Opening Plenary

The Love to Liberation Pipeline: Disability Justice & Solidarity with Talila Lewis and Dustin Gibson

Current education and legal systems continue to have devastating effects on marginalized communities. While many have come to recognize the cyclical violence these systems inflict on racialized communities, low-income and no-income communities and LGBTQ communities, far too little attention is paid to the injustices visited upon disabled and deaf communities, or to the link between these marginalized communities and the disabled identity. This, when disabled Youth are disproportionately targeted in school suspensions, arrests and expulsions; the foster “care” system; and within economically distressed communities. People with disabilities also represent more than half of the people killed by the police annually and are the largest minority group within our jails and prisons.

Dismantling the school to prison pipeline requires an intersectional approach that addresses varied causes of education inequity simultaneously.

Our collective failure to address trauma and disability experienced by our Youth contributes to cycles of violence within our communities and to our children being pushed out of out of school and into a penal system that only serve to further traumatize young people and pave the way to adult incarceration. Over-reliance on punitive discipline does not consider (and too often punishes) poverty, disability, race, trauma, and other lived experiences of our youth.

Friday, 9:30 am – 11:15 am — McGuire Hall