Beginning Oct. 8, Syracuse University will host Family Weekend 2021, a fall semester tradition welcoming parents and family members for a weekend filled with activities to experience campus life. With planning efforts led by New Student and Family Programs, the…
White House Champion of Change Talila Lewis to Speak on Disability Justice March 29
“Disability Justice in the Age of Mass Incarceration: Perspectives on Race, Disability, Law & Accountability” will be the topic when disability activist Talila Lewis gives an address Thursday, March 29, from 10 a.m. to noon in 228B Schine Student Center.
The lecture, which is free and open to the public, will be followed by lunch from noon-1 p.m.
This event is supported by the Center on Human Policy, the Disability Law Society and the Disability Cultural Center. American Sign Language (ASL) interpretation and Communication Access Realtime Translation will be provided. For more information, please contact Alan Foley at email@example.com.
People with disabilities represent over half of all people killed by law enforcement and are the largest minority population in jails and prisons, point out the organizers of the event. Yet advocates rarely view the crisis of mass incarceration through a disability justice lens or approach decarceration advocacy with an intersectional framework. This presentation will explore the historical and present nexus between race, class, disability and structural inequities within the criminal legal system and those systems that feed the United States carceral system. Attendees will learn practical strategies for advocacy in education, legal and prison settings that foreground longstanding federal disability rights laws and that center disability justice principles. Lewis will examine and critique current trends in advocacy and offer innovative and intersectional alternatives that have the potential to stem the tide of mass incarceration for all people.
“The work Talila Lewis is doing is so important and crosses many intersections of the human experience,” says Bruce Sexton, president of the Disability Law Society. “You will be in for a treat if you are able to make the lecture.”
Lewis was recognized as a White House Champion of Change and one of Pacific Standard Magazine’s Top 30 Thinkers Under 30. She engineers social justice campaigns that illuminate the nexus between race, class, disability and structural inequity. Lewis co-founded and serves as the volunteer director of Helping Educate to Advance the Rights of Deaf communities (HEARD), a volunteer-dependent nonprofit organization that created and maintains the only national database of deaf imprisoned people.
Lewis also serves as a consultant on radical education and workplace inclusion; serves as an expert on cases involving disabled people; and previously served as the Givelber Public Interest Lecturer at Northeastern University School of Law and a visiting professor at Rochester Institute of Technology/National Technical Institute for the Deaf. She is a founding member of the Harriet Tubman Collective and co-creator of the Disability Solidarity praxis and practice. A recent graduate of American University Washington College of Law, Lewis has received awards from numerous universities, the American Bar Association, Congresswoman Eleanor Holmes Norton, the American Association for People with Disabilities and the Nation Institute, among others.
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