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2022 SDS Board Election Interviews

Members of the SDS Board serve a 3-year term and if elected a second time, may serve no more than 2 consecutive terms. Members should be prepared to meet monthly and to chair or co-chair one or more committees.

 

All SDS Members in good standing should vote. The candidates’ written interviews are below in alphabetical order. Please vote for no more than 6 candidates.

2022 SDS Board of Directors Election Candidates

mark bookman
Mark R. Bookman, a white, male-presenting person with receding black hair and a trimmed beard sits on his black and red permobil electric wheelchair. He is wearing glasses, a grey suit, and a teal button-down shirt. Mark is framed against a natural background with green grass and a large tree.

Mark Bookman (He/His)
Postdoctoral Fellow, University of Tokyo

1. What is your experience with Critical Disability Studies, Disability Activism, Disability Justice, lived disability experience, or leadership within the disability?

 

I am a historian of disability policy and minority social movements in Japanese and transnational contexts. My interests in Critical Disability Studies, activism, and advocacy grew out of my personal experiences of barriers to accessibility as an American wheelchair user and heart transplant recipient living in Tokyo. Outside the academy, I also work as a disability policy consultant, and have collaborated with government agencies and corporate entities in Japan, the United States, and Canada, as well as the International Paralympic Committee and United Nations, on projects related to inclusive education, equitable built environments, and disaster risk management for disabled persons.

2. What is your experience in nonprofit leadership and involvement, including but not limited to Board, committee, and conference involvement? 

 

As a member of the International Committee of the Japan Society for Disability Studies, I have coordinated programs on accessibility and inclusion that have brought together scholars and practitioners from diverse cultural backgrounds and countries, including, but not limited to, Japan, China, South Korea, and Taiwan. I have also promoted global exchange of knowledge and ideas surrounding disability through my work as Vice President of the Fulbright Association’s Persons with Disabilities Chapter, President of the Japan Delegation to the Global Anti-Eugenics Forum, and Chair of the Committee for Equity and Access of the University of Pennsylvania’s Graduate/Professional Student Assembly.

3. What do you hope to achieve on the SDS Board that you want membership to be aware of? 

 

If elected to the Board of Directors of the Society for Disability Studies (SDS), I would leverage my personal experiences and professional expertise to expand the organization’s connections with academics, activists, and allies operating outside the United States. Building on the highly-successful “Global Disability Studies” strand introduced at this year’s conference (as well as the Keynote Panel, which featured presentations from my colleagues at the Japan Society for Disability Studies), I would establish channels for international SDS members to become more engaged in our programming and policymaking. I would also promote the SDS’s activities and participation in transnational venues

Vandana Chaudhry (She/her)
Associate Professor of Social Work at the City University of New York, College of Staten Island

1. What is your experience with Critical Disability Studies, Disability Activism, Disability Justice, lived disability experience, or leadership within the disability?

 

I am an associate professor of social work and disability studies at the City University of New York—College of Staten Island, where I am involved in interdisciplinary research, teach and mentor students, and promote critical disability pedagogies across campus. Originally from India, I am a scholar of and with disability, whose work is informed by southern, transnational disability studies frameworks. My research and activism pertain to disability in the Global South, particularly analyzing the effects of poverty, uneven development, and neoliberal capitalism on disability policies and programs. Currently, I am interested in understanding how intersectionally marginalized disability communities in India are affected by the digitalization of economy and society, accelerated by COVID.  

2. What is your experience in nonprofit leadership and involvement, including but not limited to Board, committee, and conference involvement? 

 

I’ve served in leadership roles in scholarly, professional, and civic communities. At CUNY, I have bolstered the interdisciplinary disability studies foci, while also facilitating several disability justice-focused initiatives, including forums for faculty and staff, which center disability accessibility and culture across the university. Beyond the university, I’ve been actively involved in advocacy and policy initiatives of international disability organizations across India and the United States. For the past three years, I have served on the SDS Board of Directors, where I have co-chaired multiple committees and created new one, including the International Committee and the BLM/anti-racist committee to center transnational and disability justice work within SDS’s policies and programs. 

