Reshape what physical disability looks like for Black and Brown girls

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Donna Walton
Donna Walton signed this petition

The Divas With Disabilities Project (DWD) began as a collective of disabled women connecting with disability pride and meeting other women like themselves. The organization strives to reshape the perception of what "disability" looks like by promoting Black and Brown women with physical disabilities through an array of media platforms. DWD started as a small social media project but has grown into a nationwide movement with more than 2,000 members and supporters.

DWD works to normalize disability because 1 in 5 Americans are disabled. There are nearly 50 million of us. Yet, disabled people have the highest unemployment and poverty rates. We are the largest minority in the U.S., but we have the least representation in Congress. We are facing a crisis of a lack of representation, visibility, economic, and sociopolitical power in this country.

For this reason, DWD hopes to make the disabled women of color more visible. We will ensure that disabled women are given a seat at the table in the boardrooms of Fortune 500 companies on Wall Street, Capitol Hill, and Hollywood.  We belong there and in television, film, and the arts. Our organization desires to provide disabled women of color support and mentor ship in the development of their business, nonprofits, and connect them with employment opportunities to break the cycle of poverty within our community.

Presently, it is legal to pay people with disabilities less than minimum wage under federal law. This is known as the subminimum wage. We will champion banning the subminimum wage and connect disabled women of color with career opportunities that pay them what they deserve for their work.

Disabled women are thought to be inadequate, undesirable and unable to be productive members of society.  My organization works to shatters those myths.  We will make equal opportunity for disabled women a reality and not merely a dream.