New Disabled South (NDS), a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization, has built a disability rights and disability justice strategy for the South. This strategy will first focus on creating the Southern Disability Justice Coalition, a partnership of disability organizations, activists, and advocates throughout the South to align on organizing and advocacy. NDS will also advocate for impactful state and local disability policy, as well as track bad legislation that puts disabled people, particularly disabled BIPOC, in the South at further risk. Additionally, NDS will conduct research on the issues that impact disabled folks across 13 Southern states and work to propose policy solutions that help advance NDS's vision: a South where liberation and justice for all disabled people is achievable.
There is currently no regional disability rights and/or disability justice strategy in the US, so NDS would be the first of its kind. With one-third of the 61 million disabled people in America residing in the South, the majority being BIPOC, and with those numbers increasing due to Long COVID, there has never been a more important time to invest in disability justice for the South. NDS will engage directly with the communities who are most impacted.
What our grantee is saying: "We are so grateful for Awesome Disability's support of our startup organization. This award will help us launch at the beginning of next year with a beautiful, accessible website that will ensure we reach disabled people in the South and help advance disability justice in our communities."
What our trustees are saying: "As a former resident of the region, I know that the South is frequently last to receive progressive funding and resources because there is a perception that ideas won’t be welcome there. I also know that Southern organizing communities are diverse and passionate. I appreciate that this project is changing the typical approach by choosing the South as the first region to roll out a regional disability organizing strategy, not the last."
Funded by Disability (August 2022)