3. What do you hope to achieve on the SDS Board that you want membership to be aware of? 

 

If re-elected for a second term, I will strengthen and expand the exciting work of centering transnational and disability justice work through the International and BLM/anti-racist committees. One of the results of that work in my first term was the Global Disability Studies strand at the conference, which I will continue to make accessible to SDS members. In terms of new projects, I am excited to collaborate with various international disability studies associations and global disability justice organizations to host international joint conferences, online forums, and to develop a database of Global/regional DS stakeholders. Further, I am deeply invested in bridging the divide that exists between DS academy and community scholars and activists through solidarity-building initiatives, moving SDS to become a transformative, politically engaged academic organization.

Mina Chun
Mina, an Asian woman with loose waves shoulder length black hair, smiles at the camera. She wears small silver hoop earrings and a black jacket with a white round neck top underneath. Behind Mina is grey studio background.

Dr. Mina Chun (She/her)
Assistant professor, Governors State University

1. What is your experience with Critical Disability Studies, Disability Activism, Disability Justice, lived disability experience, or leadership within the disability?

 

After completing a Ph.D. in education with a Disability Studies emphasis at Chapman University in California, I’ve been teaching in a special education program at a university by focusing on equipping educators to develop a posture of valuing all human life and diversity. Additionally, I supported parent activist groups in their efforts to address systematic issues in South Korea. During 2015-2017, I served as an advisor to regional parent groups on implementing the legislation, Protecting Rights and Supports of People with Developmental Disabilities Act of 2014, which could potentially improve the quality of disability services for all people with developmental disabilities, not only children, in South Korea.

2. What is your experience in nonprofit leadership and involvement, including but not limited to Board, committee, and conference involvement? 

 

I served as an in-session host for the 2022 SDS conference and a moderator for the 2021 SDS conference. Also, I’ve been serving as a conference proposal reviewer for other international organizations. 

3. What do you hope to achieve on the SDS Board that you want membership to be aware of? 

 

I desire to give back to SDS by supporting the mission and vision of the organization. Specifically, I wish to support the efforts to become a more international organization by strengthening the partnerships/relationships with Disability Studies organizations across the globe.]

James Deaville (He/him)
Professor, Carleton University

1. What is your experience with Critical Disability Studies, Disability Activism, Disability Justice, lived disability experience, or leadership within the disability?

 

Lived experience as a person with a series of DSM-designated mental disorders, including depression, anxiety, OCD, etc. I am co-chair of the Music and Disability Study Group of the American Musicological Society and have published on music and madness, including in the Oxford Handbook of Music and Disability Studies.

2. What is your experience in nonprofit leadership and involvement, including but not limited to Board, committee, and conference involvement? 

 

I have served on various committees of the American Musicological Socioety and Society for American Music, including as Co-Chair of the AMS Music and Disabilioty Study Group.

3. What do you hope to achieve on the SDS Board that you want membership to be aware of? 

 

I believe that music studies is one area of research and practice that has been largely overlooked by the discipline of Critical Disability Studies, which is why I co-organized the panel discussion on Music at the annual meeting of the SDS this year. I would like to advocate for people with mental health issues, especially in regard to the stigma that we experience in the academy.

Dr. Radosveta Dimitrova

Dr. Professor Radosveta Dimitrova (She/her)
Stockholm University

1. What is your experience with Critical Disability Studies, Disability Activism, Disability Justice, lived disability experience, or leadership within the disability?

 

With two PhDs in developmental and cross-cultural psychology, I am involved in research and service on inequality, diversity and inclusion of marginalized groups. Since 2016, due to spinal cord injury, I live with 85% disability severely impacting my life, but try to capitalize on resilience approaches to transform disability into resource and promote initiatives for disadvantaged and diversely able scholars and populations globally. I am planning two books on disability- on my personal experience and another on transdisciplinary advancements of diverseability.

