Published on Rooted In Rights
Read full Piece Here
“There’s another voice in my head, the activist voice who believes that things don’t change without a fight. At a young age, through a series of seemingly random events, I was able to connect with a larger national activist community. This privilege instilled in me a sense of collective power and liberation. I had models of people who, through their actions and words, demonstrated disability life as dignity. This self-respect reinforced in the deepest, most shame filled places in my body that I had the right to be here and participate.
I want to honor this activist voice, especially because the rights that I do have, as one of the first generations to have the right to go to school, for example, were only gained because people organized and advocated for laws and then forced institutions to comply.
It’s a legacy that many of us with access to the world, only based on civil rights, live with. I want to honor this legacy. Yet despite all of my labor, I can’t seem to push hard enough, be intimidating enough, or demonstrate community strength enough, to make change. I am confronted with my own limitations as an activist.
As I accept my strengths, I also must accept the ways in which I am not wired. There will be days where I have the energy to push back or protest. Yet, slowly, I am coming to the acceptance that I am one who prepares the soil for the seed to be planted.
My strength is not in the labor of telling people how to do the work, but through supporting folks to figure out the ingredients that they can choose to enrich their soil in which true solidarity can grow. I plug away at my passion of addressing underlying issues that make people inflexible and burnt out. Part of this work, I remind others, is figuring out where and when to have boundaries.”