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Trailblazer in cross-disability abolition to be honored Sept. 22
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TL Lewis to be honored alongside Wiley and Gonzalez

Contributions of a trailblazer in cross-disability abolitionist work will be featured

The United Church of Christ Media Justice Ministry announced today that Talila “TL” Lewis, co-founder and outgoing director of the cross-disability abolitionist organization HEARD, will receive UCC Media Justice Ministry’s McGannon Award. Lewis will be honored for Lewis’s path-breaking advocacy with and for disabled incarcerated people, and work to identify and address the inextricable links between ableism and all forms of oppression.

Talila "TL" Lewis

Lewis co-founded HEARD in 2011 to support deaf, deafblind, deafdisabled, and hard of hearing people affected by incarceration, especially those who were wrongfully convicted. Lewis went on to work on numerous deaf wrongful conviction cases; and provide direct advocacy for incarcerated community members while serving as HEARD’s volunteer director for nearly a decade. Under Lewis’s stewardship, HEARD grew into a cross-disability abolitionist organization that works to end ableism, racism, capitalism, and all other forms of oppression and violence.

Beyond direct advocacy, Lewis is a thought leader, educator, and consultant who works to identify and interrupt the interconnected social, cultural, and structural hierarchies that assign some people and communities less value than others based on “socially constructed ideas of normalcy, productivity, desirability, intelligence, excellence, and fitness.” (Learn more at bit.ly/ableism2022).

Lewis will join Parker Lecturer Maya Wiley and Parker Award recipient Jessica J. Gonzalez at the September 22 event in Washington D.C.


Read more about TL Lewis and this year's Parker Lecture.

The 40th Parker Lecture will take place on September 22, 2022

Sign up to attend in person in Washington, DC or online.

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