Ramp Your Voice! News

  1. New Things On the Horizon

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    Logo design of the Wheelin’ & Dealin’ podcast

    The blog has been quiet for awhile, and that is due to all that I have been getting into recently.

    First is the new adventure I am on – I am the co-host of the Wheelin’ & Dealin’ podcast, which made its debut on the CSPN network last week.  This podcast is politically-focused, and I am leading it with Neal Carter.  Neal approached me earlier this summer about the idea, and I jumped on the opportunity.  

    Podcasts has become a new fave of mine, especially since I work from home and can listen to commentary while working.  (It is less distracting and more entertaining than television.)  I have wanted to host a podcast for awhile, but was not keen on going at it solo or learning the audio technician needs.  When this opportunity came about, it fit the bill and eliminated the hesitations I had.  

    If you know me well, you will understand that I have an interest in politics, which was influenced by my Grandmother (Big V) growing up.  Having the chance to discuss politics in a way that is relatable is imperative with the times we are living in.  Plus, it allows an intersectional perspective to be inserted within politics, which is grossly missing at the moment.  

    The responses to our premiere episode has been phenomenal, and I am elated to be on this new journey with Neal; he is someone I respect and have the privilege to call a friend.  

    Take a listen to our first episode and access the transcript here:  Premiere Episode.

    You can find the podcast on Twitter @WheelDealPod, and by using the hashtag #WheelDealPod.

    Along with the podcast debut, I have been traveling.  Late July, I attended the NCIL conference for the first time.  While there, I was able to do some work for my team, as well as see some new and familiar faces.  The main reason I attended was with the hope of being elected on the NCIL Board as a Member At-Large.  I was elected to the Board, and am proud to be one of the handful of young people (under 35) to be a part of this entity.  It will be a two-year term, and I am eager to see what impact my voice and presence will make.  

    Photo of the members of the NCIL Board. Image courtesy of Kings Floyd / NCIL

    Earlier in August, I attended the Netroots Nation conference, which is the biggest convening of progressives.  I was on a panel with 3 disabled activists – Rebecca Cokley, Kat Perez, and Mia Ives-Rublee.  Together, we discussed how progressive spaces can be more inclusive to disability issues, advocates, and the issues that exist.  It was amazing to be on this panel and have an engaging crowd.  One of the highlights for me was encouraging a Black disabled woman to run for office in her area and to push back on the feedback that she should hide her disability.  We cannot shrink ourselves to make non-disabled/ableds comfortable, particularly when we represent several intersections.  I plan to keep in contact with this young woman and support her journey in office in whatever capacity I can (#SupportSouthernBlackDisabledWomen).  

    What stood out to me most about Netroots was the vigil and rally I took part in.  We marched in response to what took place in Charlottesville that very weekend.  Our path led us from the hotel to Georgia State Capitol.  As I was wheeling, I thought about all of the marches that occurred before my time, aimed to rid our society of the very ills we were marching about.  It was also humbling to be alongside the legendary Dolores Huerta, who is 87 years old and still making it her mission to fight for our rights.  I recorded the march on Periscope, and have seen a lot of the features about the march on social media.  It was humbling and energizing to be a part of that moment.  

    Image of me marching with Delores Huerta, Kat Perez, and Mia Ives-Rublee. Image courtesy of the Akonadi Foundation.

    When I am not jet-setting or being a part of interviews, I have been working on the upcoming projects for RYV!, that will be launching this fall.  I cannot wait to debut the Patreon page and exclusive content I plan to issue to Patrons.  2017 has been the year of new beginnings in my work, and I am looking to end the year stronger than I could have imagined.

    So… stay tuned for more posts, updates, and action from me.  🙂  

  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.  


  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.  


  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.  


  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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    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.


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

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    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.  


  1. Officially Accepting the Liebster Award!

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    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!  


  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.)