Book club focused on disability justice seeks faculty members

From Around the O — The University of Oregon’s Deconstructing Whiteness Working Group has partnered with the Accessible Education Center to offer faculty members an opportunity to participate in a book club focused on the intersections of disability and other marginalized identities.

Over the course of 10 weekly discussions, the book club will discuss and explore the ways in which ableism, racism and other systems of oppression are intertwined and perpetuated into education systems.

Katie Wolf, accomodation programs manager for the Accessible Education Center, was one of the founders of the book club.

“As employees of the UO and the AEC, we do hold a lot of power and privilege in creating policies and having the opportunity to change polices within even just the department level, and so we wanted to be doing that work well,” she said. “That’s why we want to have these conversations.”

The book “Care Work: Dreaming Disability Justice” by Leah Lakshimi will be provided to participants by the university’s Division of Equity and Inclusion. The book is a collection of essays that explores the politics and realities of disability justice.

Wolf believes the book shines light onto a unique topic not discussed enough in the education system.

“Looking at how ableism and racism are intertwined and perpetuating the other, it’s something that is not often talked about or super mainstream in other spaces that are trying to work towards racial justice,” she said.

The Deconstructing Whiteness Working Group is made up of faculty and staff members with goals of creating, supporting and amplifying campus efforts that surround increasing racial literacy and taking responsibility for actions that perpetuate oppression.

The Accesible Education Center is part of the UO’s Division of Undergraduate Education and Student Success. Its main goal is to address systemic change and increase accessibility and inclusivity across campus.

Interested book club participants are encouraged to sign up via MyTrack. The book club is scheduled to meet beginning Tuesday, Jan. 5 from 4-5:30 p.m. The last meeting date will be Tuesday, March 9, 2021.

By Mya Miller, University Communications