Archive: Dec 2016

  1. Top 10 for 2016: Ramp Your Voice!’s Year in Review

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    This year has been one where the Ramp Your Voice!’s blog broke its pageviews record by having 76,809 views, which is over double that seen last year (which was almost 30,000).  In keeping with record-shattering trends, the blog had 1,148 views in one day on February 4th, which beat last year’s record of 470.  This was also the year where the blog has become the space where I have expressed my unapologetic disabled Blackness.  I am so proud that I wrote many articles that targeted the Black disabled experience, and the effects and presence of white privilege and racism in our community,  2016 was when I felt comfortable in writing about what mattered to me without fearing being pigeon-holed by those within and outside of our community.  

    As I did last year, I want to highlight the articles that received the most views and shares in 2016.  These works are some of my best features; a lot of my advocacy passions were evident in 2016.  It is a humbling moment when readers respect your voice, understand the emotions that are present, and support what you do fervently.  

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  2. The Woodland Hills High School-to-Prison Pipeline

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    Image of a group of protestors outside of a school building holding signs to show solidarity to the injustice committed to a disabled student.

    The intersection of race and disability is often ignored when we discuss the injustices that disadvantage disabled students of color within our schools.  This oversight can mean grave consequences to students who live within these margins.  The school-to-prison pipeline disproportionately impacts disabled students of color (especially Black disabled students), yet very few are addressing what occurs in our schools; a recent incident in Pittsburgh caught my attention as being yet another example of how we are failing to advocate for and protect Black disabled students.  

    On Twitter, disability rights advocate Dustin Gibson shared details about a Black disabled student at Woodland Hills High being victimized and dehumanized by his principal.  Dustin is a revolutionary in training in Pittsburgh that has centered his identity as a Black man with bipolar disorder in his work.  He builds with people impacted by systems both locally and nationally.  Organizing with the perspective that the people closest to the impact are closest to the solution, many of his efforts are grassroot.  

    I asked Dustin if he would tell the story of the Woodland Hills incident, the connections between racism and ableism, and why Black disabled lives matter.  Here are his words:  

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  3. Living in Trump’s America: Thoughts From a Black Disabled Woman

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    It has been a month since the Presidential election, and the dust still has not settled from the shock of Donald Trump winning the coveted seat or the demand for recounts of votes.

    It took me some time to find the words to articulate the reality that I will live in a Trump-led America come January.  This is the America that has no regard for human dignity, empathy, or compassion.  This is the America that we have tried so hard to deny that existed by erroneously stating that we lived in a post-racial society after electing our first Black president.  This is the America that those who are multi-marginalized like myself live in every day, and such realities will only get harsher as officials are appointed who actively support every type of bigotry and offense there is.  

    I was asked by Nora Whelan, a writer for Buzzfeed, to share my thoughts about a Trump presidency as a disabled person, and the grave consequences for our community.  I know that many of us are still gathering our words, but I must continue to use my voice to speak the truth, and remain steadfast in the work that will lie ahead for us all.

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