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Keynote: Talila Lewis

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The maintenance of settler-colonial states requires a comprehensive, nimble, and timeless approach that prioritizes, normalizes and obscures ableism and eugenics. Uncovering tangled hierarchies that connect enslavement, circuses, hospitals, zoos, prisons, shelters, and more, help us discover the many shapes and illogics these forces take and reveal opportunities for intra-community, cross-community, and cross-movement healing and solidarity. Talila Lewis will recontextualize ableism as a form of oppression that is experienced by all marginalized people and offer a unique perspective on the deep interconnectedness of struggles for liberation of all oppressed people and communities.


  • Talila Lewis

    Talila “TL” Lewis (use name in place of pronouns) is an abolitionist community lawyer, educator, and organizer whose work reveals and addresses the inextricable links between ableism and all forms of oppression, violence, and inequity. Lewis’s work primarily focuses on abolishing the medical-carceral industrial complex; correcting and preventing wrongful convictions of disabled people; and supporting marginalized people affected by incarceration/institutionalization. Lewis created the only national (U.S.) database of deaf/blind imprisoned people and serves as director of HEARD (@behearddc), a cross-disability abolitionist organization. Lewis served as a lecturer at Northeastern University School of Law and Rochester Institute of Technology & Lewis’s blog and publications have been translated into numerous signed and spoken languages and used around the world to advance the rights of all oppressed communities.