Disability Justice Student Initiative

The Disability Justice Student Initiative serves as a hub for communities of Disabled students. We explore disability as a social identity and a complex embodied experience through critical discourse, education, support, and connection. We bring disabled students together in community to challenge multiple intersecting systems that marginalize bodies and minds that differ from the societal norm.
Disability Justice is a framework created by Disabled queer people and activists of color that:

  • interrogates and directly challenges ableism in solidarity with intersecting oppressive  structures and identity norms
  • Recognizes that all bodies are unique and essential, have strengths and needs that must be met, and are powerful because of their complexities (From Sins Invalid)
  • empowers all people to envision and build a world where communities at the margins create collective liberation

Program Descriptions

“Disability Justice at the Intersections” Lecture Series
Disability Justice is fundamentally interconnected with other anti-oppression frameworks in understanding our holistic, multiply marginalized experiences in society. To capture this framework, the initiative will collaborate with identity, cultural, and community centers in Campus Life to bring leading speakers to campus. This series of lectures will engage students in grasping and mobilizing around the intersections of Disability Justice with Racial Justice, Economic Justice, and other justice movements resisting systems of marginalization and oppression. At least one identity, cultural, or community center will co-sponsor each event.

Student-Driven Co-Curricular Workshops and Events
The DJSI empowers students to create their own knowledge born of lived and shared experience in community through critical pedagogy. This initiative will develop and host workshops, events, and community gatherings each semester for the disabled student community writ large. These events are an opportunity for co-curricular education around Disability Justice as a framework of social justice and grounding its practice in the day-to-day experiences of disabled students. These events center supporting and affirming the lived experience of disabled students and facilitators draw upon their own intimate knowledge of shared Disabled experiences.

The DJSI Team

Vanessa Garcia, Graduate Coordinator
Akash Altman, Campus Life Fellow

Cristian Loor, Community Coordinator
Evan Dong, Community Coordinator
Maya Avelino, Community Coordinator
Ren Liu, Community Coordinator
Simran Jhooty, Community Coordinator

Leo Tamez, Multimedia Specialist