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Grappling with Pandemic

The archive began in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic, a pandemic that has laid plain the brutal body costs of ableism, racism, capitalism, and more.  We acknowledge the devastating parallels between the ongoing realities of environmental injustice and our society’s unjust responses to COVID-19.  We bear witness to the way that disabled people, poor people, communities of color, indigenous communities, and communities in the global South have once again been left to shoulder the worst risks and bear the brunt of the harm, while wealthy, white, and nondisabled communities have often prioritized a “return to normal.”  At the same time, we also recognize that the pandemic has catalyzed powerful impulses toward mutual aid and collective care.  

Conversations in this strand chronicle activism and care work conducted by disabled people during the pandemic. Though not all of these conversations make explicit connections to climate justice, we include the stories in the archive because they offer a powerful witness to the possibilities of organizing in response to large-scale social upheaval, because they document disabled people’s responses to the realities of profound structural inequality, and because they showcase disability resilience in crisis.

The Conversations

Photo of Marcie Roth, a smiling, older, disabled white woman with grey curly hair and red glasses wearing a black top, colorful scarf and a pin that says "Disability Power and Pride." She is standing in front of a sign reading Forbes 50 Over 50.

Marcie Roth in Conversation with Julia Watts Belser

A black and while image of a short blonde-haired black female who is an above-the-knee amputee. She is sitting on the ground with her eyes closed, with her right leg bent with right hand touching her leg. On her left, she hugs her prosthetic leg, resting her head on the socket.

Erin Brown in Conversation with Julia Watts Belser