Today marks the first day of “National Hispanic Heritage Month,” celebrated each year from September 15th through October 15th.
This is an important month—a time to think of the contributions and history of people who identify as Hispanic in America.
UCP Oregon thinks it’s also important to talk about the intersection of race and disability this month. More than 5.4 million Americans who identity as Hispanic also experience a disability.
The intersection of multiple identities is complicated.
As Roque Gregorio Renteria (an LA-based screenwriter and comedian who uses a wheelchair) says, “There’s often a trade off when multiple identities are present. People want to focus on my Hispanic identity or my identity as a person with a disability and not examine both.”
However, some Hispanic celebrities who experience disabilities have begun to share their experiences and voices. Notable examples include Michelle Rodriguez and Salma Hayek; and singers Demi Lovato and Selena Gomez.
Happy 32nd Birthday to the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA)!
The ADA ensures that people with disabilities have the same rights and opportunities as everyone else. It guarantees equal opportunity for individuals with disabilities in public accommodations, employment, transportation, state and local government services, and telecommunications.
The ADA came about after years of mobilization by disabled activists.
Happy July! And happy Disabilities Pride Month to you!
This month, some folks who experience disabilities are choosing to “come out of the closet” by discussing their disabilities publicly for the first time.
Have you done this? It can be a scary process.
But, as Carly Fox (a 20-year-old disability rights advocate) says, “Disability self-disclosure has been freeing, empowering, and incredibly meaningful to me. It has allowed me to enter new professional spaces in my entirety. It enables me to use my expertise to make spaces more accessible and inclusive, and it creates representation that may make my disabled peers feel safer.”
Learn more about Carly's "self-disclosure" experience here.
July is Disabilities Pride Month.
It’s a time for celebration and for introspection. And sometimes it's a time for sadness.
If you’re struggling to know how to feel this month, you’re not alone. One of our favorite activists, Kelly Douglas (who experiences CP) recently shared, “I wonder if I’ll be able to muster up a shred of disability pride to get me through July.”
Like many of us this month, Kelly is wondering, “How do I share everything my disability has given me and still mourn everything it’s taken away?”
That's why we’ll be sharing a spectrum of disability-related experiences this month-- from celebration and pride to grief and annoyance. Because ALL of our experiences are valid!
Happy July! Happy "Disability Pride Month"!
For many folks, Disability Pride Month is a very "public" thing--it's about building community, speaking out, and taking action. Disability Pride Month parades and events are held in many cities.
For other folks, Disability Pride Month is a time to focus on introspection.
Either way, UCP Oregon is here for it! This month, we are celebrating us! We are celebrating OUR history, OUR struggles, and OUR strengths.
Join UCP Oregon on June 19th as we celebrate Juneteenth (also known as Freedom Day).
The holiday was named in honor of June 19th, 1865--the day that enslaved persons were finally freed in Texas (months after the Civil War has ended).
Last year, the day became a federal holiday. Woo hoo!
Juneteenth events are being held across the country.
If you live in Portland, you might want to attend the 2022 Juneteenth Oregon Parade and Festival. This free, community-empowered event features a parade, food, vendors, a kids’ area, local music (jazz, hip hop and soul), empowering speeches from community leaders and more.
For more information, visit the Juneteenth Oregon Celebration website.
Happy Pride Month!
Around the country, people are celebrating with parties and events. But Pride is also reminder of the ongoing civil rights movement for LGBTQ+ people.
As of 2021, 5.6% of adult Americans identify as part of the LGBTQ+ population. (That’s approximately 17 million people.)
Currently, 30-36% of Americans who identify as LGBTQ+ also experience disabilities. (That’s approximately 5 million people.)
You can learn more about the experience of being LGBTQ+ and having disabilities here:
Mabuhay, UCP fans!
(That’s a Filipino greeting, if you didn’t know).
As you may have heard, May is Asian American and Pacific Islander Heritage Month (AAPI).
UCP’s Yvonne Miller (a Personal Agent) taught us that greeting, and also started a conversation with the UCP Mentors team about ways to acknowledge and celebrate all things AAPI.
Below is an excerpt from Yvonne’s email and some resources they provided.
PS: Thanks to the other UCP Mentors team members shared about their identity and more ways to connect with the AAPI culture!
How can we all get involved in supporting the AAPI community?
Did you know that May is Mental Health Awareness Month?
The goal is to bring awareness to the importance of mental health and break the stigma.
About 25% of American adults experience a mental health challenge of some kind, according to Johns Hopkins Medicine.
But many people who experience mental health challenges keep their situation and stories to themselves—they’re afraid of being treated differently.
But, as Disability Rights California writes, “Especially during this challenging pandemic, it’s even more important to take care of ourselves and not be afraid to ask for help. Mental health is just as important as physical health, and it’s important to remember, we are not alone.”
Here are mental health resources recommended by various UCP employees:
Did you know that May is Asian American and Pacific Islander (AAPI) Heritage Month?
According to the CDC, approximately 1 in 10 Asian American adults have a disability. This can lead to some complicated experiences.
As activist Megan Liang writes, “As an Asian American woman with a visible disability, I have always felt as if all parts of my identity were for the world to see and judge… I felt like I couldn’t ask for help in fear that I would be seen as even smaller and weaker.”
That’s why Megan and others like her are hoping to shine a light on the intersection of disability and Asian identity.