Vilissa Thompson is a Licensed Master Social Worker (LMSW) from Winnsboro, SC. Vilissa is the Founder & CEO of Ramp Your Voice!, an organization focused on promoting self-advocacy and strengthening empowerment among people with disabilities. Being a Disability Rights Consultant, Writer, & Activist affords Vilissa the opportunity to be a prominent leader and expert in addressing and educating the public and political figures about the plight of people with disabilities, especially Black women and femmes with disabilities.
She created the #DisabilityTooWhite viral hashtag in 2016 that addressed the lack of diversity within the disability community, and how a lack of representation impacts disabled people of color and their ability to feel fully included and accepted within the community. Demanding that diverse disabled experiences be seen within media and the collective community is a mission for Vilissa’s activism focus, and she seeks to make this a permanent reality.
She has been featured in ESSENCE for its “Woke 100 Women” 2018 list; spoke about her entrepreneurship and activism work for Forbes; invited to be a panelist for the Know Her Truths conference at Wake Forest University; and appeared in Huffington Post, NY Times, Buzzfeed, Bitch Media, Upworthy, Daily Dot, Daily Beast, and The Atlantic. In addition to her activism, she co-hosts the Wheelin’ & Dealin’ podcast, which dissects politics from an intersectional lens.
Everything she does revolves around being unapologetically herself – Black, disabled, and making good trouble to shake up the status quo.
TOPICS: Disabilities, Activism, Policy, Media