About DIS2018 Keynotes:
Disability rights activist Anita Cameron hails from Chicago, Illinois. She holds a degree in Biology from University of Illinois at Chicago Circle and a degree in Computer Information Systems from Community College of Denver.
Anita has been involved in social change activism and community organizing for 37 years, working on women's issues, homelessness and LGBTQ rights.
In 1986, at age 21, Anita joined ADAPT, a national, grassroots disability rights organization, and has been a member for 32 years, serving as a national organizer, strategist and police negotiator and is very proud of the fact that she has been arrested 132 times with ADAPT doing nonviolent civil disobedience after the style of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., and Mahatma Gandhi. In her work with ADAPT, Anita has been invited to the White House twice, has met three sitting U.S. presidents and has written a definitive guide to organizing, sustaining and surviving vigils and protests.
In 2004, while in Washington, DC, Anita trained to become a CERT (Community Emergency Response Team) member. In 2008, she helped to form the first CERT class consisting of people with disabilities in Rochester, New York. After joining Denver CERT in 2011, Anita became the first visually impaired CERT instructor for the State of Colorado in 2012, and in 2013, became a CERT Program Manager for the State. She has assisted in numerous exercises and real-world incidents with Denver CERT, including serving as a radio communications operator during the Colorado Flood of 2013, and remotely assisting survivors of Hurricanes Harvey and Irma in disater relief in 2017. Anita has written extensively, for numerous agencies and publications, on emergency and disaster preparedness for people with disabilities, as well as the role and participation of the disability community in emergency management.
Anita is the Director of Minority Outreach for the disability rights organization, Not Dead Yet and has met with national and state policy makers and has written persuasively about opposition to a public policy of assisted suicide from the perspective of communities of color who experience disparities in access to healthcare. She lives in Rochester, New York.
Her writings can be found on her blog: http://www.angryblackwomyn.com/
Mia Mingus is a writer, educator and community organizer for disability justice and transformative justice. She is a queer physically disabled korean woman transracial and transnational adoptee from the Caribbean. She works for community, interdependency and home for all of us, not just some of us, and longs for a world where disabled children can live free of violence, with dignity and love. As her work for liberation evolves and deepens, her roots remain firmly planted in ending sexual violence.
Currently, Mia is a 2016 Just Beginnings Collaborative fellow funded for The Living Bridges Project, an anonymous story-collecting project documenting collective responses to child sexual abuse.
Mia is a founding and core-member of the Bay Area Transformative Justice Collective (BATJC), a local collective working to build and support transformative justice responses to child sexual abuse that do not rely on the state (i.e. police, prisons, the criminal legal system). She believes in prison abolition and urges all activists and organizers to critically and creatively think beyond the non-profit industrial complex.
In 2013, along with 14 other activists, Mia was recognized by the White House as an Asian and Pacific Islander women’s Champion of Change in observance of Asian and Pacific Islander Heritage Month. Mia was a 2005 New Voices Fellow, was named one of the Advocate’s 40 Under 40 in 2010, one of the 30 Most Influential Asian Americans Under 30 in 2009 by Angry Asian Man, one of Campus Pride’s Top 25 LGBT Favorite speakers for their 2009, 2010 and 2011 HOT LISTs, and was listed in Go Magazine’s 2013 100 Women We Love. Mia was honored with the 2008 Creating Change Award by the National Gay and Lesbian Task Force and a community activist award for her “dedication and steadfast activism” in 2007 by ZAMI in Atlanta, GA.
Her writings can be found on her blog, Leaving Evidence, as well as Make/Shift, Dear Sister: Letters from Survivors of Sexual Violence, Criptiques, Octavia’s Brood: Sci-Fi from Social Movements, The Wind is Spirit: A Bio/Anthology of Audre Lorde and Radical Reproductive Justice: Foundation, Theory, Practice, Critique.
Our Invited Presenter:
Recognizing that Native American / Indigenous people / Two Spirit communities are often left out of activist spaces, and that DIS is happening the same week as Indigenous Peoples day, we have intentionally invited Jean-Luc Pierite, a disabled member of the Tunica-Biloxi tribe of Louisiana, to be our invited speaker.
Originally from New Orleans, Louisiana, Jean-Luc now resides in Jamaica Plain. Prior to his election to the Board of Directors, Jean-Luc was also elected to the Community Linguist seat of the Advisory Circle for CoLang for the period 2016-20. The Institute on Collaborative Language Research or "CoLang" is designed to provide an opportunity for community language activists and linguists to receive training in community-based language documentation and revitalization. Currently, Jean-Luc volunteers with his Tribe's Language and Culture Revitalization Program which is a collaboration with Tulane University in New Orleans. This program is based on tradition passed from Jean-Luc's great-grandfather Joseph Alcide Pierite, Sr., last traditional chief and medicine man of the Tunica-Biloxi. The Tribe is an amalgamation of members from the Central Louisiana communities of: Tunica, Biloxi-Choctaw, Ofo, and Avoyel.
Jean-Luc has a B.A. in Humanities with a co-major in Mass Communication and Japanese from Dillard University in New Orleans. He also earned an A.S. in Video Game Design from Full Sail University in Orlando, Florida. Jean-Luc currently is the International Procurement and Logistics Manager for The Fab Foundation. The Fab Foundation was formed in 2009 to facilitate and support the growth of the international fab lab network as well as the development of regional capacity-building organizations. The Fab Foundation is a US non-profit 501(c) 3 organization that emerged from MIT’s Center for Bits & Atoms Fab Lab Program.