Dr. Donna Walton, the founder of Divas with Disabilities, has one question: What’s a leg got to do with it? The March Meetup brought light to National Disabilities Awareness Month & International Women’s Month. We dedicated our space to the intersections of our identities and the spectrum of disabilities by welcoming Dr. Donna Walton to speak at our Meetup. The Mixed Space (TMS) founder Lili Stiefel opened the Meetup by sharing how TMS wants to continue to expand its awareness in becoming a more inclusive and more robust support system to our community members.
Lili Stiefel and TMS co-founder Ariel Bastida described their environment and what they looked like to the audience, guiding those with visual disabilities. Stiefel then added, “Preparing and researching for this meetup had me experience some heartbreak as I continue to realize how much I still have to learn.” Bastida, in agreement, asked for a moment of silence to honor unheard voices, people who aren't able to speak for themselves, and the people in Ukraine fighting for freedom.
We introduced our speaker, Dr. Donna Walton. She spoke about her lived experience with a disability as a Black woman, an actress, and a writer. She also introduced us to her organization, Divas with Disabilities (DWD), a digital movement committed to increasing the participation and representation in the media of Black and Brown women with disabilities. DIVAS is an acronym for dynamic, illuminating, victorious, achieving sisters with visible disabilities.