“It is so simply true, what disability justice is saying to social justice: a sustainable movement doesn’t leave any bodies or minds out. A sustainable movement doesn’t involve anyone destroying their body or pretending their body, or mind, is something other than what it is.”
– Editors, Make/Shift Magazine, 2010
At Northern New Mexico SURJ, we strive to incorporate principles of collective access and disability justice into all of our organizing practices, and request that any new working groups do the same. This is an evolving process and we welcome your feedback as we figure out what this means to us.
On a practical level, this includes things like:
- striving to secure wheelchair-accessible meeting spaces
- asking folks to come to gatherings fragrance-free
- offering emotional support and different ways to participate for neurodivergent folks or trauma survivors who might find traditional organizing or direct action challenging
- accommodating people who need rides or childcare
- generally taking care of each other
Access is not an add-on; it is essential to how we organize.
We are requesting that folks come to SURJ meetings as close to fragrance-free as possible, to make it possible for chemically sensitive participants (with environmental illness/MCS, asthma, allergies, etc) to safely attend meetings. If you are unfamiliar with being fragrance-free, or want to learn more about why and how to do it, check out this article from Everyday Feminism.
- Changing the Framework: Disability Justice by Mia Mingus.
- Achieving Liberation Through Disability Solidarity by Talila A. Lewis.
- Making Space Accessible is An Act Of Love for Our Communities by Leah Lakshmi Piepzna-Samarasinha.