Disability Intersectionality Summit and scholarships

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When you’re new to social justice activism, you can get super energized about the work and then hit a couple early roadblocks. One is asking this: “Where do I go to get more info about this that’s accessible, understandable, and coming from reliable sources?” Another, much harder one to get past is often this:  “Uh…now what? I just learned a ton of stuff. What do I do now?”Disability Policy Consortium logo has "DPC" under a yellow capitol dome.

The Disability Policy Consortium is holding a Disability and Intersectionality Summit in Boston on November 5th, and that can help answer all those questions. It’s also gonna be a very affirmative place for people already embedded in the work to witness their peers presenting.

Some key exciting pieces to tell you:  The facility is wheelchair accessible and has gender neutral bathrooms, they’ll have ASL and CART live captioning, ticket prices are really low for a major event, and you can buy a ticket to live stream the summit from a computer. Also, because this summit is focused on intersectionality, you’ll find that all of the presenters bring their own lived disability experience alongside experiences of living in other marginalized, oppressed groups at the same time. This includes disabled people of color, queer disabled people, gender-non-conforming disabled people, disabled people who weren’t born in the US, and various combinations of these identities and others. The point is, you’re going to get insights from people who are most often silenced, pushed aside, and told they have no credibility or authority. Of course, this happens because our biggest, most well-funded stakeholders, and the media that presents their work, is still white-dominated. And straight, cis, US-born (but not Native), middle class, housed, non-disabled, and able-minded-dominated. And these groups and individuals still cling to the mistaken idea that if they share the stage with people who are oppressed and dissatisfied with oppression, that a revolution will come and disrupt their current state of comfort. And the idea that somehow, if you’re comfortable now, you were destined to be that way and deserve that, and sharing would be an awful thing. Because anyone who’s currently uncomfortable is in their right place as it is.

This is where we got The Ugly Laws, where we get the people who don’t want children with disabilities mixing in classes with non-disabled students for fear it will bring the “normal” students down, where we get people who provide access just to not to get sued rather than out of a moral sense leaning toward equity. This is also where we get white people who claim to be in service of disability community publicly stating that the presidential election will be decided thanks to “white voters who care about people with disabilities.” If you’re not ready to serve and/or amplify the work of all disabled people–and by all, I mean all–then you’re not in service of disability community.

The summit’s purpose is to educate, share, and inform a community-wide audience of a lived intersectional disability experience. And it’s open to every level of disability activists, students, educators, and community members.

The event will kick off with Heather Watkins as keynote speaker. Heather’s talk is entitled “Have Cane will Strut to the New Normalcy of Disability Activism.”

A complete list of presenters and their talks’ titles is on the summit’s Facebook event page.

Convinced this summit is for you, but you don’t have money to spare for a ticket? The beloved Invisible Disability Project is offering scholarships. Visit their Facebook page, give a short blurb or image about why you want the scholarship, and they will announce winners on November 2nd.

My apologies for this late post. The summit has asked that, for reasonable accommodation requests, people contact Amy Kalogeropoulos no later than October 24th, 2016 at akalogeropoulos@dpcma.org, and this post is coming out on the 27th. But I bet you can reach out to Amy over email if you have questions about accessibility.

Disability & Intersectionality Summit
Saturday, November 5th, 2016
9:00 am – 5:00 pm
The Nonprofit Center
89 South Street, Boston, MA

I’ll be live streaming the event from home. So I can’t really say, “See you there!” But I’m so excited about this summit that I really want to say it. See you there!