An outgrowth of the Coalition Chronicles educational journal (2009-2021), Spotlight is End Abuse’s brand new annual publication exploring pathways to ending violence. Each year, we take an in-depth look at issues relevant to this work as we commit to ongoing learning and shifting as we expand our understanding of the antiviolence movement’s history, present, and future direction.
In the first issue, released in December 2022, we look at Disability Justice. The term disability justice is often used interchangeably with terms such as disability rights and disability inclusion. Yet it’s important to recognize that disability justice refers to a very specific framework of thinking about disabilities by centering the priorities and approaches of historically excluded groups, such as people of color, immigrants, older adults, and people who identify as LGBTQ+. It embraces the idea that we should expect differences in abilities, identities, and cultures, and we should be able to show up in places as our whole selves without the need to ask for special accommodations. It makes access the norm, not the exception.
In this issue, we invited individuals and organizations in our networks to participate in a short survey and share their stories with us. We included those stories along with summary responses to the survey. Among the many resources in this issue, Disability Justice: An Audit Tool, created by Leah Lakshmi Piepzna-Samarasinha, made us aware of how far we had to go to meaningfully shift to a disability justice framework.
With this report, we do not claim our practices and policies yet reflect DJ principles. Our work is only in its beginning phases as we bring DJ to fruition in our daily work. Still, we commit to change and growth as we intentionally shift our awareness and norms. We hope this report provides clarity on concepts that may be new or only vaguely familiar to many in this field; connection to how critical DJ is to all working towards safety and dignity for survivors of DV; resources to go deeper and challenge assumptions; and guidance for putting DJ principles into motion.
Executive Director Monique Minkens often says: “Community is Medicine.” We recognize our beloved
responsibility and desire to center work by and for disabled folks living at the margins of race, class, gender, and resource access as we cultivate authentic community, heal, and create violence-free futures. We have work to do — work that is impactful, important, long-term, and supportive of the future we want to see, where no one is left behind.