Race & Disability Symposia

The symposia series is a multi-campus initiative hosted within multiple University of California sites. UCLA, UC-Irvine, and UC-Berkeley are confirmed partners. The symposia theme engages several themes, with a primary one involving the role of racial injustice in creating physical and mental injuries, illnesses and impairments, which can be or become disabling over time. Embedded topics include but are not limited to criminalization of people with mental and physical disabilities, homelessness and housing, immigration, food insecurity and food justice, healthcare systems, and violence and exploitation. The symposia are expected to roll out on different dates on each campus during the 2020-2021 academic year. The series was conceived by the Center on Law, Equality and Race at the University of California-Irvine School of Law, in collaboration with Repair, with the aim of intentionally and actively including community-based organizations and organizers in each symposium. Repair is the project lead in coordinating community involvement. The UCLA symposium is expected to proceed in January of 2021, and will include dedicated plenaries on race and mental disability, food justice, and sexual violence and exploitation. On-site partners include the UCLA Disability Studies Program and the UCLA Center for the Study of Women. The symposia are expected to collectively generate several published volumes, and to convene leading scholars, advocates and activists in the U.S. engaged with social justice and systems change work.