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Contributors

Rev. Matt Arguin (he/him) serves as a priest in the Diocese of Huron in the Anglican Church of Canada.  As a full-time wheelchair user, he has a special interest in theology and disability.  His vocation has included working with youth, running a dedicated street outreach to poor and vulnerable communities in London, Ontario, and serving as associate priest for the Regional Ministry between the Church of St. Jude and St. Alban the Martyr. During the COVID-19 pandemic, he joined the staff of the Winter Interim Solution to Homelessness, now named Wish to Be Home (WISH), as a Full-Time Support Worker for people who have recently experienced homelessness.

Erin Brown (she/her) is a disability activist and organizer colleagues call a “one-woman powerhouse of advocacy for the disability community in the Bahamas.” A celebrated Paralympic triathlete and an advocate for community-based support for people with disabilities in the Bahamas, Brown is a disability inclusion consultant and a community organizer who works to improve disabled people’s access to health care and education. Spurred in part by the tremendous devastation Hurricane Dorian caused in 2019, she has become a leading advocate for disability-inclusive disaster preparedness and for disability equity during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Rabbi Elliot Kukla (he/they) is a rabbi, author, artist, and activist whose practice of radical spiritual care braids his commitment to social justice with his expertise in tending to the experience of grief, dying, and the realities of being and becoming ill or disabled.  Elliot is a faculty member at Svara: A Traditionally Radical Yeshiva, a learning community that empowers queer and trans people through the spiritual study of traditional Jewish texts.  He directs the Communal Loss and Adaptation Project (CLAP), a program that provides spiritual care for communal loss by centering the adaptive wisdom of frontline queer, disabled, and BIPOC communities.  For more than decade, Elliot served as a rabbi at the Bay Area Jewish Healing Center, where he co-directed an award-winning volunteer spiritual care hospice program.  His essays have been featured numerous times in The New York Times, as well as many other anthologies and magazines.  In 2006, Elliot was the first openly transgender rabbi to be ordained by a mainstream denomination, at Hebrew Union College in Los Angeles.

Naomi Ortiz (they/she) is a disabled Mestize writer and visual artist living in the Arizona US/Mexico borderlands whose intersectional work focuses on disability justice, eco-justice, and relationship with place.  Their book, Sustaining Spirit: Self-Care for Social Justice, draws on decades of experience in self-advocacy and social justice work to help activists tap into spiritual tools for responding to exhaustion, grief, and burnout.  In 2021, Ortiz was awarded a Border Narrative Grant from the National Association of Latino Arts and Cultures for her multidisciplinary project, Complicating Conversations between Disability Justice and Eco-justice in the Arizona Borderlands.

Maria R. Palacios (she/her) is a polio survivor, disability activist, author, and artist known as the Goddess on Wheels.  Maria’s work includes various genres of art ranging from rebellious poetic storytelling, passionate spoken word performance, and sarcastic disability cartoons that call out ableism.  One of the Capitol Crawlers from the iconic 1990 march that passed the Americans with Disabilities Act, Maria is unafraid to share the survival stories of disabled people the world wants to forget.  Since 2007, Maria has been an artist and performer with Sins Invalid, a disability justice performance project that incubates and celebrates artists with disabilities, centering the work of artists of color and LGBTQ/gender-variant artists.  A proud Latina immigrant disabled woman, Maria serves as Sins Invalid’s Spanish Language Outreach Coordinator and her artistic work lifts up the resilience of crip survival.
Germán Parodi (he/him) is Co-Executive Director at the Partnership for Inclusive Disaster Strategies, a disability-led organization that addresses the needs of people with disabilities in disaster situations.  He serves as the Focal Point for Persons with Disabilities in the Americas for the United Nations Disaster Risk Reduction office. Germán deployed to Puerto Rico shortly after Hurricane Maria and is the first person with a significant spinal cord injury to deploy to a disaster-impacted area.  He is an active community organizer with Philadelphia ADAPT, an activist group working to advance disability rights and equitable access.
Marcie Roth (she/her) is Executive Director and Chief Executive Officer for the World Institute on Disability, and the founder of the Global Alliance for Disaster Resource Acceleration.  Recently named by Forbes Magazine to their inaugural Fifty Over 50 Impact List, Marcie has served in executive leadership roles for disability advocacy and public policy organizations since 1995.  From 2009 to 2017, she served as Senior Advisor to the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) Administrator, where she established and directed the Office of Disability Integration and Coordination.  She was recently appointed to the US Department of Health and Human Services National Advisory Committee on Disability and Disaster.
Justice Shorter (she/her) is the Disaster Protection Advisor at the National Disability Rights Network, where she provides expert training and technical assistance for the Protection & Advocacy system on disaster protection, fire safety, emergency management, and humanitarian crises/conflicts. Justice served as a Disability Integration Advisor with the U.S. Federal Emergency Management Agency, and she has deployed to disaster areas across the United States and its territories.  A passionate advocate for inclusive international development and humanitarian assistance, Justice has worked on community development, humanitarian affairs, youth empowerment, and post-conflict reconciliation in South Africa, Uganda, and Rwanda.
Marina Heron (Tsaplina) (she/her) is a Russian-born, Lenapehoking (NYC) based disability performing artist, writer, and independent scholar who forms participatory poetic enchantments. She co-founded and was the Lead Artist of Remagine Medicine at Duke University, where she refined an artistic training curriculum for clinicians, Embodiment, Disability and Puppetry. She was a Kienle Scholar in the Medical Humanities at the Penn State College of Medicine, and the Strategy and Action Lead of New York #insulin4all. Her 2021 Dream Puppet installation, created for an endangered ancient forest in the Yaak Valley, Montana, was featured on the cover of Orion Magazine along with the article Animate Earth: the poetic knowledges of ancient forests and disabled communities. Marina is a visiting artist at Duke University, where she also holds a research residency to develop her current work, Soil and Spirit.
Patty Berne (they/she) is Co-Founder, Executive and Artistic Director of Sins Invalid, a disability justice-based movement building and cultural organization which centers Black, Indigenous, and all disabled people of color, and queer, trans, and non-binary disabled people. Patty’s experiences as a Japanese-Haitian queer disabled woman provides grounding for their work creating “liberated zones” for marginalized voices. Their professional background includes advocacy for immigrants who seek asylum due to war and torture, community organizing within the Haitian diaspora, and mental health support for survivors of violence. Patty is the recipient of the Ford Foundation’s prestigious Disability Futures Fellowship, and they are widely recognized for their work to establish the framework and practice of disability justice.