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Instability in Six Colors is Kallem Whitman's debut publication: a collection of personal essays, poems, and pastiche pieces that reflect upon her lived experience with bipolar disorder. Through the use of six different colors, Whitman chronicles the cyclic nature of bipolar disorder and how it affects her personal relationships as well as her relationship with her body. Instability in Six Colors is both a memoir and an abstraction, a study in creativity and in perceived experience. This book intimately captures Rachel's inner machinations, inviting the reader inside.

Trigger Warning: This book addresses themes of suicide, self-harm, depression, and contains sexual conduct.

By: Rachel Kallem Whitmam


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Dr. Rachel Kallem Whitman graduated from Duquesne University with her doctorate in educational leadership and a focus in disability studies. Rachel earned a B.A. in psychology from the University of Virginia and her M.S.Ed. from Duquesne University. Rachel has worked in public school systems, higher education, and hospital settings empowering youth and young adults with disabilities to become leaders of their own lives through the power of storytelling. Currently, Rachel is an adjunct professor at Duquesne University in the Psychology Department where she teaches courses in disability studies. 


Rachel is an experienced public speaker who has presented at schools, colleges, foundations, and nonprofits about challenging ableism (disability oppression), framing disability rights as human rights, and the moral imperative of universal design (intentional inclusion of diverse brains and bodies in everyday life). Rachel is also an avid writer and blogger who has published articles, short stories, poems, and essays about the societal barriers and attitudinal biases that “other” the experience of living with a disability. She also writes to explore her personal relationship with mental illness and encourage others to tell their own stories in a society where disability narratives are too often dismissed, devalued, and scripted. Rachel’s bloghas over three thousand followers.


Through her personal advocacy, professional activism, and practice of allyship, Rachel’s work creates safe spaces where authentic disability narratives are amplified, hope is kindled, and community is cultivated. Rachel’s work has garnered acclaim locally in Pittsburgh, across the country, and internationally. Rachel credits her success to the support of her loving partner, her everlasting passion for social justice, a house full of pets, smoked Gouda, and her unshakeable sense of humor.

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