I’m joining the disability march because I’m a spoonie with multiple chronic illnesses, who depends on the ACA like so many of the chronically ill and disabled. I’m joining the disability march for people like my mom, who suffered both cancer and job lock in the days before ACA. I’m joining the disability march because I’m a rape survivor suffering PTSD for the first time in 30 years. I’m joining the disability march for all the Dreamers, all the immigrants, all the Muslims, all the Sikhs, all the LBTQ, all the women, all the rape survivors, all the atheists, Native Americans, Shamanists, and people of color whom I love. I’m joining the disability march for all who feel unwelcome in or at risk under the new administration.
I am a historian, a sufferer of chronic illness, and a volunteer community organizer with Faith in the Valley Kern County http://faithinthevalley.org/.
I am joining this (virtual) march for my LIFE…for ALL OF OUR LIVES. As a woman born with a physical disability I have spent over half of my professional life as an independent consultant/trainer/speaker (30 years) fighting for my/our human & civil rights; while also trying to make our society more accessible to those of us in the disability community, by EDUCATING people about the disability experience and issues, and the ADA law.
It’s been a rewarding yet frustrating life…till now. I must admit I am now…VERY scared, VERY outraged and VERY exhausted. Before this election, we were starting to make strides towards inclusion in employment, housing, healthcare, etc. We are not where we need to be or moving as fast as we should be, but still…we were making some progress. But now? Now…I am so scared that everything…and I mean everything! will be thrown away…just like that. Our human rights thrown away under the guise of saving money. Blatantly thrown away due to others’ hate of us. This hate – this discrimination – used to be semi-hidden…but now? Oh NOW the man strolling into Washington, D.C. has given those who hate us, mock us, want us to disappear…these people have been given outright permission to discriminate, ridicule, bully, assault and/or even kill us…in the name of their ignorant leader who now slithers into the White House. Good god almighty! This is why I march with the thousands of others – marching against hate, against greed, against ignorance. This is why I join ALL my sisters & brothers who are not only disabled but are of other minority communities, who are just as hated – just as discriminated against – because of their OTHERNESS.
Stephanie Cunningham is co-founder of the Lighthouse Group Consulting, specializing in disability awareness, training and public speaking. Though now semi-retired, she’s traveled nationally and statewide partnering with corporations, non-profits, professional associations, government agencies and all levels of school systems. Her consulting ranges from training, group facilitation, and curriculum design, to ADA and Emergency Preparedness training for employers.
Stephanie is a former board member of VSA arts of Minnesota and Sister Kenny Institute; she’s also a certified WINDMILLS© Disability Awareness trainer. Her passion and activism manifest itself as an educator, a woman living with a disability and a part-time artist.
Why I Am Joining The March : We are all equal, but not all the same. I have always been involved in society. My disability means that I now do things differently. I want everyone to have equal access to basic necessities such as housing, education, healthcare, and a clean environment. Everyone should have the opportunity to live their best life.
Why I Am Joining The March : I am joining with those of good will who are marching in support of equality, the environment, health care for all, public education, Planned Parenthood, a woman’s right to choose what is best for her, and all the other good and rational causes that seem in peril with this new administration.
Sara J Fox
Why I Am Joining The March : I’m joining the march because I’m a queer woman who is unable to physically attend for a variety of health related reasons.
I’m joining because I am staring down the barrel of at least two more surgeries, as well as receiving mental health services that are crucial to my quality of life, and don’t know what the repeal or “replacement” of the ACA will mean for my physical and mental health.
I’m joining because I’m a higher education professional and I want to stand up for our nations children and young adults, who deserve to inherit a better country, and a better world.
I’m joining for my siblings of all races, genders, orientations, creeds, and ability levels, because we all deserve to be equal under the law.
I’m joining because even if I can’t physically stand up in DC I will NOT sit down and shut up.
To quote one of my personal heroes: “Doesn’t matter what the press says. Doesn’t matter what the politicians or the mobs say. Doesn’t matter if the whole country decides that something wrong is something right. This nation was founded on one principle above all else: The requirement that we stand up for what we believe, no matter the odds or the consequences. When the mob and the press and the whole world tell you to move, your job is to plant yourself like a tree beside the river of truth, and tell the whole world – ‘No, you move.”