Grady alumna Victoria Inman (ABJ ‘08) recently published her first book, “Spark Acceptance.” It tells stories of exceptional people through photography, aiming to create greater awareness and inclusion about people with disabilities.
The book features photos of over 50 individuals, complemented with words from parents, caregivers and the photo subjects themselves.
“I was touched by every single story in here. I’m so incredibly proud of what we’ve produced,” Inman said.
She wrote the book in collaboration with David Carr, a four time Grammy award-winning musician.
Inman works as a client success director for Jabian Consulting. Outside of her day job, she is a photographer and writes a blog. She lives with her two daughters and husband in Marietta, Georgia.
Turning pain into purpose
Inman hopes her book will spark conversations about inclusivity, but her inspiration for writing it comes from her encounters with exclusivity.
Her daughter is on the autism spectrum, and Inman says she has experienced many unintentional negative and insensitive comments throughout the years.
Inman says comments such as “She doesn’t look like she has autism” and “Are you sure? Because I don’t really see it” degrades her daughter’s diagnosis.
“I knew they had noble intentions with what they were saying, but I just felt in my heart that I’ve got to tell these people what weight the words that they share carry on a person,” Inman said.
These experiences led Inman to write “Spark Acceptance”, a photo book which celebrates people’s differences.
Inman says the spirit of her book is to turn her pain into purpose, giving others with shared experiences a platform on how to connect with people who are different.
“Instead of going up to someone in a wheelchair and saying ‘What’s wrong with you?’, you can present in a way such as ‘Hey, I see that you might need help. How can I help you?’, or ‘Would you mind sharing with me your experience?’”, Inman says.
When asked what the one takeaway she hopes people will have after reading her book, Inman says she hopes people will pivot their behaviors and become more aware of how certain words can hurt, rather than spark acceptance.
“I would just want people to really take in the words of what these people have shared and think twice about what they say.”
Inman notes that her book in no way is meant to shame people for their past comments, but rather, it’s meant to show what it’s like to be a caregiver for someone who’s different.
“Hopefully, this book provides awareness of the different disabilities and the impact that words have,” Inman said.
Mic woman memories
During her time at Grady College, Inman majored in public relations. She was the secretary of PRSSA and she served as a Grady College ambassador.
Outside of her involvement at Grady, Inman started the International Association of Business Communicators (IABC) at UGA, where she served as president.
She made history as the first female mic person for the university.
“Traditionally, this role had always been filled by a guy,” Inman said. “I really didn’t even think they would consider me for it.”
After her roommates, who were cheerleaders, encouraged Inman to try out, she went through a week-long audition process.
“When they posted the team roster and I was on it, I was really shocked and excited.”
Inman says coach Shelly O’Brien made the program more inclusive that season, renaming the title of mic man to mic person.
She stays connected with the university by serving as a council member for the women of UGA Alumni Association.
From the idea to the launch party, “Spark Acceptance” took less than a year to complete. This is Inman’s first book, which is self-published.
“Advice that I have is if you are passionate about something, go and make it happen,” Inman said. “If there’s something that you are passionate about, find a way to step into that.”
More information on Inman’s book, along with a link to purchase, is available on this website.
For more alumni authors, visit this page.