After posting our Position Statement on Mental Illness, I wanted to share this, too.
Personally, I am worried about our society’s tendency to stigmatize and judge those with mental illness, learning disabilities and intellectual disabilities. For disabled people, stigmatizing others is often based in internalized ableism. To help us all with this, I will be adding writing (mine and that of others I respect) about ableism and other forms of discrimination and their intersections. This will include what they are for people personally, what they do and what we can all do about their impact on us all. I hope to add to and honor the already powerful discussion many marginalized people are having about these issues.
I will need some help, though, because I know that as a white person, I experience privilege. I can talk about many things but not through the personal experience of racism, for example. And that is a big thing I want to acknowledge.
If you would like to write for this blog about any discrimination and marginalization you experience,please feel free to contact me. You can do this whether or not you identify as disabled. This organization is meant to welcome everyone.
On that note, there is rightful concern that disability representation and discussion is Too White, and this is something I care about and want to acknowledge.
Villissa Thompson, a Licensed Master Social Worker with a disability, is the founder and CEO of Ramp Your Voice, and the creator of Disability Too White. She is an accomplished macro social worker, consultant, writer, and speaker who presents workshops, conducts research, and spotlights a lot of our issues. While we do similar things as fellow macro social workers, Vilissa speaks from personal experience on the intersection of racism and disability. She has a passion for building and sustaining community and a powerful, needed voice I deeply respect. For more on Vilissa’s work, please visit http://www.rampyourvoice.com