Today’s episode is about disabled lawyers with Hamza Jaka and Britney Wilson. Hamza is a recent graduate from UC Berkeley’s School of Law. Hamza shares with his experiences requesting accommodations for his LSATs, the gatekeeping nature of the legal profession that excludes students with disabilities, and the overall toll of law school, ableism, and capitalism on disabled law students. Britney Wilson is a proud graduate of Howard University and the University of Pennsylvania Law School. Britney talks about why she wanted to become a lawyer, her experiences during law school, and her commitment to civil and disability rights.
Hamza Jaka, a brown American Pakistani man, smiles up at the camera. He is wearing glasses, a blue UNESCO Chair Institute shirt, and a fanny pack along with lanyard.
Hamza Jaka is a double bear Berkeley grad, having gone to Berkeley for undergrad, and for law school (Class of 2018). He recently passed the Illinois Bar and plans to begin work in Illinois shortly. Hamza is passionate about inclusion and disability justice, and the arts. He hopes to combine all three as part of his legal career. Outside of the law, Hamza is an active disability rights advocate, gamer, pop culture consumer, writer, and board game player.
A Black woman in a blue suit standing on crutches in front of a golden replica of the globe outside of the United Nations headquarters in New York.
Britney Wilson is an attorney at the National Center for Law and Economic Justice (NCLEJ). Her work focuses on the intersection of poverty, civil rights, and racial justice. Before NCLEJ, Britney worked on a range of racial justice issues, from discriminatory policing, including Floyd v. City of New York, the landmark case that successfully challenged the NYPD’s stop-and-frisk practices, to issues of immigration, voting rights, fair housing, and the school-to-prison pipeline at the Center for Constitutional Rights and the ACLU.
Especially committed to advocacy on behalf of people of color and people with disabilities, Britney has written and spoken extensively about the intersection of these issues, including for The Nation Magazine, Longreads, and This American Life. She is a proud graduate of Howard University and the University of Pennsylvania Law School.
Diverse representation in literature is incredibly important for young people in their formative years and today’s episode is all about Young Adult literature. Today’s episode features an interview with Marieke Nijkamp editor, author, founder of DiversifyYA and former senior Vice President of We Need Diverse Books.
Photo of Marieke Nijkamp, a young white agender person with short hair with the left side shaved and dyed purple and bright cobalt blue. She is wearing glasses, a black necklace, a silver necklace with a cross, and a long-sleeved blue scoop neck top. She is smiling at the camera and some grass and green bushes are behind her.
Marieke Nijkamp was born and raised in the Netherlands. A lifelong student of stories, language, and ideas, she spends as much time in fictional worlds as she does the real world. She loves to travel, roll dice, and daydream. Her #1 New York Times bestselling debut novel, This Is Where It Ends, follows four teens during the fifty-four minutes of a school shooting. Her sophomore novel, Before I Let Go, is a haunting young adult murder mystery set during a cruel Alaskan winter. Marieke is the editor of the 2018 anthology Unbroken: 13 Stories Starring Disabled Teens (FSG).
Today’s episode is on care work with Leah Lakshmi Piepzna-Samarasinha, a writer, cultural worker, teacher, and trainer based in the Pacific Northwest. Leah will discuss her recent book that came out in October 2018 titled, Care Work: Dreaming Disability Justice. We talked last fall about the meaning of care work and disability justice and how people practice both in their everyday lives. Please note, throughout the interview, the term DJ refers to disability justice.
A brown naked body- mostly the hand and leg- are wrapped around and crawling out of a rich root system. The title “Care Work: Dreaming Disability Justice: Essays by Leah Piepzna-Samarasinha” is above this on a white background.
Leah looks at the camera in a garden in South Seattle in August. She has long curly brown, silver and green hair, dark magenta lipstick and light brown skin, and is grinning in front of a garden wall covered in blooming jasmine. Photo credit: Jesse Manuel Graves
Leah Lakshmi Piepzna-Samarasinha is a queer disabled femme writer, organizer, performance artist and educator of Burgher/Tamil Sri Lankan and Irish/Roma ascent. The author of Care Work: Dreaming Disability Justice, Dirty River: A Queer Femme of Color Dreaming Her Way Home (ALA Above the Rainbow List, short-listed for the Lambda and Publishing Triangle Awards), Bodymap (short-listed for the Publishing Triangle Award), Love Cake (Lambda Literary Award winner), and Consensual Genocide, with Ching-In Chen and Jai Dulani, she co-edited of TheRevolution Starts At Home: Confronting Intimate Violence in Activist Communities. Leah’s next two books, Tonguebreaker and Exploring Transformative Justice: A Reader (co-edited with Ejeris Dixon) are forthcoming in 2019.
