July is disability pride month, and we want to highlight some of the phenomenal disabled climate activists and organizers who have been leading the fight for climate justice while uplifting disabled voices at the same time. Disabled folks have made powerful contributions to climate justice work, but are often under-recognized or actively excluded from mainstream environmentalism.
First up- Daphne Frias!
Daphne is a proud, disabled Latina organizer, climate warrior, and gun violence prevention activist, who is passionate about ending the climate crisis and stopping oppression of all types. She helped organize the September 2019 Climate Strikes in New York City alongside Greta Thunberg and is now the NY State Director of March for Our Lives.
Daphne has seen firsthand how the climate crisis disproportionately impacts her communities, and she is committed to uplifting their voices. Growing up in the low-income minority neighborhood of West Harlem, she has learned a lot about how city planning has left her community with infrastructure that has a worse impact on the climate and is less resilient to climate change. Also, as a person with Cerebral Palsy, she wants people to know that the climate crisis will have a greater impact on those who are differently-abled.
“Those of us with disabilities are some of the most affected by the climate crisis. When we think about the climate crisis, you think about the growing number of natural disasters that are going to be happening as a result. In those instances you often are required to evacuate rapidly, but if you’re disabled you often don’t have the ability to get up and run. You also can’t afford to get you medical devices and mobility aid to get destroyed in these natural disasters.”Source: Mission Magazine
You can learn more about Daphne and follow her work on instagram @frias_daphne!
Next up- Izzy Laderman!
Izzy Laderman (she/her) is an 18-year-old disabled climate activist, survivor advocate, and sex educator based in Duluth, MN. She founded an organization called Disability Awareness Around the Climate Crisis (DAACC) which works with other climate groups to increase accessibility and disability awareness within the movement.
Izzy first got involved with climate justice work through Duluth for Clean Water, which was fighting back against the Polymet mine and then went on to organize her city’s climate strike. After being diagnosed with Ehlers Danlos syndrome, Izzy began learning about how disabled people, like other marginalized groups, are disproportionately impacted by the climate crisis. It especially hit home after the impacts effected her personally.
“The first time I experienced it was when I had to get to the hospital and there had just been a blizzard (increased in amount and severity by the climate crisis). We barely got there. That was when I realized that it wasn’t a far away thing, it was in my life and my area too.“Source: Alliance for Climate Education
Izzy founded Disability Awareness Around the Climate Crisis after she was repeatedly hitting roadblocks in working with US Climate Strike to be more inclusive of disabled people. Having an official organization helped her make progress and build community around the issue. Now, the organization has transformed into an organizational hub. You can support Izzy’s work by following @daaclimatecrisis on instagram and educating yourself on the intersection between dis/ability and the climate crisis.
Happy Disability Pride!
Oregon State University in Corvallis, Oregon, is located within the traditional homelands of the Mary’s River or Ampinefu Band of Kalapuya. Following the Willamette Valley Treaty of 1855, Kalapuya people were forcibly removed to reservations in Western Oregon. Today, living descendants of these people are a part of the Confederated Tribes of Grand Ronde Community of Oregon and the Confederated Tribes of the Siletz Indians.
CATEGORIES: Justice, Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion