Being Heumann: An Unrepentant Memoir of a Disability Rights Activist
When: Thursday, Feb. 17, 2022: 4-5:30pm
The Ann Arbor District Library is proud to welcome Judith Heumann and Kristen Joiner for an online author event to discussion of her memoir, Being Heumann: an Unrepentant Memoir of a Disability Rights Activist, the 2022 Washtenaw Reads selection.
A story of fighting to belong in a world that wasn’t built for all of us and of one woman’s activism—from the streets of Brooklyn and San Francisco to inside the halls of Washington—Being Heumann recounts Judy Heumann’s lifelong battle to achieve respect, acceptance, and inclusion in society.
Paralyzed from polio at eighteen months, Judy’s struggle for equality began early in life. From fighting to attend grade school after being described as a “fire hazard” to later winning a lawsuit against the New York City school system for denying her a teacher’s license because of her paralysis, Judy’s actions set a precedent that fundamentally improved rights for disabled people.
As a young woman, Judy rolled her wheelchair through the doors of the US Department of Health, Education, and Welfare in San Francisco as a leader of the Section 504 Sit-In, the longest takeover of a governmental building in US history. Working with a community of over 150 disabled activists and allies, Judy successfully pressured the Carter administration to implement protections for disabled peoples’ rights, sparking a national movement and leading to the creation of the Americans with Disabilities Act.
Judith (Judy) Heumann is an internationally recognized disability advocate. She served in the Clinton and Obama Administration and was a Senior Fellow at the Ford Foundation. Judy’s story was also featured in the documentary “Crip Camp: A Disability Revolution,” a 2020 American award winning documentary film produced by the Obama Higher Ground Production. In 2020, she published her memoir “Being Heumann: An Unrepentant Memoir of a Disability Rights Activist,” written with Kristen Joiner. There is also a Young Adult version called “Rolling Warrior.” Judy is now the producer of The Heumann Perspective, a podcast and YouTube channel that aims to share the beauty of the disability community.
Kristen Joiner is a writer and activist who tries to tell stories that change how people see the world. Her writing on exclusion, inequality, and social change has been published in Stanford Social Innovation Review, Stuff and other outlets. She lives in New Zealand with her family.
This event is part of the 2022 Washtenaw Read. The Washtenaw Reads program is a community initiative to promote reading and civic dialogue through the shared experience of reading and discussing a common book. Participating libraries include Ann Arbor, Chelsea, Dexter, Milan, Saline, and Ypsilanti. For more information about Washtenaw Reads and previous years’ reads, go to wread.org.
No registration is required. Check this page 15 minutes before the event for the Zoom link and phone number.
This event will be recorded