A lead artist with the disability justice performance collective Sins Invalid since 2009, Leah’s writing has been widely anthologized and published, with recent work featured in PBS Newshour, Poets.org’s Poetry and the Body folio, The Deaf Poets Society, Bitch, Self, TruthOut and The Body is Not an Apology. Her essays have appeared in Glitter and Grit, Octavia’s Brood, Dear Sister, Undoing Border Imperialism, Stay Solid, Persistence: Still Butch and Femme, Yes Means Yes, Visible: A Femmethology, Homelands, Colonize This, We Don’t Need Another Wave, Bitchfest, Without a Net, Dangerous Families, Brazen Femme, Femme and A Girl’s Guide to Taking Over The World.
From 2006-2015 Leah co-founded and co-directed Mangos With Chili, a groundbreaking queer and trans people of color performance tour and collective, and she co-founded Toronto’s Asian Arts Freedom School in 2006. She is a VONA Fellow and holds an MFA from Mills College. She is also a rust belt poet, a Sri Lankan with a white mom, a femme over 40, a grassroots intellectual, a survivor who is hard to kill.
Today’s episode is on design with my guest Liz Jackson, co-founder of Project Thisten and founder of The Disabled List, a design organization that engages in disability as a creative practice. Liz will talk about her work with the design community, how material objects are an important part of our self-identity, the limits of building empathy in design, and a series of design fellowships called WITH that places disabled people with top design studios and creative spaces for three-month fellowships.
Photo of Liz Jackson, a queer white disabled person with short hair. She is wearing eyeglasses, a navy vest with a black t-shirt underneath. She is smiling broadly. Photo credit: Ryan Lash
Liz Jackson is the founder The Disabled List, a design organization that engages in disability as a creative practice. The Disabled List is committed to partnering disabled creatives with top design studios and creative spaces for three-month fellowships through a program called The WITH Fellowship. You can learn more about Liz in her personal website, The Girl with the Purple Cane.
Photo of Dr. Subini Annamma, a Black-South Asian woman with long black curly hair and brown skin tone. She is wearing a short-sleeved black v-neck top with a purple tank underneath. A tree with green leaves and a grassy lawn is behind her.
Subini Ancy Annamma, Ph.D., is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Special Education at the University of Kansas. Her research and pedagogy focus on increasing access to equitable education for historically marginalized students and communities, particularly students with disabilities. Specifically, she critically examines the social construction of race and ability; how the two are interdependent, how they intersect with other identity markers, and how their mutually constitutive nature impacts education experiences. She centers this research in urban education and juvenile incarceration settings and focuses on how student voice can contribute to dismantling systemic inequities and identifying exemplary educational practices.
Dr. Annamma is the first author on Dis/ability Critical Race Studies (DisCrit): Theorizing at the intersections of race and dis/ability, which was published in Race, Ethnicity and Education in 2013 and is included in the 2nd edition of Foundations of Critical Race Theory in Education. Since then she has published multiple articles, book chapters, and is currently a co-editor of two books. She served as an Associate Editor of International Journal of Qualitative Studies in Education and is currently on the editorial board of Multiple Voices for Ethnically Diverse Exceptional Learners. Dr. Annamma is a past winner of the American Education Research Association (AERA) Dissertation Minority Fellowship in Education Research Award and is currently Co-Program Chair for the 2016 annual conference of the Critical Race Studies Association in Education. She has served as an invited speaker on topics ranging from the School-to-Prison Pipeline and Mass Criminalization, Restorative and Transformative Justice, Disability Critical Race Theory, and Critical Perspectives in Special Education Policy and Practice.
Medium shot of Dr. Sami Schalk. She is a light-skinned black woman with short curly hair and brown glasses. She is smiling to the camera in front of an off-white painted brick wall. She is wearing a black velvet jacket over a purple dress, red lipstick, and silver hoop earrings. Photo by Smoketree Photography of Madison, WI.
Dr. Sami Schalk is an Assistant Professor of Gender & Women’s Studies at University of Wisconsin-Madison. She earned her BA in English (Creative Writing) and Women’s Studies from Miami University in 2008, her MFA in Creative Writing (Poetry) from University of Notre Dame in 2010, and her PhD in Gender Studies from Indiana University in 2014.
