Kami Ariella Barker
Ariella is an attorney, writer, and disability activist. She grew up in rural North Carolina but has also lived overseas in Nigeria and Israel. Currently, she resides outside Charlotte, NC. She obtained her B.B.A. from Emory’s Goizueta Business School in 2002, with a nearly full merit scholarship from Bank of America. In 2005, she received her J.D. from Emory University, with the Willard DeWitt Scholarship. She was an assistant corporation counsel for the City of New York and Mayor Michael Bloomberg, where she defended high-profile constitutional, employment discrimination, and labor law claims. In 2007, she converted to Orthodox Judaism, and in 2008, she made aliyah. In Israel, she began her disability advocacy, leading to greater accessibility and was named one of Israel’s top 50 bachelorettes. She was crowned 2014’s Ms. Wheelchair NC, where she encouraged producers to accurately depict disabled characters on television and film. Currently, she works on Capitol Hill for RespectAbility, advising, communicating with, and reporting on politicians regarding disability issues. And she is a public speaker for the Orthodox Union’s Yahad division, speaking about the importance of disability inclusion in the Jewish community. This summer, she will be attending the Harvard Kennedy School to obtain her mid-career M.P.A.