A silhouette illustration of a beautiful gnarled tree, with windswept leaves and a twisted trunk. An elegant line curves near the base of the trunk, while the tree roots nestle against the earth.

Justice Shorter Audio Portrait:
Audio Transcript

Racial Justice and Disaster Response: Recognizing Root Causes and the Cost of Chronic Crisis

It’s the people who show up for each other.  That’s real.


Success after disaster in accordance with like a government official 

is entirely different than what I would probably consider to be successful 

as a Black blind woman who lives in a community of color.  


You know, success looks different to me.  


Success looks like our churches back up.  

Success looks like the corner store is back up.

It looks like no debris in my area.  

It looks like having the different community members being back in their home.  


Some sort of official who’s maybe looking at a spreadsheet or looking at the numbers, 

they may see success in an entirely different way. 


Black, indigenous, people of color with disabilities are more than capable—

and have been doing this work for decades. 


Mr. David across the street may not be an academic.  

He may not be a researcher.  

He may not be, you know, involved with a particular organization.  

But he damn sure knows how to help at least four people on his block 

who have different types of disabilities get out during the storm, 

because he’s done it for the last thirteen years. 


When the rescue missions don’t show up, 

when there’s no one who comes…


It’s the people who show up for each other.  That’s real.


Speaker: Justice Shorter

Editors: Claire Cunningham & Julia Watts Belser

Music Composition: Matthias Herrmann

Video Production: Vicky Wilson

You’re welcome to use, share, and distribute this material freely, for any non-commercial purpose.  It’s fine to use only an excerpt, but please don’t otherwise change or modify the content. We kindly ask you to include a citation and a link back to the archive whenever you use the material.