The Intersections of Disability
Building Stronger Social Movements
“Love is bigger, huger, more complex, and more ultimate than petty fucked-up desirability politics. We all deserve love.
Love as an action verb.
Love in full inclusion, in centrality, in not being forgotten.
Being loved for our disabilities, our weirdness, not despite them.”
―Leah Lakshmi Piepzna-Samarasinha, Care Work: Dreaming Disability Justice (78)
For collective movement-building to push society progressively forward in any significant way, there needs to be a more robust entry point into understanding the ways people are both individually and systematically oppressed. We need a clear way to recognize the links between existing areas of knowledge through personal narratives and lived experiences, only then can we begin to see how capitalism and settler colonial ideology has plagued us in often complex and seemingly invisible ways.
As we strive to bring various individuals, groups, and organizations together, we must recognize the need heal from the harm our movement spaces have caused upon other marginalized groups in order for us to build across issues. Only then will it be possible for us to achieve the collective liberation of all our communities.
By using the Disability Justice framework - which inherently looks towards those at the multiple intersections of disability for how we move forward, individuals, activists, scholars, leaders and organizations can develop a stronger entry point for helping people empathize with their work and join us in dreaming and creating a brighter, more inclusive future.
This website is born from the cumulative work over my last 10 years as a low-wage worker, college-dropout, community organizer, sexual assault survivor, community college student, and now, a soon-to-be Smith College graduate ('21).
I have spent the last decade, inadvertently, working on this project. It was through my past experiences that helped bring my passions together to study Social Movements as my American Studies focus and which ultimately helped guide me into learning about Disability Justice.
This project seeks to help address the disconnection between our movements and disability justice through one of the most cherished and accessible means of organizing; storytelling.
Throughout this website, you'll find videos, blogs, websites, organizations, podcasts, and more that will help readers to understand the ways disability can be the intersectional access point we need to build a broader coalition. You will also find my primary contributions, of helping 'connect the dots' through a heavy reliance on my own personal stories from these last ten years in addition to a few papers of my own I have written since returning to school, which again offer deeper insight into the ways these topics are intersectional.
The personal narrative sections are in Blue
as an indicating symbol. Please be mindful, these sections can be triggering for those surviving sexual assault, abuse, poverty, medical maltreatment, homophobia, and bullying.
When you click on links through the website, it will take you to another area where you can learn how that previous topic is connected with the current one.
This website is meant to be consumed in this "popcorn" method as a demonstration of the deep ties between our movements and the histories of oppression we have faced. Move through the pages with the links or on your own if you're feeling adventurous! There is no right or wrong way.
When you decide you want to wrap up the "popcorn" phase of the site, click the "Solutions" tab for the conclusion page.
All referenced materials, including multi-media, is listed on the bibliography page; additionally, there are resource lists compiled for each section with the external links.
This project is limited in the capacity for which I could develop for my senior capstone at Smith College in the fall of 2020. The presented intersectional topics are not the extent to which Disability Justice can work alongside other movements. I chose the topics based on personal knowledge and subjects I felt I could personally contribute towards.
Finally, this project would not be possible without the incredible work of the Sins Invalid collective, including Leah Lakshmi Piepzna-Samarasinha, who inspired me throughout my time at Smith College. Her writing always seems to offer me the queer-crip-'elder' wisdom I am, often unknowingly, needing to receive. She is brilliant and deserves ample credit for helping build the connections I present throughout the website.