Welcome, my Loves! Welcome to the National Women with Disabilities Empowerment Forum (NWwDEF). My name is Maria R. Palacios. I, together with ten other amazing human beings who form our board of directors, bring you this forum of sisterhood and collective empowerment where women disabilities come together to learn from each other, to share, our personal power and move the mountains of ableist obstacles we face day to day because moving mountains is what women do.
As women with disabilities, we are a natural source of power. All we have to do is tap into our own seed of self-love and embrace the uniqueness of our personal gifts. I always like to remind others, but especially women with disabilities that empowerment comes, in part, from the realization that we already possess what we need to make a difference, and making a choice to doing so. Once we recognize and embrace our personal gifts, we must also immediately recognize and embrace the responsibility to do something with them…something lifechanging….something for the greater good of not just ourselves, but every single person who may cross our paths.
NWwDEF, is an organization born from the womb of disabled woman power, born from our personal and collective awareness of our existence as disabled women. In our mission and vision of empowerment we see ourselves and declare ourselves to be a: national grassroots, nonprofit cross-disability empowerment organization ran by women with disabilities for women with disabilities.
We represent and welcome at the table ALL women with disabilities ensuring there is space for respectful and sacred interaction as disabled women whose lives share struggles and triumphs that cross all races and all religions and all cultural backgrounds all genders and sexual identities, all body types, We all sit at the table sharing the bread of our collective experience as disabled women….sharing the wealth of who we are at all levels…strengthening and educating one another as we grow into our roots of disability justice and the empowerment of true inclusion which leaves no disabled sister behind. EVER!
We recognize our power to come from the unification of our voices and the link of collective awareness that having a disability never equals losing the right to own every aspect of our lives. We view disability through the lens of power, not through the lens of pity. We view disability not as something tragic but rather as a natural part of life.
Our vision of empowerment is one that invites disabled women across the nation and across the world to join us in this journey of shared disability pride and woman power. Our natural ability to come together is one of the most powerful qualities we possess as women. Let’s all come together and celebrate each other, lift each other up, recognize the power of our voices, the power of our stories, the undeniable contributions we bring to the world just by being who we are.
It is our hope that NWwDEF will become a hub of woman power, a common energy that allows women with disabilities to channel their own beauty, power and human resources into areas of opportunity and advocacy, and the growth of their own seed of self-love. It is with immense love that we, the board of directors of NWwDEF welcome you. It is here where you will experience various voices of empowerment as other board members in addition to myself will be sharing news, resources, stories, information, art and more through our NWwDEF blog.
It is an honor to serve you. Women with disabilities: Welcome Home!