Dr. Schalk’s interdisciplinary research focuses broadly on disability, race, and gender in contemporary American literature and culture, especially African American literature, speculative fiction, and feminist literature. She has published on literature, film, and material culture in a variety of peer-reviewed humanities journals.
Dr. Schalk’s first book Bodyminds Reimagined: (Dis)ability, Race, and Gender in Black Women’s Speculative Fiction (Duke University Press 2018) argues that black women writers of speculative fiction reimagine the possibilities and limits of bodyminds, changing the way we read and interpret categories like (dis)ability, race, gender and sexuality within the context of these non-realist texts. Dr. Schalk has begun a second book project on disability politics in contemporary African American art and activism, including the Black Panthers and the Black Lives Matter movement. She also writes for mainstream outlets, namely Our Lives Magazine, Madison’s local LBGTQ magazine.
On a personal level, Dr. Schalk identifies as a fat, femme, black, queer, cisgender, nondisabled, middle-class, polyamorous, body-positive, sex-positive, intersectional feminist woman. Dr. Schalk uses she/her pronouns. You can follow her activities on Twitter and Facebook.
Today’s episode is about mental health and people of color. My guest today is Dior Vargas, a Latina Feminist Mental Health Activist and the creator of the People of Color and Mental Illness Photo Project. Dior will talk about her photo project which started in 2014 and a new book of photo essays she edited titled, The Color Of My Mind: Mental Health Narratives from People of Color. This book features full page portraits of a wide range of people of color with different mental health disabilities including short quotes about their lives. We also talk about the invisibility of people of color in the media representation of mental illness and the need for greater cultural competence in mental health.
Book cover of The Color of My Mind: Mental Health Narratives from People of Color, Edited by Dior Vargas & Photography by Zackary McDowell. Photo with a red background featuring a woman of color with curly brown hair looking to the right of the camera. She is wearing a white shirt with a floral print.
Black and white photo of a Latina facing the camera with a serious face, her hair down, and wearing a black v-neck top. Photo credit: Norman Jean Roy.
Dior Vargas is a Latina Feminist Mental Health Activist, and the creator of the People of Color and Mental Illness Photo Project, a response to the invisibility of people of color in the media representation of mental illness. She tours the country giving keynotes, hosting workshops, and speaking on panels. Her work and insight have been covered in media outlets such as Forbes, Newsweek, NBC News Latino, and The Guardian. Dior is the recipient of numerous awards including, The White House Champion of Change for Disability Advocacy Across Generations. She is working towards a Master of Public Health at NYU’s College of Global Public Health.
Dior is the Editor of The Color Of My Mind, a photo essay based on her viral online photo series, “People Of Color and Mental Illness Photo Project,” launched in September, 2014.
Today I talk with Carly Findlay, author of a new book titled Say Hello published by Harper Collins. Based in Melbourne, Australia, Carly is a blogger, writer, speaker, and appearance activist. Carly will talk about her writing career, the politics and pitfalls of visibility, and her writing process for Say Hello. Please note: I interviewed Carly in 2018, as she was in the middle of writing her book. Also: Say Hello is Australian and NZ release only right now. International order details on Carly’s blog.
Book cover featuring woman with red face and short dark curly hair, smiling. She’s wearing a pink floral top and bright orange skirt. Her hand is on her hip. Curly orange text reads “Say Hello”, and black text reads “Carly Findlay How I became the fangirl of my own story – a memoir and manifesto on difference, acceptance, self love and belief.”
Image shows Carly standing, hands on hips, laughing in front of a blue background wearing an awesome bright yellow dress adorned by beautiful white flowers.
Carly Findlay is a blogger, writer, speaker and appearance activist. She challenges people’s thinking about what it’s like to have a visibly different appearance.
She’s written for many publications including The Guardian, The Age and Sydney Morning Herald, Daily Life, The ABC, Mamamia, Frankie magazine and BlogHer. She’s used her blog to write about her skin condition, Ichthyosis, as well as promoted causes such as Love Your Sister and Donate Life.
Carly was named as one of Australia’s most influential women in the Australian Financial Review and Westpac 100 Women of Influence Awards for 2014. Carly received the 2010 and 2013 Yooralla Media Awards for Best Online Commentary for her body of disability focused writing. She also won the best personal blog category for Kidspot Voices of 2013, and the 2013 BUPA Health Activist award for Positive Life Change. She’s also been a finalist in the Best Australian Blogs competition in 2011, 2012 and 2014.
