»

Happy Birthday, Mr. President!

2 Comments

Today’s President Barack Obama’s 52nd birthday.  Though my goal is to remain politically neutral on the website, I had to share with you all the photo the President & I took 5 1/2 years ago, in honor of his birthday.

Then Sen. Barack Obama & I after his campus campaign rally at Winthrop University (my alma mater).  This was taken January 2008.

Then Sen. Barack Obama & I after his campus campaign rally at Winthrop University (my alma mater). This was taken January 2008.

As you can see from the date of the picture, this was taken when the then Senator of Illinois Barack Obama was vying for the Presidential nomination.  I was so fortunate to have been able to meet the future President when he visited my alma mater, Winthrop University, during the SC Primaries 5 1/2 years ago.  I skipped class to attend the rally, & I was determined to get a picture!  (I don’t condone skipping classes, but there are always exceptions, esp. when you may be a part of history.)  Taking that photo & graduating with my Bachelor’s of Arts degree in May 2008 were indeed the highlights of that year.

Pres. Obama & his team were very nice to me when I inquired about taking a picture with him.  He didn’t have to go out of his way to meet me; I was truly grateful that he did so.  He was very polite & charismatic, & it was at that moment that I knew that this man was truly different… and would subsequently receive my vote (2 times).  I’m so blessed to have been able to take this picture with the 1st African American President of the United States.  This is a picture that I will forever treasure, and will share for years to come.

Though a great deal has transpired for the President, as well as myself, since that fateful day, I’m forever grateful to see his Presidency come alive as it has.  There’s a great deal of work that has yet to be done, on both of our ends, but I strongly believe that he is capable of improving the lives of people with disabilities, just as I believe that Ramp Your Voice! can have a lasting and influential effect on the disabled community.  I would love to have the opportunity to meet Pres. Obama again to discuss the pressing issues that affect people with disabilities, and place our agenda onto his initiative platforms.  I’m eager to see the President take more of a proactive stance when it comes to diminishing the problems that place people with disabilities behind in employment and educational opportunities, and to voice the need for better efforts for inclusion and empowerment in our society.  Maybe I’ll have the opportunity to discuss the purpose of RYV and my experiences as a woman of color with a disability while he’s still in office…. anything’s possible.

 

About Vilissa Thompson, LMSW

Vilissa is the Founder & CEO of Ramp Your Voice!, an organization she created to establish herself as a Disability Rights Consultant & Advocate. Ramp Your Voice! is a prime example of how macro-minded Vilissa truly is, and her determination to leave a giant "tire track mark" on the world.

2 Comments

Leave a Reply