Dustin and TL will come together to reflect on the work they’ve been involved in separately and together. Sharing reflections and learnings from campaigns and organizations set up to abolish policing, prisons and institutions with a specific focus on how ableism is a central feature. They’ll share thoughts on the co-optation of disability justice and offer interventions to strengthen applications of disability justice that adhere to anti-imperialist and abolitionist principles.
Access Notes: This event will include ASL interpretation and CART captions and will incorporate brief visual descriptions. Attendees are welcome to join in person or via zoom. If you have additional access needs or concerns, please email email@example.com.
About the Speakers
Dustin Gibson (he/him) joined PeoplesHub in May of 2020 to support disabled movement workers and organizations seeking to implement a framework of disability justice. He’s a peer support trainer with Disability Link in Georgia, a board member with Straight Ahead and HEARD, and a co-creator of the Disabled Elders Fund, the Pittsburgh Without Police Fund and Let’s Get Free: The Women and Trans Prisoner Defense Committee’s Guaranteed Basic Income program. He’s also a founding member of the Harriet Tubman Collective, Us Protecting Us in Atlanta, GA, and the Policing in Allegheny County Committee. He’s worked on-the-ground with Centers for Independent Living (CIL) in Southwest Pennsylvania with a focus on deinstitutionalization and youth self-determination. His work in the national CIL networks supported youth peer support networks and abolition. He teaches courses about abolition and disability justice in communities, high schools, universities, and law schools.
Talila “TL” Lewis (no gender pronouns; use name in place of pronouns) is an abolitionist community lawyer, educator, and organizer who is entering a period of rest, recovery, reflection, and redefinition. TL’s work has focused on abolishing the medical-carceral industrial complex and highlighting the inextricable links between ableism, racism, classism, and all other forms of oppression and violence. Lewis co-founded and served as the volunteer director of the cross-disability abolitionist organization, HEARD (@behearddc on IG/Twitter), for a decade, during which time, TL created the only national database of deaf/blind imprisoned people in the united states and worked to correct and prevent wrongful convictions of disabled people. Lewis, who served as a visiting professor at Rochester Institute of Technology and public interest law lecturer at Northeastern University School of Law, currently serves as a movement strategist and “expert” on cases involving multiply-marginalized disabled people. TL loves to dance, bake, create and weave languages/words, spend quality time with nature and chosen family; and is learning how to danceskate (on quads). Follow TL on Instagram/Twitter @talilalewis.
This event is made possible with support from the Andrew W. Mellon foundation, a Call to Action grant from the Office of the Vice Chancellor for Diversity, Equity and Inclusion, and with support from the College of Fine and Applied Arts.
TL and Dustin pose for a photo after a conversation in 2019. Dustin, a light skinned Black man with a thick beard, has his arm around TL’s shoulder with a clenched fist of unity/power. Dustin’s black hoodie says “all prisons are for profit” and he sports a St. Louis Cardinals hat and backpack. TL is a Black medium complexion genderfluid person with a very low haircut and brown circle-framed glasses who comes up to just above Dustin’s shoulder height. TL is wearing a white shirt with a knit black cardigan over it. TL & Dustin are wearing deep green colored pants. TL & Dustin lean against each other with pride. The background has been lightened but behind Dustin and TL there is a partial image of a collaged poster of many different photographs, bookshelves and tables with chairs.