Ramp Your Voice! News

  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.  

    For me, the hashtag solidified the need to bring to light the conversations had in the dark.  We discuss problematic people and organizations in the community to each other privately, but rarely do so in public.  One thing I have noticed is the rising of the call out culture in the community.  Calling out individuals and spaces that exclude and harm disabled people of color, and demanding that the wrongs be known throughout the community, have been more prominent.  For far too long, the “good ole boys and girls” culture has permeated our community to the point where it is detrimental to progressing the movement further.  It is now that we can redefine how the community and movement looks and operates; this hashtag is one way to force a take back from the grips of the status quo.

    I am very proud of how the hashtag has been used by the community to recognize when representation becomes one-sided in whose stories and voices dominate.  This hashtag has taken on a life that goes beyond social media.  I find great joy in learning how fellow advocates have mentioned the hashtag in their work, and introduce others to the meaning attached to it.  The dialogues that has been established will continue, hopefully to the point where we will no longer need the hashtag.  

    For me, I plan to take the hashtag beyond social media.  I am working on a project that I hope to release by late summer/early fall that targets the ignorance surrounding intersectionality in our community and the need for disabled Whites to be equip in addressing and fighting against racism, using their privileges, and being better accomplices/co-conspirators/allies to disabled people of color.  I am very excited of what I am developing, and looking forward in continuing my work in a new way so that our community can be a safer, more inclusive environment.

    I thank each of you for supporting the hashtag and my work this past year.  I have solidified my undeclared title of “making the good trouble” because of my relentless nature of saying what is needed and not standing down from the truth.  

    For the hashtagversary, I will be doing several interviews about what the hashtag means to me and how it has shaped the community.  I will be updating this page with links to those interviews, so keep a close watch for those media bites.  

    Again, I appreciate and am humbled that this hashtag has made waves and touched so many.  Your support is priceless to me, and I am grateful for the kind, uplifting words you all bestow upon me so freely.  Thank you.  

    (Featured headlining image:  Courtesy of Mike Mort.)

  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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  1. Ramp Your Voice!’s Official Call for Submissions for the Disability Anthology #IAmAble!

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    Anthology Image

    IMPORTANT UPDATE:  The anthology has been expanded to receive submissions for the 2016 year.  The new submission deadline is December 31, 2016.  

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    WINNSBORO, SC (Feb. 24, 2015) – Today marks the official call for submissions for the new disability anthology, #IAmAble!  This is a project that I have been working on for several months, and with the talents of the graphic design intern that has joined the RYV! camp, an eye-catching visual for the anthology has been developed.

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