Viviana Bonilla Lopez
Viviana is a San Juan, Puerto Rico native passionate about mental health and disability justice.
In 2014, she graduated with the highest distinction from the University of North Carolina Chapel Hill, earning a BA in journalism with a minor in entrepreneurship. As an undergraduate, Viviana was certified as an Online Counseling and Suicide Intervention Specialist and worked in the mental health system as a volunteer, intern, and research assistant. In 2011, she co-founded Rethink: Psychiatric Illness, a student organization aimed at raising awareness about mental illnesses and increasing help-seeking behaviors among students. In this role, she spearheaded the creation of the university’s first-ever mental health advocacy training, which had attracted over 700 students as of January 2017 and earned the organization the 2012 Diversity Award.
In the journalism field, she has experience as a writer, photographer, videographer, researcher, translator, and editor. Her work has been published in numerous publications including USA TODAY College and the Center for Investigative Journalism of Puerto Rico.
In 2017, Viviana earned a J.D. from New York University School of Law, where she was a Root-Tilden-Kern Scholar.
As an Equal Justice Works Fellow, sponsored by the Florida Bar Foundation, Viviana is currently working to protect and restore the civil rights of people with disabilities in Miami-Dade County by expanding Supported Decision-Making as an alternative to guardianship.