 

2. What is your experience in nonprofit leadership and involvement, including but not limited to Board, committee, and conference involvement? 

I have experience in leadership roles serving career prospects, disability, intersectionality, diversity, equity (American Psychological Association, APA, International Psychology Cross-Cultural Research and Liaison Committees; American Sociological Association Children and Youth, Racial and Ethnic Minorities, Altruism, Morality, and Social Solidarity, Disability in Society, Inequality, Poverty and Mobility, Culture Section Mentorship Program, APA Covid 19 Task Force Research Initiatives Committee examining the impact, perceptions and experiences of Covid-19 among young people with a focus on health and well-being among culturally diverse, marginalized and diversely able groups. The project attracted 150 scholars in 82 countries across major geographical regions with multidisciplinary expertise.

3. What do you hope to achieve on the SDS Board that you want membership to be aware of? 

 

Promote global international perspectives, multi/transdisciplinary/intersectional approaches on thriving and post-traumatic growth; involve underrepresented, marginalized and traditionally neglected populations, contexts, minorities, and vulnerable groups globally within the  International, Nominations & Awards and Policy & Publications Committees.

Johnathan Flowers
A black man with a mohawk and black glasses sitting at a table with a microphone and a water bottle gesturing with his hands. He appears in conversation with someone out of frame.

Dr. Johnathan Flowers (He/him)
Professional Lecturer, American University

Twitter: @shengokai

1. What is your experience with Critical Disability Studies, Disability Activism, Disability Justice, lived disability experience, or leadership within the disability?

 

My research proceeds from my experience as a disabled queer black man with ADHD and focuses on the intersection of race, gender, sexuality, and disability. My current research focuses on critical engagements with ADHD as an experience as well as Pragmatist approaches to disability. 

As a disabled academic, I try to act as an advocate for disabled and neurodiverse forced to navigate the inaccessible structures of academia. I have served on disability and diversity committees throughout academic career. Most recently, I served on the American University Disability Taskforce, improving both curricular and policy offerings within all areas of the university. 

2. What is your experience in nonprofit leadership and involvement, including but not limited to Board, committee, and conference involvement? 

 

I have previously served on the Theorizing the Web organizing committee, which itself is a 501 C3 non-profit organization that organizes and hosts the Theorizing the Web conference. I am currently chair of the Comics and Popular Arts Conference organizing committee, which itself is a non-profit conference aimed at allowing comics scholars to engage with fans in a non-academic setting. Previously, I served on the American Philosophical Association’s Committee for the Status of Blacks in Philosophy, where I provided guidance for the APA on issues facing Black philosophers and philosophy within the discipline.

3. What do you hope to achieve on the SDS Board that you want membership to be aware of? 

 

If appointed to the Board, I hope to bring my experience as a multiply marginalized junior faculty member to bear on issues facing the Society. Specifically, I hope to use my position on the board to encourage further engagement within Disability Studies with disabilities that are understudied in the field. In specific I am interested in encouraging focused conferences or panels on specific kinds of disabilities, on marginalized disability histories, and on approaches to disability beyond the anglophone sphere. I also hope to encourage advocacy on behalf of other multiply marginalized disabled scholars and students.

 

Michelle Ganz
Head and shoulders of light brown female with short curly brown hair. She is wearing large black glasses, a black sweater edged in white, and a white beaded lanyard.

Michelle Ganz (She/her)
Director of Archives

1. What is your experience with Critical Disability Studies, Disability Activism, Disability Justice, lived disability experience, or leadership within the disability?

I have been a speaker on the topic for over a decade; I co-founded the accessibility & disability section of the society of American archivists; I was born deaf in one ear and partially deaf in the other and I have vision problems corrected by glasses.

