Naomi Ortiz is a Poet, Writer, Facilitator, and Visual Artist whose intersectional work focuses on self-care for activists, disability justice, eco-justice, and relationship with place. They are a highly acclaimed speaker and facilitator with a leadership style emphasizing inclusion and spiritual growth.
Ortiz is the author of Sustaining Spirit: Self-Care for Social Justice (Reclamation Press), which offers powerful, thoughtful, transformative insight into self-care. By weaving together social justice activist interviews with personal experiences in class, race, and disability advocacy, Ortiz provides informative advice on dealing with the risks of burnout.
Ortiz conducts workshops with individuals and groups delving into the substance of self-care, as well as, arts-based programming exploring the intersections between disability justice, the borderlands, and eco-justice. They have conducted workshops and training with people who are incarcerated, US/Mexico Border activists, youth organizers, disability justice activists, and other communities engaged in movement work.
Ortiz is grounded in social justice work through their tenure as Director of the disability justice organization, National Kids As Self Advocates and as the former Southern Arizona Director of the anti-violence projects Help Increase the Peace and Alternatives to Violence. Ortiz is passionate about organizing with the Southern Arizona Community Care Collective/Colectivo de Beinestar Comunitario and focusing on their creative projects exploring disability justice, intersectionality, and connection to place.
Ortiz is a Zoeglossia Poetry Fellow and their poems have been published in We Are Not Your Metaphor: A Disability Poetry Anthology, on Split This Rock, Poems and Numbers, VIDA, Mollyhouse, and performed at events such as the Disability Pride Parade. Ortiz’s poem “majestic disabled/queer/people of color elders instruct how to dance in the struggle” was named a finalist for the Cid Pearlman Performance dance/video/art installation (home)Body, which will premiere at the Santa Cruz Museum of Art & History in January of 2022.
Artwork by Ortiz is part of the permanent collection at the University of Arizona Disability Cultural Center and has been featured in group art shows in Tucson-AZ, Boston-MA, and appears on the cover of Sustaining Spirit. Their painting “Resistance Is Fertile” has been selected for the 2022 Syracuse Workers Peace Calendar.
Ortiz’s work has been described as, “cracking apart common beliefs to spill out beauty.” She is a proud Disabled, Mestiza (Indigenous/ Latina/ White) living with her partner in the Arizona U.S./Mexico borderlands.
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