​Black Lives Living with Paralysis: Reeve Summit Panel Explores Intersectionality of Race, Disability

Posted by Reeve Staff in Daily Dose on March 05, 2021 # Reeve Summit

Black Lives Living with Paralysis: Reeve Summit Panel Explores Intersectionality of Race, Disability

The Black Lives Matter movement has shone a light on racial injustices in America and worldwide at the same time that a global pandemic has exacerbated the inequities. These parallel crises underscore the intersectionality of disability and race, topics that are not always openly discussed in disability communities. Leading Black voices living with paralysis will take them on in a virtual panel at the Reeve Summit 2021. “Black Lives Living with Paralysis: A Conversation” features moderator Tatiana Lee of RespectAbility in discussion with Lolo Spencer, Garrison Redd, and the Consortium for Citizens with Disabilities (CCD), the largest coalition of national organizations working together to advocate for people with disabilities at the federal level, will also participate in this panel on Tuesday, April 27, 2021.


How Does Race Change the Experience of Living with Paralysis?

The panelists will unpack the question of how one’s race changes the experience of living with paralysis. Is disability different for people of color? Do others perceive it differently? How does race impact access to disability resources and healthcare? What is needed to empower BIPOC with the tools they need to achieve their full potential regardless of ethnicity or disability? How can we turn conversations into change and advocacy into action?

‘Black & Disabled’ Voices Model a New Narrative to Highlight Accessibility and Inclusion

Panel moderator Tatiana Lee is an award-winning actress, international model, and Hollywood influencer. She serves as a Hollywood Inclusion Associate at RespectAbility, a nonprofit organization whose mission is to fight stigmas and advance opportunities so people with disabilities can fully participate in all aspects of their community. She is the voice behind the Accessible Hollywood brand, highlighting her journey as an actress, model and lifestyle influencer born with Spina Bifida.

Lolo Spencer is a disability lifestyle influencer, Indie Spirit Award-nominated actress, model, and public speaker. Her YouTube channel, “Sitting Pretty,” highlights the everyday challenges of living with paralysis. Her weekly Instagram show, “The New Narrative,” features guests with disabilities who are showing up differently to create a new narrative for the disability community. Spencer exemplifies this credo in her own work, which includes a starring role in the award-winning Cannes- and Sundance-premiered film Give Me Liberty. RogerEbert.com lauded her role as Tracy Holmes as a top performance among 2019 Sundance films.

Garrison Redd is an author, TEDx Speaker, Team USA para-powerlifter, model, dancer, influencer, and -- most of all -- advocate for disabled rights. He was 17 when a random gunshot left him with a T12 incomplete spinal cord injury. He later founded the nonprofit Garrison Redd Project with the singular goal of making the world more inclusive. His children’s book, “Bobby’s Adventure at A New School,” illustrates the challenges children with disabilities face. A Team USA powerlifter who can bench-press twice his weight, Redd has his sights set on a gold medal at the upcoming World Championships and a qualifying spot at the next Paralympic Games.

The Christopher & Dana Reeve Foundation presents the second annual Reeve Summit 2021: Where Care, Cure and Community Connect. The Reeve Summit will be a virtual conference from April 27-29, 2021.

The National Paralysis Resource Center website is supported by the Administration for Community Living (ACL), U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) as part of a financial assistance award totaling $8,700,000 with 100 percent funding by ACL/HHS. The contents are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily represent the official views of, nor an endorsement, by ACL/HHS, or the U.S. Government.