2. What is your experience in nonprofit leadership and involvement, including but not limited to Board, committee, and conference involvement? 

 

I am on the Board of the Academy of Certified Archivists and work for a nonprofit. 

3. What do you hope to achieve on the SDS Board that you want membership to be aware of? 

 

To help the SDS expand diversity within the group.

Dom Kelly
A white man with brown hair on his head and dark facial hair, wearing a black shirt and smiling in front of a background of greenery.

Dom Kelly (He/him)
Director of Disability Engagement & Accessibility at Stacey Abrams

Twitter: @the_tattooedjew

1. What is your experience with Critical Disability Studies, Disability Activism, Disability Justice, lived disability experience, or leadership within the disability?

 

I have a graduate certificate in Interdisciplinary Disability Studies from the University of Maine, but I also am a lifelong disabled disability justice advocate and activist. I have Cerebral Palsy and have been doing advocacy work in some capacity since I was four years old. In my previous role at a voting rights organization called Fair Fight Action, I led our disability portfolio in addition to helping lead fundraising for the organization. Currently, I am both the Georgia Fundraising Director and the Director of Disability Engagement & Accessibility at the Abrams For Governor campaign in Georgia.

2. What is your experience in nonprofit leadership and involvement, including but not limited to Board, committee, and conference involvement? 

 

I have a Master of Science in Nonprofit Leadership from the University of Pennsylvania that has given me the knowledge and tools to be able to do this work, but I also have served on a number of nonprofit boards. For four years I served on the board of a 12 step recovery membership organization where I both led a committee and served as Vice Chair. For 5 years prior to that, I volunteered in multiple roles within the larger organization. Additionally, I served (until this month) as Co-Curriculum Chair for New Leaders Council Atlanta board, and I currently serve on the board of The Kelsey, a disability housing organization, as well as on the board of Neighborhood Access, a group that provides accessibility consultation to people who need it.

 3. What do you hope to achieve on the SDS Board that you want membership to be aware of? 

 

I would like to be able to have an impact on the disability studies community, as I really enjoyed my time in the graduate certificate program where I studied. I also hope to bring my experience and education leading nonprofits that I think could be helpful. I am also very eager to learn from everyone else.

Amanda Miller
Amanda, a white woman with rosy cheeks and messy wavy brown hair, is smiling at the camera. She is wearing an orange ribbed slouchy turtleneck sweater with brown wooden earrings. The photo is taken outside on a sunny day and she is standing in front of tall green cedar bushes.

Amanda Miller (She/her)
Assistant Professor, Wayne University

1. What is your experience with Critical Disability Studies, Disability Activism, Disability Justice, lived disability experience, or leadership within the disability?

 

I identify as a white, pansexual cis woman with non-visible disabilities. I am also a critical educator, activist, and abolitionist. Lived disability experiences and disability activism have been fundamental to my personal and professional life. My scholarship focuses on youth perspectives, family-school partnerships, and disability-centered, culturally sustaining pedagogies and is grounded in critical theories, including critical disability studies and disability critical race theory (DisCrit). I center this research in the experiences, perspectives, and solutions of disabled girls of color as well as girls of color who do not identify with disabilities to (re)imagine and transform schooling for multiply marginalized students and families.

2. What is your experience in nonprofit leadership and involvement, including but not limited to Board, committee, and conference involvement? 

 

Prior to my doctoral studies, my nonprofit involvement focused on partnering with local communities and organizations, including as a Peace Corps Volunteer, Peace Corps Response Volunteer, and AmeriCorps VISTA Volunteer. I engaged in relationship building, strategic planning, asset mapping, grant writing, budget allocating, problem solving, communicating, and public speaking. Since then, my involvement has sometimes shifted from volunteer to a board member/leadership role while encompassing many of the aforementioned skills. For example, I was the Program Co-Chair of the Disability Studies in Education Special Interest Group of the American Educational Research Association. Currently, I volunteer on the Admin Team of POOR Magazine and am an Engagement in Grantmaking panelist for The David and Lucile Packard Foundation.

