Day 24 – Mia Mingus – Disability Justice Advocate
When I was in college, my mentor (and hardest professor) told me that true civil rights change comes from the work of individuals and groups, doing the job every day when all the cameras and celebrities have gone home. For me, Mia Mingus is one of those people. In her own words she is a, “Queer physically disabled Korean transracial and transnational adoptee raised in the Caribbean.” Born in Pusan, South Korea and adopted by white Americans, she was raised in St. Croix, U.S. Virgin Islands where her mother worked for an organization helping victims of domestic violence. In St. Croix, Mingus saw the effects of poverty, violence against women, and engaged in community service that would lead her to attend Agnes Scott College in Atlanta, Georgia. In Atlanta she continued her focus on community service. At 26 she served as the Co-Executive Director of SPARK Reproductive Justice Now. Her push into disability justice came when she found that many social justice oriented marches and gatherings were not accessible to those in wheelchairs or having other disabilities. After Georgia, Mingus moved to Oakland and became a core member of the Bay Area Restorative Justice Coalition. She works as a speaker, writer, educator, and community organizer.
Mingus’s work focuses on broadening our understanding of social justice to ensure that disabled voices are a part of the conversation. In addition to her work on disability justice, she also works to reform the prison system and protect abused children. She travels the world teaching her disability justice framework. For her work, she has received numerous awards including, but not limited to being named a White House Asian and Pacific Islander Champion of Change (2013), the Creating Change Award by the National Gay and Lesbian Task Force. Mia Mingus is not a celebrity, but she has dedicated her life to change society for the better.
For More Information:
Mia Mingus: https://leavingevidence.wordpress.com/