There is an erasure happening within movement spaces to folks disabled by a society that fails to meet the necessities of their conditions/circumstances (often despite having ample, but not well-dispersed, resources to meet them). I believe this is largely due to an inability to "show up" in the not-diverse ways typically celebrated by our movements and a perceived lack of other options. I'm most focused on redefining what involvement looks like for myself, but fighting this erasure is a two way street that requires reciprocal, conscious effort from us as individuals and the community, aka "MOVE UP, MOVE UP":
- Movement communities have a responsibility for creating the conditions necessary for persons with chronic conditions, necessities, and otherwise undersupported circumstances (bodily, mental, or sensory; visible, invisible, or ignored) to MOVE UP as both activists and organizers. Work on it!
- Baes, here are 8 ways to MOVE UP in our movements when you cannot exactly "show up":
1. Organize in a space constructed to meet your needs, such as your home. (one of the reasons I started Paint & Drank!) Disrupt local spaces you naturally encounter, such as on your way to work.
2. Use art as a tool for cultural organizing. Our current popular culture has been built to affirm systems of oppression and needs revolutionizing. (For the People Artists Collective has been a space for me to do just that)
3. Recognize and affirm your self-care and healing as a necessary component of our community's healing - a super necessary piece of movement sustainability.
4. Do harm-reducing outreach (written and oral) to key people/stakeholders, sign petitions, and make donations to or raise money for campaigns when you have the capacity.
5. Advocate for more intersectional approaches to the issues you face. The Medical Industrial Complex especially exploits the black people and POC. These folk are too often left out of accessibility advocacy.
6. Participate in the strategic planning of actions. Ask me about this offline.
7. Amplify your needs to your community. Be consistent, unapologetic, and invite others to amplify theirs as well. This helps accessibility checking become a habit in our community, and others who don't have the opportunity to speak their needs are likely to have some overlap with you.
8. Focus on mobilizing others in cases where you cannot be present. Start with close friends and family. Telling others to participate even though you can't does NOT make you a hypocrite.
I'm just brainstorming (feel free to add), but for now, just know that everyone is useful and that there are concrete steps we can all take to contribute.
Ps. this .gif is the animated version of a piece in a mini manifesto i've been working on. more on that l8r.