Statement in Solidarity with the Movement for Black Lives
The Board of Directors of the Society for Disability Studies (SDS) stands in solidarity with the ongoing response by the Movement for Black Lives to police brutality and mass incarceration. We stand with those who take to the streets to protest the systemic racism and white supremacy that enabled the recent murders of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, Tony McDade, Ahmaud Arbery, and countless other Black, Indigenous, and People of Color (BIPOC).
At the core of our organization is a firm commitment to social justice. We recognize that we are complicit in a system that upholds white supremacy, and that silence perpetuates our racist system. We are committed to continuously dismantling those interconnected and global systems of oppression (e.g., racism, classism, ageism, ableism, imperialism, and sexism), and to bring an anti-racist, intersectional, and anti-capitalist lens to our work, as BIPOC live at the intersections of multiply marginalized identities. We recognize that while many of us might consider our scholarship to be a form of activism, we must do more. Black communities are shouldering the risk of their physical, emotional, spiritual, and psychological integrity in fighting anti-black racism in the streets. We unequivocally support the Movement for Black Lives and the many grassroots organizations, activists, protesters, and community organizers who have led the fight on the ground against police brutality and racialized state violence.
At a time like this, many of us are likely to feel overwhelmed with grief and to feel powerless. However, we cannot remain silent nor isolated. We understand that there are different ways of participating, whether it be protesting, educating, giving financial support, and more, and that each and every one of us must contribute in some way. But we must also work together, especially with the most marginalized and vulnerable populations who are putting their lives at risk around the world. There is no more time to wait.
The SDS Board is working on highlighting the available resources created by BIPOC communities, collecting ideas and resources from the field of disability studies, including SDS’s journal Disability Studies Quarterly (DSQ), and building anti-racist action coalitions among disability organizations. We will center BIPOC voices and lived experiences in our programming. We will develop scholarships and grants for BIPOC emerging scholars and activists. The resources linked below offer some initial information on how we can contribute.
The following pieces from DSQ draw critical attention to racism, state violence, and ableism. The Editors and Editorial Board of DSQ offer this sampling of sources in recognition of the ongoing work of our community members, who demonstrate the utility of disability analysis in our current political moment. This sampling also underscores the urgent need for more scholar-activist engagements in and coalitions against ableism, anti-blackness, state violence, colonization, and incarceration from local and national to transnational and global contexts.
Racism, State Violence, and Ableism
Sami Schalk, “Coming to Claim Crip,” 33, no. 2 DSQ (2013)
Nirmala Erevelles, “Thinking With Disability Studies,” 34, no. 2 DSQ (2014)
Michelle Jarman and Alison Kafer, “Guest Editors' Introduction: Growing Disability Studies: Politics of Access, Politics of Collaboration,” 34, no. 2 DSQ (2014)
National Black Disability Coalition, “Developing and Reflecting on a Black Disability Studies Pedagogy,” 35, no. 2 DSQ (2015)
Angel L. Miles, Akemi Nishida, Anjali J. Forber-Pratt, “An open letter to White disability studies and ableist institutions of higher education,” 37, no 3 DSQ (2017)
- Black Lives Matter
- NAACP Legal Defense
- Brooklyn Bail Fund
- Minnesota Freedom Fund
- National Action Network
- Black Visions Collective
- The Bail Project