Keri Gray, founder and CEO of the Keri Gray Group, advises young professionals, businesses, and organizations on issues around disability, race, gender, and intersectionality. Keri illustrates how the framework of intersectionality is essential to true inclusion.
“The reality is, is that you have people like myself, who are black, disabled, and women, and so many other things. And when you live at the intersections of all three of those, then you can’t split your political and social dynamics between these different groups. It doesn’t produce real results of freedom and it doesn’t produce real results of access to employment and other opportunities that you’re looking for.”
Multiply marginalized people with disabilities experience increased systemic discrimination. By centering those most marginalized and taking an intersectional approach to organizing, we have the opportunity to reimagine existing structures and systems—and create a world that works for and elevates everyone.
Interested in learning more about intersectional organizing and centering black, disabled, women in your work?
- Hire Sins Invalid, a Ford grantee, to give a workshop or presentation to your organization. Sins Invalid created the framework for disability justice, which centers black disabled queer voices. Read more about the framework in this article, and in the book, Skin, Tooth, and Bone, by Patty Berne and Sins Invalid.
- Work with the National Alliance of Multicultural Disabled Advocates, an organization led by disabled black, indigenous and people of color organizers, to create workshops and discussion sessions on intersectional organizing.
- Hire Keri Gray to learn more about best practices around disability inclusion and intersectionality.
This piece is part of Disability Demands Justice, a dynamic, ever-evolving hub to deepen our understanding of how disability intersects with social justice.
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A society cannot be truly just without including people with disabilities and taking an intersectional approach towards tackling discrimination. This starts with inclusive leadership, where people with disabilities are invited into discussions and lead the way in advocating for inclusive, equitable spaces.
Over one billion people in the world are living with a disability. We need to expand our definition of justice. To create a truly inclusive world, we need to recognize how disability intersects with issues of social justice. Racial justice, economic justice, and gender justice cannot exist without disability justice.
People with disabilities are the world’s largest marginalized population. Challenging discriminatory narratives and systems can help the disability community build power and create a more inclusive world, by contributing value across all sectors. Building a more inclusive world benefits everyone.
Disability inclusion needs to be included in the fight for economic justice. Barriers to education and employment keep people with disabilities living in poverty. Ending poverty means addressing the drivers of economic inequality and reimagining the future of work.
The right to vote is a fundamental part of building a thriving democracy in which all citizens can become active, engaged participants. People with disabilities face obstacles to political participation that need to be addressed in the journey to inclusion.
Disability needs to be included in the work of social justice. Through a commitment to diversity, equity and inclusion, and establishing organizational policies and practices, we can address challenges to accessibility and create an inclusive future.