“She is the sassiest, wittiest, most survivingest broad I have ever met. ”
— Jes Baker aka “The Militant Baker
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.
Adiba is also the girl who speaks as much truth in her writing, as she does in her speaking. Having been referred to as “inspirational” on more than one occassion, Adiba shares her deepest secrets with her audience, at the same time giving them the courage to live their most authentic, purpose driven life. She has written, without pause, about her life long struggle with food addiction, her disdain for her daughter's communication device, and about watching her mother transition from a vibrant, throw caution to the wind woman, to a woman who struggles to find her words, and smiles a little crookedly as the result of traumatic brain injury.
In 2017, Adiba brought her truth telling words to life, delivering her first TEDx talk "Skating Downhill: The Art of Claiming Your Life", to a sold out house. Giving that talk changed her life. So much so that she has gone on to be the subject of the Emmy winning mini-documentary produced by Arizona llustrated, aptly titled “The FULL Nelson”, and has begun speaking to full audiences around the country. When she speaks, she encourages her audience to throw caution to the wind and be a #rebelwithacause, sharing stories of how she weighed the cost of staying, and consciously chose to be a single mom to a child with a disability. How they’ve overcome every adverse step her daughter’s diagnosis (and the world) has thrown at them by living with intention and refusing to settle.
The kiddos love Adiba too. They can't get enough of her sweet, self-published children's book, "Meet ClaraBelle Blue", based loosely on her own daughter (who has Bilateral Schizencephaly and Cerebral Palsy). Children absolutely love (and tap into) the message that kids with special needs are just like them - KIDS. Parents love it because it helps them start the conversation of "more alike than different", in a kid friendly way. "Meet ClaraBelle Blue" is in school libraries, public libraries, classrooms, preschools, tucked under kids pillows, and kept high on shelves by parents who want to keep it "safe" from sticky toddler hands.
Adiba refuses to give into the media trope of the sad, fat black girl.
She is involved in her local body positive movement, having worked on photo campaigns with Jes Baker, Jade Beall, and Liora Dudar. Her activism is not static though. Adiba,like her mother, throws caution to the wind as The BIG Bang McGillicuddy, her burlesque alterego. Yes. You read that right. This plus sized, truth telling, loud laughing girl takes the stage on a semi-regular basis and bares, well, A LOT of skin, all in the name of body positivity. Hiding in the shadows is not something she is familiar with, nor does she intend to be.