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Tune in to episode 11 of the Disability Inclusion: Required podcast.

Reflections on Ableism, Anti-Blackness, and Honoring Black Disabled Ancestors: A Conversation with Olivia Williams and Dr. Sami Schalk

In this episode of Disability Inclusion: Required, the Forum’s Senior Program and Communications Associate, Olivia Williams, takes the mic as host. She’s joined by Dr. Sami Schalk, associate professor in the Department of Gender & Women’s Studies at UW-Madison and author of Black Disability Politics. Olivia and Dr. Schalk’s wide-ranging, in-depth conversation covers the connections between ableism and anti-Blackness, shines a spotlight on historical and contemporary Black disabled activism, and uplifts why it’s essential to fund the groundbreaking work of Black disabled folks.

Our podcast theme music is by Andre Louis and Precious Perez. Thank you to Recording Artists And Music Professionals With Disabilities (RAMPD) for connecting these talented disabled musicians with the Disability & Philanthropy Forum.

Click here for a transcript of this episode.

Click here to tune into other episodes of Disability Inclusion: Required.

Featured Guests

Olivia Williams – Guest Host

Olivia Williams is the Senior Program and Communications Associate for the Disability & Philanthropy Forum. She is a published writer who has executed content creation and communications strategy for the Ewing M. Kauffman Foundation and the Greater Kansas City Community Foundation. Her demonstrated passion for disability justice includes her role with her university’s Disability Resources Center and the seminar courses she participated in that centered local disabled community members. She is excited to insert the lenses of race, LGBTQIA+ identities, and socioeconomic status into the Forum’s mobilization toward disability inclusion, rights, and justice in the philanthropy sector.

Dr. Sami Schalk is a Black person with curly hair in a bun, wearing glasses, a silver necklace, and a blue dress.

Dr. Sami Schalk

Dr. Sami Schalk (she/her) is an Associate Professor of Gender and Women’s Studies at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. She earned her BA in English (Creative Writing) and Women’s Studies from Miami University, her MFA in Creative Writing (Poetry) from the University of Notre Dame, and her PhD in Gender Studies from Indiana University.

Dr. Schalk’s interdisciplinary research focuses broadly on disability, race, and gender in contemporary American literature and culture. She has published on literature, film, and material culture in a variety of peer-reviewed humanities journals. She identifies as a fat, Black, queer, disabled femme and a pleasure activist.