Ramp Your Voice! News

  1. 4 Years Going Strong:  RYV! Anniversary Reflection

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    Image description: Top of a chocolate cake with candles lit. Candles are curved and multi-colored.

    Image description: Top of a chocolate cake with candles lit. Candles are curved and multi-colored.

    Today marks the fourth anniversary of Ramp Your Voice!  The past year has been filled with so many opportunities, connections, partnerships, and articles that has resonated with individuals within and outside of the disabled community.  

    As Ramp Your Voice! matures, I also mature, particularly for my vision and the impact I want to make with my work.  What I started out wanting to do 4 years ago has vastly changed, and I am working diligently to bring these new ideas to life.  

    Some of the changes that has occurred in the last year has been the services I offer.  I am pushing forward the skills I realized I enjoy doing:  presenting, public speaking, consulting, and writing.  My focus has also become more centered on the experiences of Black disabled women and discussing intersectionality.  These two areas are ones that has been attached to my work and voice, and I enjoy finding new ways and audiences to bring these issues to the forefront.  

    What is next for RYV! as it enters into its fourth year?  Here are a few things I’ll be working on:  

    • Creating a series that gives Black women the space to discuss their lives and the systemic barriers they endure.  As I connect with Black women, those who identify as disabled, those who are not disabled, or do not self-identify, I realize that we encounter barriers that impedes us and our ability to thrive and prosper.  The purpose of this series will allow Black women who identify as disabled and those who do not to discuss the unique challenges of being Black women across the diaspora.  I am currently working hard to schedule these interviews and I have a modestly growing list of women who has either agreed to be a part of this and/or I plan to approach over the next few months.  I am hoping to launch this series early Fall, so be on the watch for that.  
    • I am still working on the #DisabilityTooWhite project, and hope to launch that by the end of the year.  
    • I plan to create a Patreon page that will support the aforementioned series and project, as well as create original content for Patrons.  
    • Upcoming new website design.  I love the current layout, but with there being over 200 articles on the blog, it is time for an upgrade.  I want my writings to be easier to find and spotlight some of the most read resources and posts over the years.
    • I will be a co-host for a podcast that is currently in the works.  I cannot say much now, but this is a great way to get my voice to a new audience and a new opportunity for RYV! to be visible.  The launch is coming up soon, and I will write a post about the podcast to celebrate this new adventure for me.  
    • Budding partnerships with advocates and organizations.  Again, I am very fortunate to have upcoming projects and interactions that I will share about when they come to life.  Some of the people and entities I will be working with are those I greatly respect and am eager about the work we will be creating.  
    • More marketing of RYV! services. I really am looking to provide the services I have to interested individuals and organizations who can benefit the most.  
    • Lastly, I plan to move to Charlotte, NC in 2018.  This is a change from my original desire to move to Washington, D.C., but I feel that the budding advocacy scene in Charlotte will afford me the community outreach work I want to do with my brand and with my education.  

    Sometimes I sit back and am amazed at the reach and reaction to RYV!, and all that I have done thus far.  I look forward to seeing how this platform grows, and the new experiences I have yet to embark on.  Every day, I am fortunate to do what I love, and to have found my passion as a young adult.  And most importantly, I appreciate the support bestowed upon me each and every day from those of you who have been there for me along the journey.  

    I am truly excited for what is in store during the fourth year of RYV!’s existence.  I hope you are too.  

    (Featured headlining image:  Courtesy of Pixabay.)

  1. The Hashtagversary of #DisabilityTooWhite

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    Image of a drawn character in a wheelchair wearing a cone party hat against a solid black background. To the right of the character reads the words: "It's a hashtagversary!" Underneath the character reads the words: "#DisabilityTooWhite"

    Today is the hashtagversary (hashtag anniversary) of #DisabilityTooWhite.  I cannot believe it has been a year since the hashtag went viral, and how it changed my life and the dialogue in the community.  

    It still astounds me that something I created from an impassioned reaction to an article stirred up so much conversation and controversy.  The hashtag forced me, and others, to discuss the elephant in the room – the racism, invisibility, erasure, lack of representation, and othering of disabled people of color.  Our community can no longer feign that we do not recognize the inequality that exists within; the hashtag has the “receipts” of the injustices enacted on those of us multiple-marginalized.  The hashtag allowed people to understand that they are not alone in how they have been mistreated, abused, and ostracized in the community.  That realization validated their feelings and experiences, which was a powerful confirmation so many received.  

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  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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  1. Celebrating the 3rd Anniversary of Ramp Your Voice!

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    RYV Turns 3

    WINNSBORO, SC (July 19th, 2016) – Today marks the 3rd anniversary of the establishment of Ramp Your Voice!  I am tremendously proud of the progress and reach the platform has accomplished in the last year, especially within the past 6 months alone.  Some of the milestones reached I did not think could happen so soon, but I am very proud of what has transpired for the brand, and for myself.   (more…)

  1. #WOCwD Matter!: My Presentation about Women of Color with Disabilities at the SC-NASW Spring Symposium

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    IMG_2476

    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.

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  1. Top 5 for 2015: Ramp Your Voice! Blog Articles to Review

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    TMG0QUW3BN

    The Ramp Your Voice! blog experienced well-received responses and popularity in 2015.  This year alone, the website had a total of 29,725 views (and counting!), which is a huge jump from 9,446 views in 2014.  The website broke its record twice for the number of views in one day, with the standing record being 470 views that took place on October 20th, 2015.  These incredible numbers let’s me know that the content shared are needed and sought after by those interested in learning and understanding more about the disabled experience.  

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  1. Officially Accepting the Liebster Award!

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    liebster-5

    I was nominated for the Liebster Award!  I was very surprised to have received an email stating that I was nominated by a fellow social worker blogger!

    I have to give thanks to Jodi Nelan, who is a new and upcoming blogger and fellow social worker.  Jodi is a Licensed Clinical Social Worker (LCSW) who has changed gears from being in mental health to breaking into international social work.  She is using her blog, The International Social Worker, to blend these two worlds in raising awareness about mental health trends and matters in other countries.  Being a Macro Social Worker myself, I love to find other macro-focused colleagues who are blending their passions and making a name for themselves within the field.  

    I was very appreciative that Jodi believed that my blog was one of the eleven she chosen for this honor – I cannot thank her enough for her kindness and support!  

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  1. Ain’t I A Girl/Woman, Too? My Presentation on the Sexuality & Womanhood of Disabled Females at SC Campaign

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    RYV-PPT Presentation Cover-2

    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 Workshop Screenshot

    Presentation summary for Summer Institute.  (Click image to enlarge for better view.)

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  1. Celebrating 100 Disability-Focused Articles & Counting on the RYV! Blog!

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    Centenarian birthday candles spell out '100'

    I cannot believe we reached an incredible milestone recently – 100 disability-focused articles on the blog!  I never thought that this moment would come before the upcoming two-year anniversary of RYV!’s founding in July.  It feels wonderful to have achieved this disability writing benchmark, and I am overjoyed in celebrating and sharing my enthusiasm.

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