Stacey Milburn – Remarks from Women’s March Oakland

Stacey Milburn

“Below are my remarks from Women’s March Oakland that I want to turn into an essay maybe. I wanna have more conversations about what we are **learning**, not just doing. What have you learned through the work you do or the people you love? What is your community teaching you? ????????????

“…I’m here today representing the disability justice community, a movement of people who believe no being is broken, deviant or wrong and asks us to honor and support each other as we are. Disability justice imagines a world, where in marches like these, thousands of people set their steps at the pace of the slowest walker, no person left behind. Disability justice imagines a world beyond the antiquities of caste, capitalism, and occupation. A world where human worth is not connected to how much labor a person can produce. A world where in Oakland and in Palestine ????????, we say yes to community self determination and no to war and violence as tools that disable communities.

We are an optimistic movement. This is largely because to believe in Disability Justice is to believe in human potential for transformation. We believe human transformation is possible because our experience with our bodyminds is an everyday reminder that most things in life are not static or fixed as we like to think, but actually the opposite: forever changing. Everything and everyone has capacity to learn and change, embrace it. We must all become beautiful adapters in our movements, just as disabled people are in our bodyminds.

We believe human transformation is possible because transformation often happens in relationships —  something disabled people know a lot about. Our relationships are frequently as vital to our survival and wellbeing as bread and water. Living interdependently means choosing a life where none of us are free until all of us are free. If we can learn how to be with each other, even at our most needing/needy level of selves, our community becomes stronger for it. If we can show up for each other, we become unstoppable.

Together we can fight for each other‘s lives. Together we can create vibrant ecologies of community and support. We all have an important role to play in this work and everyone has capacity for leadership. Thank you for being here in this work. ”