Disability Justice in the Fight for Racial Equity
Join us for a transformative multisession, multiday, forum centering in-depth, action-oriented conversations on the intersections of racial equity and disability justice.
Disability justice* is a cross-disability and cross-social justice movement that centers intersectional identities led by those who have been most impacted by systemic oppression. It insists that our worth is inherent and tied to the liberation of all people.
Disability exists in every facet of society including in immigrant communities, in Black and Brown communities, in LGBTQIA+ communities, in Indigenous Communities and every community in between.
This four-part series cements the connection between racial equity and disability justice. Local and nationally recognized social justice activists will share their stories, strategies, and hopes for the future. Following each panel discussion and presentation, we invite you to join breakout groups that will be facilitated by Advancing Leadership Members:
- Adam Ballard, Access Living
- Timotheus Gordon Jr., University of Illinois at Chicago
- Angel Miles, Access Living
- Anne Nash, Google
- Jewel Holly Ware, Jewels of Success
Registration for each day is required and separate. Though we encourage you to attend the entire forum, you can attend however your schedule allows as they can be standalone discussions.
Who Should Participate?
We believe we should all be active in antiracism and disability justice work. This forum is for:
- Social justice activists
- Nonprofit leaders and staff
- Philanthropy leaders and staff
- Government workers
- Emerging leaders in any sector
- Private sector leaders
- Those who want to be part of change
The forum is developed in partnership with Andraéa LaVant.
Andraéa LaVant is founder and president of LaVant Consulting, Inc. (LCI), a social impact communications firm that offers cutting-edge corporate development and content marketing for brands and nonprofits. LCI's specialty is helping brands "speak disability with confidence." As a communications consultant and inclusion specialist, Andraéa has over a decade of experience working with programs that support youth and adults with disabilities and other underserved populations. Her professional roles and personal advocacy have presented her with a variety of notable opportunities to share messages and prompt change for people with disabilities across the globe. She currently serves as the impact producer for Netflix’s feature-length documentary, Crip Camp, where she is charged with leading the campaign’s efforts to promote understanding of disability as a social justice issue and build across lines of difference. Andraéa is a strong advocate for exploring disability from an intersectional lens and offers a unique perspective on the initiatives that she supports.
From Access to Liberation: Race and Disability, Racism and Ableism
September 29, 4-5:30pm CST
Speaking authentically about race and disability requires courage and intention. Presented by Chicago ROAR, the first session explores the strong connection and history of race, disability, and the intersectional justice movements that have advanced the rights of people of color and people with disabilities. This groundwork will provide a common understanding for the rest of the series.
- Derrick Dawson, Chicago ROAR
- Jared Sprowls, Chicago ROAR
Breakout conversation: How is racism and ableism experienced in our communities, policymaking, and social systems?
Building Intersectional Movements: Disability Justice and Racial Equity
October 14, 4–5:30 p.m, CST
Organizers from the disability justice and racial equity movements will discuss current successes and losses, and how a cross-justice framework liberates all of us. Personal stories will underscore the power and need for intersectional movements.
The roundtable will begin with a reading by Leroy Moore.
- Leroy Moore, Krip-Hop Nation
- Xavier Ramey, Justice Informed
- Michelle Garcia, Access Living
- Benji Hart, Author, Artist, and Educator
- Dior Vargas, Queer Latina Feminist Mental Health Activist
Breakout conversation: How can we better align race and disability in our movement building strategies?
Setting an Equity Agenda: A City Hall Perspective
October 22, 4–5:30 p.m. CST
Featuring Rachel Arfa and Candace Moore, this "fireside chat" will illuminate the ways in which local government, in any city or region, should connect disability and race in its policy making.
- Rachel Arfa, City of Chicago, Mayor's Office for People with Disabilities Commissioner
- Candace Moore, City of Chicago, Chief Equity Officer
Breakout conversation: How can I get involved in setting an inclusive and equitable policy agenda in my community?
Mapping Our Paths Towards Liberation
October 27, 4–5:30 p.m. CST
Meaningful change includes systemic change. National disability and racial justice policy advocates share how current policy can be built and shaped to advance the rights and voices of those most and multiply marginalized. In mapping our path forward, we will share the work that will continue following today’s session and most importantly, how you can be involved.
- Candace Coleman, Access Living, Advancing Leadership 2020 Fellow
- Lydia X.Z. Brown, Autistic Women & Nonbinary Network
- Victoria Rodríguez-Roldán, AIDS United
- Danyelle Solomon, Center for American Progress
Breakout conversation: What is my role in advancing justice and achieving liberation for all people?