Lawrence Carter-Long, Executive Director
Disabilities Network of NYC
c/o Fund for the City of New York
121 Avenue of the Americas, 6th Floor
New York, NY 10013
Executive Director Lawrence Carter-Long first came to the Disabilities Network as our Network Coordinator in 2005. A seasoned community organizer and advocate, he is widely recognized for his expertise in communications and media.
Frequently sought as media spokesperson on disability issues, Lawrence is more likely to be seen wielding a microphone than a picket sign. Dozens of notable media outlets including NATIONAL PUBLIC RADIO, the NEW YORK TIMES, the BBC, NBC's TODAY SHOW, CNN and DIVERSITY, INC. have sought Lawrence's expertise on a wide variety of issues ranging from media portrayal of disability, self determination, medical ethics and important quality of life issues like employment, transportation and housing.
Prior to coming to the Disabilities Network, Lawrence was the Communications Director for the ANIMAL PROTECTION INSTITUTE from 1998-2002 and Northeast Director for In Defense of Animals from 2002-2005. He authored regular columns for the ANIMALS' AGENDA magazine from 1996-1999 and later a Contributing Editor for SATYA magazine.
As the founder and curator of the “disTHIS! Film Series: disability through a whole new lens” presented in partnership with the Council for the Study of Disability at NYU, Lawrence regularly showcases rarely seen, independent and international films with disability themes to enthusiastic non-disabled and disabled audiences alike that are as remarkable for what they do not depict as they are for what they show. Refreshingly absent from disTHIS! screenings are tiresome tragic/heroic stereotypes refreshingly replaced with a commitment to festival quality work with one requirement: “No handkerchief necessary, no heroism required.”
Lawrence's knowledge of the arts, the entertainment industry and media makes him a critical resource for multiple organizations nationally. He serves on the board of directors of the Society for Disability Studies and the Disability Opportunity Fund and is an advisor for the NYC’s Alliance for Inclusion in the Arts. In 2009 and 2010, he was recruited by VSA Arts and the American Film Institute to select the first and second year awardees of the Emerging Disabled Film-maker apprentices as part of the prestigious SilverDocs Film Festival in Washington, DC. In addition, Lawrence consults the Disability Rights Education and Defense Fund on their Media Project and is an advisor to the I AM PWD civil rights campaign initiated by the Screen Actors Guild, the American Federation of Television and Radio Artists and Actors Equity to increase visibility and employment of performers with disabilities throughout the entertainment industry.
Since 2007, Lawrence has performed with Heidi Latksy’s provocatively titled modern dance ensemble “GIMP” which was showcased at the Kennedy Center July 22, 2009. DANCE MAGAZINE called GIMP “a gleaming milestone in the progress of contemporary dance and theater” and Lawrence’s “impossibly inverted plies” were singled out by the Washington Post as was the “jaunty rhythm” of his “offbeat stride” by the New York Times.
As a result of his advocacy, Lawrence was awarded the Frieda Zames Advocacy Award from NYC Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg on August 12, 2009 and was presented with the 2010 Paul G. Hearne
Leadership Award on March 10 from the American Association of People with Disabilities in Washington, DC. He was appointed to the New York State
Independent Living Council in March 2010.