Episode 2: Adiba Nelson—Why Inclusion and Representation Matters


Adiba Nelson is a writer, author, performer, mom, wife, and occasional rabble-rouser. Adiba spoke about her work to increase inclusivity and representation of children with disabilities to children’s literature and television programming; about her burlesque performances and honest personal essays and how they offer those watching and listening permission to live their truths; and about the need for collective outrage at the societal mistreatment of black women and all women of color so that, together, we can enact cultural change.


Adiba Nelson: Adiba Nelson is a writer, author, performer, mom, wife, and occasional rabble-rouser. According to Jes Baker, Adiba is the wittiest, sassiest, most survivingest broad you’ll ever meet. Adiba Nelson is the girl that maybe you shouldn’t take everywhere, but you do anyway. She’s that laugh you hear from two blocks away. The girl who tells it like it is, with a wink and a smile, because her mama raised her right. And she has zero qualms about solving heated arguments with a dance battle—she is particularly skilled in the art of 90’s dance culture, and will running man you into oblivion. Seriously. She is also a contributing writer to various online sources—everything from HuffPo to My Brown Baby, children’s book author, public speaker, size acceptance activist and disability rights/inclusion advocate.

Jillian Bessett: The voice in the intro and outro belong to songwriter Jillian Bessett. Jillian Bessett is a singer, songwriter and multi-instrumentalist whose evocative lyrics and welcoming stage presence have endeared her to audiences throughout the southwest music scene. Jillian is currently writing music and gigging with her new favorite instrument the Boss RC-505 Looping Station.

Referenced in the interview:

Meet Clarebelle Blue: Meet ClaraBelle Blue is the debut children’s picture book by Adiba Nelson, and the first book of The ClaraBelle Series. Loosley based on Nelson’s own daughter, Meet ClaraBelle Blue is told through the voice of ClaraBelle’s mom, Viola. In this funny, sweet, beautifully illustrated book we get to see how like the other kids ClaraBelle truly is, regardless of having special needs. Children reading it will come to find that what ClaraBelle’s mom says in the book is true – “she’s ClaraBelle Blue, and she’s just like YOU!”

Sesame Street: Sesame Street is an American educational children’s television series that combines live action, sketch comedy, animation and puppetry.

Daniel Tiger: Daniel Tiger’s Neighborhood is an animated program for preschoolers ages 2 to 4 which builds on the pioneering PBS series, Mister Rogers’ Neighborhood

Won’t You Be My Neighbor?: An exploration of the life, lessons, and legacy of iconic children’s television host, Fred Rogers.

Macro: is a media brand representing the voice and perspective
 of persons of color (“POC”): “We create and finance film, television, digital content, technologies and brands which are driven by people of color that encompass universal themes to which all people can connect and relate.”

The Full Nelson: Emmy Award-winning documentary about Adiba Nelson.

Articles/Essays by Adiba Nelson:

Three Ways Burlesque Has Made Me a Better Mom

From Period to Post Partum: How my Hysterectomy Changed Me

The End Of Black History Month: You Do You, I’m Doing Me

My Name is Adiba Nelson and I Am a Food Addict


THE MATRIARCHITECTS podcast and platform highlights the change-makers who are building a culture that respects, values, and celebrates women. Hear the voices of people who are creating a cultural shift in our attitudes toward women, and who are using their vision, gifts, and talents to make our world a better place for people of all genders. These individuals and their stories offer an antidote to the hard times we live in, showing us that new ways of seeing and being are not only possible but are already here.

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