Speaking & Teaching

Xian smiles looking off to the side while at the microphone

Xian speaking at the ReelAbilities Film Festival with activist and acclaimed actor Danny Woodburn

Xian sitting on a stage speaking into a microphone with another speaker.
Photo by Roberto

Xian Horn has a true gift for finding connections with people in any room she’s in, and educates with an inviting warmth that makes people eager to learn more. Xian’s eloquent insights and powerful wisdom about disability, beauty, and self-esteem are gems that everyone would benefit from hearing. No matter where you are on your journey, she’ll meet you where you’re at, and you’ll leave a better person because of her.”

–Emily Ladau, Disability Rights Activist and Author of Demystifying Disability

Xian in conversation with activist Lawrence Carter-Long at the Governor's Council for People with Disabilities in Indiana

For over a decade, Xian has used her lived experience and expertise as an advocate to share her insights on a wide range of topics, including leadership, allyship, diversity, inclusive representation, support systems, accessibility, and the importance of assistive technology design. She has frequently spoken at the U.N. and is a member of their NGO Committees on Mental Health and Education, Learning and Literacy, she’s presented at The Obama White House, Microsoft, Viacom, Apple, The Governor’s Council for People with Disabilities in Indiana, the ACLU, Congressional Briefings, the Harkin Summit, AT&T, Apple, Xandr, Barnard College, Williams College, POPSUGAR Beauty, ReelAbilities Film Festival, Zappos, Amazon, Estée Lauder and more. Additionally, Xian is the non-profit Give Beauty Wings, where she taught courses for government agencies, at NYU (both the hospital and university), Columbia University, in community centers and K-12 institutions, and anywhere Give Beauty Wings workshops are needed.

Panels, Commencements, Keynotes, Lunch & Learns, Q&A, Lightening Talks, Workshops, Moderation
Cluster of 4 photos:
1 • Xian sitting in a red blouse and yellow scarf speaking to an audience, visible is a person to the side
2 • Xian speaking into a microphone on a UN panel with captions displayed on the screen
3 • Xian sitting speaking on a panel while three women look at her from the side
4 • Xian smiling in a red dress standing in a group a woman holding her ski pole
Xian at various speaking engagements including the U.N., Empower Her New York, and with the governor Kathy Hochul and fellow powerhouse activists

The Give Beauty Wings Self-Esteem Programs and Non-Profit

After witnessing many of her beautiful friends struggle with self-esteem, body image, depression, and disability, Xian set out to teach a self-esteem course through NYU’s Initiative for Women with Disabilities.

Over the past decade, her Give Beauty Wings programs evolved into a non-profit, which offers self-esteem courses with an emphasis on leadership for people from all backgrounds, especially for those traditionally marginalized. Give Beauty Wings provides mentoring, vocational support, educational and media outreach that are tailored to individual and organizational needs.

Xian with Give Beauty Wings Participants

Xian has presented her classes at United Cerebral Palsy, the Center for the Independence of the Disabled NY, the NYC Mayor’s Office for People with Disabilities, M.S. 131 in Chinatown, the Jewish Community Center Manhattan, the Thomas Jefferson School in Missouri, the Lower East Side Girls Club, the Standing Tall school (a school for non-verbal children), the Governor’s Council for People with Disabilities in Indiana, and at the New York City Lab School, where she served as its commencement speaker in 2014.

Xian’s Dove Love letter to all unrepresented beauties, especially those with disabilities: hungry for positivity and a voice in the beauty industry campaign proposal video has more than garnered 25,000 views and counting.

Side pic of Xian smiling sitting in wheelchair and holding a child on her lap

Xian is a gifted teacher who knows how to create the best learning experience. She brings out the best in others by leading with infectious positivity, authenticity, and empathy. Her words continue to inspire many.

— Dr. Yumi Shimabukuro, Director, Urban & Social Policy Program. Faculty, Columbia University 

contact@xianhorn.com