Ola Ojewumi

Ola in the News


News Appearances

Ola has served as a political commentator on PBS, Democracy Now, CSPAN, and in a number of print interviews. Please click the videos below to watch her interviews with ABC News, CBS, and other media outlets.


Democracy Now - PBS

“Disability activists across the nation are staging historic protests in Washington, D.C., and other cities to fight efforts to strip healthcare from tens of millions of people. “



 ”House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-CA), along with some of her colleagues, held a news conference on the sixth anniversary of the Supreme Court ruling that upheld the Affordable Care Act.'“

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“And breaking barriers is not unfamiliar to the 26-year-old. In college she completed seven internships to ensure that nobody could shut her down -- but despite all of her hard work and persistence, getting a shot still proved to be very challenging.”



“Donald Trump and others that support the repeal of ACA don’t understand what it means to have medication that costs $2,000 for 30 days,” said Ola Ojewumi, who is a cancer survivor, and a recipient of a heart and kidney transplant.”


“As President Trump calls on Congress to address the “imploding Obamacare disaster,” we speak with Ola Ojewumi, a disabled 26-year-old community activist who attended Trump’s speech this week as a guest of Maryland Rep. Steny Hoyer, as someone affected by the Affordable Care Act.”


Press Releases

For all press and media inquires email ola@olaojewumi.com

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Whip Hoyer Announces #TrumpCareStories

For Immediate Release:

June 20, 2017

Contact Info:

Mariel Saez 202-225-3130

WASHINGTON, DC – House Democratic Whip Steny H. Hoyer (D-MD) announced today the launch of a new video series, titled “TrumpCare Stories: Americans Talk to Congress About Health Care.” As Senate Republicans draft in secret their TrumpCare bill that could take health care coverage away from millions of Americans and raise costs for millions more, Americans across the country are telling their stories of how repealing the Affordable Care Act and replacing it with TrumpCare would be harmful to them and their families. Americans are encouraged to share their stories on Facebook using #TrumpCareStories.

In the first two videos, Hoyer interviews two Maryland residents, Ola Ojewumi and Megan Foley, about how the Affordable Care Act has helped them, and what they would lose under TrumpCare.

“As Senate Republicans write their TrumpCare bill without letting anyone see it or debate it, it’s important to hear directly from Americans who will be harmed by this effort to repeal the Affordable Care Act,” said Whip Hoyer. “Millions of Americans will lose their coverage, and millions more will see their premiums increase. Senate Republicans should think about these real-world impacts. I would hope that hearing these stories would lead Senate Republicans to end their efforts to repeal the ACA, and instead work with Democrats to strengthen it and ensure that it works for all Americans.”

Ola received heart and kidney transplants as a child, is a cancer survivor, and requires the use of a wheelchair. Under TrumpCare, insurance companies can once again discriminate against individuals with pre-existing conditions. Health insurance could become so expensive for Americans like Ola that they would lose coverage – or go bankrupt.

Megan struggled with mental health conditions and substance abuse. After completing a treatment program that allowed her to get sober and healthy, Megan was denied coverage because her history of mental health issues and addiction were consider pre-existing conditions. Once the Affordable Care Act went into effect, she was able to get health care coverage and continue her treatment. This coverage would be at risk under TrumpCare.

You can view Ola’s story here, and Megan’s story here.



For Immediate Release: March 1, 2017


Washington, DC -- Tonight President Donald Trump addressed the joint session of Congress, stating his administration wants to “work with members in both parties to… invest in women’s health.”

Cecile Richards, President of Planned Parenthood Federation of America, issued the following statement:

“If this Administration and Congress want to invest in women’s health, they should listen to women. All across the country, women have spent the last week telling members of Congress they don’t want access to birth control and cancer screenings taken away. Investing in women’s health means ensuring all women have access to affordable, quality care -- that includes a full range of reproductive health care and the ability to make decisions about their health and their lives without the interference of politicians. That includes the decision about whether or not to have an abortion.

“Investing in women’s health means ensuring women have the ability to choose a health care provider that meets their needs. It does not mean eliminating the Affordable Care Act, which has enabled 55 million women to access no-copay birth control and is directly tied to our nation’s 30 year low for unintended pregnancy. Investing in women’s health absolutely does not mean preventing women from turning to Planned Parenthood for basic health care.

“Access to health care is fundamental to any person’s overall health and wellbeing. We know what happens when communities that already face barriers in accessing care are driven further into the shadows by policies designed to sow fear among them — they forsake the care they need to preserve their own safety. Planned Parenthood opposes forcing immigrants, Muslims, and people of color to live in fear.

“Yet, tonight, this Administration reaffirmed its agenda to increase harsh immigration enforcement efforts, impose faith- and nationalization-based restrictions on refugees seeking to enter the US designed to target Muslims, and target Black communities with unjust proposals.

“Reproductive freedom will never be achieved until all communities have access to quality education, economic opportunity, the ability to migrate with dignity, and can live without fear of deportation or systemic violence.

“Planned Parenthood health centers are proud to provide high-quality care to everyone regardless of race, gender, country of origin, faith, immigrant and refugee status, or to those who may otherwise have nowhere else to turn for health care. Planned Parenthood will continue to listen to women and families, and our doors will remain open, no matter what.”

