L–R: Keri Gray // Black Disabled Lives Matter (photo by Jen Deerwater) // Justice Shorter
Geek Girl Riot host Day Al-Mohamed is joined by Keri Gray and Justice Shorter, two of the organizers of DC’s Black Disabled Lives Matter movement, for a conversation about disability, inclusion, and making the Black Lives Matter protests accessible for everyone.
Introductions + Finding Inspiration
Keri Gray is a speaker, consultant, organizer, and founder of the National Alliance of Multicultural Disabled Advocates. Justice Shorter is a crisis communicator, advisor and trainer to disability advocates and attorneys, concerning disasters and humanitarian crises. When the current Black Lives Matter protests started, both Justice and Keri wanted to attend. As Keri has a prosthetic limb and Justice is blind, they wanted to ensure the protests were accessible for them—and for everyone. So they teamed up to organize the DC contingent of Black Disabled Lives Matter, which has re-energized the hashtag and nationwide protests for equality. Keri and Justice take some time to introduce themselves, talk about their disabilities, and share what led them to do the amazing work they do today.
DC’s Black Disabled Lives Matter Movement
Keri & Justice give us a rundown of how their Black Disabled Lives Matter initiative came about. They detail the specific ways they found to address the accessibility issues at protests by putting together a comprehensive team (all within a few days!). Led by fellow organizer Conchita Hernandez, their initiative provided ASL interpreters, medics, lawyers, journalists, and vital supplies at the marches in DC.
Making Things Happen + Finding Strength in Each Other
The response to the Black Disabled Lives Matter movement has been hugely uplifting and similar initiatives are happening around the country. Justice and Kerry discuss the importance of utilizing each other as a community to make sure no one gets left behind. They also share what they’re working on next, including the upcoming virtual event ‘Decolonizing Dreams: A BIPOC Celebration of ADA30’, which will shine a light on the legacies of disabled people of color and celebrate the Americans with Disabilities Act’s 30th anniversary.
Best Fiends (keep scrolling for more details!)
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Tune in to Geek Girl Riot on idobi Radio every Tuesday at 11pm ET / 8pm PT for your dose of late-night geekery from our team of rioters. ’Til next time, see a list of everything our Rioters talked about below:
Find out more about the ‘Decolonizing Dreams: A BIPOC Celebration of ADA30’ event (registration coming soon)