Dreaming Futures

“We must imagine what we want to create as a future society; imagine who we need to be in order to move and grow in life-affirming directions; and imagine solutions, even when we are told we have reached an impossible problem or condition” (adrienne maree brown, Holding Change).

White Supremacy

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“White supremacy won’t die until white people see it as a white issue they need to solve rather than a Black issue they need to empathize with.”

Indigenous Systems

Image description: On a multicolored Indigenous geometric background is a Quote by Andrea Landry of the Anishinabe in reddish brown highlighted in pink.

“I don’t want to fight colonial systems anymore. Nor do I want to become part of their system and Destroy it from Within. I simply want to live in indigenous systems.  That is my definition of freedom.”


Definition of Ableism

Image Description: rectangular image with the definition of ableism laid over various colored blocks in the background indicating the overlaid, intertwined, connected nature of all forms of systemic oppression to ableism.

The following words are on the image:

able·ism /ˈābəˌlizəm/ noun A system of assigning value to people’s bodies and minds based on societally constructed ideas of normalcy, productivity, desirability, intelligence, excellence, and fitness. These constructed ideas are deeply rooted in eugenics, anti-Blackness, misogyny, colonialism, imperialism, and capitalism. 

This systemic oppression leads to people and society determining people’s value based on their culture, age, language, appearance, religion, birth or living place, “health/wellness”, and/or their ability to satisfactorily re/produce, “excel” and “behave.” You do not have to be disabled to experience ableism.

working definition by @TalilaLewis, updated January 2022, developed in community with disabled Black/negatively racialized folk, especially @NotThreeFifths. Read more: bit.ly/ableism2022

10 Principles of Disability Justice

Image Description: Words of various fonts on a watercolor background with veins that look like trees, and layered clusters of bubbles that look like alveoli in the lungs. Text reads:


Text by Patty Berne and Sins Invalid. Design by Nomy Lamm. For more information, click here.

Creating New Futures

Image Description: White and pink text on black background.

Text says: “Transformation is not aspirational. It is abolitionist work, leading with Land Back and Reparations, Disability Justice, Self-Determination for peoples in the territories, and care of Black, Indigenous, Trans, and People of Color. It is how we become the death doulas of the systems that have not served in order to recall the tools of liberation that have served peoples in the past and are essential to make new futures.” 

This is from Creating New Futures: Working Guidelines for Ethics & Equity in Presenting Dance & Performance.

Find more information at Creating New Futures’ website.

White Supremacy Culture

Image Description: Black text on white background with National Disability Theater, Sound Theater, and Calling Up Justice logos. Source: Calling Up Justice

White-dominant culture operates as a social mechanism granting advantages to white people, because they can navigate society both by feeling normal and being viewed as normal.  What “normal” elements of your organizational culture are toxic? Here are a few examples:

  • Worship of the Written Word
  • Right to Comfort
  • Binary Thinking 
  • Fear of Open Conflict
  • Power Hoarding 

White Supremacy Culture in Organizations

Adapted from: Kenneth Jones & Tema Okun. ChangeWork, 2001

Further Reading:

Collective Care

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“It’s not about self-care—it’s about collective care.

Collective care means shifting our organizations to be ones where people feel fine if they get sick, cry, have needs, start late because the bus broke down, move slower, ones where there’s food at meetings, people work from home—and these aren’t things we apologize for. 

It is the way we do the work, which centers disabled-femme-of-color ways of being in the world, where many of us have often worked from our sickbeds, our kid beds, or our too-crazy-to-go-out-today beds. Where we actually care for each other and don’t leave each other behind. Which is what we started with, right?” 

Leah Lakshmi Piepzna-Samarasinha, “Care Work: Dreaming Disability Justice”

Basic Consensus

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“A basic, but flexible, structure for coming through the decision-making process and a series of tools for groups and facilitators to actively use in facilitating the process.

This process is cyclical, in that when a major concern or block is voiced, the group can circle back to another step in the process to develop a new proposal with the concern/block in mind. The group is seen as synthesizing ideas and information towards a unique proposal that belongs to the group, rather than individual members. Emotional information is considered valuable information”.–by Autumn Brown

Capitalism Said Our Bodies Were Useless

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“Gloria (Anzaldúa), Capitalism said our bodies were useless…Capitalism says that disabled, tired bodies that spend too much time in bed are useless” (Leah Lakshmi Piepzna-Samarasinha).

