On July 2nd, 1985, Tameka Citchen-Spruce at 6 months old, she was involved in a horrific car accident that left her paralyzed from mid-chest down. Growing up as a black, young woman with a physical disability hasn't been easy learning to love herself. However, based on her experiences, she has developed a strong passion for disability advocacy and media. It started at 21 years old, as Ms. Wheelchair MI 2006. As Ms. Wheelchair MI, she spoke out about supporting women with disabilities who are being abused. Two years later she formed Women Empower Inc, its mission was to empower women with disabilities to live their best lives. Later she studied Broadcast Television and graduated with a bachelor's degree in Journalism from Oakland University.
Because of the combination of her journalism knowledge, and activism she learned the importance of telling a person's story. Her short film, Justifiable Homicide, has been nominated and won an award and her My Girl Story documentary has been selected for film festivals.
Besides her film accomplishments, currently, she's the Co-Director of LEAD, a leadership development program for BIPOC disabled individuals and their parents for the Michigan Disability Rights Coalition. And she volunteers for Warriors on Wheels of Metro Detroit working on criminal justice reform for people with disabilities.
She have been selected for wonderful fellowships such as, Americorp, Public Allies of Metro Detroit, and Detroit Equity Action Lab at Judge Damon Keith’s Wayne State University Law Center. She was selected to be Disability Delegate at the Congressional Black Caucus Legislative Conference. And she is a proud member of the National Black Disability Coalition.
Both professionally and personally she sees the connection between race, gender, and disability. She read the statistics, heard the stories, and experienced the barriers that exist in her community. She seeks to advocate, educate, and create media representation of the BIPOC and disability communities in thought-provoking ways, unapologetic and engaging ways.
Another important role of Tameka’s life is being a wife and mother of two children.