Breakout Session - Understanding Ableism & Practicing Disability Justice to Achieve Collective Liberation


To access this session, please click on this direct Zoom link.  

Disabled people are routinely left out of social justice movements and philanthropy despite being disproportionately represented in all marginalized communities; disproportionately targeted by state violence; and despite deprivation, oppression and trauma being a cause and consequence of disability. Moreover, ableism is embedded in every form of oppression. Those in philanthropy must develop a deeper understanding of how disability and ableism are inextricably linked to racism (especially anti-Blackness); and how racism, classism, and ableism intertwine to create and shape vulnerabilities that are exploited by power holders.  Abled supremacy exists-often unnoticed-in our lives, movements, workplaces, and communities. Philanthropy must incorporate an analysis of disability and ableism, and center disability justice in their programmatic areas. We need to build a society based in a politics of care. Rebuilding, renewal, and reimagining, is wonderful, but Black and other negatively racialized disabled people must not just be included in those dreams, we must be centered as those most targeted and impacted by systemic and structural violence and oppression. We will unearth history to examine the current nexus between racism, classism, ableism and state/corporate violence so participants can identify how disability is implicated and/or excluded from their work. Participants will develop a more expansive understanding of disability & ableism to be able to analyze how ableism functions in their lives movements, workplaces, and larger society. Presenters will support philanthropy seeking advisors to understand how to best engage disabled people’s brilliance in supportive and non-extractive ways. Everyone will leave feeling challenged after having been exposed to new ideas and access-centered practices, disability justice, and language justice in action.