In response to this quote, Rebel wrote the linked essay. Here is an excerpt of that essay: 

“Disability Justice, on the other hand, views each life as inherently valuable. Just being born gives a person worth. Our capacities to think, feel, love, hope, imagine, sense–any combination of these and more–give our lives value, and that value can’t be taken away just because we don’t make enough money for other people. Working is one possibility for our lives to take, but it’s not the only one.

We can be useless and still have value. We can live as resistance to those who would rather we die or disappear.”

Definition of Access Art

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“What is Access Art? Access Art describes the ways marginalized people and communities creatively grow resources, design accessibility, celebrate joy and resistance, out-maneuver supremacy culture, and dream worlds beyond the impossible. DesirePathProject.com” Image is a blue sky and floating flowers.

What is Racial Justice?

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“Racial justice is the systematic fair treatment of people of all races, resulting in equitable opportunities and outcomes for all. Racial justice —or racial equity — goes beyond “anti-racism.” It is not just the absence of discrimination and inequities, but also the presence of deliberate systems and supports to achieve and sustain racial equity through proactive and preventative measures.

Operationalizing racial justice means reimagining and co-creating a just and liberated world and includes: 

  • Centering Blackness and building community, cultural, economic, and political power of Black, Indigenous, and other People of Color (BIPOC), and
  • Understanding the history and the system of white supremacy
  • Addressing past harms of supremacy culture
  • Working in right relationship and accountability in an ecosystem for collective change
  • Implementing interventions that use intersectional analysis impacting multiple systems
  • Applying the practice of love along with disruption and resistance to the status quo”

(“Racial Justice” definition from the Racial Equity Tools glossary)

Poem For The Bedridden
By Aurora Levins Morales

In times to come
When the generations look back
On the Great Uprising of 2020
And speak of the people in the streets,
the people healing wounds, cooking food,
Making signs,
Because so much will have changed by then
They will also speak our names, the ones
Who could not join the crowds
Or write manifestos
Or cook vats of soup
Or deliver supplies,
Whose fields of action were our beds,
Our chairs set by the windows
Where we could watch you march by.
They will say these are the ones
Who carried the consequences of the bad old days
In their bodies, who shouldered the harm
In lungs that wheezed, in guts that churned,
In aching muscles and crushing fatigue,
Whose hearts burned beside our own
As the old world fell, and as we marched
And toppled monuments and governments,
Did the work of resting
For the sake of the whole new world.

10 Affirmations of Disability Justice

By Deanna Parvin Yadollahi

  • I am exactly how I am meant to be, perfect and beautiful
  • I am worthy of accessibility, no matter how difficult others think it is to provide
  • I am worthy of meaningful connections, no matter what others think of me when I’m fully me
  • I am worthy of unlearning shame and internalized oppression, no matter what controversies exist in activist communities; all of which can exist beautifully without the need to all be held
  • I am worthy of asking for help, even if others are not available to help me, and even if others have become in distress after trying to help me; how others perceive me is neither in my own control or solely my responsibility, as I can learn and grow from the gift that is mistakes
  • I am worthy of my knowledge and expertise being valued, whatever I decide that looks like
  • I am worthy of identifying, changing, and setting boundaries; trusting myself no matter what
  • I have learned that I need to allow myself to do a little bit of the thing I’m trying to unlearn, in order to also supplement it with something else that better meets my access needs
  • I have learned from decolonization for dreamers that a goal of mine is to be a good ancestor-in-training; so that others don’t have to struggle the ways I have, though it is also a requirement to go through full journeys to access the wisdom and learnings associated
  • When the world is basically on fire, it can be easy to confuse the enemy. We might neglect ourselves, our loved ones, and those we don’t know. While nobody is entitled to us, oppression is the enemy, and it can be easy to do the only thing we know to do – based on internalized oppression – which is police each other. I know I have… Hurt people can hurt people, still within the realm of accountability