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Announcing the 2019 Disability Rights Storytellers Fellows

by | Nov 15, 2018 | Press Release

November 15, 2018
Contact: Zach Baldwin | 202-521-4310

The American Association of People with Disabilities (AAPD) and Rooted in Rights are proud to announce our two 2019 Disability Rights Storytellers Fellows: Blessitt Shawn Bryant and Daisy Wislar.

The Disability Rights Storytellers Fellowship provides the opportunity for individuals with disabilities to learn and apply skills in digital media storytelling, and to connect with media professionals to prepare for advanced careers in media production, journalism, online advocacy, or digital design. The project combines hands-on training in cutting-edge technologies with a strong foundation in developing each individual’s voice and using story-driven videos in advocacy.

The 2019 Disability Rights Storytellers Fellows are highlighted below:

Blessitt Shawn Bryant

Blessitt Shawn Bryant (pronouns: they/theirs) is a dynamic community organizer and social influencer with a decade-long career in the non-profit advocacy space. Blessitt Shawn’s passion for social justice and community engagement has allowed them to build digital movements for some of the nation’s leading nonprofits and agencies. A Kansas native, Blessitt received their Bachelor of Arts degree in Political Science from Washburn University. Blessitt currently resides in Washington, D.C. where they can often be found hosting brunch and mastering the perfect selfie. They currently serve on the board of the Chocolate City Burlesque and Cabaret Historical Society & National LGBTQ Workers Center.

Daisy Wislar

Daisy Wislar (pronouns: they/them/theirs) is a queer and disability rights activist based in Boston who is passionate about the intersection of sexual rights and disability. They recently graduated from Bowdoin College with a degree in Sociology and Gender, Sexuality, and Women’s Studies, and wrote an award-winning thesis titled “‘What’s it like to be a lesbian with a cane?’: A Story and Study of Queer and Disabled Identities.” They previously interned at the Equal Rights Center in Washington, DC, where they assisted with the organization’s efforts to advance and protect the civil rights of people with disabilities. Daisy has also worked at various non-profit organizations specializing in affordable housing, community development, and food insecurity. When they aren’t working in Boston, they can be found visiting their home states of Maine and New Jersey, drinking too much coffee, and/or making pancakes for dinner.

Throughout the fellowship, Shawn and Daisy will participate in workshops and discussions on the history of disability justice, current policy issues, and the media’s role in the disability rights movement. They will also receive technical training focused on filming technique, script writing, digital storytelling, basic camera composition, and video editing. Ultimately, each fellow will write and film two 3-4 minute videos highlighting different disability rights issues.

The Disability Rights Storytellers Fellowship is supported by WarnerMedia. Learn more about the Disability Rights Storytellers Fellowship and our current fellows at www.aapd.com/storytellers.



The American Association of People with Disabilities (AAPD) is a convener, connector, and catalyst for change, increasing the political and economic power of people with disabilities. As a national cross-disability rights organization, AAPD advocates for full civil rights for the over 56 million Americans with disabilities by promoting equal opportunity, economic power, independent living, and political participation. Learn more at www.aapd.com.

Rooted in Rights produces videos and social media campaigns exclusively on disability rights issues. Our team of filmmakers, writers, designers, and communicators includes the staff at our Seattle office and our extended network of digital Storytellers and bloggers who produce videos and write content from locations around the world. Our social media sites and website are platforms for people with disabilities, disability rights advocates and their allies to learn, connect and organize for change. Learn more at www.rootedinrights.org.