MDRC cultivates disability pride and strengthens the disability movement by recognizing disability as a natural and beautiful part of human diversity while collaborating to dismantle all forms of oppression.
2018 Annual Letter: We need you to fuel Disability Justice!
This past year, we witnessed the deeply problematic history of racial violence in this country result in murder of people of color. We witnessed religious intolerance lead to murders of people in their synagogue. We witnessed policy proposals that threaten the rights and safety of immigrants, especially immigrants with disabilities. We witnessed an endless number of hate-filled policy changes intended to isolate people seeking a better life. We witnessed efforts to cause harm to transgender and intersex individuals by limiting the ways in which people may identify themselves and how the government recognizes them.
It is painful to witness the suffering around us and within us. It is tempting to refuse to be a witness, but this does not lead to progress. We must use our experiences as fuel for the work we have committed to do in taking apart all forms of oppression.
We cannot develop or strengthen disability pride without also recognizing that we are constantly in community with people working to survive efforts to harm their lives. People with disabilities are: religious minorities, people of color, of various social and economic status, immigrants, refugees, activists, LGBTQ+, and so much more. Our community has the power to join in solidarity against hatred and intolerance that harms us all.
Actively working for disability justice takes courage. Courage to communicate against leaders and policies that deny identities, that abuse and destroy lives, that marginalize, that separate families, that promote hatred and acts of violence, that destroy programs that provide access to healthcare, housing, and basic human rights. Courage to disagree and intervene as an ally, when you look someone you love in the eyes and let them know you do not agree with them. Courage to hold tight to your values when you tell a donor or funder that you will not take their money if it means oppressing those we serve and those that work in our communities. Courage to look in the mirror and make a commitment to unlearn the actions you were taught that harm others. Courage to use our power to fight hate.
You share our values--that people with disabilities should be able to live full lives within the community with equal rights, equity and opportunities, be valued as essential and vital members of the community, be their whole selves, in all their identities, in all aspects of their lives, and have space for self-discovery, to cultivate community, and to develop pride.
Join us in using our power and courage! Please renew your financial support for Michigan Disability Rights Coalition so that your courage continues to be our courage as we work for justice. As a member and supporter of the disability justice community you know the difference between talk and action. You know that the work we do together is instrumental in building a movement that is strong enough to continue to effect change and withstand the onslaught of oppression in the current political environment.
As 2018 draws to a close and you consider the charitable contributions you want to make, please consider how much more you can do to help by sending a tax-deductible year-end gift to Michigan Disability Rights Coalition. We know you are already taking action through your advocacy, your hope, and your personal commitments. We are asking that you double down and amplify your support by financially investing in the work of Michigan Disability Rights Coalition.
Your gift is essential to continue our advocacy work, to cultivate disability pride, to strengthen the disability movement, and to collaborate to dismantle all forms of oppression. Help us pull together the power of this community so that the voices of ALL people with disabilities and our allies in other marginalized communities are heard and included. Let’s not shrink, let’s grow louder, and together hold strong and continue to work for justice. Keep the flame of hope and courage burning!
Myrtle Gregg-LaFay, Board President Theresa Metzmaker, Acting Director
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Michigan Disability Rights Coalition 3498 East Lake Lansing Road, Suite 100 East Lansing, MI 48823
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