Unstoppable, award-winning advocate since 2013, Charis Hill (they/them) is a disability activist, writer, speaker and model living with Axial Spondyloarthritis (axSpA), Ehlers Danlos Syndrome (EDS), Major Depressive Disorder, Anxiety and Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder, among others. Charis’ multi-tiered work uses narrative engagement to advance social justice for multiply-marginalized disabled people.
Charis’ story has been featured in dozens of publications and media outlets including NPR, Business Insider, Kaiser Health News, WebMD, Mother Jones, the Associated Press, and in the documentary film Becoming Incurable. They have spoken at numerous events including the Sacramento Changemakers TEDx series (2017); the Sacramento Women’s March (2018 & 2020), the Health Advocacy Summit (California, 2019), Galvanize CA by The United State of Women (2019), Broome Library Monthly Recognition Series Autism Month Lecture (2021) and on healthcare panels, press conferences, in legislative hearings, and with members of Congress on Capitol Hill.
In addition to speaking at marches and conferences about ableism and healthcare, Charis regularly assists with translating medical studies and guidelines into plain language documents, conducting patient-centered rheumatological research, forming international criteria for disease treatment outcomes, developing Continuing Medical Education (CME) courses, and creating medical research guidelines. They are consistently involved in national/international advocacy, awareness, and legislative campaigns to improve spondylitis and disability education, funding, and access to treatment. In 2021, Charis worked with Congresswoman Doris Matsui and the Spondylitis Association of America to introduce House Resolution 135 which, if passed, will declare May ‘Spondyloarthritis Awareness Month’.
Charis has modeled in Los Angeles Style Fashion Week and New York Fashion Week and has been featured on the cover of Féroce magazine, Arthritis Today, Spondylitis Plus magazine, and in numerous Sacramento-based magazines.
In 2014 Charis was awarded the Progress in Policy Award by the Arthritis Foundation, Pacific Region for efforts in statewide and national legislative advocacy efforts; and in 2021 recognized as Volunteer of the Year by the Spondylitis Association of America (SAA). They volunteer as member of the SAA advocacy committee and attend professional rheumatology events with the same organization, are a member of the CreakyJoints/Global Healthy Living Foundation (GHLF) Patient Council and COVID-19 Patient Leadership Council, and serve on the Community Council for the National Pain Advocacy Center (NPAC). Charis writes for various media outlets; with bylines on HealthCentral, Healthline, Business Insider, The Mighty, AnkylosingSpondylitis.net, and This AS Life; including cover stories for Arthritis Today and Spondylitis Plus magazine.
Charis graduated in 2009 from Meredith College, magna cum laude, with a BA in Sociology and minors in Psychology and Women’s Studies. When able, they enjoy sewing, cooking, gardening, thrift store shopping, attending Burning Man, and loving three very furry Maine-coon cats (Dora, Juno and Jujoon) and one fluffy part-Ragdoll cat (Madge).
Charis is available for speaking engagements, awareness campaigns, press inquiries, and more.
Reach by email: Charis.Anna.Hill [at] gmail.com
To see Charis in the news, check out the News & Media Mentions page.