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Disability rights activist, Melissa Shang joined host, Alyse Nelson, for a special International Youth Day discussion on advocacy and the power of young voices.

Born with a form of muscular dystrophy called Charcot-Marie-Tooth, Melissa has worked throughout her young-adult life to incorporate anti-ableist conversation into popular discourse. In this enlightening conversation, Melissa and Alyse discuss the path to activism and importance of representation in youth popular culture, the impact that the Covid 19 Pandemic has had on the disabled community, the importance of Gen Z’s activist upbringing, and how we can all be better allies to the disabled community. At such a young age, Melissa is already a truly inspirational leader whose empathy and strength she continues to use as her power to empower others.

Melissa is a former Vital Voices HerLead fellow and recently, was included in a series of portraits celebrating Asian American women. You can see her portrait on the new Vital Voices building in Washington, DC.

Listen to the episode: