First of Her Name.
She who is fueled by promise and passion.
As an unapologetic, impact-driven innovator at the forefront of intersectional disability culture, Andraéa is powering through the world by reworking the fabric of a culture that was not set up to include her. Aiming to leave nobody behind, she’s helping bridge a divide and paving a path for disabled people not only to survive but to thrive.
A World-Renowned Authority On Disability Culture
Andraéa LaVant is widely recognized as the Impact Producer of Crip Camp: A Disability Revolution, a Netflix-released documentary that has earned awards and nominations from the Oscars, Sundance Film Festival, Independent Spirit Awards, and Peabody Awards. This powerful film about a summer camp for teens with disabilities is executive produced by President Barack Obama and First Lady Michelle Obama. In connection to the film, during the 2021 awards season, Andraéa became the first visibly disabled black woman on the Oscars red carpet.
Beyond the glitz and glamour, Andraéa co-founded 1IN4 Coalition—an intersectional alliance of disabled creatives and executives currently working in Hollywood. The purpose of 1IN4 is to implement long-term institutional shifts to increase employment and authentic representation of disabled people.
Catalyst of Cultural Transformation
She is also a respected community leader who supported White House programs and spoke on issues affecting black women with disabilities; most notably, President Barack Obama’s Disability Roundtable (2013) and the first-ever National African American History Month: Civil Rights for People with Disabilities (2014).
Andraéa is a passionate advocate for disabled black, indigenous and people of color (BIPOC). Not only has she built and managed disability-focused initiatives in the US, she has also traveled internationally, sharing valuable insights to progress disability inclusion across the globe.
At present, she is the founder and president of LaVant Consulting Inc., a social impact communications firm that offers cutting-edge corporate development and content marketing for brands and nonprofits. She and her team have taught brands like Google, Verizon, Microsoft, Adobe, and Netflix how to include disability in their company’s programs and campaigns.
Andraéa is a member of the United Spinal Association Board of Directors, The Kelsey Board of Directors, and in 2021 was inducted into the Susan Daniels Disability Mentoring Hall of Fame.
Andraéa was Made for This
Andraéa was born in Iowa and raised in Kentucky. At age 2, she was diagnosed with spinal muscular atrophy. Following college at Middle Tennessee State University outside of Nashville, she moved to the Washington, DC metro area, where she lived for over a decade.
All of Andraéa’s childhood experiences fueled her desire to become a writer. “My parents did not put any limitations on my dreams,” Andraéa said. Her writing has been published on Essence, Paper Magazine, Ad Age, and The Root, and she’s been featured on NBC News, NY Times, Good Morning America, Rolling Stone, ET Canada, KQED, and Pop Culture Collab.
Andraéa’s health care experiences as an adult have been the impetus for much of her advocacy. Her battles with private and state-funded health care entities have garnered media, state and federal level intervention.
She is also a highly regarded speaker and panelist, and she’s appeared in numerous summits and virtual series, including AdColor Everywhere (AdColor), Microsoft Ability Summit (Microsoft), 21 for ’21: Visions for a Feminist Future (The Meteor + Gucci’s Chime for Change), Twitter Design & Research Women’s Summit: Focus on Careers (Twitter), and Beyond Resilience Series (Firelight Media).
Given her Kentucky roots, Andraéa continues to consider herself semi-Southern, and currently lives outside of Phoenix, AZ.
What is “Diplomatic Shade”?
[noun] A response to a professional contact being wack.
The subtle art of couching shade in so much expert language that the recipient doesn’t realize they’ve been slighted.
Not Your Token
Andraéa is not your token inspiration.
She’s dope at what she does. Her intersectional identities are just a part of the sauce.
Andraéa’s superpower? The ability to see people…all people…as people.
And in her efforts to normalize inclusive cultures where disabled people feel like they belong, she’s guided by the following values:
Contrary to watered-down narratives, people with disabilities are not one-dimensional beings with no passions or interests.
Andraéa strongly believes in the power and freedom that self-expression brings.
A major step forward in challenging long-held societal beliefs and interrupting the cycle of exclusion is by staying true to who you are.
Andraéa refuses to shoehorn herself into a form that is not her own in order to be accepted.
Create a welcome space for disabled people and make the world see that every BODY is beautiful.
Andraéa is not asking for exclusive treatment. She’s unapologetically reshaping the way culture is created, delivered, and seen.
Visibilize disability from a cultural perspective
Andraéa is not here to overcome her disability. She’s here to disrupt an exclusionary culture. Her life’s work is to create a culture for ALL. One where every BODY feels seen, valued, and knows they belong.