocalist Kaleigh Brendle, comedian Damon Rozier, The Exceptional Dance Troupe, made up of children with autism, and an Intergrated Modern Belly Dance Troup, Shimmying Lotus. Dancer Christina “C-Bunny” Sarni mesmerized the crowd with her hip hop dance moves.

The event kicked off with a parade that began at the NJ Statehouse steps and led by Patrice Jetter, the Parade’s Grand Marshall. As part of the parade, Mercer County Special Services School District’s Drum Line marched performed during the parade. Ryan Henry, a member of the Drum Line sung the National Anthem.

As a tribute to veterans with disabilities, the Army National Guard based out of Lawrenceville, displayed flags which represented all the branches of the US Armed Forces.

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Alice Hunnicutt, Director of the NJ Division of Rehabilitation Services and Joseph Amoroso, Director of the NJ Division on Disability Services, one of the sponsors of the event, were honor for their support for the NJ Disability Pride Parade and Celebration and ACI.

22 exhibitors representing various state, for profit and not for profit organizations, gave out literature and resources for the event participants. The NJ Division of Disability Services raffled off 12 emergency “Go Kits” at their emergency preparedness pavilion.

The purpose of the New Jersey Disability Pride Parade is to bring people, organizations and businesses together to celebrate pride with the disability community and to promote the belief that disability is a natural and beautiful part of human diversity while generating national awareness for the disability community.

The event is a grassroots effort organized and hosted by the Alliance Center for Independence (ACI). ACI is a 501(c)(3) community-based, grassroots organization that supports and promotes independent living for people with disabilities in Middlesex, Union and Somerset counties.

The event is run entirely by volunteers and relies solely on sponsorship, donations and in-kind services. Sponsors include Brownstone Diner & Pancake Factory in Jersey City, Fun ‘ N Truckin, Bank of Woodbridge, Lifelong Retirement Group, NJ Department of Human Services, Easter Seals and the NJ Division on Disability Services.

To view or post pictures of the event go to the NJDPP’s facebook page at: facebook.com/njdisabilityprideparade