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Multi-Award-Winning Civil Rights Advocate Areva Martin & Special Needs Network Celebrates Milestone with Tamera Mowry, Kym Whitley, Jackée Harry, Yo-Yo, And More


Special Needs Network Celebrates Milestone 

16th Annual Pink Pump Affair: A Resounding Success

Credit: Robin L. Marshall | Photo Link: 16th Annual A Pink Pump Affair



BEVERLY HILLS, CA - The Special Needs Network (SNN) is excited to announce the resounding success of its 16th Annual Pink Pump Affair, which took place on Sunday, May 19, 2024, at the iconic Beverly Wilshire Hotel. The "Sweet Sixteen" event commemorated sixteen years of dedicated service to families affected by autism and other developmental disabilities. The award-winning journalist Pat Harvey from CBS 2 News hosted the affair!


"This year's Pink Pump Affair was a testament to the power of community and the impact we can have when we come together for a common cause," said Areva Martin, President and Founder of Special Needs Network. "The support we received will allow us to continue our mission of providing critical resources and advocating for the rights of individuals with disabilities. I am deeply grateful to our board members for their unwavering dedication and support in making this night unforgettable."


The past year has highlighted an urgent need for increased support and advocacy, particularly underscored by the recent tragic events, including the loss of young Ryan Gainer. These events have prompted essential conversations about the intersection of disability and societal systems, culminating in a pivotal Town Hall discussion and policy briefing in Washington, D.C. These discussions have reinforced the necessity of SNN's mission and the critical impact of its services.

Honoring Excellence and Advocacy

The event honored four exceptional individuals whose work and advocacy have made a significant impact on the lives of people with disabilities:


  • Trailblazer Award: Tamera Mowry-Housley, an Emmy Award-winning host, author, actress, producer, and entrepreneur, celebrated for her inspiring career and advocacy efforts.

  • Game Changer Award: Alva Adams-Mason, Group Manager, Multicultural Business Alliance & Dealer Relations, Toyota Motor North America, recognized for her exemplary leadership in promoting diversity and inclusion.

  • Self-Advocate Award: Cristy Romero, is a dedicated SNN participant and an inspiring advocate for individuals with developmental disabilities.

  • Areva Martin Everyday Advocate Award:Michael Jett, entrepreneur, and autism self-advocate, was honored for his tireless efforts to increase supplier diversity at Kroger and his advocacy in the autism community.



Acknowledging Sponsors, Donors, and Board Members


The exceptional success of the Pink Pump Affair was made possible through the generous support of sponsors, donors, and committed board members. Special Needs Network expresses sincere appreciation to presenting partner Toyota Motor North America and platinum sponsor Capital Group, as well as all other esteemed sponsors:


  • Gold Sponsors: Amazon, LA Lakers, U.S. Bank, Walmart

  • Silver Sponsors: Cedars Sinai, City National Bank, Easter Seals Southern California, Martin & Martin, LLP

  • Bronze Sponsors: McDonald’s Nicker Management, Senator Tina McKinnor, Telomir Pharmaceuticals, Inc.

  • Pink VIP Sponsor: Carol Powell Lexing


The support from media partner KCAL9/CBS2 and magazine sponsor Bella Vida Magazine, which prominently featured Areva Martin on its cover to enhance the mission's visibility and reach, was graciously acknowledged.M


A Night to Remember


The event included a lively auction by comedians Kym Whitley and Buddy Lewis, showcasing exclusive opportunities such as a VIP Padres Suite Experience and a culinary extravaganza with celebrity chef Kevin Bludso. Attendees enjoyed an elegant gala dinner and were moved by SNN President and Founder Areva Martin, Esq's remarks, and a special appearance by Jackee Harry. Furthermore, impactful testimonials emphasized the essential contribution of SNN’s services.

Numerous notable figures and influencers expressed their endorsement, including Yolanda "Yo-Yo" Whitaker, Cynthia Mitchell-Heard, Councilman Curren D. Price, Councilwoman Heather Hunt, Jackée Harry, Rachel Lindsay, Dawnn Lewis, Vanessa Bell Callaway, Kiki Shepard, Robi Reed, Jo-Ann Allen, Flame Monroe, Mark Ridley Thomas, and others.


Board of Directors


  • Areva D. Martin, Esq., President + CEO

  • Anshu Batra, MD, F.A.A.P.

  • Alicia Sutton Jones

  • Bonnie Berry LaMon, Esq.

  • Oscar Madrigal

  • Rahel Z. Mengiste-Cook

  • Randy Miller, Esq.

  • Daryl Osby

  • Tenise Taylor, M.Ed.

  • Sonjia D. White, Esq.

  • Kym Whitley


Advisory Board


  • Dr. Adam Bruno

  • George C. Fatheree, III

  • Dr. B.J. Freeman

  • Pat Grayson-DeJong

  • Cheryl Gully, LCSW

  • Gail Lara

  • Sylvia M. Lopez

  • Rev. Vanessa Ussery

  • Dr. Arshya Vahabzadeh

  • Chidell Watkins

  • About Special Needs Network


For more information about the Special Needs Network and to learn how to support its mission, please visit www.specialneedsnetwork.org.

Special Needs Network, Inc. is a nonprofit grassroots organization responding to the crisis of autism and other developmental disabilities in underserved communities. We recognize the intersectionality of individuals with disabilities and that their fight for disability rights is inextricably tied to the fight for racial justice and the civil rights of all people.







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