Pridefully Disabled Art Activist, Author, Consultant & Community Organizer
“Mentoring makes us stronger in the fight to dismantle The Ableist Society, but it also goes beyond that. Mentoring means I can help create the representation that was non-existent when I was growing up—it means there are more empowered souls showing disabled children that their disability is essential to modern society.”
We are proud to induct Marie Dagenais-Lewis into the Susan Daniels Disability Mentoring Hall of Fame.
Marie Dagenais-Lewis is an artist, community organizer, digital media specialist and the creator behind @r.a.r.e.advoc8. She was born Disabled with a rare disorder called Multiple Hereditary Exostoses, and was the first in her family to be diagnosed. She graduated as a valedictorian of her high school class and within a year later started directing prime time television at the age of 19, where she spent almost 8 years of her career. She started as a production tech but quickly rose up the ranks to be the weekend nightside supervisor at the age of 21.
After experiencing ableism and disability discrimination that rocked her world, she blazed a new trail for herself through disability and anti-ableist advocacy. She creates to dismantle The Ableist Society, her powerful art and storytelling combines to create a force to be reckoned with. Her work explores the complexities of a rare, disabled Neurodivergent experience in an ableist society. She self published her “Chronically Spooky” book series to give others an artsy distraction that made them feel seen and heard while communicating Disabled Culture to someone who doesn’t understand it in a way they can be open to.
On top of her art activism, she is an active community organizer who galvanizes Disabled-centered conversations. She founded the annual grassroots Power in Pride Celebration for Disability Pride Month to amplify pridefully disabled representation through collaborative conversations, and serves as a Content Manager for Diversability. She helps empower and amplify other Disabled advocates, creators and entrepreneurs through the Diversability Leadership Collective, giving them the power and confidence to create their own careers where their Disabled Experience is an asset.