Core to the mission of Independent Living Centers is advocacy! The members of CFILC develop positions regarding issues that impact people with disabilities, and we join our allies in advocating for access and equal opportunities for people with disabilities. To learn about the current issues see below, please contact Dan Okenfuss, CFILC's Public Policy Director.
In Solidarity Against Xenophobia and Racism July 18th, 2019
The following statement is issued by the California Foundation for Independent Living Centers (CFILC) against xenophobia (prejudice against people from other countries) and racism outside and within our own Disability community:
In this time of fear and race-based hatred in the country, we at CFILC feel compelled to speak out. Oppression is oppression. There is no reason to compare or divide marginalized communities who face discrimination on an ongoing basis. Issues like disproportionate mass incarceration of black and brown people, child abuse at ICE detention centers, and institutions for people with disabilities are not just "parallel" to our work; these issues are also disability issues.
Disability is in every community.
Disability is a part of human diversity. We exist in every ethnicity, every age group, regardless of immigration status, and among the LGBTQIA+ communities. Therefore, for us to serve our Disabled community members, we must be diligent to ensure that we conduct and build our work from a place of inclusivity and equity. We also must work side by side with other marginalized communities to move forward and change systems.
We look forward to continuing this conversation within our community at the 2019 Annual National Council on Independent Living Conference and afterwards. As we work to build the capacity of Independent Living (IL) Centers, we know that the work to create true justice should challenge us constantly to look in the mirror and work to dismantle patterns of oppression around us and within us. As we work to hold each other accountable, we implore our members and our greater Disability community to also hold us accountable and to look within yourselves and your organizations to ensure that we are working to build relationships and coalitions with other marginalized communities that will make the present and future a better place for all.
Please know that CFILC may not always "get it right" when working toward inclusion, but we won't let the fear of "getting it wrong" prevent us from addressing inequities in and throughout our work.
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