Oct 12th 2022

Join Women & Children First and Access Living for a virtual event celebrating The Future Is Disabled: Prophecies, Love Notes and Mourning Songs by Leah Lakshmi Piepzna-Samarasinha. For this event, Leah will be joined by Moya Bailey & Akemi Nishida.


This event will be hosted on Zoom Webinar with ASL and CART provided. If you need additional access, email us at wcfbooks@gmail.com.

Three attendees will be entered into a raffle for a book giveaway at the end of the event sponsored by Access Living.

In The Future Is DisabledLeah Lakshmi Piepzna-Samarasinha asks some provocative questions: What if, in the near future, the majority of people will be disabled―and what if that’s not a bad thing? And what if disability justice and disabled wisdom are crucial to creating a future in which it’s possible to survive fascism, climate change, and pandemics and to bring about liberation Building on the work of her game changing book Care Work: Dreaming Disability JusticePiepzna-Samarasinha writes about disability justice at the end of the world, documenting the many ways disabled people kept and are keeping each other―and the rest of the world―alive during Trump, fascism and the COVID-19 pandemic. Other subjects include crip interdependence, care and mutual aid in real life, disabled community building, and disabled art practice as survival and joy.

Written over the course of two years of disabled isolation during the pandemic, this is a book of love letters to other disabled QTBIPOC (and those concerned about disability justice, the care crisis, and surviving the apocalypse); honor songs for kin who are gone; recipes for survival; questions and real talk about care, organizing, disabled families, and kin networks and communities; and wild brown disabled femme joy in the face of death. With passion and power, The Future Is Disabled remembers our dead and insists on our future.

Leah Lakshmi Piepzna-Samarasinha (she/they) is a nonbinary femme autistic disabled writer, space creator and disability and transformative justice movement worker of Burgher and Tamil Sri Lankan, Irish and Galician/Roma ascent. They are the author or co-editor of ten books, including (co-edited with Ejeris Dixon) Beyond Survival; Strategies and Stories from the Transformative Justice MovementTonguebreakerCare Work: Dreaming Disability Justice, and Bodymap.

A Lambda Award winner who has been shortlisted for the Publishing Triangle five times, she is winner of Lambda’s 2020 Jean Cordova Award “honoring a lifetime of work documenting the complexities of queer of color/ disabled/ femme experience.” They are a 2020-2021 Disability Futures Fellow and a member of the YBCA 105. Since 2009, they have been a lead performer with disability justice performance collective Sins Invalid; since 2020 they have been on the programming committee of the Disability and Intersectionality Summit.

Raised in rust belt central Massachusetts and shaped by T’karonto and Oakland, they are currently at work building Living Altars/ The Stacey Park Milbern Liberation Arts Center, a disabled QTBIPOC writers space and accessible writers retreat for disabled BIPOC creators. They are a haggard porch and couch witch and a very unprofessional adaptive trike rider.

Moya Bailey is an Associate Professor in the School of Communication and founder of the Digital Apothecary at Northwestern University. Her work focuses on marginalized groups’ use of digital media to promote social justice and she is interested in how race, gender, and sexuality are represented in media and medicine. She is the digital alchemist for the Octavia E. Butler Legacy Network and the Board President of Allied Media Projects, a Detroit-based movement media organization that supports an ever-growing network of activists and organizers. She is a co-author of #HashtagActivism: Networks of Race and Gender Justice (MIT Press, 2020) and is the author of Misogynoir Transformed: Black Women’s Digital Resistance (New York University Press, 2021).

Akemi Nishida uses research, education, and activism to investigate the ways in which ableism are exercised in relation to racism, cis-heteropatriarchy, xenophobia, and other forms of social injustices. She also uses such methods to work towards cross-community solidarity for the liberation and celebration of community power. She is the author of Just Care: Messy Entanglements of Disability, Dependency, and Desire (Temple University Press, 2022) in which she examines public healthcare programs as well as grassroots interdependent care collectives and bed-space activism. She teaches at University of Illinois Chicago, while also advocates for disability justice locally and nationally.


This event is brought to you by the Arts and Culture Project at Access Living, an independent living center for people with disabilities, Bodies of Work: Network of Disability Art and Culture, and the Disability Culture Activism Lab (DCAL), a teaching lab housed under the department of art therapy and counseling at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago. As a platform for creative disability art and advocacy projects, DCAL uses a peer support and collective care model in which disability community members and art therapy graduate students collaborate as disability culture makers for social change. Bodies of Work is a part of the Department of Disability and Human Development within the College of Applied Health Sciences at University of Illinois-Chicago.

The contents of this event were developed under a grant from the National Institute on Disability, Independent Living, and Rehabilitation Research (NIDILRR grant number 90RTCP0005).  NIDILRR is a Center within the Administration for Community Living (ACL), Department of Health and Human Services (HHS).  The contents of this book event do not necessarily represent the policy of NIDILRR, ACL, or HHS, and you should not assume endorsement by the Federal Government.

This program is partially supported by a grant from the Illinois Arts Council Agency.

Image Description: A light purple colored banner with a faint pattern of open books. The banner features a small cover image for THE FUTURE IS DISABLED centered between three photographs of the authors and conversation partners: Leah Lakshmi Piepzna-Samarasinha, Moya Bailey & Akemi Nishida. The text reads: “Women & Children First presents a virtual event, Leah Lakshmi Piepzna-Samarasinha in conversation with Moya Bailey & Akemi Nishidaby, Wednesday, October 12 at 7 p.m. on Zoom.”

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