Thursday October 12 & Friday October 13 2017
Our annual event is practically here!!!!. This is the first year we have split the event in half offering the opportunity to enjoy the awesome workshops as well as the art and information/fun fair without having to choose one or the other. This has been the dilemma every year, and NWwDEF came to the conclusion that dividing the event into two days would allow us to cater to both, the “lets’ work on ourselves” aspect of things as well as the “lets’ have fun and support each other through our arts and our creative energy” side of things..
THAT is what NWwDEF’s yearly event has always been about, and it seems almost unreal that here we are doing this for the ninth year. How time flies! And I can’t help but cry tears of love when I flip through the pages of my personal memories about this event which has grown so much since its birth in 2009 and its debut in 2010. For those of you who attend every year, you know, this is a project of empowerment and love. This is a project that combines art and advocacy through the vein of disability justice and through the voices of disabled women in our community. We come together in the name of empowerment, in the name of love. We come together aware of our strengths, aware of the pain that led us there and the love that brings us here.
(If you RSVPd for Day I., you are in for an intimate and powerful full day of amazing workshops, solidarity, sisterhood, art, poetry and the echo of advocacy through the lens of disabled woman power. To enjoy breakfast, please get there by 8:30. We will be in Room 1. Please stop by the registration table outside the room before coming in.)
IF YOU DID NOT RSVP AND WOULD LIKE TO ATTEND DAY I., PLEASE MESSAGE US AT firstname.lastname@example.org or call 832-342-8752 and we will let you know before 5PM today if we can add you to our RSVP list).
Our Empowerment Fair on Friday October 13th is a celebration of our artistic voices. It’s a celebration of our talents and abilities, a celebration of the shared experiences as disabled women, as survivors as badass go-getters, mothers, sisters, daughters, wives, grandmothers, girlfriends. We are and we live the same roles and wear the same hats as nondisabled women, but we do it fighting the dragons of ableism that tell us that we can’t or shouldn’t be as strong and as beautiful as we really are.
Yes, this even is an event of love, an event that showcases our diversity and our undeniable beauty and ability to give. Giving is something we do naturally as women, but women with disabilities are so often denied the right to claim our own beauty and personal gifts.
What makes our event what it is, and separates us from other fairs and events is that everything we do, we do so from the heart and without hidden agendas. We simply roll up our sleeves and come together believing and knowing women with disabilities have the power to create positive change. We operate from a platform of woman love and artistic advocacy. Our empowerment fair is also different because we provide women with disabilities a day to honor and showcase their art, their personal resources, their message of hope and empowerment in whatever form they want to express it. NWwDEF does not charge disabled artists for the booth space. This is a day for them to feel honored and celebrated and hopefully have the chance to make some money while enjoying the presence of our vibrant disability community supporting this event from the minute we open our doors at noon.
Our disability community always comes to support this event. Over the years, the men have learned they can be allies. They have come to represent and learn from our voices and our stories. I remember last year, the men with the Living Hope Wheelchair Association made little wooden bird houses as part of their participation in the fair. As manly as most Latino men can be, these dudes were there for us and with us knowing some of the access struggles we all face are often so universal to disabled people that they too understand the importance of supporting one another.
Our disability community is beautiful and colorful and full of love and life and art and more. It is full of lessons of survival and advocacy and the echo of a history that has led us to rise from pity to disability pride and collective empowerment.
I just wish the nondisabled world would care a bit more, even if only out of curiosity, stop by this Friday the 13th. Join us, if only for a moment. I promise you it will be one moment that can change your perception and whatever ideas or misconceptions you may have about disabled women. Even if for a second, utilize your lunch hour to stop by and come support our vendors, learn about the various artists and disability led businesses and empowerment organizations that throb in the vein of our community, perhaps without you even realizing it because able-bodied privilege allows you to keep ignoring the fact that we exist.
We invite you to come sing with us and witness how, despite popular misconceptions, our disabled lives are worth living. Our disabled lives are worth including in the fabric of your personal experiences.
Again, this beautiful event will offer:
One on one sessions with ADA and civil rights attorneys who want to know about your legal struggles with:
The Greater Houston Fair Housing Center will be present to answer your questions about Fair Housing laws.
The Southwest ADA Center will be there to answer your questions about ADA related issues.
Walgreens will be there offering flu shots and blood pressure checkups.
Family to Family Network will be there offering information and support to families and parents.
ART-BOOKS-WOMAN JOURNALS -JEWELRY -BEAUTY ACCESSORIES -HEALTH PRODUCTS -SEXY ACCESSORIES -FOOD VENDORS -DISABIITY OWNED BUSINESSES -DISABIITY RIGHTS AND DISABIITY ADVOCACY ORGANIZATIONS -DISABIITY THEMED T-SHIRTS AND MORE……..
KARAOKE PARTY 3:00PM –5:00 PM Sponsored by DIVISUALARTS You haven’t done karaoke until you’ve sang with disabled women “crip style”!!!!
Feel free to come dressed in Friday the 13th attire. The NWwDEF booth will be passing out chocolate wafers to everybody who comes by.
With Love and Gratitude,
Maria R. Palacios & the NWwDEF Board of Directors