Friday, March 19, 2010

3E Love

Embrace Diversity.
Educate your Community.
Empower Each Other.
Love Life.

This was Annie's slogan and the way she lived out each day. Annie was a friend I met in college at University of Illinois. She was an entrepreneur seeking to change the perspective that society has on people with disabilities. Annie was innovative. She came up with the idea to replace the traditional "handicapped" symbol that you see in parking lots and on license plates with the "wheelchair heart symbol" in which the wheel is in the shape of a heart. This symbol was first tattooed to Annie's shoulder and now is worn by people all over who want to show that a disability is not something to be ashamed of or to hide. Annie's "Symbol of Acceptance" replaces what society deems negative with a positive emblem to be worn with pride. Although the symbol hasn't officially replaced the international disability symbol, it can be found on t-shirts, bags, buttons, stickers, and tattoos.

Annie passed away in January 2009, but her passion and zeal in advocating for people with disabilities did not. Her brother, Stevie, continued to pursue Annie's dream of spreading 3ELove and its symbol. Currently, one of 3ELove's goals is "Project Everywhere". This project's first aim is to spread the wheelchair heart logo ("Symbol of Acceptance") to every zipcode in the USA and then beyond! The idea of spreading the symbol is to facilitate conversations with people. What kind of conversations, you ask? Examples: Talk about what the symbol means to you. Talk about the civil rights of people with disabilities. Talk about breaking down the barriers in society (both physical barriers and social barriers) Talk about what it means to see past the outward appearance of a disability and get to know the actual person! And so much more...

Maybe after reading this blog you feel like getting involved in the social project. Glad you asked, because I have a simple way that you can help advance the vision. Visit this website and sign up to vote for a grant from Pepsi. This grant money will give 3ELove some financial support to spread the symbol of acceptance throughout the world. Please consider pledging your vote for this cause and let's see how society's perspective on disability might change! It would mean so much to me and to the entire 3ELove community.

To learn some more about my friend Stevie and 3ELove follow this link to one of my blogs "A trip to say goodbye" from last May and then follow the links provided there.


  1. 3E Love..THAT'S what it was! :) So fun seeing you today. Love that pink scarf on you, so beautiful! Hope you have a wonderful week! Love, Jane

  2. Jane! I thought of it as soon as I got home! Sorry I was drawing a blank with you at the shower! It was so good to chat with you! Have a great week!