Report by Paula Antolini
March 29, 2017 9:30AM EDT
Danbury City Hall Will Light Up Blue for Autism Speaks Awareness Campaign on April 10th
Message from Emanuela Palmares:
Each April, Autism Speaks celebrates the start of its signature campaign, Light It Up Blue, along with the international autism community in recognition of UN sanctioned World Autism Awareness Day and April, World Autism Month.
Thousands of iconic landmarks and buildings join the hundreds of thousands of homes and communities around the world to “light blue” in support of people living with autism.
This year I have asked the city of Danbury to join the autism awareness movement, and on April 10, 2017 at 6:30 Danbury City Hall will light up blue to shine a light on autism.
The event is sponsored by David Parks, owner of Spin Doctor Entertainment, who has graciously donated his services and equipment, and supported by the City of Danbury Commission for Persons with DisAbilities.
My son Caio, & I started our journey down the autism road with early intervention. He was diagnosed …at age 2 at the Yale Child Study Center, after he was red flagged by his pediatrician and referred to the Birth-Three program. He has received autism intervention services for the past 3 years and made incredible gains in some areas due to therapy. But unfortunately, Caio has also developed some health issues that have become a daily struggle in his life, an aspect of the effects autism that is often overlooked. Caio is one of many children in our community that live with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD).That is why raising awareness about ASD is so important. It can not only improve the quality of life of those diagnosed by fostering acceptance, but it can also lead to early detection and intervention and dramatically improve the outcomes of children with autism in our community.
I have reached out to autism families in our area from various communities to attend the ceremony and bring their loved ones in the spectrum.
This will be a sensory friendly ceremony (lower sound level, attendees are free to talk and walk around, and there will be a designated quiet area and ear muffs available), so that all our families can attend and see the building light up blue in their honor.
Please help us spread the word and come support our families and our children!
About Emanuela Palmares
Emanuela Palmares is an author, community activist, mother, and member of the Connecticut General Assembly’s Commission on Equity and Opportunity (CEO)
A Brazilian-American immigrant raised in Danbury, Emanuela Palmares began her service to the city she loves at the age of 15, when she helped the Danbury Public Library provide language services to the community.
Emanuela continues to have a positive impact in her hometown of Danbury and in Connecticut. Her extensive history of service includes working with public and non-governmental organizations; helping Portuguese-speaking victims as a Domestic Violence Victim’s Advocate at the Women’s Center of Greater Danbury; making home visits working with children and families in the Danbury Head Start Program; serving on the Regional YMCA Board, the United Way of Northern Fairfield County Emerging Leaders Council, the United Way of Northern Fairfield County Community Impact Grant Selection Program, and the Danbury Housing Partnership. She also served as Chairwoman of the Association of Religious Communities’ Blue Ribbon Commission on Immigrants; a Volunteer Translator at AmeriCares Free Clinic; and volunteer English as a Second Language (ELL) Instructor at the Center for Brazilian Assistance.
She serves as a member of the Danbury Aging in Place Council, a group dedicated to providing opportunities for older adults to live safely and independently in the home of their choice.
In 2016, she became a member of the Danbury Hospital Board of Directors.
Emanuela’s service on the Danbury High School Governance Board reflects her commitment to helping schools and students achieve optimal performance. She served on the Language Acquisition and Educational Equity Workgroup which studied educational outcomes of English Language Learners in CT and made recommendations to the General Assembly.
In 2013, Emanuela Palmares was appointed Commissioner on the Latino and Puerto Rican Affairs Commission (LPRAC), the first Brazilian to serve on this advisory commission to the Governor and the Legislature. As a Commissioner, she served on the Governor’s Emergency Communications Task Force to enhance emergency and non-emergency communications between the State and residents whose primary language is not English. Her service as a Commissioner and member of the Executive Board is dedicated to promoting health, safety, educational success, economic self-sufficiency, and ending discrimination.
Ms. Palmares is the author of numerous articles on immigration and the Latino community. She has been an invited speaker at the esteemed Portuguese & Spanish Department of Yale University and the Philosophy & Humanities Department of Western Connecticut State University to speak on the topics The South American Immigrant Experience and Ethnic Media.
She was recognized by Fairfield County Business Journal’s “40 under 40” as one of the best and brightest business leaders under the age of 40. Latinos United for Professional Advancement recognized her as one of the “50 Most Influential Latinos in Connecticut.”
Emanuela is the Editor-in-Chief of La Tribuna, a biweekly publication in English, Portuguese, and Spanish. Founded by her mother and mentor, Celia Bacelar Palmares, the mission of Tribuna is to build cultural bridges and provide readers with information that connects them with their communities.
She also holds what she refers to as “the most meaningful position of all” – being a mother to her son and the proud daughter of Celia Bacelar and Genilson Palmares, her role models.
2010 Fairfield County Business Journal 40 under 40
2015 Latinos United for Professional Advancement (LUPA) 50 Most Influential Latinos in Connecticut.
2016 Commission on Children’s Robert Haller Memorial Award for Outstanding Community Service