Carly is an accomplished speaker – she’s spoken at the University of Western England’s Appearance Matters conference, the Melbourne Writer’s Festival, Emerging Writers Festival, Problogger, University of Melbourne, Royal Melbourne hospital, Progress2017, the Australian Education Union of Victoria and Cancer Council of Victoria (to name a few). She’s a regular on ABC radio, and has spoken on podcasts including the Oaher Günsberg Podcast, Fully Sick, The Accessible Stall, Neighbuzz, and Just a Spoonful.
Carly has performed in Quippings at Hares and Hyenas, the Spiegeltent and Malthouse Theatre in the Melbourne Fringe Festival and Emerging Writers Featival.
She organised Australia’s first Ichthyosis meet in 2015 – bringing together 75 people affected by the rare, severe skin condition Ichthyosis. 25 attendees had Ichthyosis. Friendships and support networks were formed.
Carly appeared on You Cant Ask That and Cyber Hate with Tara Moss on ABC TV in 2017.
She develops and runs disability training for organisations and schools – get in touch if you want to book her.
In 2013 Carly was discriminated against by a taxi driver because of her skin. She wrote about this on her blog, took the case to the Human Rights Commission and made a complaint to the taxi company and the Victorian Taxi commission. One of the outcomes she wanted following her complaints was for improved disability training for taxi drivers. A video was made for the taxi company with Carly’s input, and disability-related complaints have since reduced. She is proud to have influenced the taxi industry and assisted passengers in this way. The video has since been disseminated to all Victorian taxi companies via the Victorian Taxi Commission too.
Today’s episode is about disabled “fakers,” that is, the misconceptions and stereotypes of disabled people exaggerating or faking their disabilities. I talk with Doron Dorfman, incoming Associate Professor of Law at Syracuse University College of Law, who conducted two case studies on this subject during his time at Stanford Law School. We talk about his research and disability studies at Stanford including the campus initiative that made it happen.
A headshot of a white man with dark hair and eyes smiling straight to the camera. He is wearing a blue colored shirt and square dark blue eyeglasses.
Doron Dorfman is an incoming Associate Professor of Law at Syracuse University College of Law and recent Liberman fellow and a JSD (Ph.D. in Law) candidate at Stanford Law School. His research focuses on Disability Law and Health Law using a social science perceptive and a wide variety of both quantitative and qualitative methods. Doron also teaches Stanford’s first ever disability studies class. You can download his scholarship for free here.
Photo of Dr. Rooshey Hasnain, a South Asian woman with should-length black hair. She is wearing eyeglasses and a black shirt. She is smiling at the camera.
Rooshey Hasnain. Ed.D., M.A. is a Clinical Assistant Professor with the Department of Disability and Human Development and the Undergraduate Rehabilitation Sciences Program at the University of Illinois at Chicago (UIC). Her primary professional interest is in understanding the lives, challenges, and strengths of people with disabilities and mental health conditions, especially those from refugee and immigrant backgrounds. She works on finding ways to reduce cultural stigma associated with disability and mental health issues, and ways to promote a human rights perspective on behalf of underserved individuals, their families, and their communities. Most of the projects she has founded attempt to bridge the service and opportunity gaps between U.S. disability service systems and hard-to-reach disabled people and their families. Currently she is the Principal Investigator for a NIDILRR field-initiated project called Partners of Refugees in Illinois Disability Employment (PRIDE), which aims to support Illinois-based job-seeking refugees with disabilities in accessing employment and career opportunities.
Photo shows a close up image of a Kate, a not-as-young-as-she-used-to-be white person wearing thick rimmed glasses. She is smiling while sitting on Chicago public transit in her grey pea coat. She has short cropped brown hair that is trimmed close on the sides, but longer on top and swept over and back to one side.
