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. 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, the Associated Press, and in the documentary film Becoming Incurable.
In addition to speaking during marches, conferences and press conferences about ableism and healthcare; Charis works on projects to educate medical practitioners (including being CME faculty), translate medical studies and guidelines into plain language documents, and create and conduct research. They are consistently involved in advocacy, awareness and legislative campaigns to improve spondyloarthritis 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 to 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 and Spondylitis Plus magazine.
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 Advocacy Volunteer of the Year by the Spondylitis Association of America (SAA). They volunteer as member of the SAA advocacy committee, the CreakyJoints/Global Healthy Living Foundation (GHLF) Patient Council and COVID-19 Patient Leadership Council and the Community Council for the National Pain Advocacy Center (NPAC). Charis writes for various media outlets; with bylines on HealthCentral Business Insider, GHLF/CreakyJoints, 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 gardening and loving their four cats.