Tonight, Jennifer Frizzell, Vice President for Public Policy of Planned Parenthood of Northern New England,attended the joint session as a guest of Senator Jeanne Shaheen (D-NH). Ruth-Ellen Blodgett, President & CEO of Planned Parenthood Mid-Hudson Valley,attended as a guest of Representative Sean Patrick Maloney. Representative Steny Hoyer (D-MD)brought Ola Ojewumi, a community organizer and Planned Parenthood patient and supporter who was able to receive lifesaving medical care thanks to the Affordable Care Act.

Tomorrow Planned Parenthood patient Ola Ojewumi, Ruth-Ellen Blodgett and Jennifer Frizzell will join 150 Planned Parenthood patients and providers from across the country that will travel to Washington, D.C. this week. These advocates will hold over 200 meetings with members of Congress to share their personal stories and highlight the devastating consequences that ‘defunding’ Planned Parenthood would create for their communities.

NOTE: On Wednesday, March 1, at 11 a.m. ET, Planned Parenthood will hold a press conference on Capitol Hill to highlight the “We Are Planned Parenthood” Capitol Takeover Day. 150 Planned Parenthood patients and providers from across the country will travel to Washington, DC, to share their personal stories with Members of Congress through over 200 meetings and highlight the devastating consequences that ‘defunding’ Planned Parenthood would create for their communities.


Planned Parenthood is the nation’s leading provider and advocate of high-quality, affordable health care for women, men, and young people, as well as the nation’s largest provider of sex education. With over 650 health centers across the country, Planned Parenthood organizations serve all patients with care and compassion, with respect and without judgment. Through health centers, programs in schools and communities, and online resources, Planned Parenthood is a trusted source of reliable health information that allows people to make informed health decisions. We do all this because we care passionately about helping people lead healthier lives.


Planned Parenthood Federation of America


Planned Parenthood Federation of America media office: 212-261-4433


February 28, 2017

Announcing the 2017 AAPD Paul G. Hearne Leadership Award Recipients

For Immediate Release
January 11, 2017

Contact: Zach Baldwin
Phone: 202-521-4310

Through the AAPD Paul G. Hearne Leadership Awards, the American Association of People with Disabilities (AAPD) recognizes outstanding emerging leaders with disabilities who exemplify leadership, advocacy, and dedication to the broader cross-disability community. Two individuals each receive $2,500 in recognition of their outstanding contributions and $7,500 to further a new or existing initiative that increases the political and economic power of people with disabilities.

AAPD is proud to announce Ola Ojewumi and Katherine Perez as the recipients of the 2017 AAPD Paul G. Hearne Leadership Awards.

Ola Ojewumi

Ola Ojewumi, 2017 AAPD Paul G. Hearne Leadership Award recipient

Founder, Project ASCEND
Founder, Sacred Hearts Children’s Transplant Foundation

Ola Ojewumi is an activist, journalist, and a community organizer based in Washington, DC. She founded two nonprofits, Sacred Hearts Children’s Transplant Foundation and Project ASCEND. These organizations provide college scholarships to low-income students, funding for women’s education programs, support for global mentorship groups and literacy programs, and distributes teddy bears and books to children awaiting organ transplants across the United States. These initiatives have reached hundreds of young people living in Washington, D.C., West Africa, and Central America.

Ola initiated these charitable efforts after receiving a lifesaving heart and kidney transplant, which inspired her to begin giving back to her community. The Clinton Global Initiative, MTV, Intel, Glamour Magazine, and The Huffington Post have praised her initiatives. Presently, she works as a contract specialist for the federal government and works as a freelancer having written for CNN and The Huffington Post. In addition, she’s served on boards for nonprofit organizations created by General Colin Powell and musician Lady Gaga. As an advocate, she has advised the Obama Administration on policies to advance the lives of people living with disabilities and held internships in the White House and with Leader Nancy Pelosi, the Democratic National Committee, and Congressman Albert R. Wynn. Her overall aspiration is to use public policy, journalism, and activism to change the world for disadvantaged populations.

Project ASCEND is a 501(c)3 non-profit organization that sponsors college scholarship and community grant programs that equip youth with civic engagement opportunities. Project ASCEND was founded in 2011; our mission is to create higher education opportunities for marginalized and disadvantaged young people across the globe. We provide college scholarships to low-income and disabled youth, funding for women’s education programs, support for mentorship groups and literacy programs. Our initiatives have reached hundreds of young people living in Washington, D.C., West Africa, and Central America.


2015 Advocates in Disability Award Winner Announced


Social activist dedicated to advancing disability rights honored by national program

Washington, D.C. (June 11, 2015) – The HSC Foundation and Mitsubishi Electric America Foundation announce that Odunola Ojewumi is the 2015 recipient of the Advocates in Disability Award. A native of Beltsville, Md., Odunola, 25, is a strong advocate for young people with disabilities, particularly on the importance of equal access to quality education and improved public policy to advance disability rights. Diagnosed with mitochondrial disease and the recipient of both a heart and kidney transplant, Odunola’s advocacy work began in high school when after writing to her school board about accessibility standards, she was asked to represent more than 150,000 students by serving on the Prince George’s County Disabilities Advisory Board.

She then moved on to effectively lobby the Maryland State Legislature to expand Medicaid to 800,000 uninsured residents. This was the start of a career in disability advocacy, and after graduating from the University of Maryland College Park, led her to work in the White House, serving on the White House Kitchen Cabinet on Disability and on Capitol Hill. “Odunola’s efforts to ensure that the next generation of young people with disabilities are given opportunities instead of obstacles is the definition of advocacy, and we are proud to honor her accomplishments” said Thomas W. Chapman, EdD, MPH, president and CEO of The HSC Foundation.