Listen (29 min)
Black and brown people have always been present in the disability movement and some have played pivotal roles. Yet our conversation about race is often pretty unsophisticated. We’re a long way from truly supporting all our community members and, like in the rest of the U.S., people of color with disabilities are frequently the last to be included.
At the same time, movements for racial equality and disability rights overlap and inform each other.
Disability Justice activists Patty Berne and Lateef Mcleod join white woman Adrienne Lauby for a conversation about where we are and where we could be in the partnership of race and disability.
Lateef McLeod is a black writer who lives with cerebral palsy. His book, A Declaration of A Body of Love was published in 2010. He currently is writing a novel tentatively entitled The Third Eye Is Crying.
He is the co-chair of the Persons with Disabilities Ministry at the Allen Temple Baptist Church, a intern at Sins Invalid, and the President-elect for the United States Society for Augmentative and Alternative Communication (USSAAC). He was recently selected as the first Story Telling Fellow at the radio program Making Contact. He speaks using a communication board.
Patty Berne is a co-founder and executive director of Sins Invalid (www.sinsinvalid), a disability justice based performance project centralizing disabled artists of color and queer and gender non-conforming artists with disabilities. Berne’s background includes advocacy for immigrants who seek asylum due to war and torture; community organizing within the Haitian diaspora; international support work for the Guatemalan democratic movement; work with incarcerated youth toward alternatives to the criminal legal system; advocating for LGBTQI community and disability rights perspectives within the field of reproductive and genetic technologies; offering mental health support to survivors of violence; and cultural activism to centralize marginalized voices, particularly those of people with disabilities. Recently stepping down as Board Chair at San Francisco Women Against Rape (http://www.sfwar.org/), Berne’s training in clinical psychology focused on trauma and healing for survivors of interpersonal and state-sponsored violence. Her work has been widely acknowledged including the 2009 recipient of the Empress I Jose Sarria Award for Uncommon Leadership in the field of LGBTQI and disability rights by the National Gay and Lesbian Task Force and in by ABC7 Television in their Profiles of Excellence. Her current work includes distributing the film Sins Invalid, which she directed and co-produced. Berne’s experiences as a Japanese-Haitian queer disabled woman provides grounding for all of her work creating “liberated zones” for marginalized voices.
Air date: July 18, 2014 SHARE