Dear Students, Faculty and Staff: Over the past month our community has experienced unprecedented uncertainty. As Syracuse University confronts the rapidly evolving COVID-19 health emergency, our decisions and actions are informed daily by new information, policy guidance and public health…
Disability Caucus and Campus Conversation about Disability Justice Tonight
Tonight, April 30, the campus community is invited to an accessible campus conversation about what is meant by “disability justice,” “ableism” and “intersectionality.” Priya Penner, Disability Student Union (DSU) president; Jennith Lucas, DSU vice president; Diane Wiener, director of the Disability Cultural Center (DCC); and Paula Possenti-Perez, director of the Office of Disability Services will all engage with attendees on the topics. The campus conversation will be in two parts: Disability Caucus from 7-8 p.m. and Campus Conversation from 8-9 p.m. Both conversations will take place in the main chapel at Hendricks Chapel.
The caucus is a space for self-identifying disabled people to privately caucus. Penner and Lucas will begin the conversation. This space will be an opportunity to “reflect on how we are processing and moving forward in the wake of recent abhorrent behavior and language used by certain, but not all, members of Theta Tau and the videos exposed and shared publicly, subsequently,” says Wiener.
Disabled campus community members and allies are welcome to the caucus. However, allies are invited to the space to be observers and listeners or access information otherwise.
Campus Conversation about Disability Justice
All are welcome to engage in a campus conversation about disability justice following the disability caucus. Penner and Lucas, with support from Possenti-Perez and Wiener, will lead the campus conversation with an intersectional lens, underscoring what is meant by “ableism.” During the campus conversation, all are welcome to engage, including allies or otherwise-identifying individuals.
“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.”
2. LEADERSHIP OF THOSE MOST IMPACTED
“We are led by those who most know these systems.”—Aurora Levins Morales
3. 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.
4. COMMITMENT TO CROSS-MOVEMENT ORGANIZING
Shifting how social justice movements understand disability and contextualize ableism, disability justice lends itself to politics of alliance.
5. 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. Our embodied experiences guide us toward ongoing justice and liberation.
7. 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 other’s needs as we build toward liberation, knowing that state solutions inevitably extend into further control over lives.
9. 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.
10. COLLECTIVE LIBERATION
No body or mind can be left behind—only moving together can we accomplish the revolution we require.only moving together can we accomplish the revolution we require.
American Sign Language (ASL) interpretation and Communication Access Real-time Translation (CART–live captioning) will be provided for both the disability caucus and the campus conversation.
For questions about accessibility or to request accommodations, contact the Equal Opportunity, Inclusion and Resolution Services (EOIRS) office at 315.443.4018 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
For other questions about the event, please contact the Disability Cultural Center at 315.443.4486 or email email@example.com, or the Office of Disability Services at 315.443.4498 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.