From staff reports

The Ohio University LGBT Center is hosting disability justice advocate, attorney, speaker, writer and organizer Lydia X. Z. Brown on Wednesday, April 7, from 6-7:30 p.m. for a talk titled “Weaving Crip, Mad, Queer, Trans Dreams: Disability Justice for Our Classrooms, Our Futures, and Our Freedom.”

OU students, faculty, staff and alumni can register for the event at ASL interpretation will be available.

Brown’s talk will share insights, context, and perspectives on how disability justice can help find ways to reimagine our relationships with ourselves, each other, and the communities where we live, teach, work, and learn, an OU press release stated.

“Designing and teaching for justice and freedom challenges us to incorporate multimodality, flexibility, relational access, and interdependence into our pedagogies, communities, and movements,” Brown said in a press release.

“We are thrilled to welcome Lydia X. Z. Brown to Ohio University,” said Dr. Jan Huebenthal, Assistant Director of the LGBT Center, in a press release. “Radical inclusion in higher education has only become more urgent in times of COVID-19. Over the past year, we have all found new ways to support our students and create new and accessible educational spaces. Research tells us that LGBTQ+ people are statistically more likely to have a disability than other groups, so this conversation is both timely and relevant for queer and trans audiences.”

Dr. Mona Robinson, professor and program coordinator for Patton College’s Counselor Education program and Human Services program, emphasizes that educators must “not only be culturally competent in working with persons with multiple marginalized identities, but they must also be knowledgeable in navigating complex systems in order to assist those with disabilities in order to effectively disrupt those systems that discriminate against people from diverse backgrounds.”

Robinson, who served as accessibility coordinator for the Association for the Multicultural Counseling and Development 2019 Summit, added, “People with disabilities (PWD) constitute the largest minority group in the United States, and PWD is the only minority group comprised of all genders, races, age groups, socioeconomic levels, and religions.”

A key focus of Brown’s will be how ableism undergirds other forms of interpersonal violence.

“The Women’s Center collaborates across campus and community to provide large-scale programming that centers survivor voices, and we recognize that people with disabilities are disproportionately impacted by interpersonal violence,” said Dr. Geneva Murray, Director of the Women’s Center, in a press release. “This is true for so many of the topics that we address within the Women’s Center. We should be inclusive and accessible, and not just retroactively try to make a program accessible. It is crucial to us at the Women’s Center, and for everyone on campus and in our community, to participate in educational opportunities such as this that will challenge us to continue to be better.”

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