Kate Caldwell is a Clinical Assistant Professor in the Department of Disability and Human Development at the University of Illinois at Chicago (UIC), where she received her doctorate in disability studies and worked on the Chicagoland Entrepreneurship Education for People with Disabilities project (www.CEEDproject.org). Having also received a master’s degree from the University of Chicago in interdisciplinary social sciences, she brings this expertise to approaching complex issues where various fields intersect and facilitating dialogue across disciplines. Her research in the area of employment and social policy has focused on the experiences of people with disabilities, and Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities (I/DD) in particular, in entrepreneurship. This is a topic that allows her to bridge the fields of disability studies and entrepreneurship studies by integrating theoretical advancements that have been made in feminist theory, citizenship theory, and social justice. Kate has served on the National Task Force on Workforce Development and Employability for People with Disabilities as an advisor for the Subcommittee on Entrepreneurship, Tax Incentives & Procurement. For two and a half years she served as the Editorial Coordinator for the AAIDD journal, Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities.
Kate is a theorist, having written on the intersection of bisexuality and disability. Her work has contributed to the inclusion of disability in The Bisexuality Report and the inclusion of bisexuality in the Global Disability Rights Library. She is also a methodologist and developed the technique for conducting Dyadic Interviews with individuals with intellectual disabilities, which is informed by critical disability studies. She also developed the best practice recommendation for the Association of University Centers on Disabilities (AUCD), and currently in use by the Institute on Disability and Human Development at UIC, for creating plain language summaries for academic articles.
Today’s episode is about is about D/deaf people in prison. My guests are Claudia Center and TL Lewis. Both Claudia and TL will talk about a case filed by the ACLU on June 20, 2018, on behalf of 14 D/deaf and hard-of-hearing inmates in Coen v. Georgia Department of Corrections. The suit says Georgia is violating the Americans with Disabilities Act and the U.S. Constitution’s protections against cruel and unusual punishment because they are denied communication access. TL and Claudia will discuss their role in this case and the major issues facing incarcerated D/deaf and hard-of-hearing people in Georgia and nationally.
Photo of Claudia Center, a white woman with wavy shoulder-length brown hair. She is wearing glasses and a heather gray cardigan with a purple t-shirt underneath. She is smiling at the camera.
I grew up in New Hampshire, went to Wesleyan University for college, then moved to California. I was a paralegal for a big law firm and then I went to Berkeley Law (aka Boalt Hall). After law school I worked for NARAL in D.C., starting as a Women’s Law and Public Policy Fellow. Then I worked for the Employment Law Center (now Legal Aid at Work) for many years before joining the ACLU’s Disability Rights Program. Ask me your questions about the ADA, the Rehabilitation Act, disability rights, disabled people, and the disability community. I was a foster parent to two teenagers who are now my adult children. I have three older sisters; we all look alike. I’ve been taking Spanish classes diligently for four years (so far reaching the proficiency of your average Anglo at the end of their first year of high school Spanish). I sing in an a cappella choir, Scales of the City, and I make my friends attend our concert once a year. (Check out our YouTube channel!) I’m an advanced FBer and watcher of television. I live with two cats and one adult child. I’m in a long-term love-hate relationship with San Francisco. My best friend is my iPhone. Twitter: @Claudia_SF
Image of a young genderfluid black person of African descent (TL) wearing a bright blue collared shirt while seated at a desk in a hallway with their hands folded under their chin and elbows leaning against the tabletop. There are windows & doors in the background.
Recognized as a White House Champion of Change and one of Pacific Standard Magazine’s Top 30 Thinkers Under 30, Talila A. Lewis is a Community Lawyer who has been engaged in innovative and intersectional anti-violence, decarceration & prison abolition work for over a decade. Talila’s work highlights and addresses the nexus between race, class, disability and structural inequity—focusing in particular, on people with multiply marginalized identities. Talila co-founded & serves as the volunteer director of Helping Educate to Advance the Rights of Deaf Communities (HEARD), a volunteer-dependent nonprofit organization which created and maintains the only national database of Deaf, DeafBlind, DeafDisabled and Hard of Hearing imprisoned people. Talila also serves as a consultant on radical education and workplace inclusion; an expert on cases involving disabled people; and previously served as the Givelber Public Interest Lecturer at Northeastern University School of Law and a visiting professor at Rochester Institute of Technology/National Technical Institute for the Deaf. Talila is a founding member of the Harriet Tubman Collective and co-creator of the Disability Solidarity praxis. A recent graduate of American University Washington College of Law, Talila has received awards from numerous universities, the American Bar Association, Congresswoman Eleanor Holmes Norton, the American Association for People with Disabilities, National Black Deaf Advocates, and the Nation Institute, among others. Talila is the recipient of the 2018 Roddenberry Fellowship and the 2018 Atlantic Fellowship for Racial Equity. Twitter: @talilalewis