“Patty Berne says that ‘disability justice centers the lives and leadership of people of color, of queer and gender nonconforming people with disability. It is a movement-building framework, not an academic theory.’ When people invisibilize the leadership of people of color, of queer and gender nonconforming people with disabilities, it’s not disability justice.”– LEAH LAKSHMI PIEPZNA-SAMARASINAH
People with intellectual or developmental disabilities (I/DD) have shared with us their dreams of more equitable lives with access to robust community services designed to serve everyone. We know those dreams intersect with those of food justice advocates, abolitionists, housing advocates, health care advocates, and everyone who cares about social and racial justice.
In order to inspire policy action, we want to develop a campaign to clearly communicate the issues and address inequities impacting people with I/DD in Washington state. And if we really want to address inequities as historically and predominantly white-led disability advocacy organizations, it starts by centering the voices and experiences of Black, Indigenous and People of Color (BIPOC) communities—something white advocates have historically failed to do.
This summer Allies in Advocacy, Disability Rights Washington, and The Arc of Washington State received a grant to determine how to communicate more impactfully about the injustices experienced by people with intellectual or developmental disabilities (I/DD). We know to do this work effectively, we can’t develop an approach without partnering with BIPOC advocates.
Campaign Goal: Legislators and their constituents/the public, particularly BIPOC, articulate solutions and barriers associated with disability as societal, not individual responsibilities so that people with I/DD can thrive in community settings.
Our Year 1 Objective: Have a clear understanding of effective communication strategies (medium, messenger & message) that lead us to our 3-year goal.
Our Invitation to Partner
We just conducted a survey where we asked people questions to understand their perceptions. Our next step is an open call to participate in a collaborative workshop to better understand how the issues that are important to BIPOC communities intersect with disability advocacy. Together, we’ll talk about the survey results and brainstorm ideas for how to better reach people. After the session, our creative team will turn the group’s concepts into a creative campaign for additional feedback.
More important to us than the campaign are the relationships we hope to initiate and cultivate through this process. Real change does not happen without authentic, accountable relationships and we are committed to change. If you are:
- Working on issues related to social justice
- Want to make disability advocacy in Washington more inclusive
…We would be honored if you’d join us in a 2-hour, online creative brainstorming workshop on October 29th at 8am. There’s space for up to 10 people at this workshop, but we will have additional opportunities for input and partnership as we work through the process. To say thank you for your presence and creativity, we want to offer a $250 gift card.
Let us know you’re interested in joining the workshop or partnering with us in general. Click here  to leave us your contact information.