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It’s Time to Act!™ 2022 Forum Series: Disability Justice & Radical Inclusion

By YWCA Minneapolis
March 28, 2022
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March 28, 2022

Image caption: Screenshot of Talila Lewis and ASL interpreter, Jonathan Martinez Marquez during the forum

YWCA Minneapolis was honored to welcome artist, activist and lawyer Talila A. Lewis (TL) as the presenter for our March It’s Time to Act! Forum on Wednesday, March 23. It’s Time to Act! brings the community together for a deeper understanding of systemic oppression with the goal of orienting to action for racial justice.


Image caption: ableism working definition by Talila Lewis, updated January 2022. 

TL presented critical frameworks about ableism and its inherent connections to white supremacy and history, from the ableist construct of posture in respectability politics to the ways that Black contributions to disability rights and justice work have been erased. TL led participants in an exercise to understand the many ways that ableism saturates our institutions, environments and actions. TL also challenged us to think differently about “phobias” as opposed to purposeful exclusions, and to understand the negative racialization of certain peoples within capitalism. Some examples of ableism that were discussed include:

  • Who has access to technology
  • Healthcare being tied to employment
  • The cost and burden of purchasing menstrual care items for people with periods

Perhaps the most wonderful thing TL left us with is the understanding that disability justice praxis — that collectivity — offers us the gifts of creativity and accountability. When we work together on accessible, inclusive solutions, we have the opportunity to build together for a brighter future.  

Access the event recording

Note: Closed captions can be enabled, and there are ASL-English interpreters in the video.

Developing Skills Around Inclusion and Equity

The strength of our future depends on our ability to develop new skills around inclusion and equity, understand the realities of racism today and commit ourselves to action. We thank all the participants who joined us for It’s Time to Act! this year. A very special thank you to our presenter, Talila A. Lewis, ASL Interpreters William Mendez Gallardo and Jonathan Martinez Marquez and CART Captioner, Cory Corvyn Dostie.

We hope you join us for the second It’s Time to Act! forum, Intersectional Community Organizing, on Tuesday, May 10.

Read more of Talila’s work

Resources for Continued Learning

Learn more about YWCA Racial Justice Programs

It’s Time to Act! Intersectional Community Organizing