Demand that Harvard support Autistic Students

Demand that Harvard support Autistic Students

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Kristin King started this petition

I am writing to bring your attention to something highlighted by the HUDJ and published on the Harvard College’s Weekly Updates. I am reaching out to you to demand that Harvard College publically withdraw support for the event: Autism Awareness: Thinking Outside the Box hosted by Sadhguru Center for a Conscious Planet featuring Harvard Medical School affiliates.

Harvard College is promoting (see attached screenshot) an event titled Autism Awareness: Thinking Outside the Box. One of the panel's goals is to highlight methods of "treating" Autism. This is not only violently ableist but scientifically incorrect. Phrases like "winning our war against autism" infer countless problematic narratives and demonize neurodivergent and Autistic people for simply existing. Adding in phrases like "how to communicate" and "savant autism" in conjunction suggest an alien-like nature to Autistic people. We are human, too.

Autism is a neurodevelopmental and neurobiological disability that is not treatable or curable. It is not an illness or disease and most importantly, it is not inherently negative. Autistic people at Harvard and globally have advocated in the face of ableism to defend ourselves from such hateful, eugenicist logic.

Harvard is a place of knowledge and learning. Misinformation is dangerous - and speakers like Marcia Hinds share violent misinformation about Autism saying, “maybe if we stopped calling it Autism and called it what it is, a messed up immune system”. By supporting such an event, Harvard is signaling that its campus is unsafe for Autistic people, and that is unacceptable. We call on organizers and attendees of this event to learn from Autistic self-advocates during this time. 

Additionally, problematic logos like the puzzle piece are used to advertise the event. See here for more information on that. 

Perhaps most importantly, there is not a single Autistic individual on the panel. Nothing about us, without us.

Please share this message with your Deans, your House, and your friends to spread awareness. For comments and questions email kristinking@college.harvard.edu. The sharing of these narratives by Harvard affiliates is completely inappropriate.

Best,

 

Kris

 

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