Meet a Nasty Woman: 5 Questions with Tiffany Yu

tiffany_yu_cmx.jpg

Meet Tiffany Yu. Tiffany is a Nasty Woman, speaker, social impact entrepreneur, diversity & inclusion community builder, and inclusion and empowerment advocate. She is the CEO & Founder of Diversability (rebranding disability through community) and the Founder of the Awesome Foundation Disability Chapter. She has been named one of the "100 most influential Asian Americans of 2017," one of "100 visionary leaders," and a "women of influence" honoree. Read our interview with Tiffany here.

What makes you a Nasty Woman?

I am a nasty woman simply by the fact that I exist. I'm young (is 30 still young?), Asian American, disabled, and a woman. Many of the people who are making decisions don't look anything like me.

 

Share an experience that shaped your views or helped get you involved in activism.

 Much of my work in disability is based on my own personal experiences. During Thanksgiving weekend 1997, I was involved in a car accident where my dad who was driving passed away and I acquired a nerve injury in my arm that would limit its use to this day. Sometimes it is these hard moments that make us the most powerful activists. Over a decade later, I started Diversability. And now over two decades later, I am reminded of the privilege I have to have a voice in my community. 

What advice do you have for people who want to help enact change and push progress but don’t know how to get involved?

 

I really like Emily Davis's answer to this question. Think about the issues that really get you fired up and then show up for communities that don't look like you but may face similar experiences. The main thing is to just do something. Your voice, your digital presence, and where you are putting your money are all power. 

It is important that we do not critique each other's activism. Some might choose to make a donation, others might attend a march, some might be contacting their elected representatives, among other things. All of these are working toward access, opportunity, and equity for our community and all of these are movement in the right direction.  

If you could look into the future, 10 years from now, and see that real progress has been made, what does that look like to you?

Everyone regardless of ability, gender, race, sexual orientation, etc. has equal access to opportunity. And that the people making decisions and on-screen look like us. Representation matters. 

Share with us a favorite wine moment, memory or pairing. 

 My favorites wine moments are the people I've shared them with. In June, I joined a friend last minute to go "glamping" on a vineyard in Paso Robles, California. After grabbing coffee shortly after we arrived, we met Trina, only to run into her again the next day as we were grabbing lunch. She and her partner Pablo invited us to join them at Sculpterra Winery, where I felt like we got the VIP treatment. We toured the grounds, got to taste a few of their wines, and each walked away with a bottle of their Héroe Primitivo. The label included sketches to honor the vineyard workers and unsung heroes of the wine industry. 

Tell us more about Diversability. 

I'm currently running Diversability (@diversability FB, IG, TW), an award-winning social enterprise to rebrand disability through the power of community. I'm also the founder of the Awesome Foundation Disability Chapter, which awards $1,000 monthly grants to disability projects. To date, we have awarded $17,500 to 18 projects across 5 countries. You can also find me across social media at @imtiffanyyu (FB, IG, TW).

Emily Davis