Chairperson's Update - November 2023

10 Social Justice Principles

The CCD Council has been working on principles to guide our social justice work. Our starting place has been a modified version the Sins Invalid 10 Social Justice Principles*, which we are revising for our Canadian context. 

In brief, the 10 principles are:

1) Intersectionality
2) Leadership of Those Most Impacted
3) Solidarity in Disability Justice, fighting Colonialism and Systemic Oppression of all
4) Commitment to Cross-Movement Solidarity
5) Recognizing Wholeness
6) Sustainability
7) Commitment to Cross-Disability Solidarity
8) Interdependence
9) Collective Access
10) Collective Liberation

One of the first changes that we have looked at is to include a focus on fighting colonialism, which affects us all in a negative way.

In our discussion on intersectionality, we recognized that intersectionality shapes the opportunities that a person has, especially for people who are granted opportunities because of parts of their intersection and how this is often underestimated the effect that both of those sides of the coin can have on the opportunities that a person has in their life.

We have been discussing how leadership does not have to be positional.  Everyone can be a leadership and leadership occurs in different ways in different spaces. Leadership can happen when a person with a disability shows up in an unexpected place.

We have been reflecting on how there are no simple solutions to complex issues.  We need to learn to hold multiple complex points of view at the same time. We are looking at how to avoid not getting stuck in a binary approach where there are hierarchies or there is only one right answer. 

We have been looking at how to build a culture of care that finds ways to provide supportive tools to help mitigate some of the compassion fatigue and burnout that creep up on us when we do social justice work.  For example, that may mean making a point of checking in on each other kind of regularly to make sure that we are all doing okay. For those of us who are in the trenches long term, the work can be overwhelming and exhausting. The pushback is unrelenting - the stigma, the discrimination, it doesn't stop. It doesn't take a break.

We are recognizing that we are an inter-generational movement. As such, we need to know where we've been, where we're at now and where we need to go so that we are all working together.

This is a brief update on our most recent conversation on principles.  This is a journey that we will be continuing into the new year and we will keep you posted about our work on social justice principles. There are many resources available for people and groups to educate themselves about social justice principles. Below you will find some resources that CCD has been using.

To learn more about these concepts you can check out the following online resources:

The 10 Principles of Disability Justice Video Teaser - YouTube

Intersectionality - YouTube

Leadership of the Most Impacted - YouTube

Anti-Capitalist Politics - YouTube

Cross-Movement Solidarity - YouTube

Recognizing Wholeness - YouTube

Sustainability - YouTube

Cross Disability Solidarity - YouTube

Interdependence - YouTube

Collective Access - YouTube

Collective Liberation - YouTube

ASL 10 Principles of Disability Justice - YouTube

Intersectionality & disability, ft Keri Gray, the Keri Gray Group #DisabilityDemandsJustice - YouTube

* The Disability Justice Collective. Sins Invalid. Source: The ARC Minnesota Plain Language – Disability Justice Principles, #3 Revised for Canada. Amended.