I took a hiatus this month from blogging to prepare and attend the National Association of Black Social Workers (NABSW) conference in National Harbor, Maryland. It was the first time I attended the conference, as well as presented about #DisabilityTooWhite to my social work colleagues. I was ecstatic to attend a conference where I would be surrounded by melanin, and it was the spiritual and emotional rejuvenation I needed.
On November 5th, I conducted my first presentation about the #DisabilityTooWhite hashtag and ways White disabled advocates can step up and address the over-whiteness matter within the community at the Disability and Intersectionality Summit in Boston, Massachusetts. It was the first non-social work/helping professional presentation I gave, as well as the first summit I attended that focused exclusively on the disabled experience. In Boston, I had the incredible opportunity to meet fellow disabled advocates and friends that I absolutely respect and appreciate. It was my first time in Boston (and the northernmost I have travelled), and thoroughly enjoyed myself.
Last week, I attended the SC-NASW 2016 Spring Symposium in Columbia, SC, and was a presenter at the conference. This year’s theme, “Our State in Crisis: Social Work Forging Solutions,” touched on many emotional and controversial subject matters that affected the Palmetto State within the last year. Presentation topics and panel discussions ranged from racism, colorblindness, domestic violence, politics, the flood relief efforts that occurred in the state in October 2015, advocacy efforts on the state and national levels, and a host of other issues that were important for helping professionals to be aware of and learn how they could be a part of the change needed to push our state and profession forward.
My presentation was one of a few that touched on racial issues, and why the disparities should be on the minds of social workers, and what can be done to eradicate the inequalities. I was quite stunned that SC-NASW would host such sensitive topics, but with all of the racially-charged events that occurred in South Carolina in 2015, it was not surprising that racism and race relations would be spotlighted in some way, shape, or form.
Last week, I had the incredible opportunity of presenting a workshop on the sexuality and womanhood of disabled females at the SC Campaign to Prevent Teen Pregnancy’s 2015 Summer Institute. This was a first on many levels: my first time attending the Summer Institute, and my first time presenting on the topic about disabled teen girls and young women. I was undeniably nervous and eager to fulfill these new experiences, and I had hoped that both would be worthwhile.
Presentation summary for Summer Institute. (Click image to enlarge for better view.)
Last week, I had the incredible opportunity to discuss the plight of people with disabilities, and the importance of advocacy for Social Work Month 2014. I was a presenter at the 2014 NASW-SC Chapter Spring Symposium in Columbia, SC. Social Work Month is observed during the month of March, and each year has a selected theme. This year’s theme is: “All People Matter,” and from the various presentation topics that were selected, that theme was very alive and well throughout the 3 days of the conference.
Important Disability-Related Videos You Should Watch
Here's the Out of Step's TOOST Radio interview I participated in as a panelist on Nov. 6th, 2013. During the interview, I discussed my personal & professional viewpoints about the choice of discussing disability status while seeking employment opportunities. The part that I'm featured begins 15:29 minutes into the interview.
In this video, Beyoncé helps Kid President with World Humanitarian Day 2013. The Kid President has OI like I do. I think that his messages are ones that all walks of life & ages can learn from. I'm so jealous that he met one of my idols & favorite music performers, Beyoncé! I wanted to share with you all the interview the Kid President did with Beyoncé for World Humanitarian Day, which was August 19th, 2013.