In the buzz of political activity, spiritual activity, friends, and life, something that I know I need to sustain me for the long haul is Disability Justice. Actually, I believe WE need it, all of us. But right now I am going to focus on my own lens, so I can get to know what Disability Justice is. My intention is this. There are 10 months remaining in this year, and 10 principles of Disability Justice, as articulated by Patty Berne and Sins Invalid. I want to spend each month diving deeply into one principle at a time — writing, reflection, art, conversation, practice. I’ll post some of it here. We will see what emerges.
It’s not easy to shift the foundation of one’s view, but this is what Disability Justice requires. This foundational shift in worldview is what I am aiming for.
If you’re into learning what this exploration is about, I recommend starting here and scrolling forward (link to next post is at the bottom, on the right).
[Image Description: A large square with bold text in different typefaces against a pink background that has a design resembling nerves, or veins under a microscope. The lettering names each of 1o principles of disability justice. Text reads: Intersectionality. Leadership of Those Most Impacted. Anti-Capitalism. Cross-Movement Organizing. Wholeness. Sustainability. Cross-Disability Solidarity. Interdependence. Collective Access. & Collective Liberation.”]
[Image Description: A large square with small text against a pink background that has a design resembling nerves, or veins under a microscope. Text reads:
10 Principles of Disability Justice:
“We do not live single issue lives” –Audre Lorde Ableism, coupled with white supremacy, supported by capitalism, underscored by heteropatriarchy, has rendered the vast majority of the world “invalid.”
- Leadership of Those Most Impacted.
“We are led by those who most know these systems.” –Aurora Levins Morales
- Anti-capitalist Politic.
In an economy that sees land and humans as components of profit, we are anti-capitalist by the nature of having non-conforming body/minds.
- Commitment to Cross Movement Organizing.
Shifting how social justice movements understand disability and contextualize ableism, disability justice lends itself to politics of alliance.
- Recognizing Wholeness.
People have inherent worth outside of commodity relations and capitalist notions of productivity. Each person is full of history and life experience.
We pace ourselves, individually and collectively, to be sustained long term. Or embodied experiences guide us toward ongoing justice and liberation.
- Commitment to Cross-Disability Solidarity.
We honor the insights and participation of all of our community members, knowing that isolation undermines collective liberation.
We meet each others’ needs as we build toward liberation, knowing that state solutions inevitably extend into further control over our lives.
- Collective Access.
As brown, black and queer-bodied disabled people we bring flexibility and creative nuance that go beyond able-bodied/minded normativity, to be in community with each other.
- Collective Liberation. No body or mind can be left behind — only moving together can we accomplish the revolution we require.
Sins Invalid 2015