Disability Justice Dreaming has a working Advisory Board, meaning that our service work is what keeps the organization running. We prioritize relationship, center Disability Justice, and work against racism and ableism in everything we do. We are committed to creating Disabled cultural spaces that strengthen our communities.
Rebel Sidney Fayola Black Burnett. President, Director, Treasurer. (April 2022-2024) I have spent the past 18+ years studying, practicing, and reflecting on social justice issues and doing liberation work. My BA is in Nonprofit Administration and I completed all of the coursework of a MSW without graduating (I don’t plan to go back). I identify as an occupant of liminal, between-worlds, and crossroad spaces in the United States. This helps me hold dialectical tensions and bridge varying perspectives while building relationship with my collaborators.
Fayola, my great-grandmother’s name and the name given to me by my ancestors, means, “Good Fortune Walks With Honor.” I try to live into that name with all my movements and hold my body steadfastly. I take criticism seriously and do my best to live an accountable life, especially when it hurts.
Some important identities: Multiracial (Black/African, Creole [Black, Persian, Romani, French], Irish, German), agender zami fem. Full of platonic love. He/him/his pronouns, please. Historically very low income and houseless. Psychiatric system and trauma survivor. Physically Disabled with a vibrant purple wheelchair. Color privileged (fair skin with dark features and curly black&gray hair). Speaker of English as a first language. USA citizen. Living with a recent traumatic brain injury.
Favorite Disabled poet: H.D. (Hilda Doolittle), a white, bisexual, non monogamous, disabled woman from early 20th Century USA. Check out The Shrine, which is a love poem to an ugly, unsafe coastline–she finds it beautiful and draws the reader into the same sacred perspective.
Which principle of Disability Justice is most important to you and why? I am most lit up by Sustainability: an important part of my personal and professional practice is pacing to avoid burnout. I am still learning how to pace myself and avoid exploitation in order to promote sustainability for generations. How will the Disability Justice Movement and this organization still be sustainable in 50 years? In 500 years? And what role can I play in supporting that type of sustainability? These are questions I ask myself as I do this work.
Image Description: Piti with long black curly hair and jeans with a white shirt kneels down to look at a blue Tiger Swallowtail that has landed on the ground.
Deanna Parvin Yadollahi. Secretary. (April 2022-2024) Deanna Parvin Yadollahi (they/them) is a disabled, non-binary, diasporic mixed-race Iranian and Toltec-Mexican community activist, friend, and dog parent.
Deanna’s scholar-art-activism is informed by their lived experience both with and for their communities. Deanna is passionate about collaboratively undoing ableism and interlocking oppressions, especially as it relates to collective accessibility. They hope to enact institutional change and radical reimagination that will lead to more supportive and just realities.
Some important identities: Unapparently Disabled (Mad, neurodivergent), gender nonconforming, Indigenous Person of of the Global Majority (Persian, Mexican, Toltec).
What is Disability Justice? There is a single-issue and single-identity nature of the disability rights movement, meaning power and privilege is often uncontended for those most centered and protected by disability advocacy. The movement and framework of disability justice was created by those most targeted by interlocking systems of oppression to respond to criticisms of the disability rights movement.
To combat this, we can start by educating people about, valuing, and following the 10 principles of disability justice as well as related information and resources (e.g., Access Is Love, The Revolution Must Be Accessible). The disability community can and should center, resource, support, and promote people and issues related to those most marginalized, impacted by, and familiar with systems of oppression. This includes deplatforming people whose only targeted identity is disabled. We need disability justice consultation and education for businesses, organizations, educational institutions, government agencies, groups, and individuals. We need to increase prioritization of disability justice as a part of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion initiatives. We also need to engage in cross-movement organizing work to ensure collective liberation for all, including incarcerated bodyminds; undocumented immigrants; houseless neighbors; LGBTQ2SIA+ members; Black, Indigenous, and Multiracial People of Color; folks who undergo abortions; parents; students; older and younger individuals; animals; the environment; and more.
Image Description: Black and white photo of a short haired human and their scruffy service dog on shoulder.