Looking Back on Spring 2015!

It’s hard to believe we’re already on the cusp of summer! But what a spring it’s been for Sins Invalid! Some of the highlights have been:

  • Disability Liberated at UC Berkeley, a powerful performance, participatory altar project, and collective ritual of mourning, resilience, and resistanceDisabilityLiberated
  • Let Your Body Speak: An Embodied Writing Workshop led by world renowned writer and activist Aurora Levins Morales
  • Ongoing organizational capacity-building and collaboration with the anti-racist movement-building center, Catalyst Project
  • Work with Phat Beets and Critical Resistance to make the connections between disability justice, food justice, and prison abolition
  • Virtual participation in the first White House LGBTQ Leaders of Color Summit

 Disability Liberated was curated for Disability Incarcerated, an event hosted by multiple sponsors at UC Berkeley on March 8th – 9th, which brought together scholars, students, activists, and community members to map the intersections of policing, imprisonment, and the disabled body. Sins Invalid’s Disability Liberated aspired to step into the conspicuous void within critiques of the “prison industrial complex” – namely the absence of discussion of disability oppression, despite the disproportionate representation of people with disabilities within prisons and gated institutions. Disability Liberated included a powerful performance with 200 people in attendance, as well as a participatory altar project to mourn the myriad lives lost to police and carceral violence against people with disabilities.Let Your Body Speak: An Embodied Writing Workshop was a dynamic event held on February 22nd with local artistic community led by Aurora Levins Morales, an internationally known disabled and chronically ill writer and activist. Aurora is the author of five books, including Medicine Stories and Kindling: Writings On the Body, and her work has appeared in dozens of anthologies. She is Puerto Rican and Jewish and identifies as queer. As Aurora described the workshop: “Our bodies hold our personal, family, and social histories and are shaped by them. They are repositories of living, breathing memory, filled with sensory detail we can’t always reach with our conscious minds. Working individually and in small groups, we’ll explore stories from and about our bodies, and craft new narratives for ourselves.”We’ve continued to work together with the anti-racist movement-building center, Catalyst Project, to further develop their organizational capacity around disability justice and the practice of collective access, particularly with respect to their most recent 2015 Anne Braden Anti-Racist Organizer Training Program. Sins Invalid and Catalyst worked together on curriculum, troubleshot barriers to collective access, and are in the process of thinking through new ways to collaborate in the future!Sins Invalid has also extended its cross-movement collaborations by beginning to work with Phat Beets Produce food justice collective and the prison abolitionist organization Critical Resistance on deepening our mutual understandings of the intersections between our struggles and building organizational capacity around collective access. We are excited to be finding new and powerful ways to be building with one another across our movements!Finally, we were honored to join a wide range of powerful movement leaders through our virtual participation in the first White House LGBTQ Leaders of Color Summit. Sins Invalid provided participants a short video introduction to the importance, contours, and practice of disability justice.