Facing Race: A National Conference in St. Louis, MO — November 20-22, 2024

Tameka Citchen-Spruce

Program Associate | Michigan Disability Rights Coalition
Pronouns: She/Her

Tameka Citchen-Spruce has been advocating over 15 years for access to affordable and accessible housing, fighting against voting oppression towards people with disabilities, racial and gender injustice, and health equity. Through the combination of her journalism knowledge and activism she learned the importance of telling a person's story. She has produced a short film and documentary based on her own experiences. She is a Program Associate for Michigan Disability Rights Coalition. Her work focuses on Black people with disabilities and leadership development of adults with disabilities. She has been selected for numerous fellowships and awards in the Detroit area.

Presentations from Facing Race 2022

Disability Inclusion as a Racial Justice Imperative

Disability Inclusion is a concept with a long history rooted in the impact of systemic oppression. While disability advocacy has achieved a lot over the last few decades, there is still a prevailing lack of inclusion of people of color with disabilities in that organizing. Beyond disability-centered spaces, other anti-oppression movements also struggle with intentionally including disabled people whose intersectional identities often make them multiply marginalized -- an area the Racial Justice movement has much work to do around.

This session is meant to introduce participants to the language of Disability Justice and assist them in better understanding how to organize for disability inclusion with intention as they build coalitions for racial justice. The presenters will provide opportunities for participants to engage with ideas, ask questions, and work with fellow participants to employ inclusion techniques in their organizing work. The presenters will reference extensively work they have produced and facilitated in their roles at Michigan Disability Rights Coalition centering Latino/x folks, Black folks, immigrants, refugees, and religious groups. Participants can anticipate leaving this session with extensive knowledge on Disability Justice as an organizing principle and tools to assist in planning for inclusion with intention.

Speakers: Tameka Citchen-Spruce, Reyna Garcia, Omer Niazi

Presentations from Facing Race 2018

Surviving Racism and Abelism 101

This workshop analyzes the systematic structure of ableism through a person of color living with a disability lens. Participants are given the opportunity to explore solutions on how to address these systematic structures. Our goal is to create a community of people who are interested in advocating for others who face discrimination as a differently abled person and ethnically/racially different. The session will begin with introductions of people who hold different identities and how they are treated in the greater society. For example, an undocumented disabled Latino girl, a black young adult living with mental illness, an Arab Muslim woman living with disability and a woman who uses a wheelchair.

Participants will come up with a list of ways in which society may see those in these marginalized communities. Following this brainstorming activity, participants will be broken up into smaller groups and be given different real-life scenarios of what a marginalized person may face holding a certain identity, like those listed above and how this individual is viewed/held back in the real world. This blurb, along with a copy of the ADA papers, will be used as a guide to come up with one or more solutions on how to address such a challenge. This workshop will finish off with the sharing of real-life results of these challenges and those involved, and what steps were taken to overcome the obstacles placed in the way. There will be time for Q&A at the end of workshop.

Speakers: Tameka Citchen-Spruce, Carla Valpeoz, Brenda Rodriguez