3. What do you hope to achieve on the SDS Board that you want membership to be aware of? 

 

I have experience partnering with individuals, groups, and organizations concerning agriculture, education, community health, ecology, and housing in the United States and internationally. I think it is vital for SDS leadership and membership that multiply marginalized disabled youth and adults are integrally represented and meaningfully leading the conversations, decisions, and solutions for the organization. A capacity/asset focus and community/coalition building perspective as well as associated skills and knowledge would anchor me as an SDS Board Member. That said, I would first learn about the sociocultural and historical contexts of SDS to best support and generate forthcoming hopes, (re)imaginings, and expansions holistically and sustainably.

Patrick O. Onyango - Paddy
Technical Advisor, IEBC Disability Inclusion Coordinating Committee

1. What is your experience with Critical Disability Studies, Disability Activism, Disability Justice, lived disability experience, or leadership within the disability?

 

Researching into and framing constitutional principles for incorporation into the Constitution of Kenya; membership of the Board of Directors of Kenya’s statutory agency which advises government of Kenya on disability inclusion. Technical assistance to the Federal Government of Somalia in developing disability law and ratification of CRPD; contribution of lead write up to anthology on disability and social justice

2. What is your experience in nonprofit leadership and involvement, including but not limited to Board, committee, and conference involvement? 

 

Member of Kenyan Caucus on Disability Rights Advocacy; participation in conferences on disability issues as technical advisor on policy, legislation and administrative mechanism for mainstreaming disability in development planning processes. Over 10 years experience as Executive Director of a leading Kenyan CSO, the 4Cs.

3. What do you hope to achieve on the SDS Board that you want membership to be aware of? 

 

Promoting North-South confluence on understanding of disability studies to inform shared appreciation for multi-level diversity in disability studies.

Matthew Wolf-Meyer

Matthew Wolf-Meyer (He/him)
Senior Research Fellow, Institute for Advanced Study, Tampere University

1. What is your experience with Critical Disability Studies, Disability Activism, Disability Justice, lived disability experience, or leadership within the disability?

 

My scholarship and teaching are informed by CDS and STS, which shape how I approach questions of racism, ableism, and sexism in the United States. Throughout my ethnographic and historical work, I have focused on the experiences of disabled people and their families in the institutions they interact with—from schools, to workplaces, to recreative organizations; this has been informed by ethnographic work with local and national support groups and in special education facilities. I have worked to forward inclusive models of care, school, and labor that are responsive to the diverse needs and desires of disabled people.

2. What is your experience in nonprofit leadership and involvement, including but not limited to Board, committee, and conference involvement? 

 

I have served as a Member-at-Large for the Society for Medical Anthropology (2018-2021). In that role, I served on the Communications Committee, the Membership & Mentoring Committee, and as the Special Interest Group Liaison. In the first of these roles, I oversaw the hiring of a new Communications Manager. As the chair of the Membership & Mentoring Committee, I focused on developing infrastructure to mentor graduate students, which resulted in a series of online seminars focused publishing, grant writing, and job seeking. I also oversaw the appointment of a new Editor for the SMA’s journal, Medical Anthropology Quarterly.

3. What do you hope to achieve on the SDS Board that you want membership to be aware of? 

 

I am most interested in continuing to develop accessible mentoring infrastructure for graduate students and early career researchers, both as a means to support the diversification of the university and as a mechanism to create mutual support networks between mentors and mentees. With the growth of Disability Studies, providing contexts for interactions between people across institutions that support scholarly and public outcomes helps to build lasting connections to support careers. Moreover, providing situations for cross-generational support of scholars, activists, and other career paths, helps to ensure the transmission of knowledge and experience that can support more inclusive futures.

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